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356A Driver's Manuals, "Vintage" and Reprints

September 29, 2010 | Research & Identification

Text and scans by Charlie White, edited by Barry Lee Brisco, with additional contributions from Orr Potebnya, Bill Strickland and Michael Zois

NOTE: The colors that you see shown in the images below do not necessarily accurately represent the actual colors. Digital photos/scans and computer monitors vary significantly in how they show colors.


There are a number of slightly different 356A Driver's Manuals in circulation. The images shown below are an attempt to make clear which are vintage (the versions provided with the A model when it was new) and which are later official Porsche reprints. Only English language versions are covered here: the 356A Driver's Manual was also published in French and German.

Shown below is the cover and 1st page of an original 356A Driver's Manual, print date October 1956: notice the black spiral binding. Orr Potebnya notes that the October 1956 edition is 112 pages long and differs from the l957 edition with the inclusion of 16 pages (8 sheets) of "Official Automobile Specification Certificates" towards the back of the manual preceding the index. In addition, the tool kit photo shows two screwdrivers whereas the 1957 edition shows three and it lists four engine options: 1300, 1300S, 1600, 1600S. The 1300 and 1300S engines are not listed in the 1957 edition.

Scans courtesy of Bill Strickland (larger image of cover, larger image of inside page)

Below is the cover and 1st page of an original 356A Driver's Manual, "September 1957 Edition": notice the black spiral binding, print date, and yellowed page edges. Again, Orr Potebnya observes that the September 1957 edition lists only the 1600 and 1600S engines, includes information about the new ZF steering box, and reflects the change from Solex 32/40 PBIC carbs to Zenith 32NDIX. It does not include the 16 pages of "Official Automobile Specification Certificates" and shows three screwdrivers in the tool kit. Curiously, there seem to be at least three slightly different versions of this "September 1957 Edition". One is marked "W 31" and has a notably larger circumference black spiral binding. The second is marked "W 32" and also shows "3.58 GI" (larger black binding). The third is marked "W 32" and "5.58 GI". Each one is 96 pages long.

Scans courtesy of Charlie White (larger image of cover, larger image of inside page)

Porsche factory reprint March 1964, notice blue hexagons, white spiral binding

Scans courtesy of Charlie White (larger image of cover, larger image of inside page)

Porsche factory reprint March 1964 but a different version with no hexagons, white spiral binding

Scans courtesy of Charlie White (larger image of cover, larger image of inside page)

A more recent Porsche factory reprint, still dated "March 1964" has a clear spiral binding

Scans courtesy of Charlie White (larger image of cover, larger image of inside page)

The 356A Driver's Manual appears to be currently available from Porsche, as is the Workshop Manual. You can find them by searching the Porsche website starting here.

356A Owner's Manual Part #WKD 460020 - $80.61

356A Workshop Manual Part #WKD 480120 - $577.33

In 2008 Michael Zois purchased two 356A manuals from the Porsche dealer in Santa Barbara. One is shown below. The first page is completely different from the original manual and the later reprints, and there is no print date [It is not inconceivable that the actual first page was removed for unknown reasons]. This manual also has the clear spiral binding.

Scans courtesy of Michael Zois (larger image of cover, larger image of inside page, , larger image of pages 3 and 4)

More information about 356 owner's manuals from 1950 to 1965 can be found on Charlie White's website.

2 Comments

Aa493c9f9299cdb0d51a6d201e2b655c 37
Charlie White
August 19, 2012 at 8:20 PM
See all 356-era factory Owner's Manuals at:<br /><br />http://derwhites356literature.com/356PorscheOwnersManuals.html
Aa493c9f9299cdb0d51a6d201e2b655c 37
Charlie White
August 19, 2012 at 8:20 PM
See all 356-era factory Owner's Manuals at:<br /><br />http://derwhites356literature.com/356PorscheOwnersManuals.html