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Front Turn Signal Types

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 2 Comments
Contributions by Jim Breazeale, Steve Douglas, Bill Leavitt, Brad Ripley, Brett Johnson, Colin Thorpe, edited by Barry Lee Brisco The question of which type of front turn signal assemblies were used for a specific time is sometimes clear and sometimes confusing, particularly for the late A cars. This article is an attempt to clarify the issue, but some aspects remain murky. This is because the 356 parts books are not infallible, but particularly because this part is easily changed, so only original owners with perfect memories can be certain of what is original to their cars. No attempt is made here to describe the front turn signal units used before 1954. Brad Ripley has done a great deal of research on this topic, and his contributions are highlighted below in white boxes. K3204, The "Early Beehive" The photo at right shows What is commonly known as the "early beehive" turn signal unit was used from the beginning of the 1953 model year (October 1952) up to March 1957, accordi...

The "Modell" Plaque and 356 Model Years

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 0 Comments
By Eric Cherneff, Dan Macdonald, and Barry Lee Brisco While the concept of the automotive "model year" is now firmly established in the public mind (due to incessant marketing by the car companies), it was not always so. In the early years of Porsche, the company was mostly indifferent to the concept, and corporate record keeping was focused on production years. Significant changes to the Type 356 usually occurred when production resumed after the summer break (which was typically in August) but changes could also occur at any time, such as the change to teardrop style taillights in March 1957 or the increase in the 356A front overrider tube height in January 1959. Kardex records for the Type 356 do not contain any model year information (the Kardex often shows the date the car was shipped from the factory or when it was received by the owner / dealer) and 356 factory literature rarely refers to "model year". This indifference to model year is also observed in British manufactu...

Seat Back Hinge Types

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 2 Comments
Text and photos by Jim Breazeale [Editor: The "type" numbers shown are not mean to indicate an official factory designation, they are just a way to give a label to the various seat hinge types used over the years in the B and C cars. Scroll down the page to see all the photos.] 1955-57, 1958T2, 1959 T2, 1960 T5 "TYPE 3" 356B T5 (60/61 year model cars) Date stamps in my pile 4/60,5/60,11/60,3/61. NOTE: Seat back adjuster lever and the improved covers on the back side. "TYPE 4" 356B T6 (62 and early 63) Note: Added seatback restraint (the hook at the bottom of the hinge). This feature was on both passenger and driver side seats and eliminated (what were they thinking?) on the driver's side seat in the late T6Bs. I have only 1 seat hinge with the restraint feature with a date stamp 7/61. It is my belief that date stamps ceased to be added at that time. "TYPE 5" 1964 (year model) 356C NOTE: Same as late 63 356B (no restraint on driver's seat) except the the small rivets on the o...

Market Prices for 356s

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 0 Comments
By Chris Markham Q: I am in the process of purchasing a 356 and was wondering where I could find out the market values of the vehicles. A: The two best sources in print are the PCA Magazine Panorama and the Porsche Market Letter (PML). To get Panorama you must be a Porsche Club of America (PCA) member. You may have a friend in the PCA who can loan you a back-issue which gives the "Market Watch" for the models in which you're interested. They rotate different models through each issue, so you have to find the right one. The PML is subscription-based. See http://www.pmletter.com/ I believe their September issue specializes in the 356. Like the Market Watch in Panorama, they list trends in prices as well as samples. You have to subscribe for a year, but as your search for a car might take that long, it's also a good source of classifieds, as is Panorama. There's also the National Automobile Dealers' Association (NADA) book of used car prices. See http://www.nada.com Note that I ...

Manufacturing Date Codes on Porsche 356 Parts

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 0 Comments
By Paul Hatfield, special thanks to Brad Ripley and Jim Breazeale Originally published in Vol. 31, No. 5, 356 Registry Magazine This article provides information on original 356 parts that were stamped with a manufacturing date or a date code and used in 356 production. It is not intended to give information on parts that contained the last 3 digits of the chassis number [available here], nor to say which parts were used on each model. The one and only focus of this article is those parts that actually contain a date or date code on them. It is not meant to be the final word on the subject. A concerted effort was made to get pictures of parts where the provenance of the part was known. Date-code systems are noted by manufacturer. Since there were a handful of 356s shipped in 1966, I provide date codes through that year where possible. [Editor] Due to the lengthy tables and photos presented in the article, it is only available as a PDF file. Download it here. Thanks to Gordon M...

Transmission Identification

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 6 Comments
NOTE: This article, originally printed in 1989, is still very much true in that Vic Skirmants is still looking for transmission numbers and data. If you have information to contribute, please send it along to: Vic Skirmants T 356 Registry Technical Column, Reprinted from Vol. 16, #1 (1992) Vic Skirmants, Editor Way back in Vol. 13, #4 (Apr/May `89). I asked for transmission serial number data. Here's a repeat of the request. I would like to ask the readers to send me information on their transmissions, as well as the chassis number of the car if the trans is believed to be original. I can use all the data possible. Including empty trans cases out in the chicken coop. I can't promise a complete list to every respondent, but I can try to answer your questions as to what your gearbox really is. With enough input, I might even write an article explaining some of the mysteries. Now for the hard part. On original, non-show cars the numbers I want you to dig up will be under a lot of...

Engine Number Stamp Identification

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 1 Comment
Q:What does the "P*" on the third piece engine number mean? A: Almost all motors from the factory start with the "P*" (P-star) stamp. Exceptions are the "KD*" (see following), and the blank 3rd piece replacement pieces which were sold as replacement parts and installed by service centers and shops. Q:What does the "KD*" before my engine number mean? A: The KD means, roughly translated, "Customer Service", in other words, your engine was rebuilt at the factory--almost as good as new! We have no statistics as to how many KD engines there are, but they are not uncommon, especially on European Delivery cars, which were frequently taken by their owners back to the factory for service, or the engines may have been sent by European Porsche Dealers to the factory for rebuilds. Q:What do the other stamps my engine number mean, and how can I find out ? A: There are the "type number" stamps, the "case casting" stamp, and, internally the "date stamp". Details about the date stamp and ...

German/English Translations: 356 General

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 0 Comments
By Edgar Bechtle, Martin Boecker, Dave Metz, Bill Simmeth, Wil Mittelbach, Wulf Moennich GERMAN ENGLISH Auf open (as used on fuel petcock) Achslast hinten axle load rear Achslast vorn axle load front Baujhar build year, or year of manufacture Bereifung the tire set (or type and size of tires) on a vehicle Boucle type of yarn for square weave carpet Fahrzeugpreis car price (similar to MSRP) Farbe paint color Fahrgestell Nr chassis number (VIN) Ganzlederpolsterung full leather upholstery gegen Mehrpreis extra cost (Mehrpreis is sometimes abbreviated: "Mehrpr.") Gepaeckbruecke luggage rack Gesamtgewicht gross vehicle weight Innenausstattung interior fittings Kokosmatten cocoa mats Lautsprecher speaker Lederriemen leather strap(s), for luggage in rear, luggage rack, or spare tir verchr Lockscheibenraeder ventilated wheels (verchr is the abbreviation for "verchromt" ...

Kardex Translations: German/English

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 2 Comments
By Dr. Brett Johnson These are what some of the words on the Kardex mean (how to get the Kardex info on a COA). Many, if not most of these are generally not filled in. I am aware of three different types, which have slightly differing information. The earliest ones have the following: Fahrgest.-Nr.: Chassis number Motor-Nr.: Engine number Getriebe-Nr.: Gearbox number Zündschloß-Nr.: Ignition switch number/shift lock here also Schlüssel-Nr.: Key number (door on early cars)/glovebox key here also Kar. angel. am: Date the car was invoiced ausgel. am : Delivery date Motor-Änd.-Nr.: Replacement engine number Getriebe-Änd.-Nr.: Replacement gearbox number Farbe: Exterior color Polsterung: Upholstery Garantie bis: Warranty expiration Armaturenbrett: Dashboard (color) Teppich: Carpet Himmel: Headliner Sonderausführung: Special work performed Sonderausstattung: Spe...

Porsche Certificate of Authenticity (COA) and Kardex

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification | 7 Comments
By Brett Johnson What is a Kardex? The Kardex is physically a card which resides in a card file in Ludwigsburg, Germany. The original purpose of this card was to be a warranty record for work performed on the car at the factory. It was not the build sheet, but has ended up being the only useful and accessible document relating to the individual 356. List of German terms found on the Kardex and English translations. What's on a Kardex? Most cards contain chassis number, engine number, gearbox number, paint and interior colors and occasionally other information, such as options. They generally also contained the name of the importer, dealer and/or first owner. The information on the Kardex is inconsistent and many cards are blank, except for the chassis number. The Kardex is the basis for Porsche's Certificate of Authenticity program (see following). The Certificate of Authenticity may also contain the production completion date and rarely, the suggested retail price of the ...