Of the approximately 1250 employees of the German brand, one in five were dedicated to validating the quality of its products. The move was in an effort to keep Porsche’s reputation as a manufacturer of quality sports cars intact.
The main improvements on the type 356B were the replacement of all the parts the first 356 had inherited from the VW Beetle. At the same time, two new companies joined the list of bodywork suppliers. The company Wilhelm Karmann GmbH in Osnabruck, was responsible for the hardtop coupe, while the Belgian firm Anciens Etablissements D’Ieteren was responsible for manufacturing the Type 356 Roadster bodies.
The new Porsche 356B featured raised headlights, redesigned turn signals, new cooling fins, new bumpers placed higher on the body and new registration lights in the rear bumper.
The transmission was improved with the latest Porsche synchronisers of the Type 741 gearbox, while the rear suspension received transverse leaf springs with a pivot at the differential to compensate for the movement of the wheels. The drum brakes were also redesigned with new transverse fins for increased cooling. The biggest change, however, was the use of a new version of the 1.6 litre four-cylinder boxer engine, delivering 90hp.
In 1961, the Porsche 356B underwent a facelift, both mechanically and aesthetically. Porsche was traditionally very well known to have a facelift or update policy as a way to keep the brand’s models up to date.
Known internally as “T6”, the coupé version in the museum has a larger rear window, and the engine cover gained another cooling grid as well as a more rectangular tailgate. The fuel tank was lowered to allow customers to fit a suitcase at the front, and the filling nozzle was hidden under a hatch on the right side.
Inside the car, ventilation was improved with the addition of some adjustable flaps, the front seats were given new guides and, in the coupé version, a clip was added to keep the seatbacks in the right position. The wiper motor also had a speed regulator fitted to it, and the water tank saw an increase in capacity.
As a testament to Porsche’s continual update policy, for the coupé version of the 356B, an electric sunroof is now available as an option.