The 356 set the precedent that Porsche products would be not only capable sports cars but also usable everyday tools.
“The Super 75 is completely docile, has light and precise controls and is endowed with most of the creature comforts demanded of a strictly touring car,” we said.
“A traditional virtue of the Porsche is its easy running at high cruising speeds, brought about by a combination of high overall gearing and the quietness with which the streamlined body cleaves through the air. The Super 75 can maintain a constant 100mph with remarkably little commotion.
“The combination of the 1.6-litre engine and a kerb weight of just over a tonne meant we returned average economy of 29.2mpg over 1114 miles."
Today, Porsche claims its new 2.0-litre turbo engine in the 718 Boxster returns a combined 38.2mpg.
Performance has improved by leaps and bounds, as shown by the comparative acceleration times of 5.1sec to 62mph (718 Boxster) versus 11.4sec to 60mph (Super 75).
Our testers added that Porsche had developed such a good handling set-up that the car would need no modifications to successfully compete in rallies.
They also discovered that “when travelling fast, the ride is soft by sports car standards. Whatever the terrain, there is a wonderful sense of unity about the car’s whole structure, with no apparent flexing or rattling.“
For really fast cornering, the absence of roll and almost uncanny individual wheel adhesion displayed by the new car combine to make it outstandingly fast and safe on winding roads.”
The road test’s conclusion was that the 356 “has an almost animated personality and is a car with which one could never become bored”.
In 1960, a 356 Super 75 cost a little over £2215, although another £32 was needed for the radio.
At the time, the average price of a house in the UK was £2530. In today’s money, the Porsche would cost around £46,000.
As it did with the 356, Porsche continues to give us cars that are full of character and seem to have their own special personalities. Perhaps the reintroduction of a flat four isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Previous Throwback Thursdays
16 January 1985 - The launch of the Sinclair C5
15 March 1986 - Renault builds a Porsche rival
2 April 1986 - Figuring the MG Metro 6R4 rally car
26 April 1986 - Rover's sleek CCV concept
18 October 1989 - VW's vision of a 21st century Golf
10 March 1979 - A Rover SD1 with a difference
4 September 1996 - The original Porsche Boxster driven
5 April 1986 - Audi Quattro vs Porsche 944 Turbo
16 May 1987 - Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet
17 October 1981 - The £12,000 baby Aston Martin
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