28 April 2001
Photograph credit: Jay Hirsch
1960 PORSCHE 356B S-90 ROADSTER
Chassis No. 88303
Engine No. 801110
Ivory white with tan leather interior and tan top
Engine: flat four, air cooled Type 616/7, two twin-choke Solex carburetors, 1,592cc., 90bhp at 5,500rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: front, independent with trailing arms, Koni shock absorbers, torsion bars, rear, compensating leaf spring, torsion bars; Brakes: aluminum drums all round. Left hand drive.
The new Porsche 356B model was first shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1959. The car featured the T5 bodyshell which incorporated subtle changes over its predecessor. These changes included slightly different front wings that accomodated higher-set headlamps, a more raked nose panel and heavier bumpers. The front horn grilles now had two vertical slats and even the front lid handle was slightly revised, although it of course carried the family crest. Inside the car there were now split rear seats with folding backrests, a feature that Porsche continues to this day. The engine remained unaltered although now there was a Super 90 version, so called as it developed 90bhp which provided greater overall top speed. Twin Solex carburetors were fitted to the Super 90 as opposed to Zeniths and the engine also had light alloy cylinders. Standard on the Super 90 was the fitting of a rear compensating spring (only available as an option on the other models) to enhance the ride quality and this was aided by Koni adjustable shock absorbers. The various models carried external scripting to denote their type, as in the example here, Super 90 in correct gold lettering on the engine lid.
The chassis number and engine number confirm this example to be a 1960 built roadster. The Porsche has been re-painted at sometime in white and trimmed with tan leather upholstery and tan dash surround. The paintwork is good overall and quite acceptable although slightly older in places. The chrome is slightly mottled due to age in places. The interior is generally clean and tidy with older carpeting. The engine bay is not to show standard but is clean and complete. The car fired first time when we inspected it and would probably benefit from a service and tune-up. The Super 90 Roadster is regarded as the model 'to-have' as it benefits from the higher performance engine and suspension improvement. As they say in the reference books, the knowledge that it (356) was conceived by a family of undisputed brilliance makes owning and driving one a real pleasure.
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