When was the first 356 RHD produced??

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Alexander George
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When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#1 Post by Alexander George » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:25 pm

Hello to all,
Im new here and hopefully will soon own a 356 Pre A.....

So back to my question:
When was the first documented RHD 356 produced?
I have seen a 53 today and it looks like an original RHD car.
I thought that Porsche produced RHD cars at a later stage.
Any advice
Thanks
Alex
Last edited by Alexander George on Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1955 Pre A Reutter Coupe Vin #53232

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James Davies
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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#2 Post by James Davies » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:21 pm

Welcome Alex!

There were definitely early RHD drive cars going all the way back to the split-window Porsches in mid-1951.

Norman Hamilton apparently imported the first RHD drive cars to Australia in 1951. A coupe and a cabriolet.

viewtopic.php?p=67416#p67416
http://www.porsche.com/australia/aboutp ... australia/
http://www.tradeuniquecars.com.au/featu ... t-porsche/

There are several 1953 RHD cars that still exist, including one that has never been restored and only has 13,000 miles from new on it.

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/ ... 0151b369a4

Good luck with your purchase, and share some photos with us if you're successful! We all love photos, especially of the early cars.

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James Davies
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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#3 Post by James Davies » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:45 pm

More background info on these first two RHD cars, in case you're interested. =]

http://www.aircleaners.com.au/air-clean ... ir-marque/

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Alexander George
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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#4 Post by Alexander George » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:12 pm

Hello James,
Thanks for all the useful links and information.
The 53 RHD I saw looks really nice and has only minor rust.
Unfortunately the guy doesn't want to sell.
Will try and ask him if i can post some pics up on the forum.

I will be on the way to the states within hours to view a 55 Pre A
will definitely post pics ones back

Thanks
Alex
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Mervyn Hyde
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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#5 Post by Mervyn Hyde » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:22 pm

I was talking yesterday to the man who owns this 1951, reportedly the first RHD car, as he was sitting next to it.
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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#6 Post by Brad Ripley » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:26 am

Hard to tell what was the first production RHD car.

I have never seen that any of the Gmunds listed were RHD, although 15 were sold to Sweden. But, the last of those, 356/2-052, went to Otto Mathe which Ludvigsen says on pg 58, "was equipped with right hand drive" to accommodate his disability. Sale was apparently on Feb 9, 1951. So that could be the first RHD car.

The Conradt book, pg 49, says the first production RHD car was completed on Jun 11, 1951, no chassis number indicated and no indication to where the car went or the buyer. It would be logical that the first RHD cars would go to England. However, Jenkinson's, The AFN Story book, pg 160, says the first RHD car in the UK was Cabriolet nr. 60277 "end of 1953 used a demo".

So, this link, http://www.tradeuniquecars.com.au/featu ... t-porsche/ that James posted is the best bet that Australia got the first production RHD cars in early October, 1951: a Maroon Coupe and a Silver Cabriolet. Buried in the story is the chassis number: 10770, the Maroon Coupe, apparently built in July, 1951. It's said to be the world's first production RHD Coupe. Reading through the story, that Coupe had quite a live and still lives with its original engine -- truly an historic car in Porsche history. Thanks, James, for posting that great link.

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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#7 Post by jim saunders » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:33 am

The story goes that Norman Hamilton, an Australian businessman, was driving through the Alps in Europe in about 1949/1950, in an Oldsmobile Rocket 88, either buying or selling Water pumps. While trying to negotiate this big V/8 car around the many turns in the narrow road, a little silver car flashed past him. It all happened so fast he had no chance to recognise it at all, but when he finally got to the next village, there it was parked on the side of the road, while the driver enjoyed some refreshments. He found the driver, discovered it was a new design of car, and went to the Factory at the time. Being an astute businessman he arranged to import RHD cars and so became the official importer for Porsche. The first RHD cars coming here in 1951.
I have looked for the magazine that published this story in about 1982 here, together with photos of the first cars arriving, but I'm afraid it was not to be found. Too many books perhaps. My apologies.
jim

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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#8 Post by Joris Koning » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:11 am

Mike Smith is the person to talk to
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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#9 Post by Brad Ripley » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:46 am

Bill Block reminded me in an email that: Even though Sweden traffic adhered to the left (like England) until the 60s, the cars were LHD (like Germany). So we can conclude all the Gmunds sent to Sweden were LHD.

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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#10 Post by Drew Ogden » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:01 pm

Not all Swedish delivered cars were LHD. I have a 1954 RHD VW Swedish deluxe bus, and have seen quite a few others. I have a friend that had another Swedish deluxe bus, a month or so off, and it was LHD. They definitely did both RHD and LHD for Swedish delivery VW's....

Many Swedish buses had an odd combination of LHD and left hand side cargo doors.

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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#11 Post by neilbardsley » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:06 am

Joris Koning wrote:Mike Smith is the person to talk to
I was about to add Mike/Hendrick (moderator on here) are writing a book. I believe they have had access to the Porsche records.

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Re: When was the first 356 RHD produced??

#12 Post by Hendrik Moulds » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:51 am

Hello All.

Although I won't divulge all the details (you'll have to wait for the book for that), I can say that there were RHD cars in 1951 which went to Australia and the UK. 1953 was when they really started production, 60277 being one of the first cars imported by AFN (as previously stated above) when they obtained the import rights.

Incidentally, I own 60297 which was sold before AFN gained these rights and so was imported and sold before 60277!

As far as I am aware the Otto Mathe car although RHD was converted. I am not aware of any Swedish Gmunds being RHD.
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