Good to see this thread come alive again. It reaffirms that the "hot rodder" spirit is still alive today.
It's not that the original engines were bad, it's just that the design dated from the 1930's or earlier. Put into context of the period of time the 356 was manufactured they were still very appropriate.
The 356 was conceived as a "high speed" grand touring car and in petrol rationed Europe needed to get good gas mileage too. Dr. Porsche achieved the goal through light weight and aerodynamics. Of course "high speed" at the time was 80 to 100 mph, even on the Autobahns (think early VW's, DKW's). And the US the average domestic car was hard pressed to run more than 80 mph for even a few hours without engine failure. Here's where the hot rodder and Nascar enter so blame them for faster and safer cars (up to a point, of course).
Jacques; to paraphrase an earlier comment "why don't you just buy a McLaren, the cost would be the same"
Anyway, I hope this thread starts some discussion and gets some thought about "what If".
Personally, I think the a "65 SC Coupe still meets most of todays driving requirements, except here in Florida it would really be sooo nice to have air conditioning!
(Oh yeah my '82 911 SC does have AC but it feels like a hamster blowing through a straw)