Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

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Brett Johnson
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Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#1 Post by Brett Johnson » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:00 pm

Okay, this isn't new. I have research back around 15 years or so. Based on information supplied and at the beginning -- original cars. This feature first appeared in July/August 1953 and went away May/June 1955 -- but there are a couple examples of February 1955 cars that don't have it. Oddly, there are no (NO) Speedster data points in any of the input.

Survival of Speedsters is vastly greater as a percentage than other models, though authenticity may suffer due to this popularity. Surely though, there are bunches of early 1955 calendar year Speedsters out there, yes? Don't need photos, just information. Build dates and chassis numbers, please. If you want to do this privately, I'm discreet and still at: 356drb@indy.net

Thanks!
Brett Johnson

Donald Zingg
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#2 Post by Donald Zingg » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:43 am

Brett

Nice to see you back in the groove after your long hiatus;)

This pre-A topic isn't too complicated - -

The early single- and dual-exhaust mufflers p/n 369.54. 001 and p/n 527.54.101 were manufactured with flattened tail pipes to clear the lower edge of the 356 Coupe and Cabriolet tail panel. Later single- and dual-exhaust mufflers p/n 546.54.106 and 539.54.101 had round tail pipes. Back then Porsche advised Reutter the 356 tail panel needed to be modified to provide clearance for the changed exhaust pipe design. Reutter complied. Beginning with the introduction of those new mufflers all Porsche 356 bodies were delivered with that raised area on the tail panel.

When the Speedster was introduced in 1954 it shared the same tail panel used to build the other 356 models. The 356 Coupe and Cabriolet had that feature on the tail panel until the end of summer 1955 when those cars were replaced by 356A models. The Speedster continued to be built as before with the 356 chassis and body through the end of December 1955. There are several 356 Speedster survivors built during December 1955 that have the raised area on the tail panel.

In the past it's been fairly common to find a body shop has erased the raised area when repairing other damage on the back end of the body. And sometimes an owner will swear his '55 never had that feature. But the simple fact is (without the raised area) an engine fitted with an OEM round tail pipe muffler cannot be installed in a pre-A car unless the muffler or the body is modified in some non-original fashion.
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Brett Johnson
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#3 Post by Brett Johnson » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:11 pm

Hi Don!

Good to be back. I've got some real misgivings on this topic because there are so many people with late '55 cars that report them with straight tails -- not owners of earlier cars. Good unrestored cars are certainly the answer and I'm more than open to input. I'm not sure when round tail pipes were added, but the tail modification was certainly in place by August 1, 1953.

Tail modifications prior to model change occurred with the 356A when it grew a blank, where the backup light would appear on the 356B. I have another post about these in the general Authenticity area! The earliest car I have on file with one is 107664 built months before the T 5 introduction.

I've got lots of other questions on 1955 and 1956 cars, so if you have (or know of) an unmolested one, please get in touch. If you prefer to do it off of the forum, I'm at: 356drb@indy.net.
Brett Johnson

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Victor Ingram
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#4 Post by Victor Ingram » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:54 pm

Cab 60890 has raised center section for tail pipe exit.
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Jim Liberty
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#5 Post by Jim Liberty » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:06 pm

I have a question also. I just acquired a very original CA. car. 1954 Coupe #51857. It has a crank hole in the rear, and a bottom pully nut with "Ears" for the crank handle pin. All the other holes are correct.
DSC_0007.JPG
Comments anybody. ………..Jim.
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Donald Zingg
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#6 Post by Donald Zingg » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:35 pm

Jim Liberty wrote: Comments anybody. ………..Jim.
Maybe start a separate new topic to discuss that anomaly - - - -

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Spencer Harris
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#7 Post by Spencer Harris » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:18 pm

Jim Liberty wrote:...and a bottom pully nut with "Ears" for the crank handle pin....
3-piece Porsche Motor?
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#8 Post by Rick Woltz » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:16 pm

My 55 Speedster built in July of 55 has no raised section. I'm still wondering what muffler will fit. It was restored in 1989 but shows no repairs to the tail section
Rick W.

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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#9 Post by Donald Zingg » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:40 pm

Rick Woltz wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:16 pm
My 55 Speedster built in July of 55 has no raised section. I'm still wondering what muffler will fit. It was restored in 1989 but shows no repairs to the tail section
Rick W.
What exhaust system is currently installed on the engine?

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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#10 Post by Rick Woltz » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:46 am

It came with a A Muffler with the S pipes angled down to clear the body. Currently making the back sooty from exhaust. Going to extend them to past the bumper to prevent this before I damage the paint.
Rick

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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#11 Post by jim wayman » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:42 pm

Brett

Both my '55 cab 60900 and my '55 coupe 52979 had the original tail panel and they were not raised in the center.

Jim Wayman
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Tom Kaiser
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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#12 Post by Tom Kaiser » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:29 pm

Coupe 53459 4/55 raised tail !

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Re: Raised area in center of tail panel -- Speedsters?

#13 Post by jim wayman » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:01 pm

'55 cab 60903 did not have a raised panel.
Jim Wayman

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