Porsche 356 A Luggage

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Peter leinberger
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Porsche 356 A Luggage

#1 Post by Peter leinberger » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:10 pm

Hello, I need help identifying a bag I have had a long time if possible. I got this wayyy back in the early '80's with an A model and it's been lying around. I was told this is factory equipment? It is made to fit under the hood of a T-2 T-5 car. If anyone can, please help me shed some light on what it is. Thanks!
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Richard Milstead
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#2 Post by Richard Milstead » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:47 pm

Peter,
Could you either post some additional pictures or email them to me. Dimensions of the bag would be helpful as well to identify it. From this one shot, it appears very similar to the later A or possibly T5B soft canvas bags for the front compartment although the color of the exterior material is unlike anything have seen or anything in the Accessory Brochures. From my experience, materials, especially the interiors did change so this in and of itself doesn't necessarly prove anything but would be an odd or unexpected element.

The first A soft trunk bags in the early A era came in a red/black plaid or a green/black plaid canvas which were of a very different pattern from what is used here. I have seen what I believe are later versions (T5B?) that had a plaid pattern similar to the design of this but in a Red/Black color which also was very similar in design to the red/black plaid used throughout the T6B/C era. During the period the Accessory Brochures also continued to indicate that a Green/Black colored plaid as offered as well but I have never seen an example of what that pattern looked like in the later A/T5B versions.

I am sorry not to be able to give you a more definite answer but there is enough variation here from what is expected based upon the Porsche documentation to prevent an absolute judgement. It sure does look like the ones sold through the accessories program, however.

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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#3 Post by Richard Milstead » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:44 pm

Peter,
I have done a bit of research using photographs of original A/T5B soft trunk bags that I have and feel that your example while having many characteristics in common with the ones offered in the period through the Porsche accessories program, most probably is not one of those. As I said in my earlier post, the material colors do not match with those advertized in the Porsche Brochures. While the pattern of the plaid is very similar to the one I associate with the latter part of that period (T5B), there are some significant trim details which are also different from the so called "gym bag" form offered by the "Factory". I have attached some pictures of originals to make my point. First an example of the earlier version of the Red/Black used in the A period.
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Secondly the version of the Greem/Black Plaid used, I believe with the earlier A bags
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And finally what I believe to be the Red/Black used fot later T5B (and possibly late A) bags
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As I have said I do not have pictures of an example of the later Green/Black plaid (if different from the one shown above).

Several things should be noted. Quite obviously the plaid patterns and colors are different from yours although as I said before the later Red/Black is similar. Secondly the two circumferential trim strapping pieces that terminate at the handle attachments are not present in your bag but are a standard feature in all of the original Porsche ones and the attachment method for the handles is different. In my experience while the materials used in the "Factory" luggage often were different, the construction and triming was remarkably consistent. I have often speculated (half in jest) that when a piece was ordered someone went to the local fabric store and picked up whatever was available and brought it back to make one up. While I doubt it was really that extreme, all of the examples I have seen (soft sided canvas and leather) do exhibit remarkably similar construction and trim.

There were vendors in the period who made aftermarket accessories to be used with Porsches and even the vendors who made pieces as part of the Porsche accessories program offered aftermarket versions as well. One potential vendor who may have made soft sided "gym bag" style luggage to fit in the trunk of the A and T5B Porsches was Dr. Witzl of Frankfurt which they called a "Tanky". In addition, Seeger the maker of the leather luggage also sold commercial pieces which were very similar to the ones the made for Porsche to sell. Your bag could be an aftermarket suitcase for use in a Porsche but not sold through Porsche.

Obviously any judgement on authenticity and correctness must be tempered with the "never say never" disclaimer but based upon what information that I have I would have to say that I do not think your bag is one of those that came out of the Porsche Accessories Program

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Charlie White
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#4 Post by Charlie White » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:09 pm

Dick,

Very excellent discussion and pictures of the early soft plaid factory accessory luggage. If I may, I would like to use your pictures on my website (source recognition, of course). Some days ago, Peter contacted me with the same questions about his luggage item. Below is the response I send to him, and the pictures I used in coming to my conclusion.

"Just had this same conversation with another party who had seen one of these, perhaps this one, for sale somewhere. There are similarities between your bag and the one shown in the factory accessory booklets. There are HOWEVER, some significant differences. Attached are two images of the bag in the factory accessory booklets. You will note, on the factory accessory bag, a leather strap the begins at the point where the grab handles attach, go completely around the bag. This is not the case with your bag.

Also the end of the zipper on the accessory bag, locks to the end of the bag. The zipper on your bag does not. The plaids are similar but not the same. The large squares in the accessory bag plaid are dark, the same on your bag are light. Based on these differences, it is clear that your bag is NOT the same as the one shown in the accessory catelog. If I were a buyer, I would not pay the price for your bag that a confirmed original bag could bring."


The pictuires are from the factory accessory catelogs.

CW
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#5 Post by Richard Milstead » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:19 pm

Charlie,
No problem on the pictures, I have "borrowed" ones from your web site on occasion so in a way this returns the favor.
One point the photos you show in your post are of T6B/C pieces of Canvas luggage 9258 and 9261 not the canvas bags from the A and T5B era which are QA40A in the 1956 A Brochure and 9235(Red)/9236(Green) in the T5B brochures. While 9261 is similar to the earlier "gym bag" form it is smaller (6"x12"x21") than the earlier bag 9235/9236 (9"x12"X24"). "Borrowing" from your site the picture of 9335/9236 from the Accessory brochure is shown below
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The same photo (of the Green/Black version) was used in all of the A and T5B brochures even though the material in the exterior changed. As you are aware Porsche did not necessarily always rephotograph an item when it changed for purposes of the brochures but used "stock" photos from earlier editions or printings. Anyway one reason I suspect the version in the later pattern Red/Black canvas is T5B and possibly late T5B is because use of the same material in 9261 of the T6B/C series of luggage.
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Peter leinberger
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#6 Post by Peter leinberger » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:10 pm

Hi Dick, thanks so much for all the info on the Bag. I shot some photos of my bag that might help a little. On the zipper pull is a "W" in a stylized script. Is this the Witzl i.d.? I couldn't find any other markings on it. The dimensions are (L)-27", (W)- 9",(H) 13" on the wide bottom end, 10" on the narrower top end.
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#7 Post by Richard Milstead » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:19 am

Peter,

After reviewing the other pictures and dimensional information that you posted I still do not believe that it is one of the pieces "officially" offered through the Porsche Accessories program. In order to actually attribute it to the "Factory" program it would be necessary to see photographs or some form of other period documentation that vetted the differences with the known Porsche pieces that Charlie and I have pointed out. However, it does appear to be closely related. I believe it was either made by the OEM but offered as an aftermarket version outside of that program or made by one of the automotive companies (most likely European) that did generic accessories specifically to fit the 356A & B(T5) cars. A third and more remote possibility is that it is an intentionally made-up piece that is an attempt to recreate the original form, done in a later period. If I had to guess I would speculate on that it was made by the OEM for sale outside of the "official" Porsche program. This is somewhat supported as you suggest by the stylized "W" that appears on the zipper. Witzl of Frankfort is believed to have potentially been the OEM for these bags up through at least the 1958 time frame based upon the attached advertisement I can now see based on the newer pictures that the plaid is closer in pattern to the earlier version but the colors different. I speculate that Seeger may have picked up production of the canvas line (they already made the leather luggage) toward the end of the A period but there is no hard information that supports that that actually did happen until the 911 period.

All of this being said, you have a very interesting piece that closely simulates the "Factory" luggage which adds one more variant into the documented collection of existant examples of this period accessory for Porsche cars.



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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#8 Post by Matt Kreeve » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:42 pm

Wow the green tartan is great - my Kardex lists a linen bag - would this be one of those?

Would love one of these for my T1 A .. anyone making them yet?
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#9 Post by Richard Milstead » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:12 pm

Matt,

Different people (including myself) have discussed reproducing Porsche luggage of various types for many years with the result that little has been attempted and even less is done accurately when someone does try to do so. Recently there was a post that showed some of the currently available vendor products. I was surprised to see what I believe was a reasonably close simulation of the classic Red Tartan material used in the B/C canvas luggage being offered by one of the vendors although, without physically handling it, I cannot say how closely it actually replicates the original. Usually finding the correct hardware is also a huge problem.

Regardless, the main issue is so few people actually care about doing it correctly that producing small runs of such items authentically is totally cost prohibitive. What is made tends to be "one offs," done only for those who can pay the bill for custom work, and usually is, at best, only "kind of close" to the originals. Surprising for a hobby where some folk pay outrageous money to have other parts of the car reproduced exactly. The soft sided canvas pieces would be simple to do but try getting a run of material made in the correct plaid and colors one is looking at a minimum mill run of 100 yards (if you can find a mill to do it). Also, custom made latches, hinges, and zippers need to be purchased in lots of a thousand units or so. I looked into such 10 years ago or so and totally gave up.

By the way, canvas was made from both cotton and linen although as far as I know the material ("canvas") used in the bags was cotton. Probably a Kardex translation issue.

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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#10 Post by Matt Kreeve » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:30 pm

Dick thanks alot for the insight .. I suspected as much but was hoping some one fool hardy enough had been there/done that. :)

I have a leather bag that fits well in the space in front of the boxy A fuel tank and the spare wheel, so unless there is something tartan to suit, I'm happy enough with the old camel bag I have.

Interesting to find out why/how the tartan (which one assumes to be such an Anglo touch) made it's way into the 356 luggage design and later 911 seats ... a hat tip to the mode of the time I guess.
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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#11 Post by Richard Emerson » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:20 pm

I’d be interested in some blue tartan bags for an A coupe! Maybe red as well.

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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#12 Post by Richard Milstead » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:28 pm

Matt, Richard,
The recent thread on this can be found at
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=48640&sid=2bbcd887c ... d4e62566ca

I have no affiliation with any of the vendors discussed and have not seen any of these products personally. As such, I cannot speak to the relative authenticity of the products. The vendor that did offer what appears to be reasonably correct red plaid tartan used in their bags (soft sided) is Palm Beach Classics

https://palmbeachclassics.com/shop/luxu ... oyage-set/

I am attaching a few pictures of the original soft sided T6B/C luggage that was made of this tartan and some of the above ones also show it being used. This tartan also appears to have been used in the T5B versions but is different from the early "A"style (the lowest tartan case in the Chris Stavros is T5B, I think, but made in the same red tartan). Basically the clasp hardware on the Palm Beach classic pieces is "best they could find" simulations of the originals. You can judge how acceptable they would be for what you would be paying. I cannot speak to the interior material used or the dimensions or, for that matter, how close the "canvas" is to the original. All that being said, these are still visually the "closest" to the original luggage I have seen.

A number of years ago I did an article on T6B/C luggage in the Registry magazine. If you find a copy you will find a rather "wonky" discussion of the details from my research at that time. I had thoughts of doing a companion on "A" and T5/B luggage but never followed through.

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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#13 Post by Richard Emerson » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:30 pm

Dick -

That’s awesome you did the research!
I’d be interested in finding originals for an A coupe or speedster, hopefully still useable.

Your knowledge is amazing!

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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#14 Post by David Pateman » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:50 pm

Dick, when Matt mentioned the Linen bag on the Kardex, the Kardex actually says: "Cord Leinentasche"
So unless the person filling in the Kardex made the error, I suspect it is correct. Further I have about 4 Kardex with it listed from about 1956 to 1958.
Contact for Kardex

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Re: Porsche 356 A Luggage

#15 Post by Richard Milstead » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:01 am

David,
As I said above, linen canvas (actually canvas woven from flax fiber) has been around for as long as "canvas" itself. Actually, it is sometimes very hard to tell the difference. Using Google translations (I don't speak German) Canvas bag is translated to Lienentasche so perhaps in German the fabric fiber composition is universally part of the generic term. I am attaching part of a page from a very early T6B Accessories Brochure which describes the the "Canvas Suitcases" and "Canvas Bags" as well as a closeup of the product description in the "Tanky" ad shown above. As you can see the term "Lienentasche (Canvas bag)" is also used in the "Tanky" advertisement.

I have never handled an early "A" bag or "Tanky" so I cannot say what actual fiber the canvas was made from. In fact, I must admit not to have ever had the canvas in later bags analyzed either. Most owners of originals that I know won't allow you to take a sample for fiber analysis so I guess I could be wrong and they were all made of "flax linen" but I that wasn't my point. When you describe something today as "linen" the context today is very different and, while that is how "canvas" is translated from the German, "cotton canvas" which was far more common in the '50's and '60's," is also possible, I suppose.

Thank you for your correction as I have learned another "miscellaneous" fact about Porsche Luggage for future "reproducers", that the canvas wasn't necessarily common cotton canvas but possibly linen canvas. Also the fiber content may have changed between the "A" and "T6B/C" versions.

Just think about how much time 356 "people" spend arguing about what the proper plating should be on the screws and other hardware we use in our cars!

Dick Milstead
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