Car News

First Porsche Ever Here in Canada

It was 70 years ago this year that the very first Porsche 356 had its first number plate strapped on. Now Porsche is taking that car on a tour around the world, including two stops in Canada.

Number 1 was the first real Porsche built by Ferry Porsche. It was a two-seat, open roadster, with a 1.1L flat four. Mid-mounted, not rear-engined. Underneath that aluminum body was mostly Volkswagen parts and running gear, though since his father Ferdinand designed that one, then you could call them Porsche parts too.

The first car was sold to pay for the construction of more 356 models, this time with the engine in the place you'd expect it. The first owner, an architect in Zurich held onto it for about a year before selling the car. Porsche says it was then sold every couple of months until 1952. Then the new owner put a larger engine in it so he could race it. Which he did until "six nuns in an Opel" drove into him. He used that repair opportunity to turn it even more into a racer.

Porsche finally got the car back, in trade for a 356 Speedster. Though it no longer looked like it did when it left the factory.

Until a 3D scan of the car as it sat and some drawings from 1948 were combined. Step by step, they charted the changes and made a new body mould to the original plan. Using that and some original wooden gauges, a new No. 1 body was hand-hammered and bent. Everything on the inside of the car was restored too, right down to the floor mats.

Now it's on tour, and if you want to see if yourself, you can. But you'll have to make your way to Toronto since the only other Canadian appearance was this past weekend in Vancouver at the Luxury & Supercar show at the Vandusen Gardens. The car is now traveling to central Canada, and will be at the Toronto Harbourfront this weekend, from the afternoon of Friday, September 14th to the 16th.