DerWhite's
 
356 Porsche Owner's Manuals   

1950-1965




 
The following is a listing and description of the owner's manuals Porsche published for 356 Porsche 1950-1965. This may not be an all-inclusive listing as there may be other edition dates and reprints which are not included here. If you have an owner's manual that's not described here, please drop me a note. I would like to include your manual here with appropriate credit.


Porsche 356-B T-5 Factory Owner's Manual!

 


A. 356 Pre-A Porsches 1950-1955.

1.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual Undated, believed to be 1950 or 1951, German.

 


Above images provided by
Ned Gorski.


Notice a couple of items on the above cover image. PORSCHE is embossed on the cover, while the next example is embossed in gold. As you can see, this manual pre-dates the creation of the familiar PORSCHE logo we see today. Look carefully at the inside first page above and you will see the split windshield. The difference between the inside image above and the one below is the above image shows only two gauges, while the following image shows the addition of an oil temperature gauge. Also notice the bumpers which are attached directly to be body with no bumper guards. This very early manual covers only the 356 1100 and the 356 1300. Below is a page from inside the manual showing the dashboard and the interior of the car. Compare this line drawing to the same line drawing from later 356 manuals shown below. There are subtle differences. For example, the steering wheel has three spokes compared to later steering wheels. Also this line drawing shows the early split windshield.

 2.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual Undated, believed to be 1951, English.


1950.


3.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated December 1952, English.

(Inside page)

4.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1953, French.

5.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated August 1953, English.

 (Inside page)

6.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated February 1954, English.  

 (Inside page)


All of the above early 356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manuals have the same cover as the 1950 owners manual, but these later manuals all cover the 1100, 1300, 1500 and 1500 Super. Despite the different printing dates, ranging from 1952 to 1954, the above four manuals are essentially the same, except the French version which has PORSCHE embossed on the cover in Silver rather than Gold like the others. There are also some differences in the detail specifications. Compared to the 1950 Owner's Manual, notice on the images below:  (1) no split windshield and (2) the addition of front bumper guards.  


#2 - #5 above, December 1952 to February 1954 have the same cover.



December 1952 to February 1954.

The primary differences in the above line drawing compared to the 1950 version is no split windshield, and a 2-spoke steering wheel compared to three spokes. Can you see any more?

7.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated June 1954, German.

This German language version, dated June 1954 covers the 1100, 1300A, 1300 Super, 1500, and 1500 Super. The inside line drawing below also shows some changes from the prior version. Check out the horn ring not shown in the prior manual.


June 1954 German.

 8.  356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated June 1954, English.

This is the first 356 Porsche owner's manual with the now distinctive PORSCHE logo. It first appears in the June 1954 English Edition owner's manual (and maybe the German and French language versions as well) which covers the 1100, 1300, 1500, and 1500 Super. A printed note pasted inside the front cover announces the "new three-piece crankcase" and changes in the carburetor adjustments for the 1300 and 1300 Super.


June 1954 English.

June 1954 French.

Immediately above is the French language version of the June 1954 owner's manual. Interestingly, the Porsche logo on the cover is embossed in Sliver rather than gold for the English and German language versions. Below are two versions of the short note pasted onto the inside cover of the June 1954 French owner's manual.

9.  FAKE 356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated June 1954, English.


June 1954 English FAKE.

This is one of several FAKES or reproductions of early 356 Porsche owners manuals. The interior pages are very well done and are hard to tell from the original, but the cover is not convincing! The color of the cover is a little darker than the original and is printed on slick heavy paper, compared to the rough dull finish of the covers of original 356 Pre-A owner's manuals. Another giveaway is that the cover pages are just slightly smaller than the inside pages. Another way to tell an original manual from a FAKE is that original white manual pages tend to yellow somewhat with time.


  WARNING!! Early 356 Pre-A Porsche Owner's Manuals are being sold on Ebay as originals,
  but at best,
they are reproductions!
Most of the Sellers are from Germany, and the wording  
  in the Ebay listings is vague. They are represented as in new condition, and most of them
  are dated 1952 and 1954. These are excellent reproductions, possibly even factory reprints
  but the Ebay listings do not elaborate. A few of these manuals have sold for hundreds of
  dollars. If you're buying these manuals on Ebay,
ask the Seller if they are vintage original!!



10.  356 Pre-A "1955" Owner's Manuals!

You probably won't find an English, French or German owner's manual dated 1955! The only exception is the Speedster owner's manual dated December 1955! It appears that Porsche did not publish new owner's manuals in 1955. Rather, the used the prior owner's manual published in June of 1954. This 1954-1955 time period coincided with the introduction and switch by Porsche to the 3-piece engine case from the 2-piece engine case which occurred, according to Porsche, in November 1954 for model year 1955. Porsche then continued to use the June 1954 owner's manual for 1955, and added a "paste-in" sticker on the inside front cover of the owner's manual announcing the three-piece case. See examples in English and French below.


June 1954 English.



11.  FAKE Type 356 Speedster Owner's Manual dated December 1955, English.

The image below shows another reproduction owner's manual in this case for an early 356 Speedster. These very early Speedster owner's manuals are quite rare and hard to find, hence the reproduction. The story goes like this. Since there is no glove compartment in a Speedster, owners put their owner's manuals in the door pocket. With no roll-up windows, the interiors of Speedster doors tended to get wet when it rained, the result being that the owner's manuals were ruined. I'm told this particular reproduction, which is very well done, was mastermined by Bob Raucher, a familiar name on the 356 Registry "Email List". Is that right, Bob?


356 Pre-A Speedster


B. 356-A Porsches 1956-1959.

1.  356-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated October 1955, German.

This may be one of the earliest 356-A owner's manuals and happens to be the German language versions. From the looks of the cover, it has seen some use!


Manual has no page for Serial # locations.

2.  356-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1956, English.

Now here's a gem! This very early 356-A owner's manual has been pretty thoroughly used! Actually, all the graffiti, dirt and stains makes it kinda neat! Anybody know a Bob Hagsted on West Colfax in Denver, Colorado? His name is on the inside cover. Be interesting to hear from Bob.


    Early 356-A

3.  356-A Porsche Owner's Manuals dated June 1956 & September 1957, English.

This 356-A owner's manual is probably the most familiar, and is the first of the spiral bound 356 owner's manuals. It is also the first owner's manual to include the manufacturer's badge on a page devoted to engine and chassis serial numbers. "Period Original" manuals for the 356-A have Black Spiral Binding, as shown below. Later factory reprints in 1960 and 1964 have off white spiral binding, and recent reprints have clear spiral binding! The factory reprints are excellent reproductions, and are hard to tell from period originals. The recent reprints can usually be spotted as their inside pages will not have yellowed edges. At least one factory reprint dated 1960 has the word "Nachdruck", which means "Reprint", below the date line on the inside page.


                                        Cover                                                  June 1956                                    

     
              September 1957                            Serial Number Locations

Other Manual Edition Dates:
September 1957, English.
August 1960, English, marked Nachdruck.
September 1957, March 1964 Reprint, English.

October 1957, French.

 

 This first inside page of the 356-A 
 September 1957 Owner's Manual
 is marked
"Nachdruck"
(meaning
 Reprint) & is dated August 1960.
 
See "Nachdruck" below date line
 which means
"Reprint"!

   
Contributed by Galen Buisson

 

The above inside page is from a 356-A September 1957 Factory Reprint!


Below is the body builder badge for Reutter shown in the manual. Anyone have that serial number?


4.  356-A Porsche Owner's Manual dated June 1957, German.



     356-A

Other Manual Edition Dates:
June 1957, German.
June 1957, 3.58, German.

Below is the body builder badge for Reutter shown in the manual.



  
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C. 356-B T-5 Porsches 1960-1961.

1.  356-B T-5 Porsche Owner's Manual dated September 1959, English.

If you look closely at the "number" page which shows the locations of the engine and chassis numbers, and compare it to the prior page for the 356-A, you will see many of the differences between the 356-A and 356-B. In the September 1959 English Version owner's manual, you see for the first time the body builder badge for Drauz, which built Porsche bodies as did Reutter. There were quite a number of printing dates for this manual, as can be seen below.


 356-B T-5

Other Manual Edition Dates:
September 1959, 9.59 Edition, English.
September 1959, 11.59 Edition, French.
February 1960, 9.60 Edition, English.
April 1960, English.
April 1960, 5.60 Edition, English.
April 1960, 9.60 Edition, English.
April 1960, 4.61 Edition, English.

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Drauz shown in the manual.




D. 356-B T-6 Porsches 1962-1963.

1.  356-B T-6 Porsche Owner's Manual dated September 1961, English.

September 1961 was the beginning of the 356-B T-6 which incorporated substantial changes compared to the 356-B T-5. Look at the numbers page below, compared to the earlier version. It was during this time that three body builders built car bodies for Porsche:  Reutter, Karmann and D'ieteren Freres. This September 1961 owner's manual is the only manual to show the D'ieteren Freres body badge.


September 1961, 9.61 Edition, English.      356-B T-6

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter, Karmann and D'Ieteren shown in the manual.


You won't see the D'Ieteren name very often as a 356 body builder, and you won't find many owner's manuals with a D'Ieteren reference like the above. D'Ieteren Freres S.A. was a Belgium company which very briefly in 1961 built roadsters for Porsche. According to the production numbers, D'Ieteren built less than 250 Roadsters (serial #'s 89601-89849). Karmann GmbH also became a supplier of Porsche bodies in 1961 with the production of the Karmann Hardtop Coupe, which looked like a cabriolet with a permanently welded on hardtop. They didn't make very many of this model either. Karmann continued producing regular coupe bodies for Porsche throughout the rest of the 356 production run. 

2.  356-B T-6 Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1962, English.


356-B T-6

Other Manual Edition Dates:
January 1962, English.
April 1962, 4.62 Edition, English.

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the manual.


 

3.  356-B T-6 Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1963, English.


January 1963, English.                                                         356-B T-6

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the manual.

 
4.  356-B T-6 Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1963-German.



January 1963, German.                                                       356-B T-6

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the manual.


 5.  356-B T-6 Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1963-German.



January 1963, German.                                                        356-B T-6

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the manual.

 
6.  356-B T-6 Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1963, 3-66, German.


January 1963, 3.66 Edition, German.                                    356-B T-6

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the manual.




E. 356-C Porsches 1964-1965.

1.  356-C Porsche Owner's Manual dated June 1964, English.


       
356-C September 1963 Edition, 10.63. Image courtesy of
Cem Ozbey of San Antonio, Texas!



Other Manual Edition Dates:
June 1964, English.
June 1964, 10.64 Edition, English.

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the 356-C manual.


2.  356-C Porsche Owner's Manual dated September 63, 10-63, German.


September 1963, 10.63 Edition, German.

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the 356-C manual.

   

3.  356-C Porsche Owner's Manual dated January 1964-German.


January 1964, German.

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the 356-C manual.

   


Right Hand Drive Configuration.

4.  356-C Porsche Owner's Manual dated June 1964-German.
                                                   


June 1964, German.
November 1964, German.

Below are the body builder badges for Reutter and Karmann shown in the 356-C manual.

 


Recent Owner's Manual Reproductions!

During the past year, a number of 356 Porsche owner's manuals, in unusually good condition, have been offered for auction on Ebay, bringing prices of up to $360.00. It has become very clear that many of these owner's manuals are recent reprints/reproductions/copies....whatever you want to call them. They are excellent reprints and they are hard to differentiate from original owner's manuals. Here are three things to look for that are characteristic of the reprints:  1. they have clear/nearly clear spiral binding, as apposed to opaque or black for originals. 2. The paper in the reprints is very white, as apposed to yellowed around the edges for originals. 3. The black and white pictures are somewhat washed out in apprearance, meaning they have less contrast than original manuals. Put an original and a reprint side by side, and the difference is very apparent. Again, these owner's manual reprints are very good, and may even have been factory authorized or at least printed by the OEM factory printer. But don't bid up a reprint as if it were an original! If you're looking for an "original" 356 owner's manual, be careful bidding on Ebay. If an excellent reprint is all you want for the information it contains, don't pay much more that $60-$80. Be careful out there.......!



F. Some Other Interesting Porsche Owner's Manuals:

1. Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Owner's Manual dated December 1963, English. 
 


2. Porsche Carrera 6 Owner's Manual dated January 1966, English.   
 

The above Carrera 6 Owner's manual recently sold on Ebay for $1,230.00 (7-16-05).


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"

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Charlie White
 Scottsdale, Arizona US
A

Email:  derwhite@aol.com

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Website updatded 7/17/13