356 , 911 & 912 Porsche
 Certificate of Authenticity!  



What exactly is a Kardex?

What exactly is a Kardex and what was it used for? Why do 356'ers always talk about having a Kardex? And what is a Certificate of Authenticity and how is it different from a Kardex? Well, first off, a 356 or early 911 or 912 Porsche Kardex is a paper data card on which is recorded information about an individual 356, 911 or 912 Porsche. It is part of an information system used by Porsche in the 1950's and 1960's that was developed and marketed by what is now Kardex, AG, an international company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Today, the Kardex Remstar International Group is one of the leading suppliers of products and services in the logistics of dynamic data storage and retrieval systems.

Dr. Brett Johnson described the Kardex in his article shown on the 356 Registry website as follows:


  "The original purpose of this card was to be a warranty record for work
  performed on the car at the factory.
It was not
the "build sheet",
but has
  ended up being the only useful and accessible document relating to the  
  individual 356."

Marco Marinello of Elevenparts in Zurich, Switzerland, another recognized authority on 356 Porsches confirms this:


 ".......the purpose of that card (the Kardex) was to keep track of warranty  
nothing more!"

If you examine an original Kardex carefully, you will see that this is true. It shows the car's Chassis Number, the Motor Number, and the Transmission Number. In addition, it may show the Ignition Switch Number and the Ignition Key Number. Of interest is the fact that the Kardex may also show if there has been a motor change or a transmission change with a place on the card for the new serial numbers. Also included may be Paint and Interior Colors and Numbers, the Service Book Number, and the Date of Guaranty Expiration.

The Kardex may also record whether it is a Special Model and may list the Optional Equipment originally supplied with the car. Further down on the card there is a box for the Dealer name, City and Country; and the name and address of the First Buyer. The rest of the document deals basically with Warranty Work completed on the car. Below is an early example of a Kardex from late 1958. There are several versions of the Kardex each with its own edition date and differences.

On the Kardex shown below, the serial numbers have been changed to protect the innocent! By looking at this Kardex, you can see the various serial numbers, the date the car left the factory, and the accessories that came originally with the car. You can also see that the dealer was Otto Glockler of Frankfurt, Germany and the first buyer was a John W. Romig. If you checked the serial numbers, you could determine what year and model the car was, what engine option it came with, and the original interior and exterior colors.

In both Kardexes below, you can see several dates. The first date "Ausgel. am" shown as 10.2.58 is the date the car left the Porsche factory. It is not the build date, just the date the car was shipped. The second date "Abnahme-Besch." is the date the car was delivered to the buyer. The third date "Garantie bis" is the date the factory guaranty on the car expires. Note that the factory guaranty in 1958 was only six months!

The Kardex wasn't the only record kept by Porsche during the 356 era. There were other production records some of which did not survive. Marco Marinello explains:


 "There were other production records, but none of these "built" records
There must have been tons of paper from the order form to the
 final invoice.
However there are some other production references that
 survived:  Reutter books and ALL 356 (early 911) Drauz, and Karmann.
 Chassis numbers were written in large books with all the color codes of
 for paint and upholstery, all in code form.
These books were the control
 books for every chassis that was delivered to Porsche.
It was part fiscal
 control with invoice date and number and also what was delivered when.
 Remember, the first person that bought your 356 was Porsche itself!


 Engine books:
all engines produced were written in books with chassis
 number, and engine internal number.
Gearbox books:  
gearboxes were
 recorded with remarks about ratio and chassis number. Finally, the
that is my term. When the car received the first time 10 liters of fuel
 (early cars got 18 Liters, then 15, then 12, then 10, then 8). The gas pump
 attendant marked all cars into these wonderful books. Chassis number,
 engine number, internal number, radio number and dates. If you wish,
 you can call this the
Birth Book because that is the first time the complete
 car moved under its own power!"


Kardex, edition 9/57!  Serial #'s changed to protect the innocent!


Kardex, edition 11/60!


Translations of the words on the Kardex from German to English!






 Fahrgest.-Nr.  Chassis #        Garantie bis  Guaranty Ends
 Motor-Nr.  Motor #    KD-Heft Nr.  Service Book #
 Getrieb-Nr.  Transmission #    Kfz.-Brief Nr.  Title #
 Zundschloss-Nr.  Ignition Switch #    Sonderausfuhrung  Special Model
 Schlussel-Nr.  Ignition Key #    Sonderausstattung    Special Equipment  Delivered Date from factory      Handler  Dealer
 Abnahme-Besch.    Date Delivered to Buyer      Ort  City
 Motor-And.-Nr.  New Motor #    Land  Country
 Getrieb-And.Nr.  New Transmission #    Wagenbesitzer  Buyer
 Farbe  Color    Anschrift und Bem.  Address & Notes
 Polsterung  Upholstery    Handler  Dealer
 Wartungs-dienste  Maintenance Work    Gegebener Betrag  Paid Out Amount
 Gewahrleistungs-Anfrage    Warranty Claim Inquiry    Angweiessen am  Date Paid
 Kulanz Antrage  Goodwill (free) Work    Natural-Ersatz  Free Parts Replaced  
 km-Stand  Milage    Geliefert am  Delivery Date
 Instandsetzung  Date of Repair    KD - 1 M 9.57 HG 100    Kardex Edition Date

Translations contributed by Dr. Brett Johnson and Marco Marinello.


Alphabetical Interior Color Codes used on Color Charts & some Kardexs.

Recently questions were raised about the alphabetic interior color codes found on some Kardexes. These Porsche factory codes also show up on factory color charts. So in addition to factory exterior paint color codes, there are factory alphabetic interior color codes to identify the available colors of interior upholstery, i.e. seats, door panels, dash tops, etc.




 356-B T-5  

 356-B T-6       356-C    












 Light Brown  





Light Grey





Dark Grey
























The above table shows the regularly offered factory interior color codes for 356 B's and 356-C's 1960 to 1965. This is NOT to say that there weren't other interior colors available as special orders, throughout the B/C production period. Most know that if you had the GELD, you could probably get any color you wanted!


Click here for 356 Porsche Factory Technical Manuals For Sale!


Certificates of Authenticity!

Certificates of Authenticity are a creation of  Porsche Cars  of  North America, Inc., the USA distributor  for Porsche AG, Stuttgart. In the past you could write a letter to Porsche in Germany, and they would send you a "copy" of the Kardex. This became very popular  with  356'ers who  were eager  to  document  their cars  and learn  what  they were  like  when they left the assembly line. At some point, this practice came to a halt, as Dr. Johnson explains:  


  "Several  years back the system of writing  to the factory and receiving a
  photocopy of  the  actual Kardex  was  discontinued,
primarily due to laws
  in Germany put in place to protect individuals whose  names were on the
in  association  with  the  warranty  work  performed. At  that  time
  the content was transcribed, except for the owner and dealer information,
  and sent back to you from the customer relations department in Germany."

Today, those of us here in the USA probably can't get a copy of the Kardex for our cars from the factory! Instead, Porsche Cars of North America, Inc. will provide you with a Certificate of Authenticity. This document is a transcription of some of the original Kardex information onto a fancy certificate provided upon request for a fee. Since one can't get a copy of the Kardex any longer, receiving a Certificate of Authenticity is probably the next best thing, although you do have to pay dearly for it!  Below are three examples of Certificates of Authenticity. The first is dated in 1996, the second is undated, and the last is a German language version provided by Porsche Deutchland GmbH dated 2007. There may also be other versions of this document.

  Click here for 356 Porsche Certificate of Authenticity Order Form!




English Version dated 1996.


English Version, undated.


German Version dated 2007.

 If you have a different version of a Certificate of Authenticity, I'd like to add it to this website!  

The Certificate of Authenticity provides basic information about the car including the Model, Year and Type, the Engine Number and Transmission Number, and the Interior and Exterior Colors, Codes and Fabric Type. Some certificates include what they refer to as a "Birth Date/Delivery Date" The term "Birth Date" may be misleading. Marco Marinello says the following about this:  


  "This is not the production date, there is no such thing! Detroit would
   produce cars in ONE day, NOT Stuttgart, it could take weeks!
It is the
   date when it (car) left  the factory to be sent to the importer or dealer." 

In addition, most Certificates of Authenticity show a listing of the optional equipment that was ordered with the car. However, not all Certificates of Authenticity provide the same information, OR EVEN COMPLETE INFORMATION! Some provide very little information beyond the serial numbers. It should be recalled that the Certificates we receive here in the USA are provided by Porsche Cars of North American, Inc. whose people do the translations of the German terms into English. It has been reported on a number of occassions that the Certificates were not complete, some even erroneous!

Sometimes the translations in the Certificates result in English terms that don't make a lot of sense. For example, one Certificate made reference to a "Corduroy linen bag"! Well, what's that? That must be a really rare accessory! Another made reference to "Broadened Brakes". Not sure how to intrepret that. Still another included a "Left Turn Signal Switch"! Does that mean the car only makes left turns? Still don't know what that's all about! But these are the problems when German terms are translated into English. Marco Marinello, who has been providing lots of great information, and who has translated many of the German terms, sent me an email with the following comment about German words and their translations:


 "Satz verchr. Lochscheibenrader  -  Set of chromed wheels.  Loch - hole,  Scheiben - disc,  
  Rader - wheels:  funny word but this comes from early days when all cars had wooden

  spoke wheels, then the first steel disc wheels came, then they had some holes into the
  steel disc wheels, and you end up in German thinking with such funny words!"

So is the Certificate of Authenticity worth the trouble and the money? An open question. For some seeking to document their cars, this may be the only way to do so, errors and all, on the theory that something is better than nothing. For others it's a waste of money! Who needs it? To each his own, I guess. If you want a Certificate of Authenticity, Dr. Johnson says:


 "For a fee of $110.00 & $5.95 Shipping & Handling ($10  discount to PCA & 356 Registry
 members), you  will  receive a  Certificate  suitable for framing. Porsche no longer offers
 laminated Certificates for an additional fee. Information about  the program is available
 on the Porsche website.
The information on the  COA varies from car to  car, depending
 on the information in the original factory  records
No specific information is  guaranteed  
 and sometimes the COA shows very little!
The time delay on delivery is described by
 PCNA as 4-6 weeks. Reports from Registry members indicate 2-10 week delivery times.


German Accessory Words!                  English Translations!

Radzierkappen mit Wappen Wheel hub cap with crest
Verchromte Lochscheibenrader Chrome plated wheels
Verchromte Radzentralverschlussrader Chrome plated knock-off wheels
Kupferhammer Copper hammer
Weisswandreifen White wall tires
Super-Sport-Reifen Supersport tires
Nebellampen Fog lamps
Nebellampen mit gelbem Glas Fog Lamps with yellow glass
Steinschlaggitter fur Scheinwerfer Headlight grills
Zeituhr fur Mitte Armaturenbrett Electric clock in center of dash
Aussenspiegel Outside rear view mirror
Abblendbarer Innenspiegel Inside anti-glare mirror
Aussen-Innenthermometer Inside-outside thermometer
Handlampe, elektrisch Hand lamp, electric
Elektrische Scheibenwaschanlage Electric windshield washer
Gepacktasche unter Vorderhaube Canvas bag under front hood
Kokos-Fussmatten Koko floor mats
Veluran Fussmatten Veluran floor mats
Sonnenblende mit Frisier-Spiegel Sunshade with vanity mirror
Serienmassige Sonnenblende Standard sun visor
Sicherheitsgurte Safety belt
Schragschultergurt Diagonal safety belt
Verlangerte Lenksaule Extended steering column
Signalring, verchromt Horn ring, chromed
Holzlenkrad Wood steering wheel
Feuerloscher Fire extinguisher
Ausgleichfeder Compensating spring
Koni-Stossdampfer Koni shock absorber
Standheizung Additional heater
Radial Zusatzgeblase Fresh air blower
Ersatzteiltasche Travel kit
Lackstift Touch up paint dispenser
Lederkoffer Leather suitcase
Lederriemen Leather straps (for luggage)
Verdeckschutz Cover - tonneau cover
Expander Elastic strap
Diebstahlsicherung unter Armaturenbrett   Anti-theft switch under dashboard      
Liegesitze Reclining seat
Zigarrenanzunder Cigarette lighter
Ascher Ashtray
Sitzkissen Foam rubber cushion
Schottenkoffer Canvas "plaids" suitcase
Plastikkoffer Plastic or vinyl suitcase
Ausziehbare Antenne Antenna mnaually operated
Ausziehbare Antenne Lockable antenna
Lautsprecher loudspeaker
Scheibenwischermotor Windshield wiper motor
Hardtop-Aufsatz, Serienfarbe Hardtop, standard color
Ausziehbare Antenne Manually operated antenna
Abschliessbare Antenne Lockable antenna
Lautsprecher Loudspeaker
Sonderlackierung Kunstharz Special paint, synthetic enamel
Zweifarben-Lackierung Two tone paint
Ganzlederpolsterung Complete leather upholstery
Ledersitze Leather seats
Sitzbank Bench seat
Zusatzlicher Schalensitz Additional bucket seat
Armstutze Arm rest
Schlummerrolle Head rest
Beschlag Fittings
Zusatzliches Cabriolet Verdeck Additional soft top
Zusatzlicher abnehmbarer Aufsatz Additional detachable steel roof
Stahl-Schiebedach Steel sun roof
Windabweiser fur Stahlschiebedach Wind deflector for steel sun roof
Elektrisch beheizte Windschutzscheibe Electrically heated windshield
Verdeckschutz Cover
Zierleisten Chrome strips
Kompressor Fanfare Roadmaster horn
Gepackbrucke Travel rack
Satz lederriemen Set of straps
Persenning mit Reissverschluss Tonneau cover with zip fastener
Sperrdifferential Limited slip differential
Zubehor-Preisliste Accessory price list


Dealer Purchase Order Forms!

Another source of information about a 356 Porsche is the Dealer Purchase Documents, usually consisting of a Purchase Order, various receipts, and maybe a title application. Many purchase order forms show a lot of detail about the car like the year and model of the car, the engine and chassis serial numbers, and a listing of accessories. The listing of accessories on a Dealer Purchase Order may cause confusion as it may not differentiate between factory supplied accessories and dealer supplied accessories. In any case, an original Purchase Order provides a lot of interesting information about the car when it was first delivered to a buyer. Below are several examples including a factory purchase order, a European dealer order, and a USA dealer order.



Factory Purchase Order dated 2/15/65.


Euro VW dealer Purchase Order dated 6/7/61.

It is interesting to note that the factory purchase order above is in English, and the price is "Ex factory". Additionally there is a line where there is a choice of speedometer in MPH or KM, and a choice of European or sealed beam headlights. Both purchase orders above list quite a few accessories. You can use the table above to translate them into English! In the USA dealer purchase order below, there are only two accessories, chrome wheels and the reclining seat option. It also mentions "seat belts not installed" and "black head rest, not in stock".


USA Porsche/VW dealer Purchase Order dated 4/25/62.

Contributors to this website:  
Dr. Brett Johnson, Marco Marinello, Freddy Rabbit, Dale Moody,
Bill Block, Dave Wildrick, Mike Smith (UK). Tom Farnum, and Perry Lee.


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the Book!"

Size 8.5 x 11 inches, Hardbound, 356 Pages, All Color!

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Research and website creation by:

Charlie White


Copyright@2007, 2014 DerWhite Productions, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Website created 8/23/07, updated 3/2/14.