The 356 was originally created by Ferdinand ‘Ferry’ Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the company). Like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle, the 356 made use of a four-cylinder, air-cooled engine, but with an increased capacity and Porsche’s own cylinder head. Fewer and fewer parts were shared between Volkswagen and Porsche as the car evolved.
Very early bodies were hand crafted out of aluminium, but later constructed from steel by Reutter Carosserie-Werke, who also built Beetle bodies and later went on to become the seat manufacturer Recaro GmbH & Co following Porsche’s acquisition of the body factory.