Porsche No.1 Type 356 spotted in Dubai…or not
We don’t run around trying to get photos of ho-hum supercars. And we’ve never shown in real interest in classic cars either. But every once in a while, a car pops up that you just have to snap for posterity. This was one such car, which we later identified as a 1948 Porsche No.1 Type 356, spotted when we were out for a walk on one of Dubai’s artificial waterfronts.
Now, it turns out we had actually seen the Porsche 356 No.1 before, at the Porsche Musuem in Germany. After someone pointed us in the right direction, further wiki-research reveals that the Porsche 356/1 was the first real Porsche car created by Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, with an aluminium body designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda in April 1948. This prototype was a two-seater open roadster with a mid-mounted, air-cooled flat-4 engine of 1,131 cc displacement that produced 40 horsepower. The original design, most of the mechanicals, including engine and suspension, were derived from the Volkswagen Beetle which Ferry’s father, also named Ferdinand Porsche, had designed.
Later, to cut down costs and to make space in the car for the rear seats, the engine was moved behind the rear axle for the production 356, and the rest, as they say, is history. Interestingly, the mid-engined prototype was registered in Germany in June 1948 as a fully-working car. It now resides in the museum as the only one of its kind.
Which means the car we’re seeing here is a very good replica, at least to untrained eyes like ours. It does not even have Porsche badges, and might actually be modified from the modern French-built PGO 356 Speedster that was sold in Dubai for a time, for all we know.
Update: Porschephile Phil McGovern tells us it is a replica built by Thunder Ranch that started life in the United States.
Photos by Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury.