The Porsche 356 No.1 replica will tour the world to celebrate the automaker’s 70th anniversary.
This year, Porsche is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its first ever sports car: the legendary 356 Roadster. The first example was registered on June 8 1948, and to celebrate its anniversary Porsche is building an authentic replica of its first ever sports car. While restoring the original example would have perhaps been a more fitting tribute, Porsche says the “original condition of the ‘No. 1’ Roadster is lost and can no longer be restored.” The model’s bodywork originally took two months to complete, but it didn’t stand the test of time.
The Roadster “changed hands several times” and was damaged and repaired, modernized and converted over the years. It’s a shame such an iconic model hasn’t been preserved, but Porsche’s replica body is said to be “very close to the original” and was built using the same materials and techniques. To make every minute detail of the replica 356 Roadster as faithful to the 1948 original as possible, experts from the Porsche Museum took 3D scans of the original existing car and superimposed design drawings from the 1948 model over them, which revealed “a number of deviations”. Archive staff scoured to find every original photo, studied drawings, and analyzed journals.
The final step was carving a life-size model of the car from a block of rigid foam using a computer-assisted milling machine. Porsche also wanted to paint the replica the same color as the original car, but this proved difficult since the car had been repainted several times, so samples were taken from under the dashboard and analyzed to reproduce the original shade as closely as possible. After eight months of painstaking work, the custom Porsche 956 Roadster is an authentic copy of the original. There’s no engine or rear axle, however, since it’s a showcar designed to show how the model would have originally looked.
Porsche will be showcasing both the replica and original 356 No. 1 Roadster around the world as part of its 70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars anniversary tour.