Porsche 356 is the very first real Porsche car created by Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche. This prototype two seater open roadster, known as 'Porsche Number 1,' has a mid-mounted, air-cooled flat-4 engine displacing 1,131cc. While the body was an original design, most of the mechanicals including engine and suspension were derived from the Volkswagen Beetle, which Ferry's father, Ferdinand Porsche, had designed. The aluminum roadster body of this car was designed by Porsche employee Erwin Komenda in April 1948 and was completed in just one month. Smooth and low, Porsche Number 1 set the pattern for later 356s with one fundamental difference, the engine of the production cars was moved behind the rear axle to reduce costs and make room for two additional seats.
During the war Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche and a handful of his proven, faithful employees had started work on development number 356 in their workshops moved to the town of
in Kärnten. The first design drawings were completed on 17 July 1947 and on 8 June 1948 the Kärnten state government issued a special permit homologating the car. Returning home after being held by the French as a prisoner of war and bailed out of custody by his family, Professor Dr.-Ing.h.c.Ferdinand Porsche, Ferry's father, stated right away that 'every single bolt was just right'. No 1 was then followed by a small series of 52 additional cars built in Gmünd, production in Stuttgart from 1950 - 1965 subsequently amounting to 78,000 units of the 356 model Porsche No 1, a mid-engined roadster, is completed and homologated in the Austrian town of Gmünd. The engine displaces 1131 cc and develops maximum output of 35 bhp(26 kW). The first few 356 coupes are made of light alloy. Gmünd
The Porsche 1500 S ('Super') was launched in 1952 and was capable of producing 70 bhp.