This 356B Super 90 GT Is A Rare Slice Of Early Porsche Perfection
Most sportscar manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that their latest performance offerings are as light and nimble as possible… yet ever-larger physical dimensions, heavy and complex mechanical components, as well as strict safety regulations, mean that even the lightest modern sportscars rarely dip below the 3500-pound mark. For true lightweight sportscars, you need to travel back over 50 years to a time when cars like the Porsche 356 often had curb weights that were less than half that number.
Sure, the lack of modern safety systems and in-car tech made it a lot easier to build a lightweight machine back then but that doesn’t take away from the impressive road-going racer that was the 356B Super 90 GT. The Porsche factory built just 14 of these models, which received aluminum body panels, steel wheels, reduced soundproofing and a rollbar (which added structural rigidity) to bring overall weight down to 200 pounds under the already featherweight 356 Coupe. In fact, these rare variants were much the same as the more powerful 4-cam Carrera GT models but were fitted with the more readily available 1.6-liter pushrod engines.
This made them 50 pounds lighter than the Carrera GT, and while they were down a bit on power, they were still bonafide sports cars with proper giant-killing potential. This example has been through a number of owners, one of which kept it for nearly four decades and was recently subject to a comprehensive restoration program by specialists Wilhoit Auto Restoration. Just about every component inside and out was either renewed or replaced and once the work was completed in 2015 the car took a number of class wins at various Concours events. It is now being offered by Porsche specialists Canepa in the same award-winning condition, thanks to its sporting pedigree and rarity it remains an extremely desirable example of Porsche’s early lightweight sportscar efforts.
Images courtesy of Canepa