This first one of one Porsche was handbuilt in Gmünd, Austria as an open top 2 seater with a hand beaten aluminum body over a tubular space frame. All the engine and drivetrain components were made without a machine shop. This was the only car that had the 1.1 liter 40hp engine mounted in front of the rear axle. Subsequent cars known as the 356/2 were coupes with the engine behind the axle. These "Gmünd Coupes" were produced from '48-'50 with less than 60 produced over that time before Porsche moved to Stuttgart. The sole 356/1 is now in the Porsche Museum and, like the AUTOart model still sports its Carinthian state license plate.
The AUTOart model of this seminal automobile is certainly up to their usual standards. Fit and finish are as good as it gets. AUTOart's spec sheet is below:
Model consists of 168 parts with 119 decorations:
- 4 photo etched pieces
- 46 mask spraying pieces
- 53 free spraying pieces
- 16 tampon printings
- Opening doors, front and rear lid
- Removable bonnet cover
- Detailed engine bay
- Working front wheels
The car it self is an exercise in minimalism so there's not the parts count you'll find in typical Aa models. This does put a premium on the components that are present so mold flash on many of the plastic parts, ejector pin marks on the inside of the major panels and molded in straps are very obvious. The spare also lacks any leather restraints or tie downs. The dash has a nice instrument cluster and a photoetched banjo-style steering wheel but the main casting lacks crispness. This still is a significant improvement over its 1/18 Maisto rival and does reveal significant differences in the overall body shape.
When you consider the difference in pricepoint of this model relative to the Maisto, are you getting your money's worth? In my opinion, no. If you are a Porsche collector, and you want the best out there, well, this is it. That said, if you never hold this model in your hand and you own the Maisto model, consider your diecast budget and priorities before you buy.