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DSJ's 1955 Porsche 356


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#1 tlc356

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 15:26

DSJ had a 356 sunroof coupe that he bought at the factory. In the US, the name "Continental" was briefly used in the 1955 model year (a Ford threat of suit stopped that).
Since he was the Continental correspondent the car he bought was a left hand drive "Continental". If anyone knows of this car or of stories about Jenks and the car that have not been published I would love to learn about them as I am preparing a piece for possible publication in a 356 club magazine. Thanks, Tom

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#2 fbarrett

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 16:11

Tom:

I owned a '52 1500S, so I'm interested. In Jenks' Porsche book, he called his car a 356A, though it was clearly a 356 (pre-A, bent windshield, etc.). I wrote to him asking about this, and he replied that he considered it a an A because the factory had updated it extensively.

Also have a funny picture (clipped from a magazine) of him lying on the ground working under the car, which is supported only by the stock jack (shiver!). A grinning Graham Hill is standing right there with his foot up, looking as if he's about to trip the jack...

Frank

#3 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 19:42

I last saw what I was assured was Jenks' old 356 in 1979 at 'The Beetle People' in Princes Risborough, when it was owned by proprietor Tim Kemp. The car had by then been painted BRG by a previous owner and was in a pretty sorry state, with areas of the floor pan rotted out. It had a wind deflector on the bonnet and a Perspex copy in place of the original V-windscreen. I believe Tim took it with him, when he sold up and moved a couple of years later. I'd be most interested to know a) if it really was Jenks' old 356 and b) what has happened to it in the years since

#4 D-Type

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 23:02

Photos in A passion for motor sport show the registration number to be UYY 34.

The sun roof must have been an after-market one as a couple of the pictures show it without one but one of the anecdotes definitely says it had one.

#5 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 23:22

The 356 I saw was registered UYY 34, and Tim was certainly planning to rebuild it. He had a 2.4 911 at the time, which he had taken out to 2.7 litres. I will never forget the day I locked myself out of my VW Beetle in the yard – I used to work for Tim – and he drove me back to Thame to collect my spare keys. We saw 135 mph on the Porsche's speedo. If anybody knows the Risborough Road, they'll know quite how quickly we were travelling…

#6 tlc356

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 14:35

UYY 34 is the registration number shown in several photos of the car in the book "Jenks". That sounds like the real thing.

#7 tlc356

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:09

There is news about Jenks old car, but it is possible that the new owner is shall we say a quiet person, possibly one who doesn't like to be in he public eye. That said, we may hear more this old gal in the future. I am hopeful that a restored Continental will show up some time in the not too distant future. Here's a quote from a knowledgeable source on another board-

" Jenks 356 has recently changed hands. They're good hands and that's all I can say. I saw it in late September and although it is battered and bruised, it's not rotten, far from it. A fair bit of the car is in time capsule condition and well worn, but not messed with or modified, it doesn't look like it's ever striped, just repaired where necessary. It certainly a special feeling to sit in the 270 odd thousand mile drivers seat and consider who's been been in that car during DSJ's ownership.

#8 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:01

If I can make the time later on I'll post some of Jenks's photos of the car.

DCN

#9 fbarrett

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 17:22

The vee-shape of the front of the sunroof looked stock, but few early 356s were built with sunroofs. Maybe this was one of the factory updates that Jenks mentioned. Must check his book, A Passion For Porsches, which has some decent photos of the car.

Frank

#10 tlc356

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:54

In Jenk's book "Porsche 356" on page 26 is an overhead picture that shows a V sunroof 356 coupe. No license plate is visible but the GB country plate is shown and more importantly, the description is "the author's favorite view."

On page 21 there is photo of a crumpet (our age now and today looking????) sitting on the front of what I believe to be Jenk's car with a German license plate W5-8263. The car has an open sunroof. On page 25 the same car and plate are described as "author's car in original 1955 form...."

Two things seem clear, at least to me. 1) Jenks car appears to have come as a sunroof coupe with the German license plate W5-8263. In the above referenced book he states "I was very fortunate in being able to collect my car direct from the factory in Stuttgart and to be initiated into Porsche motoring by the late Richard von Frankenberg, one of the most experienced Porsche rally and racing drivers at the time."

2) By at least 1958 Jenk's pre-A Continental was wearing the UK license UYY 34.

KTF, TLC

#11 Allan Lupton

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 14:13

a German license plate W5-8263

That sort of letter/digit combination (on an oval plate) was the German Temporary Import plate which would have been used by someone taking delivery of a car in [Western] Germany until it had been driven home and registered there.


#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 18:34

That sort of letter/digit combination (on an oval plate) was the German Temporary Import plate which would have been used by someone taking delivery of a car in [Western] Germany until it had been driven home and registered there.


Jenks was pulled over one day in central London when he had driven up in the Porsche to see The Bod and Old Man Tee at 'Motor Sport's offices. When questioned by the police he made a great play of being puzzled and confused, and spoke only German, trying to make out he was a German tourist. One of the coppers listened, nodding sympathetically, but then said "Yes, yes, that's all very well, main Herr - but aren't you really the English gentleman who writes about motor racing in 'Motor Sport' magazine...? Shall we stop messin' about, sir?".

They let him off with a caution that he really had to register his car in the UK, and that he had to show the necessary paperwork at his local cop shop within 14 days...

DCN

#13 Gary Davies

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:52

Jenks was pulled over one day in central London when he had driven up in the Porsche to see The Bod and Old Man Tee at 'Motor Sport's offices. When questioned by the police he made a great play of being puzzled and confused, and spoke only German, trying to make out he was a German tourist. One of the coppers listened, nodding sympathetically, but then said "Yes, yes, that's all very well, main Herr - but aren't you really the English gentleman who writes about motor racing in 'Motor Sport' magazine...? Shall we stop messin' about, sir?".

They let him off with a caution that he really had to register his car in the UK, and that he had to show the necessary paperwork at his local cop shop within 14 days...

DCN


Hah! Pardon me, that prompts me to go off topic for ein moment! Some years ago, my wife and I were touring Blighty with our then three year old daughter. We stayed in the Imperial Hotel in Tenby - where the crachach stayed during my many childhood holidays there - and this meant, of course, that our hire car had access to the streets inside the town wall.

On the day we left, my wife belatedly decided she wanted to buy a painting she'd noticed in a shop in Lower Frog Street. By now, we were somewhere up near St Mary's Church. Couldn't get back into The Imperial's tiny car park, nowhere to legally park in town and a dreadful waste of time if I'd left the pedestrianised area and found a car park 'outside'. So, it was decided I'd quietly sit at the side of the road, our daughter dozing in the safety seat, while my wife high-tailed it to the shop for the must-have painting.

I sat there nervously looking around to spot the inevitable parking warden and sure enough, a particularly fierce looking female example spotted me and began striding with evil intent towards the car. I frantically looked across the square for my wife and saw her, half running up the street with painting in hand moments before Rosa Klebb arrived at the open window of my car. I figured my wife was by now about 30 seconds away so I needed to manufacture something close to that amount of time before the ticket was written or the Mauser was produced or whatever.

Close to panic and with no previous intention, I reverted to German, always my strongest European language, and explained to Rosa, with much hand gesturing, that I was a German tourist and I couldn't understand a verdammte thing she was saying. Her ire rose quickly as I glanced towards my wife, now a few paces away. Rosa stuck her head right in the window and said, as if speaking to a simpleton. "NO - PARKING - YER, - SEE!"

Again, I shook my head as my wife thankfully leapt into the car. First gear already selected and clutch dropped as the Welsh voice boomed across the square behind me... "BLOODY FOREIGNERS!!!!"

Edited by Gary Davies, 24 November 2012 - 06:03.


#14 tlc356

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 16:16

For an update on Jenk's 1955 coupe go right to page three for the latest.

http://www.ddk-onlin...c...f=3&t=37110

Edited by tlc356, 02 December 2012 - 16:17.


#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 00:02

While hunting for something else I have just unearthed these of 'UYY 34'...

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Here's the man and the car in period, at Brunton hill-climb, 1959.

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And in 1958 at Stapleford hill-climb.

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Either the 1958 ADAC 1,000Kms or 1958 German GP, Nurburgring, journalists' slalom...

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Jenks exhaust repair - Palermo 1962 on Targa Florio trip...

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At Beckett's Corner, Silverstone - 1957 Six-Hour Relay Race.

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Trengwainton hill-climb, 1957.

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Jenks refuels UYY - somewhere in Italy - I believe taken by his contemporary girlfriend, Nan.

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Another Silverstone outing - during the German registration period before DSJ "...was rumbled by the Rozzers...".

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The 356 is not widely rated as a great tow car...

All Photos: Strictly Copyright or via The GP Library/DSJ Collection

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 23 December 2012 - 00:02.


#16 fuzzi

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:20

Cor. That's an Austin Seven six-inch braked axle on that trailer. They are becoming sought after... :wave:

#17 Simon Arron

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:26

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Does that explain the 'A' suffix? Looks like a 356 Abarth...

#18 D-Type

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:02

Thanks Doug! Have a Merry Christmas

#19 kayemod

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 13:37

Yes, Merry Christmas indeed.

This is a bit of a 'Top Trumps' question, but does anyone have any believable performance figures for a 356 like DSJ's? I have seen some, but they look a bit suspect to me, I was with a friend last night, he used to own an Aston DB2, and he insists that it needed a tailwind and a downhill stretch to almost make 100mph. I think many of us forget how pedestrian many supposedly sporting cars were in olden times, when I was very small my Dad owned a pre-war MG that barely passed 50 on a good day, now you'd probably get that from a G-Wizz.

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#20 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:54

Yes, Merry Christmas indeed.

This is a bit of a 'Top Trumps' question, but does anyone have any believable performance figures for a 356 like DSJ's? I have seen some, but they look a bit suspect to me, I was with a friend last night, he used to own an Aston DB2, and he insists that it needed a tailwind and a downhill stretch to almost make 100mph. I think many of us forget how pedestrian many supposedly sporting cars were in olden times, when I was very small my Dad owned a pre-war MG that barely passed 50 on a good day, now you'd probably get that from a G-Wizz.

In 1956 John Bolster tested a Porsche 1600 Super and a Carrera. He obtained a top speed of 110 mph for the Super and 120 mph for the Carrera whilst driving on an autobahn, but these were not recorded in his normal more scientific manner. Quoted from "High Performance Cars 1956-7".

#21 john ruston

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:39

Tom Pead now owns the car and with his Jim Clark A Coupe has the best pair of push rod 356's anywhere.

Photos are superb.Thanks Mr Nye!

Tom will do a very good job with it and more to the point use it.

#22 D-Type

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:43

A road test of a Super 90 in the May 1961 Sports Car Graphic gives the following performance figures:

0-30 - 4.0 sec
0-40 - 6.0 sec
0-50 - 8.1 sec
0-60 - 9.7 sec
0-70 - 14.6 sec
0-80 - 18.8 sec
0-90 - 24.0 sec
0-100 - 29.5 sec
Standing start 1/4 mile 19.0 @ 84 mph
Top speed (average of2-way runs) - 110 mph
Fuel consumption -
Test 16 mpg (US gallons)
Average - 27mpg

In June 1961 Sports Car World tested a Super 1600 and got these figures

0-30 - 4.2 sec
0-40 - 6.9 sec
0-50 - 8.3 sec
0-60 - 13.5 sec
0-70 - 17.5 sec
0-80 - 18.8 sec
0-90 - 23.2 sec
Speed at end of 1/4 mile 75 mph
Top speed (average of2-way runs) - 108.1 mph

In November 1960 British magazine Wheels tested a 356B 1600 and got these figures

0-30 - 4.2 sec
0-40 - 7.1 sec
0-50 - 9.5 sec
0-60 - 14.7 sec
0-70 - 19.9 sec
0-80 - 28.5 sec
0-90 - 40.4 sec
20-40 (Top gear) - 13.4 sec
40-60 (Through gears) - 12.1 sec (strange as the above figures suggest it should be 14.7-7.1 = 7.6 secs)
Standing start 1/4 18.9 secs
Top speed (average of 2-way runs) - 101 mph

Edited by D-Type, 24 December 2012 - 10:44.


#23 kayemod

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:54

Thanks Duncan, that last lot of figures from Wheels is more or less what I would have expected for the period.

#24 GMACKIE

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 22:51

The Sports Car World test would be closest, as the car is a 1600 Super. That is assuming the engine is 'stock'. It may have had a bit of 'Special Tuning'?

#25 D-Type

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:19

These were taken from a Brooklands Books compilation of magazine articles and road tests titled Porsche cars in the '60s. . Un fortunately, for this exercise, the main focus is on the 911 rather than the last of the 356 series.