Launched in 1948, the Porsche 356 established a groundbreaking benchmark for compact sports cars, showcasing remarkable adaptability in various forms of motorsports, including circuit racing and rallying. While cabriolets were part of the 356 lineup from the beginning, the Speedster, introduced in 1954, made a significant impact after the favorable reception of a batch of 15 special roadsters in the USA. The Reutter-bodied Speedster was phased out in 1958, making way for the more refined Convertible D. The latter featured notable changes, such as a larger windscreen and winding side windows.
During the early years, Porsche outsourced cabriolet body construction to various coachbuilders, primarily Glaser and Reutter. The production of the Convertible D, later renamed the ‘Roadster,’ was then entrusted to Drauz of Heilbronn and subsequently d’Ieteren of Brussels.
With the introduction of the 356B in September 1959, the car underwent further enhancements, including a one-piece rounded windscreen and 15″-diameter wheels. This new iteration brought additional styling revisions. The engine, now standardized at 1,600cc, offered three different stages of tune, with the most powerful being the 90bhp unit of the Super 90, second only to the four-cam Carrera.