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Porsche 360.jpg
Porsche 360
Porsche
aka Cisitalia 360
Production 1949
Class Race car
Body Style Mid-engined racing car
Length 3900 mm
Width 1300 mm
Height 900 mm
Wheelbase 2600 mm
Weight 500 KG
Transmission 5-speed Manual.
Engine 1.5 litre V12, supercharged.
Power 450 BHP
Similar Cooper F1 and F3 cars
Designer Ferdinand Porsche


Money No Object GP Car

Immediately after the War saw a lull in activities for Porsche - Porsche senior was imprisoned in France, and a global recession had hit. Therefore lavishly spending money on super-expensive supercars was very rare.

However, this was exactly the brief given to Porsche by Piero Dusio, owner of Italian racing car manufacturer, Cisitalia. Dusio planned to enter into Formula One with a highly complex racer, built with all the technical innovations Porsche could engineer into the car. Money was not an option. Porsche relished the opportunity.

The Argentinian Connection

By 1949, a supercharged, 1.5 litre single seater had been produced, and broke many engineering barriers - tech specs read as follows: 12 cylinder engine, 1500cc capacity, 450BHP with Roots supercharger. 4 wheel drive, Top speed - 190 mph. Unfortunately, Dusio had entered financial difficulty, and Cisitalia went bankrupt - the vehicle could not be raced.

However, Dusio fled to Argentina, where he set up the Autoar Corporation. This turned a profit, and he paid off the debts he owed in Italy. Subsequently, the car was shipped to Argentina with a quantity of spare parts. It was never raced, and sat under a dust cover in the Autoar works. It was discovered in 1951, and a university professor specialising in combustion engines used the car for single-cylinder engine tests. The research was completed by 'Temporada 1953', a racing extravaganza in Argentina. The decision was made to race the Cisitalia for the first time here.

Temporada and Land Speed Records

Clemar Bucci, and Argentinian racing driver, was contracted to drive the Cisitalia, and the car had its first run the day before the event. The run was not successful, and highlighted problems such as the tyres and spark plugs, and the crankcase venting, which was allowing oil to drip onto the hot exhaust. The car was subsequently removed from the race, due to the amount of work that needed to be done. However, all was not lost, and the car was taken back to the works, where engine tests with alcohol eventually burned out a cylinder.

After working on the engine, the team decided to go for the Argentinian Land Speed Record. The same alcohol mixture was used as a fuel, and despite reaching an impressive 162 mph on run one, it was discovered that another cylinder had burnt out. After languising in the Autoar factory for a while longer, the car was sold for $4000.

Porsche eventually tracked the vehicle down in 1960, and today it resides in the Porsche Museum, in Stuttgart.


Porsche 550 3.jpg
PORSCHE

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