1947 Porsche 360 Cisitalia
The Porsche 360 Cisitalia.
The 1949 Porsche 360 Cisitalia is currently in the Porsche Museum car gallery in Stuttgart, Germany. Although this car isn’t exactly the most popular classic car in existence, the 360 Cisitalia is actually one of the few that deserves space in the prestigious muesum because of its history and rarity.
Any Porsche enthusiast would know that Porsche developed only two commercial cars between 1948 and 1965: the Porsche 356 and the car classic Porsche 911. Between this time period, the company developed a few cars for the race track and for other companies. The 360 Cisitalia falls within the latter category. This Porsche 360 was commissioned by Piero Dusio, an Italian businessman who controlled the car constructor Cisitalia.
Dusio, who wanted to race the Formula One Grand Prix, developed a complex car through his company Cisitalia. However, Cisitalia was not capable enough to create the car for Dusio. Because of this, he commissioned Porsche to develop the car for a big sum of money, paid upfront. The catch: the car should be finished in a span of 16 months. Even with the technical caliber of Porsche, 16 months wouldn’t normally be enough to finish the advanced 360 Cisitalia. However, the commission deal would bring significant amount of money to the company. At that time, Ferdinand Porsche was held captive by the French as a prisoner. And since the Second World War had only recently ended, the company had no choice but to accept the rush job. The money was used to bail out Ferdinand Porsche.
Despite the rush job, the 1949 Porsche 360 Cisitalia proved to be a magnificent creation. It has a 12 cylinder engine with a 1500cc capacity and a top speed for around 190 mph - specs that were quite impressive for the time. It was an engineering wonder.
The car gallery treasure, obviously, would have blazed the race tracks had it been given the chance in 1949. Unfortunately, tragedy struck Dusio even before he had the chance to race the 360 Cisitalia. His company experienced financial difficulty, forcing him to fly to Argentina.
However, Dusio again gained financial success with his new company, Autoar Corporation. After Dusio paid his debts in his mother country, his properties together with the Porsche 360 Cisitalia were sent to him in Argentina. But it wasn’t until 1951 when a profession found the Porsche in a storage area. It was entered in various 1950s racing seasons, but, at that point, the engineering marvels of this wonder were already commonplace for other cars.
In 1960, Porsche bought the car from Autoar and placed it in what is perhaps the car gallery of all car galleries: the Porsche Museum.