Although the average attention span may not be anywhere near the 40 minutes required to sit through this documentary on the Porsche 356, we highly recommend you grab a cup of coffee and make it part of your morning routine. Maybe do it every morning.
The documentary, first picked up by Road & Track, makes liberal use of now-vintage footage showing Porsche’s first mass-produced car rolling off the assembly line. Yet the term “mass produced” doesn’t exactly apply here since each 356 was largely handmade. Porsche built the 356 from 1948 to 1965, initially in Austria and then in Zuffenhausen, Germany, where its operations are still headquartered today.
Porsche itself didn’t build every aspect of the 356 as the bodies were made by a number of outside firms.
We’re not sure exactly when the video was produced, but “Made by Hand” is from the early 1960s, judging by the cars rolling off the line. It probably wasn’t long after this film was produced that the first 911s were built, though the two did overlap in Porsche’s lineup for a couple of years.
Like most large-scale automakers, Porsche no longer builds cars with this degree of hand-built effort. The automaker builds significantly more cars today than it did 55 years ago, and humans have given way to robots for much of the assembly process.