Tarmac: Historic Porsche on loan for Targa Tasmania

The rare Porsche 356B 1600 GS Carrera GTL Abarth will compete in Targa Tasmania in 2009, with lovers of the German marque eager to get their eyes on the car in competition. The car will be driven by one of the undisputed World experts on ...

The rare Porsche 356B 1600 GS Carrera GTL Abarth will compete in Targa Tasmania in 2009, with lovers of the German marque eager to get their eyes on the car in competition.

The car will be driven by one of the undisputed World experts on Porsche, Klaus Bischof, the manager of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

There were only 21 of the 1960 Porsche 356 GTs built, but they were used with great success in racing overseas. The lightweight and aerodynamically optimised version of the 356 became Porsche's entry into the famed GT class.

The car's flattened aluminium bodies were designed by Franco Scaglione and made in the first half of 1960 by Carlo Abarth, in Turin, Italy. Porsche won the world championship in the two-litre class three times in succession in the car, as well as winning their class in the 1962 Targa Floria.

The Porsche features a rear-mounted 1588cc four-cylinder, quad cam and air cooled boxer engine. It has two twin-throat carburetors, dual ignition and a dry sump.

Power is put to the road through a four-speed gearbox, with torsion bar trailing arm suspension. While the standard 356s were fitted with drum brakes, the 356B utilises disc brakes.

The car weighs around 50 kilograms less than the standard Carrera GT.

According to Targa Tasmania event director, Mark Perry, the addition of the car in 2009 is a real plus for the event.

"To have such a rare Porsche out of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart competing in Targa Tasmania is a real coup," Perry said. "Targa has been blessed to have some incredible vehicles competing over the years, and the Carrera 356B is no exception."

Bischof will compete in the Early Classic competition, and while the value and rarity of the car probably won't see him setting any stage records, it will be a privilege to see the car in action.

-credit: tt

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