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Book Review - Porsche 356: Made by Reutter

Porsche 356 made by Reutter

'Porsche 356: Made by Reutter' is a must-have for any Porsche fan.

'Porsche 356: Made by Reutter' is a fantastic book that explores the relationship between Reutter and Porsche, and the influential contract that bound them together after World War II.

By Guest Author: Roger Lundblad

Wed, Apr 7, 2021 01:10 PM PST

PORSCHE 356: Made by Reutter
Author: Frank Jung
Publisher: Delius Klasing Verlag Gmbh
Printed in Germany 2019
2nd revised and expanded edition
Language: English
Hardcover: 336 pages
Dimensions: 9.3x1.4x10.6 inches
Price: $60.00 US
Photos courtesy of the publisher.
Guest review by Roger Lundblad

Porsche 356: Made by Reutter

Those who appreciate the Porsche brand will want to add “Porsche 356 made by Reutter” to their library. This volume delivers a view of life on the Porsche factory floor with the pace and dedication of the Schwabian work culture on full display.  It was first published in 2011 as a German language edition and now available in English.  The author, Frank Jung, has expanded this new edition with telling the story of the origin of the 356 in far greater detail.

Reutter and Porsche were well known to each other In the 1930’s. Reutter built a series of Porsche designed prototypes. Among them was the TYPE 60, which years later became the Volkswagen Beetle.

Reutter badge

After World War II, Porsche Design returned to the largely destroyed city of Stuttgart.  Porsche contracted with Reutter to build a run of 500 automotive bodies for a sports car bearing the Porsche name. This was a pivotal moment for Porsche as success was far from guaranteed. The dedicated efforts of both Porsche and Reutter allowed the vision of the Porsche brand to take shape.

Reutter was well established as a manufacturer of automotive bodies and Porsche was a design firm that was transitioning to actually producing a sports car.

The pages feature many photos that have been published for the very first time.

The book captures in great detail the synergy that took place in the factory with Reutter’s bodies taking shape on one side of the floor, and then moved to Porsche’s assembly area across the build.  Jung provides a compilation of photographs drawn from a wide range of sources, many of which have never been published.  These photos, some which are sourced from the Reutter family photo albums, add a personal touch as workers are identified by name. 

As the burgeoning demand for the 356 grew, a corresponding lack of space became evident. Jung documents how the managers on the floor dealt with a myriad of issues and reveals one of the more interesting chapters of the Reutters Porsche contract.  Porsche needed to make substantial investments in a new plant and equipment.  With Reutter’s commitment to workers and production volume, it made investments as well. 

More great shots.

Frank Jung must be identified as uniquely qualified to tell the story of the Reutters Porsche collaboration.  He is the great-grandson of Albert Reutter and until a few years ago, he was head of RECARO Holdings Tradition department.  He currently oversees the archive at Porsche.   

Here, Jung has assembled a trove of materials drawn from institutions and various personal collections and most importantly, the memories of those who worked on the factory floor during the genesis of this critical period. Jung details the inner workings of the commitments made by the two companies toward a common goal.  Devotees of the Porsche 356 will find a comprehensive array of accounting invoices, letters and contracts. 

The Reutter geniuses at work.

“Porsche 356 made by Reutter” is a handsome book. Its pages are well designed, with a keen graphic sensibility, as mentioned this book contains a wealth of information … much of which appears in print for the first time.  Jung’s work is to be commended. - RL

ABOUT THE GUEST REVIEWER: Roger Lundblad is an old friend, a retired TV art director, and a confirmed Porsche partisan.  His zeal for the marque is such that he even (pretty much) tolerates Porsche SUVs and 4-doors … but just only. - Doug Stokes  

About The Author

Roger Lundblad

Guest Contributor

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