Porsche Goes Back To Producing Drum Brakes

Porsche may cling to old designs, but the technology it puts into them is thoroughly modern: variable-vane turbochargers, adaptive engine mounts, dual-clutch transmissions….

It may come as a surprise, then, to find that Porsche has gone back to manufacturing drum brakes – a technology long since outmoded. But it’s not ditching its latest carbon-ceramic discs for the old tech.

Instead it’s producing them for old models. It’s oldest model, in fact: the 356, which was its first production model, offered from 1948 through 1965.

With a higher-than-average rate of cars still on the road, models like the 356 demand a large pool of spare parts on which to draw. But with the original stockpiles of those spare parts (and donor cars) dwindling, Porsche Classic has gone back to manufacturing the old drum brakes to serve the remaining population of 356s on the road.

The components are being made in Austria according to the original designs from forged blanks, and are available for the 356 A (made between 1955 and 1959), the 356 B (1960-63), and 356 C (1964-65). But they’ll cost you: over $2,100 for each of the four assemblies. So if your 356 needs new brakes all around, you’re looking at a bill of about $8,500.

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  • pureworx

    hmm.. why not offer newer upgraded disc brakes instead?

    • BGM

      Because then they wouldn’t be originals.

      • pureworx

        but it would be original porsche equipment designed officially for it.. so its a manufacturer upgrade.. consider it decades late…

        • Infinite1

          Now that may be a true that it will still be original Porsche equipment; however, it still wouldn’t be with what the model debuted with.

    • Burnermovement

      They wouldn’t be “true to era”. Some folks are sticklers about such things.

    • Eric

      I don’t think it would be that simple – the wheel’s bolt pattern is way different than standard (see picture in article), and there may not be any room for a caliper and a disk of reasonable size that could fit in it. You’d also have to redesign the entire hub and, etc. etc.

  • Infinite1

    Reading the headline, I was thinking “Why?” but after reading the article, it makes sense that Porsche are forging them from blanks for the 365 A, B, and C generations.

  • brn

    Drum brakes get a bad rap. My 1977 LTD wagon had upgraded drums all around, with the HD package (upgraded motor, transmission, differential, brakes, engine cooling, oil cooling, suspension, etc). Those were some of the most solid brakes I’ve ever driven on a car.

  • Johnny

    My question is, why would you need carbon ceramic disks on a 356 Porsche knowing full well, that will never be as fast as Porsche cars of today? Might as well throw $8500 into the fireplace.

    • Eric

      What? Did you read the article? They’re not making carbon-ceramic discs for the 356.

    • THE ARTICLE ISN’T VERY WELL WRITTEN. THE CARBON CERAMIC PART IS IN REFERENCE TO WHAT ELSE PORSCHE DOES WITH BRAKES.

  • MonkeyRider

    Well, current Toyota Tacoma still put drums in the rear.

    • fabri99

      Well, then it is not more technologically advanced that a 1948 Porsche 356.

      • MonkeyRider

        Exactly. haha~

    • Eric

      There’s a GMC Sierra in our workplace parking lot that can’t be more than 8 years old that has drum rears… unreal.

    • LWOAP

      Wait, why exactly?

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