In late 1955, the 356 A was introduced with more powerful engine options, a newly standard front sway bar paired with softer front springs, longer rear shocks, and a windshield gently curved to allow for improved outward visibility. The updates were subtle and didn’t dilute the 356’s personality, though they did alter its character for the better. These cars retained the purity of design of the original 356, a look that would become slightly more complex when the car was updated again in late 1959. What didn’t change through the 356’s entire production run was its usability, for it was a sports car that could be second as a practical touring car.
For John Dixon of the Taj Ma Garaj, what passed for utility in Zuffenhausen was only the starting point. Working with artist Byron Kauffman of Daytona Beach, Florida, Dixon sketched out a 911 with a sedan delivery body that would provide the rear-engined car with a relatively vertical, side-hinged cargo door and plenty of storage behind. After deciding that the low-slung 911 didn’t lend itself to the concept as well as the 356, Dixon entrusted Bob Bennett of Bennett’s Rod Shop west of Dayton, Ohio, with bringing his idea to life. The car would eventually become known as the “Kreuzer,” a Germanized version of “cruiser.”