René Staud really loves Porsches. As well he might. The Stuttgart-born photographer hails from the heart of Porsche country, and published a brilliant homage to the 911 on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Now he has turned the lens on his personal favorite, a classic Porsche 356. The 135 photos in My Porsche Book: The Iconic 356s from German publisher Delius Klasing pay loving tribute to various versions of Porsche’s first production car, built from 1948–1965, including a rare and ridiculously attractive Abarth model. The likes of James Dean, Steve McQueen and the young Sean Connery drove 356s, helping to cement its status as an icon, and it remains one of the most beautiful sports cars of all time.
Though the 911 has replaced the 356 in the affections of modern men just as it did on the production line, connoisseurs of true classics still hold it in rightful esteem, like Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer. Even replica 356s – generally Speedsters, which have become unobtainable for mere mortals due to skyrocketing prices – have a certain panache. Let nay-sayers deride it as a Volkswagen in fancy clothes; in the ‘50s the VW parts were mostly engineered out, and we think Staud’s images eloquently evoke the 356’s considerable charms in any case. Plus we totally share his thing for bright blue paintwork.