My Car Quest

December 9, 2019

The Argentinian Porsche 356

Or not…

by Wallace Wyss –

Deep into research for my upcoming re-issue of my presently out–of-print Porsche 356 Photo Album, I was temporarily knocked off my chair when I saw a picture of what purports to be a factory authorized near copy of a Porsche 356 that was built in Argentina.

But the more I investigated, the more the words “KIT CAR” come to mind. Oh, it was genuinely done back in the Fifties, when 356 cars were still being made in Germany. The maker was a company called TERAM, (Talleres Especializados Reparaciones Autos y Motores) run by Pedro Daverda and his friend and partner Federico De Bucourt who started their car business back in ’48 in the city of San Isidro with branches in San Fernando and Capital Federal.

Porsche 356

They must have put on a good show for Porsche because they supposedly got exclusive rights for ten years to distribute Porsches in their country. But already at the beginning of my research, before I was even knee-deep in The Big Muddy, I noted some hyperbole like a Argentine website claiming “TERAM thus becomes the only company worldwide to have obtained a permission of representation expressly approved by its owner Ferry Porsche.” What about all the distributorships in the rest of the world? What are they–chopped liver?

Porsche 356

According to a couple of Argentinian sites, they first brought in a genuine Speedster and then some coupes from Germany, and even supposedly several Porsche 550 Spyders – those to run in the 1000 km of Buenos Aires.

Porsche 356

The story gets more hazy the deeper you dig, turns out they made a fiberglass bodied car, can’t tell if it’s on their own floorpan or one from Porsche (they called it a “drawer frame” of steel). Looks pretty 356-ish from the nose but the tail is so amateurish I hate to show it.

Porsche 356

A lot of the plans died when the ’55 coup d’etat came, where Peron had to scram.

A state-owned company acquired 144 bodies of uncompleted cars. It was at this point they might have moved the engine and designed a new chassis.

In the references I have, they call the car “The Teram Pointer Porch” which doesn’t sound like anything Ferry Porsche would have approved of (could be a Google Translate error…) though Argentinian sources say:

“The finished model received the approval of Ferry Porsche who affectionately called it “Indianer Porsche.” (After “Indiana Jones?” I ask?)

Porsche 356

This Porsche 356 may have been in production between 1958 and 1963, and the Argentine source Bienvenidos a Autohistoria I La Historia de la Industria Automotriz en Argentina says 144 were made.

All I can say is, when you are a historian, you have to be wary because in your search for The Truth you are led down many strange roads, lit dimly by assorted and sundry acolytes, each claiming that they have for sale a fragment of the true cross. For me, this road was not worth traveling. I did a quick U-turn when I realized this was at best an early ‘50s kit car.

I hope some 356 history buff can tell me Ferry disapproved of the whole venture mightily…

Let us know what you think about this Porsche 356 in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of the upcoming Porsche 356 Photo Album (Enthusiast Books, Hudson WI 715 381 9755).
 
 

 

 

Porsche 356

Porsche logo

Summary
The Argentinian Porsche 356
Article Name
The Argentinian Porsche 356
Description
Have you ever heard of this Porsche 356 made in Argentina? I haven't either.
Author

Comments

  1. Looks like the front end of a 356 and the rear end of a Karmann Ghia.

  2. Jim Mendelsohn says

    There is a wonderful book “PORSCHE ARGENTINA” by Cristian Bertschi & Estanislao Iacona. This book documents the special relationship between Porsche and Argentina covering both road and race cars. Text in English & Spanish accompany an exhaustive collection of photographs from the Graf Zeppelin visit in 1934 to the Argentine Porsches campaigned in the 1960’s in Europe.

  3. Wallace Wyss says

    Thanks for the news about the book. But what I want to know is: did Porsche consider these officially to be Porches built under license? I have a feeling that at first Porsche didn’t mind they labeled them Porsches but then were aghast at the body quality or lack of quality. On the other hand Porsche didn’t mind when Beutler (Swiss coachbuilders) labeled their designs PORSCHE but that was because they built them on Stuttgart supplied floorpans.

  4. Roger Rousset says

    Hi Mike
    I need an address to send you a subscription check.

    Thanks

    Roger R

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