VW EA41 and the Porsche 555.


It’s 1952, and Volkswagen is doing all sorts of projects trying to figure out a replacement for the VW Beetle. Mysteriously they had a design study done by Pininfarina, entitled the “EA41”. It sure looks a helluva lot like the Lancia Aurelia B20 Coupe from the rear end, but there is a Beetle hiding under there somewhere. I’m not sure if this car was from scratch or not, but i’m guessing this was merely a design study for which Pininfarina was hired to propose.

Lancia Aurelia B20 Coupe, also designed by Pininfarina around that time:

So as VW was searching for a viable alternative, they also happened to do a bunch of different design studies of a rear-engined new alternative……what did Porsche come up with? the Porsche 555!!

and this! the only photo i’ve been able to find of an actual Porsche 555 that was made….looks fantastic and I must admit I am very intrigued. I am also, however, bothered by the lack of information about the car—-but obviously as this was only a design/concept study it likely disappeared like most ideas did back then!

Porsche 555

eventually influencing the Porsche 356 “notchback” Coupe:

srcs: Rastall (excellent page), curbsideclassic, smcars

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6 thoughts on “VW EA41 and the Porsche 555.

  1. Automobiliac says:

    Makes me wonder if they just wanted a more modern look, or if they felt the existing design was sort of tainted by the KdF Wagen legacy from the Nazi era. Maybe in the end they just didnt have the money or desire to re-tool and then discovered to their relief that no one cared. It’s intersting to consider what might have happened had it not been for Max Hoffman importing them to the States. Oh, and the front end reminds me heavily of the 356.

  2. Etienne says:

    And here I thought I knew everything about Porsche! 🙂

  3. kww says:

    Wow, it would be 10 years until VW introduced the Type 3.
    Anyway, am I seeing that the Porsche 555 had it’s fuel tank sandwiched between the front spare tire and the IFS beams? Krazy!!!

  4. Steve says:

    in profile that 555 looks a lot like a VW Typ3 sedan

  5. James says:

    There’s information available about the Porsche 555 in Frank Jung’s book “Porsche 356 Made By Reutter”. Just a few pages, but it includes a front 3/4 view. In German.

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