Porsche 356 Tool Kits
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Important disclaimer: I am not an expert on 356 tools! I have collected information from multiple sources, including my own observations, and try to present it on this site in a coherent manner. There will always be variations and differences from what is presented here. This site should be considered a work in progress, and not a definitive statement on what is correct for 356 tool kits. Use this site at your own risk, and please tell me if you find errors or can contribute to the site.

Messko tire pressure gauge

All kits, with the exception of 1962-63, had a Messko brand tire pressure gauge. The "marking on face" description below refers to the labeling directly beneath the red circle in the middle of the face. All faces are white except as noted. The plastic lens was originally clear but yellows with age. The year range is intended to provide relative reference, rather than absolute cut-off.

The leather bags had a button marked "PRYM", sometimes with flap of fabric on inside protecting the face of gauge from the button. They originally came with a foil tag from the manufacturer. The tag was held onto the case with a thin red thread, and very few survive today. Click here for a picture of a Messko tag.

body type year range body
marking on face scale bag
356 Registry article
Pre-A to
early A
ballonf.JPG (92520 bytes)
ballonb.JPG (85137 bytes)
metal BALLON "0,5", "1", "1,5", "2", "2,5", "3", "3,5"  kg per. cm2 Pouches from Pre-A up to T6B were made of two pieces of leather. Occasionally, a suede pouch appeared, which seems to be regular leather turned with the finished side on the inside. They are fastened with a snap fastener made by Prym. Colors varied, with black being common in pre-A and A kits, and brown more common in B kits. Other colors include dark green and gray.

Fasteners on earliest bags marked "PRYM", as on this "suede" pouch:
bag detail.JPG (97369 bytes)

This pouch is believed to be original to a circa 1955/56 kit, shown with the Messko foil tag and a "PRYM ECHT" fastener:

"ECHT PRYM" button on a later bag:
B messko pouch.jpg (22796 bytes)

late A metric.jpg (31117 bytes)
DSC00035.JPG (166671 bytes)
metal D.B. Pat. u. GM
Made in Germany
"0,5", "1", "1,5", "2", "2,5", "3", "3,5"  kg per. cm2
DSC00034.JPG (142706 bytes)
DSC00035.JPG (166671 bytes)
metal D.B. Pat. u. GM
Made in Germany
"10", "20", "30", "40", "50"  Lbs.p.sq.i



D.B. Pat. u. GM
Made in Germany
combined metric and imperial, 10-50 psi and .5-3.5 kg/cm2
early T6B
1962 metal (none) combined metric and imperial, 10-50 psi and .5-3.5 kg/cm2

(50 psi not marked)

late T6B 1963 n/a n/a no gauge in this tool kit n/a
1964-65 Bakelite
(none) combined metric and imperial, 10-50 psi and .5-3.5 kg/cm2 gray vinyl, possibly leather (different from early version) in rare cases
C Messko pouch.jpg (13375 bytes)
replacement Bakelite
silver dial red vinyl
reproduction A reproduction became available in 2007. There are two options - 356A imperial measurement, or the later dual scale metal bodies. The included bag even has a reproduction of the guarantee tag. Be careful on eBay - it is possible an unscrupulous seller will try to pass one of these off as an original. They are available at NLA www.nlaparts.com for $98.50. Although these repros are not quite perfect, they're hard to beat at that price.

How to tell these repros from the original
-you won't find many original in this condition!
-the letters MESSKO in the red circle are not shaped and aligned like the original. Compare to any of the originals above and you'll see what I mean (llok at the E and K especially)
-The shape of the bag isn't quite right - when flattened, the sides should be straight and parallel to each other, not rounded
-The lettering on the tag is not the same. Look here for an original.

reproduction leather cases are available

Other Messko gauges that I have seen online, but don't belong to a 356 kit:

Messko - Empire State.jpg (19609 bytes) Messko - Hochdruck.jpg (26819 bytes) Messko - Swiss.jpg (40748 bytes)

All site content, including  images, tables, and text is © 2007 by Eric Cherneff. Duplication in any form is prohibited without express permission. All rights reserved.

WANTED: photographs of tool kits and individual tools, and information about them if you can expand or correct the descriptions I have provided on these pages. Contact me: eric@356a.com Also: if you have old tools you want to sell, please tell me. I may be interested.

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