1957 Porsche 356A Speedster
Chassis no. 83229
Engine no. P65098
1,582cc OHV, air-cooled flat-four cylinder engine
Dual Solex 26 VFJ Downdraft carburetors
60hp at 4,500rpm (see text)
4-speed manual transmission
Independent front and rear suspension
4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes
-Numbers matching example
-Recent restoration by marque experts The Stable
-Over $90,000 in receipts
-Meticulously maintained and stored
-A striking Speedster in classic Porsche colors
The 356A Speedster
Porsche's immortal 356 Speedster may be the most desired individual model to emerge from that storied firm's first 20 years of manufacturing sports cars. From the first example built in 1954 through the last in 1958, the Speedster has always epitomized pure, seat-of-the-pants driving pleasure. The Speedster was created at the behest of US importer Max Hoffman, who convinced the factory to produce a lower-priced, albeit Spartan, open car to compete with the increasingly popular and lower-priced British imports of the day. The Speedster thus was a bare-bones, skinny-tired vehicle that enthusiasts quickly found to be very competitive on the race track; indeed there are dozens of these little open "bathtubs" still being raced today around the world. What draws the eye, however, is the Speedster's timeless design think for a moment about the styling offered by other automakers in 1954. Few if any were as cleanly-shaped and devoid of artifice. That aerodynamic purity still attracts the knowledgeable today, and 356 Speedsters remain at the top of many collectors' must-have lists.
The Motorcar Offered
The beautiful Speedster offered here left the Porsche factory on April 11, 1957. Little is known of the car's early years, but it eventually found its way to the West Coast and in 2003 was acquired by its current owner. Chassis '83229' was originally delivered from the factory in R603 white with red leatherette interior. The only options listed on the car's Certificate of Authenticity are sealed-beam headlamps and U.S. bumpers, indicative of the fact that the Speedster's original destination was the U.S. After enjoying the car for six years, the decision was made to perform a complete restoration in 2009.
No expense was spared in revitalizing the Speedster, which was a good, straight and well presented car prior to its restoration. Porsche marque specialists The Stable in San Francisco did the bulk of the work including a complete mechanical rebuild of the car and a restoration of the body. The original 616/1 engine, no. 65098, was overhauled and dynamometer testing showed the rebuilt motor produced a robust 76.36hp at 4,500rpm and 96 foot-pounds of torque at 3,400rpm. Next, the Porsche was stripped to the bare metal and repainted in silver by Ideal Auto, also of San Francisco. Finally, a black vinyl interior, along with proper new grey square-weave carpeting and black floor mats were professionally installed by Acker Leather Works.
The Speedster that emerged in 2010, with invoices totaling nearly $90,000, as practically a new cartopped with a vintage New York state license plate as the cherry on the cake.
The odometer now reads 95,056 miles; while it is not known if this is the car's total original mileage, the condition of its bodywork suggests it was well-cared for throughout its 56-year life. Under the tenure of its current owner, 83229 has seen careful use in the summer months, primarily enjoyed as a weekend driver. Despite the use, wear is minimal as the car has been meticulous cared for and stored in a heated and air conditioned facility year-round. The desirable high-bow top and side curtains are in excellent condition while the interior shows very little use.
This very handsome Speedster is offered with a black tonneau cover and boot, along with a tool roll, the aforementioned side curtainseach in their own boot, a complete file of restoration invoices, a DVD of the engine-out dynamometer test, and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. As a 1957 model, the next owner may be allowed entry into any number of exciting and desirable Mille Miglia-type events making this Speedster a worthy investment as an enjoyable driver, a significant historic rally participant or a worthy concours contender.