1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster
Coachwork by Reutter
Chassis no. 84142
Engine no. 17193 (see text)
1,582cc OHV Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
2 Solex Carburetors
Approximately 90bhp at 5,400rpm
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Beautifully presented example of the iconic 356 Speedster
*Porsche Club Concours award winner
*Offered with matching numbers engine and transaxle
*Excellent car for rallies and driving events
*Striking color combination
The Porsche 356 Speedster
Instantly recognizable by virtue of its low, wraparound windscreen, smaller and entirely retractable top, lower door waistline and twin bucket seats - all of which served to emphasize its sporting image - the Speedster was, in effect, an 'economy' model from Porsche intended to compete with the less-expensive British sports cars. The Speedster was powered initially by the 1.5-liter version of Porsche's horizontally opposed four, gaining the new 1.6-liter, 60bhp engine with the introduction of the improved 356A for 1955. Priced at $2,995, the Speedster was the lightest of the 356s, enjoying a commensurate performance boost that meant 100mph was possible. Combined with its renowned handling characteristics, the Speedster became an instant success in the burgeoning American sports car racing scene.
Testing the Speedster alongside its Coupe sibling in 1956, Road & Track magazine wrote: "A more comfortable sports car for long, high-speed journeys would be very hard to find and certainly no other car achieves the combination of comfort, performance and fuel economy of the Porsche Continental Speedster or Coupé."
Its combination of style, performance and value for money made the Speedster deservedly popular - 4,822 examples being constructed between 1954 and 1958 - and today this most handsome of the 356 variants enjoys iconic status.
The Motorcar Offered
Built in November of 1957, the sporting 356A Speedster was delivered through Max Hoffman's New York-based import agency. It was finished in Ruby red, fitted with US-specification Fahrenheit gauges and miles per hour speedometer, along with sealed beam headlights. It was fitted with engine no. 67751, which still accompanies the car and will be sold together with it. The new Speedster is believed to have been purchased by a Californian first owner shortly after arriving on US shores, but from that point the early ownership history remains unknown.
The history picks up a few decades later, when the Speedster was exported to Australia, where it came into the collection of noted collector and enthusiast, Mr. Brian Jones. Jones enjoyed the Porsche before selling it on to Sydney-based collector, Mr. Kazacos in 2002. Needing some refurbishment, the new owner entrusted the Speedster to Porsche specialist Morton Automotive, who carried out a full restoration and a professional conversion to right hand drive (now back to original steering configuration). When stripping the old paint, it was found that the bodywork was in fine shape, with very little rust, and no major accident damage. The Speedster was finished in the period-correct silver exterior color, trimmed with red interior and grey German square weave carpeting, and fitted with black top and side curtains. Mechanically the car received the same level of attention; a lightly tuned 912 engine and transaxle was installed, while the original, matching numbers engine and transaxle was packed up and kept with the car.
The freshly restored Speedster was shown at the 2005 356 Porsche Club of Australia National event in Melbourne, where it was deservedly awarded the Gold Class Award. Mr. Kazacos sold the car to a Mr. Alexander in 2009, who would continue to use the car for classic car shows and rallies. The service work was at this time entrusted to renowned Melbourne-based 356 expert Rob Fores. The Speedster remained in Australia for the next few years, before returning to North America, where it was acquired by a collector in Toronto.
Offered here is an excellent example of Porsche's iconic Speedster, the ideal choice for driving events, where it will surely run in front of the pack among other 356s. Offered with its original, matching numbers engine and transmission, none of the car's crucial components have been altered or lost. Expertly restored and ready to take on rallies such as the Colorado Grand and Copperstate 1000, here is a fine Speedster that would fit well in any collection.