1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877

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Lot 27
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster

Sold for US$ 528,000 inc. premium
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster
Coachwork by Reutter

Chassis no. 82601
Engine no. 62877

1,582cc OHV Flat 4-Cylinder Engine
2 Carburetors
60bhp at 4,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Exquisite nut and bolt restoration by marque experts
*Painted Aquamarine Blue Metallic from the factory
*Retains matching numbers engine and original body panels
*Award-winning Speedster with immense pedigree

THE PORSCHE 356 SPEEDSTER

Instantly recognizable by virtue of its low, wraparound windscreen, its 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 Coupe."

Its combination of style, performance and value for money made the Speedster deservedly popular. Today the model, arguably the most handsome of the 356 variants, enjoys iconic status.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Built in September of 1955, this sporting 356A Speedster was finished from new in the striking and desirable Aquamarine Blue Metallic (5607). The Speedster was equipped for the US market, and fitted with sealed beam headlights and a miles-per-hour speedometer. It was outfitted with the more comfortable Coupe-style seats, although the interior color is not listed on the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. According to a copy of the car's original factory build record (better known as the Kardex) the new Speedster was exported to the US, and delivered through Max Hoffman to its first owner, Shakespeare Motors.

The owner of Shakespeare Motors was John W. Shakespeare, a wealthy sportsman who dabbled in leisure pursuits that ranged from sports car racing to orchid horticulture. His father, William, the inventor of the level-winding fishing reel, had amassed a fortune manufacturing tackle. The younger Shakespeare enjoyed health, wealth and a soap opera star's good looks. He studied mathematics and physics at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and Harvard, and had interests in oil, real estate and (of course) car collecting, auto dealerships and motor racing. He famously amassed an incredible collection of Bugattis, and then sold them to Frenchmen Fritz Schlumpf – a deal that has been called "the car deal of the century". Today Shakespeare's old cars form the core of the French National Automobile Museum, located near Mulhouse, France.

Previous owners have claimed that John W. Shakespeare indeed owned this Speedster himself and ran it at racing events in period, but at the time of cataloguing no hard evidence was found to confirm this. The history picks up a few decades later, when the Speedster is known to have been in Whittier, CA, and owned by a Mr. Tim Lewis. The consignor, a Texas-based collector with a taste for the absolute best of the best, purchased the Speedster from Mr. Dennis Collins of the Fast N' Loud TV show, and, upon realizing that the car was a solid, matching numbers example with its original bodywork intact, decided to embark on a comprehensive, nut and bolt restoration.

A collector who really demands top quality and authenticity, the consignor would enlist the best Porsche experts from around the US to bring the Speedster up to perfect restored condition. The 32-month restoration was completed in September of 2016, and the result is immediately apparent upon close examination of the Porsche today. Original parts were kept and restored instead of replaced where possible and, if a new part was needed, efforts were made to source an original, new-old-stock piece as opposed to the cheaper option of an aftermarket item. The Speedster's original body panels were all retained, and the front hood, engine lit and both doors are all numbered and match the Certificate of Authenticity. The majority of the 100-point restoration was performed by 356-expert Roy Smalley of Eurowerks in Campbell, TX. The original instruments were fully refurbished by Hollywood Speedometer of Hollywood, CA, while chrome work and plating was entrusted to the legendary Christensen Plating Works of Vernon, CA. The original transaxle - numbered closely to teh original unit - was rebuilt by 356 Enterprises of North Branch, MI, while the original matching numbers engine was rebuilt by Competition Engineering of Lake Isabella, CA. All work was done to the highest standards possible and, per the car's original build records, the car was refinished in its as-delivered from new Aquamarine Blue Metallic and trimmed in a dark red interior.

A superb example of one of the most iconic and desirable sports cars ever produced, this Speedster naturally claimed a First in Class Award at the 2016 Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance. It holds all the credentials to go compete at the most discerning Concours d'Elegance and PCA events globally, or use on some of the top driving events one would want to enter. The Speedster is offered with its Porsche-issued Certificate of Authenticity, a copy of the original build sheet (Kardex), a jack, an owner's manual, and a tool kit restored by Victor Miles of Ventura, CA.

While examples of Porsche's legendary Speedster can be found from time to time, an example like this is very rare to come across. Boasting a no expense spared, nut and bolt restoration to the highest standards, while finished in the car's original color of Aquamarine Blue Metallic and retaining the original, matching numbers engine, this 1956 356A 1600 Speedster stands out at the top.

Footnotes

  • Please note car is titled 1957

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, that original interior pieces suggests that the car's interior was indeed red from new.
Contacts
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster  Chassis no. 82601 Engine no. 62877
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