Open Roads, March | Lot 132
1955 Porsche 356 1600 Speedster by Reutter
Offered From A Private Collection
€275,000 - €325,000 EUR | Not Sold
| Limburg, Germany
17 - 25 March 2021
- Comprehensively restored by European marque specialists to its original configuration
- Finished in its original and exceptionally rare shade of Sky Blue paintwork
Today, it’s difficult to imagine what might have become of Porsche if the fledgling automaker had declined US importer Max Hoffman’s plea that it produce a relatively inexpensive sports car that he could sell against the popular British and Italian imports of the early 1950s. A small number of “American” roadsters proved too costly to manufacture, but after slicing the roof off a steel-bodied 1953 Cabriolet and stripping virtually every un-necessary comfort and convenience feature, Porsche found it could deliver a bare-bones car that met Hoffman’s needs for both price and performance. Introduced in 1954, the new Speedster offered a removable, cut-down windshield, a simple fabric top, and deep, fixed-back bucket seats. To help keep the base cost below $3000, a speedometer and temperature gauge were standard, while a tachometer, a thin fabric top with side curtains, and a heating system were all optional. Speedsters sold like hotcakes, helping make Hoffman a wealthy man. Almost 4500 were produced over four years, most coming to the US. Today, the 356 Speedster is viewed as an automotive icon, a brilliant design whose popularity has never waned.
The example offered here is of only 1033 produced for the 1955 model year. This lovely example was completed October 5, 1955 and shipped to Hoffman in New York City and thence to its first owner. It was finished in the rarely-seen Code 602 Sky Blue with a beige leatherette interior. Although its early history is unknown, at some point this Speedster returned to Europe. Documents accompanying this car show that it eventually came into the hands of Italian enthusiast Massimo Scotti of Villanterio who acquired an ASI certificate for the car. Using a "Farbmusterkarte" build-sheet from Karosserie Reuter as a guide, the speedster was painstakingly returned to 60 bhp "Normal" specification. The car's Sky Blue paintwork is complemented by a new Sahara leather interior trimmed by Stefan Widmann of Bolzano, Italy. Marcoti of Brunico, Italy, appears to have become the owner in early 2013.
In late 2020, throrough technical overhaul was completed on the car, managed by Porsche authority Dr. Georg Konradsheim in Graz, Austria. This Speedster is fitted with wire mesh headlamp screens, supplied with a Kardex, numerous invoices, and TUV inspection paperwork.