1958 Porsche 356 A 1600 'Super' Speedster by Reutter
$350,000 - $400,000Offered without reserve
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 2018 - Offered on: Saturday, August 25, 2018
- Last year for the ultimate Super Speedster
- A California Bay Area car from new
- In current ownership for the past 50-plus years
- Original matching-numbers drivetrain
- Classic Speedster colors; properly restored
This exceptional U.S.-specification 1958 Super Speedster left the factory in Zuffenhausen on 24 October 1957 and was shipped to Max Hoffman’s distributorship in New York City. From there, it was delivered to the West Coast through Porsche Cars Pacific. Its first owner was a Mr. Albert R. Eyselee of Fremont, California. The current owner purchased it second-hand in the early 1960s after an unfortunate incident with his 1959 356 GT which he had purchased new. Although the GT was a write-off, the driver’s enthusiasm was undampened, and he resolved to find a suitable replacement Porsche. After searching all over California, the new owner found a new and lifelong Porsche love affair through this delightful Speedster and has enjoyed this lovely machine for the past 50-plus years.
Nicely restored some years ago in its original Ruby Red paint (5702B), this Speedster was factory-equipped with sealed-beam headlamps and U.S.-market bumpers. The original Kardex does not specify the original interior color, which would have been either black or tan leatherette; hence, the owner had it reupholstered in a correct and complimentary black with oatmeal square-weave carpeting that extends to the back of the deep Speedster bucket seats. It also has a black folding top. The steel wheels were correctly repainted silver and topped with “dimpled” hubcaps bearing elegant ceramic crests.
The original base price of a Speedster was just under $3,000, FOB New York. This allowed Mr. Hoffman to deliver a new sports car that was infinitely more sophisticated and capable than similarly priced British and Italian imports of the day. That performance superiority soon became evident in amateur sports car racing across the country. Being a “Super,” this example is factory-equipped with the 75 bhp 1600 S engine, offering its driver a 0–60 acceleration time of about 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 105 mph, according to contemporary tests by Road & Track magazine. The Super Speedster was markedly more powerful than the base 60-bhp “Normal” version, prompting R&T to declare it well worth the additional $500 asking price.
Still adorned with its original black California license plates, this fine 356 A Speedster represents the last of its line before the introduction of the Convertible D in 1959. It is offered with a partial tool kit and original leatherette pouch, a jack, a later spare wheel, driver’s manual, side curtains, original factory workshop manuals, and a selection of period Porsche literature.
Because of its relative rarity, simple elegance, and ease of maintenance, the Porsche Speedster is much sought after today, having become a true automotive icon. No Porsche collection is complete without one. This beautiful 1600 Super Speedster has been carefully maintained and enjoyed throughout its life. Now it awaits its next long-term caretaker.