1955 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter
Sold For $280,500Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 19 - 20 JANUARY 2017 - Offered on Thursday
- Original matching-numbers 1600 engine
- Finished in original white over red color combination
- Includes Certificate of Authenticity and copy of Kardex
- Older restoration that continues to present well
60 hp, 1,582 cc OHV air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with dual Solex carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with laminated torsion bars, parallel trailing arms, and tubular shock absorbers; independent rear swing axles with torsion bars and tubular shock absorbers; and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.
Porsche’s iconic 356 Speedster first appeared in 1954 after United States distributor Max Hoffman convinced the factory that it needed a product with which to compete with lower-cost British imports. What Porsche delivered was a bare-bones roadster with a base price of just under $3,000, which was exactly what Hoffman needed to get customers in the door. Unlike the luxurious 356 Cabriolet, with its fixed windshield and numerous comfort features, the Speedster was minimal in design, with side curtains instead of roll-up door glass, a removable windshield, ventilated thin-shell non-reclining bucket seats, and little else—though a lot of fun.
It was a true dual-purpose sports car. Owners could readily use their Speedsters for everyday driving and then take it to the track on weekends, remove the bumpers, top, windshield, floor mats, and other trim, tape on some numbers, and go racing. Speedsters offered excellent performance due to their light weight, and they soon established themselves as the cars to beat. Speedsters remained competitive well into the 1970s and 1980s, winning many national championships throughout the United States and Europe. By the time T2 Speedster production wound down in 1958, only 1,129 examples had been built, and that group is considered to be the most modern and drivable today.
Offered is a well-maintained Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster that was completed by the factory on 28 October 1955, fitted with the larger 1600 engine, and sent to Hoffman’s dealership in New York. It was restored approximately 10 years ago, at which point it is believed that the floors and longitudinals were replaced. The rear decklid and trunk hood are noted as original per the correct body stampings. The condition remains excellent throughout with only minor flaws, including slight cracking in the dash, minor wear to the driver’s seat, and a few signs of age in the Ivory White paint, which nevertheless remains very presentable and complements the red leatherette interior very nicely. The Speedster does include sealed beam headlights as well as a U.S. speedometer. Included is a jack and tonneau cover, as well as the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and a copy of the original Kardex, which confirms that the Speedster retains its original matching-numbers engine.
A true delight to drive, every collection needs a 356 Speedster!