Lot 337

Dare to Dream Collection

1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter

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$350,000 - $450,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

Canada Flag | Toronto, Ontario

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Chassis No.
83544
Engine No.
66188
Gearbox No.
15242
To be offered on Saturday, 1 June 2024
  • Finished in factory-correct, as-delivered Aquamarine Blue with numbers-matching engine and gearbox
  • Beautifully restored to a high standard under previous ownership
  • Well-documented with restoration invoices, Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and Kardex copy, and other documentation
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States.

Porsche’s spartan 356 Speedster revolutionized the world of low-cost, high-reward sports cars, a category that British roadsters had dominated in the early 1950s. With eyes on this growing market segment, influential New York importer Max Hoffman urged Ferdinand Porsche to provide a price-competitive model for the United States, one that would start at just under $3,000.

The Speedster was exactly what Hoffman had asked for. A stripped-down version of the 356 Cabriolet, it was beautifully bare bones, eschewing the roll-up windows and padded soft-top of its more luxurious convertible counterpart in favor of a rudimentary canvas top and a rakish, removable windscreen some 3.5 inches lower.

Car and Driver’s road test published in June 1956 lauded the Speedster as one of the world’s finest cars: “Every hour you spend with it adds to your appreciation of the excellence of its design, workmanship, and performance. It's a supremely good machine in traffic or on the open highway and a world-beater on winding roads. … In spite of its light weight, the 1600 is rock-solid and stable at all speeds. There is scarcely any perceptible difference in sensation inside the car between speeds of 20 and 80 mph.”

Production of these hand-built gems began in 1954. Through the end of the series, fewer than 3,000 examples had been delivered, with the factory making steady improvements to the design every year and increasing the output of its flat-four-cylinder engine. Speedsters were not only well-engineered and well-built, but also fun to drive and quickly proved to be dominant in their amateur racing classes across the country. They remain perennially in demand with serious Porsche collectors and other sports car enthusiasts.

This exemplary Speedster was completed on 4 July 1957 and was collected at the factory by its first owner, according to a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity on file. A copy of its original Kardex indicates that the car was equipped from new with US-spec bumpers and shock absorbers, along with sealed-beam headlights and bucket seats. Then, as now, it was finished in the very attractive exterior color of Aquamarine; its original interior and top colors were not recorded. Little is known of its early history, but by the early 2000s it was registered in the Netherlands, as indicated by copies of registration documents on file. From 2006 to 2013, the Speedster underwent a comprehensive restoration to high standards, for which numerous Dutch and German service invoices are available for review. The Dare to Dream Collection acquired the Speedster in January 2014 and imported it to Canada shortly thereafter.

Finished in its factory-correct color of Aquamarine blue, retaining its numbers-matching 1,582-cubic-centimeter engine and four-speed manual gearbox, and accompanied by a reproduction driver’s manual, this well-documented 356 A Speedster has been impeccably preserved within the collection and is a perfect choice for the enthusiast seeking a beautifully restored example to enjoy at events or on the open road.