20 August 2011
Lot 178

1957 Porsche 356A 1600S Speedster


$220,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.

88 bhp (SAE), 75 bhp (DIN), 1,582 cc air-cooled, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, dual carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7"

- One of 494 “1600S” 356 Speedsters built

- Matching-numbers engine and body

- Accompanied by Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

Porsche’s 356 Speedster utterly revolutionized the sports-car concept. Built to a price at the vocal insistence of Max Hoffman, Porsche’s larger-than-life U.S. importer, the Speedster heralded the return of the elemental and purposeful sports-car experience that captivated America just after the close of WWII. Priced at $2,995, the Speedsters had light bucket seats, a small top for emergency situations and side curtains – all the trappings of an all-out, fair-weather sports car. Its cut-down windshield gave the impression of speed and adventure even while the car was at rest, and its performance and handling abilities were heightened by a significant overall weight reduction.

Speedster production commenced in 1955 and peaked at 1,416 units for 1957 with 2,922 built in all. The hotter 1.6-liter “S” engine powered just 494 of them, including this very fine example. In this form, the Speedster established an especially formidable performance reputation matching its youthful avant-garde image.

This very rare 1600 “Super” Speedster from 1957 was built on September 25, 1956. By the early 2000s, it was still a very original example with 55,000 miles, prior to being comprehensively restored with the superb results seen here. During the process, the Speedster was carefully dismantled, stripped to bare metal and refinished in Aquamarine Blue, and the cockpit was completely restored utilizing the original Speedster bucket seats, which were handsomely re-trimmed in red leather supplied by Autos International, who also provided the top, top boot, side curtains and tonneau covers, which are faithful to the original items. The carpeting was replaced as well, with correct oatmeal-colored carpeting fitted throughout.

The dashboard was fully restored, with all instruments shipped to the highly regarded specialists at North Hollywood Speedometer and overhauled before being reinstalled. Attention to detail was paramount during the restoration process, and accordingly, all brightwork and trim was carefully restored or replaced as necessary, with even the bumper over-riders specific to the 1957 model restored and retained on the car.

The original 1,582 cc “Super” air-cooled horizontal “four” was completely rebuilt and enhanced with 1,750 cc cylinders. The car has only been driven about 1,500 miles since. The twin carburetors are the correct and original Solex units. In addition, the Speedster-specific four-speed gearbox was overhauled at the same time as was the braking system, which has benefitted from a new master cylinder, new wheel cylinders and new brake lines. The suspension was also thoroughly re-commissioned.

The all-important “Kardex” or Certificate of Authenticity confirms that the car retains the original matching-numbers engine and body. Exquisite, rare and highly collectible, this rakish 1957 356A 1600S Speedster is offered in excellent, restored condition.