The Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction | Lot 173
1958 Porsche 356 A 1600 'Super' Speedster by Reutter
$307,500 USD | Sold
| Atlanta, Georgia
27 October 2018
- Original matching-numbers drivetrain
- Desirable 1600 ‘Super’ engine; currently running
- Mostly complete and ready for restoration
- Includes original top and bows
- Porsche Production Specification certificate and copy of factory Kardex
For the early Porsche enthusiast, offered is a highly desirable ‘Super’ Speedster that is a prime example for restoration. Largely complete, this 1958 356 A 1600 S Speedster retains its original 1600 pushrod four-cylinder, air-cooled engine and four-speed transmission, as documented by a copy of its Kardex and Porsche Production Specification certificate.
This Speedster left the factory in Zuffenhausen on 7 November 1957 as a very basic vehicle built for the American market, equipped with sealed-beam headlamps, a speedometer reading in miles rather than kilometers, and U.S.-specification bumpers with front and rear over-riders. It was also optionally equipped with coupe seats, rather than the standard Speedster buckets that lacked an adjustable backrest. Although the original paint and interior colors are not listed, the door-jamb paint plate is stamped with code 608 for Silver metallic. That would have been matched with a red or black leatherette interior and a black canvas folding top with black Tonneau cover.
After being shipped to Max Hoffman’s distributorship in New York City, 83799 was dispatched to its selling dealer and thence to its first owner. While its early history is unknown, it appears quite likely that this Speedster was first sold and spent most or all its life in or near Dallas, Texas, where the current owner purchased it around 1983 with the intent of restoring it. Instead, after sanding off most of the paint, the owner put the car into storage for the next four decades, still bearing its 1983 Texas license tag and state inspection windshield decal. A 1984 Texas registration issued to a Dr. J.S. Jackowski of De Soto, Texas, accompanies the car.
This Speedster is largely complete and even includes its original top and bows. Its next owner can expect to replace any sheet metal in the usual areas, including floor pans, trunk floor, and battery box. Happily, the 356 community offers numerous sources for these items, and a proper restoration should be a straightforward process.
The original 75-hp Super engine, fitted with a then-fashionable Bursch extractor exhaust system, is said to run, though the hydraulic drum brakes will require further servicing. The rear shock absorbers have been replaced with latter-day Bilsteins. Stamping on the four-speed transmission case reveals that the car is fitted with BBAB gearing. The car’s factory-installed coupe seats have since been replaced with more sporting Speedster buckets. Its speedometer/odometer head, which would have originally been a U.S.-spec unit, was also replaced with a metric unit which reads 13,390 km. Based on a 1983 Texas odometer disclosure form that accompanies the car, the correct total at that point was 113,390 km, or 70,457 miles, and the car has not been driven since.
Because of their relative rarity and charming simplicity, 356 Speedsters are an icon in the Porsche world and have become highly collectable. With an ever-shrinking number of unrestored and unmolested examples remaining, values have risen steadily. Bringing this survivor back to its original state is a “Super” opportunity that should not be missed.