1956 Porsche 356A Speedster
- Kilometerstand89 121 mi / 143 427 km
- AutomobiltypCabriolet / Roadster
Comprehensively Restored and Presented in Beautiful Colors. Updated With 356B Engine and a Recently Rebuilt 741-Series Transmission Mated to the Original Linkage. Exceptional Performance on the Road, and Outstanding Value. Accompanied by Almost 20 Years of Maintenance Receipts.
1956 Porsche 356 Speedster
s/n 82558, engine no. P*63547*
Blue with Red Leather Interior
For more than seven decades, Porsche enthusiasts throughout the world have enjoyed some of the greatest sports cars ever built. Although their humble and cost-conscious beginnings were instrumental in building their brand into an uncompromised motorsports and production car leader, they have always built cars with the highest level of quality and excellence. Built to race and raced to win, by the early 1950’s Porsche cars were making their mark in America when distributor Max Hoffman asked Porsche to develop a sports car that could compete against lower priced Triumphs and MGs. Porsche set out to build a car with essential performance traits, sparse features, and unprecedented reliability. The result was the now iconic Porsche Speedster; a name that continues to imbue performance and excitement. The Speedster was uniquely outfitted with a lowered windscreen, no side glass, minimal trim, and performance components, all of which culminated in surprisingly strong sales, particularly in the United States, where year after year, Speedsters won the hearts of racers and enthusiasts alike. Today the remarkable 356 Speedster still holds a leading position as a premiere vintage Porsche, not only amongst enthusiasts but frequently cited by historians, designers, and motorsports journalists as one of the most influential sports cars of twentieth century.
This 356 Speedster exhibits all the wonderful features and aesthetic charm that lured so many enthusiasts into purchase when offered new in 1956. Having benefited from a comprehensive restoration during the early 2000s, work included major mechanical components, systems, and cosmetics, all of which were performed to a high level of finish engaging contracted specialists and experts. As part of the restoration, the car was refined in key mechanical areas including updating the electrical system to 12 volts, installing a 741 gearbox (mated to the original linkage), using correct 741 gears, a limited slip rear end, GT front brakes, new heater boxes and cables, and Weber carburetors. Battery box and floors have also been redone. A 356 B series engine resides in the car today. These improvements resulted in a vastly improved car exhibiting all the superb traits of an early 356 with excellent driving manners. While the majority of the restoration was completed by 2007, previous owners retained many of the receipts documenting the restoration including a dated hand written chart spanning April 2014- October 2018 indicating when the car had been started, driven, and general oil, air, and tire checks were performed. The car wears 6-digit blue and gold California license plates dating to approximately 1971, indicating that it has been in California for nearly fifty years.
Today, this Speedster presents in stunning colors with excellent paint that has mildly mellowed since the restoration was completed. The finish is glossy throughout with some small stone chips evident in the front area, showing a minor paint imperfection on the hood and front fender, both of which are only visible upon closer examination. The quality of the paint is very nice, smooth, and properly applied. The panel gaps and fit are very good in all areas, opening and closing properly, particularly the doors, which shut with a distinctive and satisfying precision clasp. The original engine lid is stamped with the matching number and also fits very nicely. The hood line delivers that early 356 “smile” encircling the opening with uniformed symmetry. The factory hinge number for the hood is out of sequence but is an original Porsche part. The dark blue canvas top and matching removable side curtains are in very good condition, showing some aging to the clear plastic windows. The top latches tightly in place and the side panels are easily installed, snapping into place using the leather door stays. With the top folded down and stored, a handsome red tonneau cover finishes off the Speedster look, accompanied by a matching red bag to stow the side curtains. Glass, lenses, double beehive tail lights, emblems, and trim are all quintessentially Porsche and restored to a very high level in both fit and finish, further supporting the high quality of the restoration. The gleaming domed chrome hubcaps accent against correctly painted silver wheels, while the painted bumpers and polished Speedster script lettering complete the exterior with a touch of sporting elegance.
The interior is beautifully finished with correct materials including proper weave tan carpeting and tan side trim, with high-quality red leather expertly tailored over correct Speedster style seats. The top of the dash, door panels, and cockpit perimeter are trimmed in red as well, delivering a very satisfying feel to the cockpit. A delightful touch of contrast is seen in the blue body color dashboard matched with the red pad, giving the dashboard a unique and dynamic look. The instruments are gorgeous in color and finish, having been faithfully restored with correct green indication and proper needles, all of which are accented by a touch of ivory color on the gearshift knob and door handle escutcheons. The elegant and simple dash is finished off with a handsome wood rimmed Moto Lita steering wheel with polished aluminum spokes and lustrous Porsche center crest. The correct pile tan carpet shows some minor use in the foot well and just light evidence of age. Throughout the interior, all materials offer a unified appearance, excellent fit and finish, delivering a wonderfully composed presence.
The engine compartment has been faithfully restored using mostly correct factory finishes, proper hardware and fittings, correct factory decals, hoses, wiring, and linkages. The B series engine has been fitted with correct details but upgraded with Weber carburetors and modern air cleaners. Attention to detail extends to the proper finishes on the raw engine castings and correctly painted components, all of which are showing some age to the formerly fresh finishes. Under the front storage compartment, the correct Speedster VIN number is stamped in the structural support apron. Finishes in this front compartment are factory correct and nicely executed including a correct type spare tire and rim. The underside of the car has had proper metal work performed in the typical areas, executed to a high-quality level and correctly finished. The underside is properly prepared with suitable finishes and largely correct components with minor deviations from factory applications and mild indications of use.
The car starts reliably and easily, settling into a smooth idle as it warms to operating temperatures. The gearbox operates wonderfully up and down with smooth synchros, warm or cold and excellent clutch travel. The car drives beautifully under a range of conditions with excellent feel and composure in handling and overall ride quality. The driving experience communicates all the pleasure and satisfaction that a properly restored 356 is capable of offering. The Weber carbureted engine offers brisk acceleration as the revs climb progressively without hesitation or misfire. Braking is very capable in modern traffic with a firm, tall pedal and symmetrical tracking even under more urgent application. The car comes with select copies of receipts documenting portions of the restoration.
Historically important, beautifully designed, and continuously sought after today, the iconic Porsche 356 Speedster still remains one of the most engaging sports cars of the modern era. With its quintessential body design, stunning colors, and high-quality restoration, this Speedster is ready to deliver on decades of Porsche excellence much as it has offered to so many appreciative enthusiasts over the past 70 years.