1957 Porsche 356
James Noble, San Mateo, California (acquired circa 1965)
Dr. Donn Fassero, Modesto, California (acquired from the above in 1986)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2006)
Hillsborough, Palo Alto, and Santa Cruz Concours d’Elegance, circa early 1970s
Speedster 50th Anniversary Event, Carmel, California, June 2004
Porsche Club of America, Zone 8 Concours d’Elegance, Los Angeles, 2006
Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, June 2007
Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance, Palos Verdes, California, September 2008 (Class Award)
Classics for Charity, Beverly Hills, California, 2008 (Class Award)
The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, Carmel, California, August 2009
Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance, Pasadena, California, 2010
Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, May 2014 (Poster Car)
Colorado Grand, September 2014
Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, May 2017
Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance, Beverly Hills, California, June 2017
, chassis no. listed on p. 220
The car presented here is an outstanding example of Porsche’s most beloved open sports car: the 356 A Speedster.
Completed on March 7, 1957, this Speedster, chassis 83051, is a late-production T-1 variant, which perfectly melds the aesthetic purity of the earliest 356 models with the myriad mechanical improvements for the updated A series.
According to Porsche records, this Speedster was specified for US delivery and finished in Signal Red over black, among the most popular color combinations offered for the model. Sold through official distributor Hoffman Motors in New York City, the Speedster came to California in the mid-1960s, when James Noble of San Mateo purchased it from an owner in Massachusetts.
Mr. Noble, an avid Porsche enthusiast who also owned a 1951 356 Coupe and a 911 Targa, had Doug Sharpe restore the Speedster to show condition. Completed in the early 1970s, 83051 was displayed at several famous California venues – including the Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance – earning two first- and one second-place trophies.
Mr. Noble kept the Speedster until 1986, when it was sold to Dr. Donn Fassero of Modesto, California. In 1994, Dr. Fassero commissioned highly respected Automobile Associates of Canton Inc. in Connecticut to restore the Speedster to its original splendor. Jim Newton, Scott McPherson, and Ken Bronsord founded AAOC in 1981, and the firm’s exceptional restorations have since been rewarded with four Full Restoration awards, as well as three Manhattan Trophies, the highest possible honors in competition judged by the Porsche Club of America. AAOC restored this Speedster over four years, with the process documented by receipts and correspondence in the car’s file.
Dr. Fassero displayed 83051 just once – at the prestigious Speedster 50th Anniversary event held at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, in June 2004. He then sold the car in 2006 to the current owner, a Los Angeles-based collector. Soon after acquiring the 356, the consignor entrusted the car to Bob Campbell of Auto Specialties in Santa Clarita, California, a respected marque specialist and long-serving 356 Registry board member. Tasked with improving the already excellent presentation, Mr. Campbell rebuilt the matching-numbers engine, restored the braking system, and sourced period-correct accessories, including a Glasspar-style hardtop, Marchal driving lights, aircraft seat belts, headlight grilles, and a wood-rim steering wheel.
The Speedster has since been shown at leading venues including The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, as well as the Greystone Mansion, Rodeo Drive, Palos Verdes, and Los Angeles Concours d’Elegance. It has also been enjoyed on the road, completing the 2014 Colorado Grand (where, as entry no. 43, it was driven by two Gooding & Company specialists) and recently participated in a tour organized for 356 A examples.
The consignor reports that during his 12-year ownership, the Speedster has always been his preferred choice for weekend outings, stating: “It has been an absolute joy to own, drive, and show. It always amazes me how much better this Speedster is than the ’58 that I drove daily in the early 1970s!”
Beautifully presented in its original colors, this Porsche is restored down to the smallest details, from the canvas spare-tire strap to the proper “pickle fork” wiper arms. This car also retains its original matchingnumbers engine, as well as 1957 date-coded components including the fuel tank, KPZ wheels, and even hubcaps.
Accompanying the car at auction are its tool kit, jack, manual, hardtop, soft top, side curtains, tonneau cover, Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, and copy of the factory Kardex. A detailed history file, restoration and service invoices, period photos, and set of wide “driver” wheels are also included with the sale.
With timeless style and brilliant driving dynamics, the 356 Speedster continues to enjoy sought-after status among today’s collectors. One only need look to Porsche’s reprisals of the model through the past 30 years to see the influence of the original Speedster. Presented here is a longtime California car that has benefited from the care of just three devoted owners for more than 50 years. Restored by respected Porsche specialists, retaining its original engine, and faithfully presented in its original colors, 83051 has proven itself on both the open road and the concours lawn.
For the collector in search of a superb example of an iconic Porsche sports car, we encourage serious consideration of this impressive 1957 Speedster.