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To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys' Monterey event, 15 - 17 August 2024.

  • Offered from the Collection of Angus Mitchell
  • A California “barn find” Speedster, mechanically restored with its exterior patina preserved
  • Extremely well-preserved, with solid original floors
  • Finished in the original colors and equipped with its numbers-matching engine
  • Wonderful character and charm; a cars-and-coffee standout!

Few cars so embodied the modern 20th century “California dream,” of joyful freedom under the sun, as the Porsche 356 Speedster. It may have been born out of East Coast thought, as it was New York impresario Max Hoffman who urged the manufacturer to build a convertible stripped to its bare basics, with low cost and maximum performance in mind. It was on the West Coast, however, that the Speedster became immortal. Open to the sky, with the wind rushing back over its low windshield, it was the ideal Golden State transportation for a young man or woman of means, and a potent SCCA competitor as well. Steve McQueen owned one; what more need be said?

In that same tradition is the 356 A Speedster offered here, one of the most evocative automobiles in Angus Mitchell’s carefully chosen collection. Mr. Mitchell’s collection manager, Noel Romeo, recounts being told that it had belonged to Norris Baronian, a protegee of Ed Iskenderian and later independent proprietor of the well-known speed shop Norris Cams. Norris Cams were found in some of the hottest drag-racers, funny cars, and sports cars of the era, often with a matching bumper sticker; naturally, one of those remains on the Porsche. Mr. Romeo recounts a hearsay story from the Baronian family that Steve McQueen had driven the family Porsche at one point, trying to figure out a few performance “tweaks” for his own 356.

Eventually the Speedster was parked in Mr. Baronian’s garage decades ago and, after being trapped by a stuck garage door, remained in the family’s ownership until it was acquired by Mr. Mitchell from the son decades later, in 2018. Upon retrieval it was thoroughly cleaned up and serviced, and the interior properly restored back to the original specifications for driving use. While the paint was touched up decades ago, it remains in its original colors, still with its original numbers-matching engine, and with, being a Southern California car, solid original floors. Overall, its level of presentation is actually striking, with just the right amount of patina; even the grilles are original. It is offered with another part of its history: a bottle of iconic Paul Mitchell shampoo.

A great driver’s Porsche, this is one of the most tempting cars of the Angus Mitchell collection.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mo24/.

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