- Original engine
- Major restoration in 2013
The Speedster has a special place in the eventful history of the Porsche 356. We owe its existence to Max Hoffman, an importer of European sportscars into the USA, who asked Porsche at the start of the 1950s for a more basic 356 convertible, to be priced at under 3000 $. Under the direction of Erwin Komenda, the head of R&D, a standard 356 cabriolet was modified to meet Hoffman's demands. The interior was shortened, the side windows replaced by perspex panels, the dashboard simplified and the body topped off with a low, wraparound windscreen. Basic and low-slung, with an undeniably sporty look, the Speedster hit it off at once. Lighter than the cabriolet and fitted with the famous flat-four in 1300 to 1600 versions, it delivered excellent performance, delighting a generation of 'gentlemen drivers' who entered their cars in weekend races and even in major international events such as the Mille Miglia. In 1958, the Speedster D (for Drauz, the coachbuilder who succeeded Reutter) was introduced, but it lost some of its soul with a taller windscreen and the return of some comfort features. Today, the rarity and charm of the first version of the Speedster make it one of the most sought-after models, especially with the 1600 engine.
It is one of these models, sold new in Germany in 1958, which we present here. The certificate of authenticity confirms its matching numbers engine. From 2012-2013, its current owner - who bought the car in 2009 - had a major restoration carried out by Cochera Clasicos in Spain. A large set of photos confirms the extent of the work undertaken: the bodywork was stripped back to bare metal and fully restored. The bonnet and doors still have their original number, 554. The whole car was painted a most attractive glossy black. The engine was refurbished, along with the tan upholstery, electrics, running gear and chromework. In addition, the car has a Glasspar hardtop in the same colour as the body. Since the restoration, the car has covered little more than 7000 km (4350 miles) and remains in excellent condition. Finished in a desirable colour combination, this handsome Speedster is ready to take to the road and will impress onlookers everywhere.
For more information and photos: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1958-porsche-356a-1600-speedster-reutter-3980-79