This Porsche 356 Speedster has a certain something…

Most would agree that the chopped-roof Porsche 356 inherently has a sort of ‘special something’. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, as illustrated by this fetching example…
Like so many Porsche 356 Speedsters, the Reutter-bodied T1-A seen here was delivered to New York at the behest of Max Hoffman. It’s a familiar story: the charismatic car importer had sparked the idea for a sportier, sleeker version of an existing car, designed specifically for American tastes. What Hoffman initially sold in minimal quantities as the 356 ‘America Roadster’ soon conjured interest elsewhere and, in 1954, it was introduced as a production model – and thus became Porsche’s first Speedster. The car pictured here made the same journey as many of its earlier brethren, being delivered to Hoffman on 30 November 1956. At the time, it was white with a red leather interior – but much has changed since then…

Perfectly restored, then uprated

After several decades, the 356 Speedster in question made its way into the workshop of German marque specialist Early 911s. There was plenty of work required: 1,300 man-hours went into the body and paintwork alone, with a further 500 required to bring the interior and mechanicals up to scratch. Then came those improvements we mentioned earlier – the power of the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine (Type 616/1) was increased from 60HP to 122HP, and the braking system was uprated accordingly. Despite having double the performance (and still tipping the scales at a mere 815kg), the Porsche outwardly remains a ‘normal’ Speedster – albeit with a hidden twist beneath the eye-catching bodywork.

The Orange 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster seen here is currently for sale via Early 911s, and can be seen in the metal at the company’s booth at the 2015 Techno Classica in Essen this week.

Photos: Early 911s

This 356 and several other classic Porsches currently for sale via Early 911s can be found in the Classic Driver Market.