1957 Porsche 356
Year of manufacture1957
Clarence S. Fogal, El Paso, Texas, and Carmel, New York (acquired new in 1957)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2011)
PCA Concours at Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Connecticut, June 2014 (First in Class)
Porsche Speedster Typ 540: Quintessential Sports Car, chassis no. listed on p. 219
Challenge, Connecticut Valley Region Porsche Club of America, October 2014, p. 44
At the request of US importer Max Hoffman, Porsche introduced its Speedster model in 1954 as an entry-level 356 variant carrying an attractive lower price tag. Hoffman’s assessment of the market was spot on, and sales increased as the Speedster cultivated a niche that appealed to serious driving enthusiasts. The original owner of this Speedster most certainly fit that criteria, enjoying this example for 54 years.
The Speedster’s small sacrifice in creature comforts was more than balanced by a thrilling driving experience made possible by its minimalist approach. Today, Speedsters enjoy sought-after status among enthusiasts and collectors.
Chassis 82846, built in early 1957, was sold by John Bull Motors of El Paso, Texas, to Clarence S. Fogal, also of El Paso. Mr. Fogal was a member of the Pan American Region of the Sports Car Club of America. Within a year of the Speedster acquisition, he eagerly participated in the Great Canyon Tour in Arizona, held from April 18–20, placing 9th Overall.
Competent as a mechanic, Mr. Fogal took a hands-on approach when maintaining his cherished Speedster, carrying out its regular maintenance himself. When he and his wife relocated to Carmel, New York, he selected Pray Automobile Corporation of Greenwich, Connecticut, to perform maintenance on the car and retained those service records.
In 2011, Mr. Fogal was persuaded to part with the car, satisfied that its new owner, a respected Porsche collector, would appreciate it as much as he had. The new owner envisioned restoring the car to its original condition and entrusted the project to Automobile Associates of Canton Inc. (AAOC) in Connecticut, based on its extensive knowledge of Porsches. AAOC was founded in 1981 by Jim Newton, Scott McPherson, and Ken Bronsord with respective expertise in restoration, mechanical, and body repair services. AAOC’s restorations have been awarded three Manhattan trophies at Porsche Parades, as well as four Full Restoration awards, the highest honor possible.
The Speedster’s painstaking three-year restoration addressed all components of the car, both mechanical and cosmetic. A strict adherence to authenticity was maintained. During the restoration process, all metal components original to the car – doors, hood, trunk lids, trim, and top frame –were retained. This project is meticulously documented, with a large catalogue of photographs and receipts totaling $169,000. Chassis 82846 is finished in its original, as-delivered color, Aquamarine Blue (code 607), one of just 335 Speedsters originally built in this stunning shade. The Speedster’s top is black, as is the interior upholstery, which also adds a contrasting blue piping.
Emerging from the restoration in impressively refreshed condition, the 356 A was recognized as First in Class at its inaugural showing at the June 2014 Porsche Club of America Concours at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. The award’s significance cannot be overstated, as the event attracted a strong class of 16 competitors to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Speedster model. Present that day at Lime Rock Park, as guests of the current owner, were Mr. Fogal and his wife Evelin, a fitting testimony to the enthusiasm and dedication of both owners of this car.
This example embodies all of the characteristics an informed enthusiast appreciates: a highly desirable model, ownership by a passionately committed owner for many years, subsequent acquisition by a discerning collector, and an exhaustive, authentic restoration by marque experts. The Speedster’s pedigree is evident in documents accompanying this car, encompassing ownership history, service records, and the restoration process. The sale also includes a concours-quality tool kit and handbook set.
Having been shown only once in concours competition, this Speedster is likely to offer its next owner numerous opportunities for accolades on the show field. On the road, the driver can look forward to rewarding touring experiences not unlike those enjoyed by the original caretaker.