Amelia Island

9 March 2013

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Lot 133

1959 Porsche 356A 1600 'Speedster D' by Drauz

  • Chassis no. 86427

Sold for $159,500

130+ hp, 1,582 cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, parallel trailing arm front suspension with torsion bars, rear swing axle suspension with transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • Rare and single model year Convertible D
  • Converted to Speedster configuration in period
  • Numerous performance upgrades throughout
  • Multiple concours winner, three times at the Brumos Oktoberfest
  • Includes factory Kardex and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

Offered for only the 1959 model year, the Convertible D included wind-up door glass, as opposed to the Speedster’s plastic side curtains, well-padded coupe-style seats in place of the thin-shell Speedster buckets, a taller windshield, and an improved folding top. The rear cowling was reshaped, and the interior door panels now included storage pockets with latching flaps. Only 1,331 were built for that year.

This example, chassis number 86427, was a European-delivery car sent to dealer Hahn, of Stuttgart, Germany, on May 25, 1959. After delivery, the car was modified and fitted with a new factory Speedster windshield, Plexiglas roll-up windows, a Speedster top, and Speedster D script on the fenders, creating perhaps the world’s first roll-up window Speedster. In the early-1960s, the car was brought to the U.S. by its second owner, a returning U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. The current owner, believed to be the fourth, found the car in a Connecticut barn, where it had been stored for 20 years.

A former Naval Aviator, the owner describes himself as a “total Porsche guy,” having owned 67 Porsches over the last 50 years. After years of looking, he found this uniquely equipped ‘Speedster D’ to be the perfect project. His long, evolving plan was to create the ultimate “period,” open 356 road-race GT car with the best sourced parts available from the most notable experts.

Starting in 1994, Jason Hiler, of HMR, did the initial restoration of the metal work, as well as finishing the 356 in Astril Silver paint. During this process, they found that the parts package that came with the car included all the original panels, doors, hood, deck lid, bumpers, instruments, transmission, etc. It was also fitted with a rare Banjo steering wheel and cowl-mounted electrical kill-switch. Included with the car are the rare magnesium Campagnolo wheels and magnesium framed 1959 de Havilland Comet pilot seats with built-in inertial reel harnesses and swing away arm rests, recovered in Connolly leather.

Not on the car, but also included, are the original fuel tank, folding canvas top and tonneau, and the original steering wheel, as well as the original deck lid. Klub Sport, of Palm Beach, and Phil Bagley provided the car with a new hood, with the thru-hood fill system, the aluminum fuel-cell, door panels, custom tonneau with head rest, and the Carrera louvered deck lid.

The 1600 engine was sourced from Harry Pellow, while Vic Skirmants, of 356 Enterprises, supplied the high-performance Scat light crank, fly wheel, cam, deep sump, and rear camber bar. The vented, screened, and drilled brakes, and parts for the Warren Eads GT brake system, are from Gary Emory at Parts Obsolete. Additionally, he supplied the Sebring “Pea Shooter” exhaust. Completing the suspension setup are Koni adjustable shocks. Finally, the original 8,000 rpm tachometer, 200 kilometer speedo, and rare original sweep second-hand clock were sent to Palo Alto Speedometer, of California, for refreshing.

Porsche engine builder Jason Lee, also at HMR, freshened the engine and installed the forged hemi pistons and custom cylinders, as well as the 8,000 rpm capable heads and custom hi-po valve-train. There the engine was balanced, blue printed, CC'd and fitted with Super 90 Solex carburetors. On the dyno, this 356 put out an impressive 130+ horsepower.

For the past 20 years, it has participated in scores of vintage and Porsche events. Notable are its several concours wins at Brumos Octoberfest in 1997, 1999, and 2000. It was also awarded PCA People’s Choice Awards in 1997 and 2001. Finally, it was an outstanding participant in the Rennsport Reunion II at the Daytona Int'l Speedway in 2004, having been placed next to Porsche number 1!

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more