Arizona

28-29 January 2016

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Lot 253

1958 Porsche 356 A Speedster by Reutter

  • Chassis no. 83895
  • Engine no. 744333

Sold for $295,000


103 bhp, 1,582 cc Type 616/36 OHV horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with Solex carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with parallel trailing arms and transverse torsion bars, independent rear suspension with swing axles and transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • Very rare and desirable late T2 Speedster from the last year of production
  • Reported to have only three owners from new
  • Upgraded with a 912 engine with 356 A appointments, for a stock appearance
  • Desirable color combination of Meisen Blue with Navy interior and top


Porsche’s iconic 356 Speedster first appeared in 1954 after U.S. distributor Max Hoffman convinced the factory that it needed a product with which to compete with lower-cost British imports. What Porsche delivered was a bare-bones roadster with a base price of just under $3,000, which was exactly what Hoffman needed to get customers in the door. Unlike the luxurious 356 Cabriolet, with its fixed windshield and numerous comfort features, the Speedster was very basic, with side curtains instead of roll-up door glass, a removable windshield, ventilated thin-shell non-reclining bucket seats, and little else—though a lot of fun.

It was a true dual-purpose sports car. Owners could readily use their Speedsters for everyday transportation and then drive to the track on weekends, remove the bumpers, top, windshield, floor mats, and other trim, tape on some numbers, and go racing. Speedsters offered excellent performance due to their light weight, and they soon established themselves as the cars to beat. Speedsters remained competitive well into the 1970s and 1980s, winning many national championships in the U.S. and Europe. By the time T2 Speedster production wound down in 1958, only 1,129 examples had been built, and that group is considered to be the most modern and drivable today.

According to its owner, a knowledgeable marque specialist, this late-production 1958 Speedster was originally owned by a Volkswagen dealer in Natchez, Mississippi. In late 1988, it was acquired by a very persistent admirer after 15 years of pursuit and was then painstakingly restored to its original condition over a five-year period, as featured in an article by Robert Stroud in Volume 19 of the 356 Registry.

In its current long-term ownership, reported to be only the third since new, the car’s engine was upgraded to one from a later Porsche 912, using a counterweighted crankshaft and correct Super 90/SC 912 Solex carburetors with correct factory air cleaners. The surrounding sheet metal, starter, generator fan shroud, oil filler and filter, etc., are all original 356, allowing this engine to resemble that of a 356 A to the naked eye. The result is a wonderfully “stock” appearance but with a 25 percent increase in power over the original!

More recently, the car has been beautifully refinished in Meisen Blue with a Navy top and interior and OEM tan square-weave carpeting. It is enhanced by a pair of correct OEM USA full bumpers, with overriders in both front and rear and a set of chrome wheels with matching year-correct hubcaps. In addition, the Speedster features a chrome driver’s side-view mirror, U.S.-specification body-colored bumpers, and a correct factory-specification muffler with through-the-bumper exhaust elbows. Inside the Spartan cockpit is a beautifully refinished Meisen Blue dashboard with correct VDO gauges, including a date-coded 1958 tachometer converted to electric operation and a properly restored Nardi wooden steering wheel with correct horn button. The car is accompanied by not only an original jack but also an original factory OEM tool roll with tools.

A rocket offered in excellent running condition by a knowledgeable enthusiast, this car is certainly one of the most complete, correct, and entertaining 356 Speedsters available today, and it promises to offer limitless entertainment to its lucky new driver.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

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

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

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

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

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

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

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

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

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

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

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

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

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