19-20 January 2017
1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter
- Chassis no. 83456
- Engine no. 65983
- Gearbox no. 14986
Sold for $330,000
- Excellent, well-cared-for older restoration
- Finished in very attractive black over black
- Fitted with optional coupe seats for comfortable touring
- Unquestionably one of the coolest classics on the road
On a recent episode of his car show, Jay Leno asked the question, “What is cool?” As rhetorical as the question may be, it remains a contentious topic among gear heads. However, all it takes to end that argument is the arrival of a black Porsche Speedster like the one offered here.
The Speedster was the inspiration of New York dealer Max Hoffman, the godfather of the 300 SL Gullwing, who wanted an affordable stripped-down version of the Porsche 356 to put in the hands of amateur club racers in 1957. In order to save weight, the Speedster had no side windows and featured a short raked windscreen, which replaced the heavier street version.
These stripped-down Speedsters were considerably cheaper than the other 356 models, selling for less than $3,000. Today, because of their rarity—Porsche produced only 1,171 units for 1957—and their coolness factor, they are by far the most valuable of any 356 model. The only concern with the design was that the minimal soft top and removable side curtains not only did not provide much weatherproofing, but also forced the driver to tuck down in the car just to see out, so the top was rarely used.
The car, originally finished in Meissen Blue, changed for the owner, who had Stoddard Imported Cars in Willoughby, Ohio, restore the car in 1989. Since that time, the stunning black paint has been carefully maintained, with no evidence of clouding or swirl marks. The car has accrued fewer than 100,000 miles on the odometer. When the car was restored, the door and dash trim and the delivery-optional coupe seats—original Speedster seats are just vinyl covering over bucket shells suitable for racing but hardly comfortable enough for daily driving on bumpy city streets—were reupholstered in black leather. The car is also presented with U.S.-specification bumpers and sealed-beam headlights, documentation of the restoration, original tool kit, original and newly restored Speedster side curtains, and a replacement tonneau cover.
Though this 1600 Speedster is fitted with the Normal engine producing 70 horsepower rather than the more tightly wound S engine, the combination of the four-speed manual transmission (rebuilt by 356 Enterprises) and the incredible lightness makes this car incredibly responsive and satisfying to drive.
To the fortunate bidder on this Speedster, pull on your worn leather flying jacket, white tee-shirt, and cuffed Levis and enjoy the drive over the Laureles Grade on the way to Laguna Seca for the 2018 Porsche Rennsport Werks Reunion. There you will be simply . . . cool.
Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.