Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 229

1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter

  • Chassis no. 83456
  • Engine no. 65983
  • Gearbox no. 14986

Sold for $330,000


60 hp, 1,582 cc OHV air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with laminated torsion bars, parallel trailing arms, and tubular shock absorbers; independent rear swing axles with torsion bars and tubular shock absorbers; and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • 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.

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

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

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