The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 148
1958 Porsche 356A/1600 Speedster
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE


Selling on Saturday

1958 Porsche 356A/1600 Speedster

CHASSIS NO: 84149

• Confirmed matching numbers engine
• Highly desirable final-year Speedster
• Rare and iconic model; high collector demand
• Accompanied by Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
• Includes Kardex production record copy
• Runs, drives and ready for complete restoration


Documents

1958 Porsche - Kardex.pdf


1,582 cc air-cooled, OHV horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, 75 HP, four-speed fully-synchronized manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with parallel trailing arms, transverse laminated torsion bars and anti-roll bar at front, rear swing axles with transverse torsion bars, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7"


When looking at the history of Porsche, all credit is due to Ferry Porsche, the son of engineering legend Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, for developing the innovative 356. Working under the constraints of a decimated economy and limited manufacturing base, Ferry literally created the cornerstone of the Porsche empire for decades to come. By the early 1950s, the racing results earned by the 356 were undeniable, and the little Porsche was already considered one of the world’s most respected sports cars, an amazing achievement considering the devastation throughout postwar Germany. The Speedster is an early icon of the Porsche brand, and established the foundation of what is different, better, and special about Porsche. Automotive journalists and historians agree that the Speedster design ranks as one of the most recognizable shapes in all of automotive history, right alongside the Mercedes 300 SL, the Jaguar XKE and Corvette Stingray.

Based on Porsche’s attractive but expensive Gläser-bodied 356 America roadster, development of the 356 Speedster was spurred by New York-based Porsche distributor Max Hoffman, who correctly realized sufficient demand existed for a lower-priced, no-frills Porsche convertible. Stuttgart’s Reutter Karosserie revised the America’s bodywork, which proved to be one of Porsche’s all-time most celebrated designs. Debuted in 1954, the Speedster was equipped with a removable windscreen, simple bucket seats, a cut-down windscreen, and only a small top and side curtains for weather protection, yet the lightweight Speedster delivered noticeably sharper performance and handling. Instruments consisted only of a speedometer and temperature gauge, with a tachometer and heater optional to hold the price down, just $2,995 when introduced in New York.

Envisioned as a vehicle capable of being driven daily then taken to the track and successfully raced on weekends, the Speedster immediately built a formidable reputation in American SCCA competition. On the street, its rakish flair and ultra-modern, avant-garde attitude made it an instant hit that continues to captivate Porsche enthusiasts today. Some 200 were built initially, but the next year production exceeded 1,000 to meet demand. Late in 1955, the 356 received its first major revision to the updated 356A, with the engine growing to 1,600 cc. Speedster production eventually peaked at 1,416 units for 1957. The later-production 356A Speedsters, especially those produced from September 1957 forward with ‘T2’ body design, are considered the most attractive and desirable among collectors and enthusiasts today. Speedster production “officially” concluded with the advent of the 356 Convertible D in August 1958; however, a small number of Carrera, GS and GT Speedsters did trickle from Porsche’s Stuttgart works in 1959.

Numbered 084149, this late-series, ‘T2’ 1958 Porsche 356A/1600 Speedster is well-documented, accompanied by a copy of its factory Kardex production record and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. An original U.S. model, it was completed on November 25, 1957, finished in Ruby Red and equipped with sealed-beam headlights and a speedometer calibrated in miles. It was shipped to the United States and supplied new via Max Hoffman, the official U.S. Porsche importer in New York. Of utmost importance, the aforementioned Porsche documents confirm this Speedster retains its factory-installed 1600 cc engine, numbered 67782. A highly complete restoration project in basic running, driving, and stopping order, this 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster is desirable on so many levels, in addition to its confirmed matching numbers engine and late-production, one-year-only ‘T2’ body style. No worthy sports car collection is complete without a quality Porsche 356A Speedster, and this restoration-worthy example provides an excellent opportunity at auction.

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