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Coachwork by Reutter
Matching-Numbers Example | Kardex-Correct RestorationRudy Binkley, New YorkLarry Shepard, Arroyo Grande, California (acquired circa 1969)Current Owner (acquired from the above circa 1990)
Porsche Club of America Zone 8 Concours d’Elegance, Phoenix, Arizona, 2015 (First in Class)
Fully restored in its original white over black leatherette color scheme, here is a very early pre-A 1500 Normal Speedster in beautiful condition. Chassis 80333 was built in March 1955 and was dispatched to New York as a US-specification model.
It might be said that no early Porsche is as sought-after today as the beloved Speedster, which was introduced in 1954 and built through 1958. Simple, pure, and great fun to drive, the Speedster was the brainchild of Porsche’s New York importer, Max Hoffman, who envisioned a new model to compete with less-expensive offerings from Britain. With a base price of under $3,000, Speedsters were stripped of numerous amenities. But the Speedster, like its coupe and cabriolet brethren, was of much higher-quality construction than its rivals and offered outstanding performance for its day. Many Speedster owners installed roll bars, taped numbers on the doors and went racing, often with great success. Following the event, these weekend racers drove their Speedsters home, and to work the following day.
This Speedster came into the hands of its current owner around 1990. In 2013 and 2014, this numbers-matching example underwent a documented bare-metal restoration by Chuck Croteau at Redline Porsche Service in Tucson, Arizona. Several layers of paint were carefully media-blasted away from what the consignor describes as an “almost-perfect” body. The battery box and one portion of the floor were replaced. The consignor further states that only lead was applied to the body where necessary. The car was then resprayed its original white, and a new interior of black leatherette with white piping from Autobahn in San Diego was installed, matching the original materials.
Mechanical systems were overhauled and in some instances upgraded, with the original pistons and cylinders being substituted with Porsche 356C 1600 units. The 1500 components are included with the sale; the cylinders were Nikasil-coated and can be used should a future owner wish to return the engine to its original specification. The transaxle was rebuilt for the previous owner by Precision Engineering in San Luis Obispo, California, and the Solex carburetors were rebuilt by 356 Carburetor Rescue in Sedona, Arizona.
This fine Speedster comes with a correct “low-bow” convertible fabric top and several very rare period options, including polished aluminum 16" CK wheel trim rings and a Hazet Tourist tool kit. Accompanying the sale are side curtains, a correctly dated spare wheel, along with a tool roll filled with original and correct pieces.
This charming Pre-A Speedster, with its matching-numbers components, thoughtful upgrades and Kardex-correct color combination, stands ready to please its next owner with the pure driving pleasure for which it was built.