Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Reutter
Doug Best (owned circa 1964)Bob Frey (owned in 1973)Charles Johnson (acquired mid-1970s)Jeff Clark (acquired from the above in February 1978)Dennis Nicotra, New Haven, Connecticut (acquired from the above in July 1980)Richard Schwartz, Greenville, South Carolina (acquired from the above in March 1981)Current Owner (acquired from the above in March 1999)
Carolinas Region PCA “In Den Bergen” Concours d’Elegance, Waynesville, North Carolina, August 2012 (Second in Class)
No other classic sports car evokes romantic images of adventure and speed quite like Porsche’s 356 Speedster. Retaining the “Type 540” internal designation, the 356 Speedster debuted at New York in 1954. Equipped with simpler bucket seats, a cut-down windscreen, and a small top and side curtains, the lightweight Speedster delivered sharper handling and performance with a youthful, avant-garde persona. Cockpits were simple, comprising just a speedometer, temperature gauge, and a tachometer.
True to concept, the Speedster was a devastating “giant-killer” on the track. In the hands of skilled drivers, Speedsters consistently out-braked and out-cornered the competition with relative ease. Erich Bücklers drove the Road & Track test car to victory in a 1,500 cc sports car race at Willow Springs, California, just a few days before the magazine tested it. Period road tests unanimously praised the Speedster, and one of the most compelling arguments for the Speedster appeared in the 1958 Sports Cars International Directory: “You do get an engineering masterpiece in the full, literal sense of the term.” The Speedster was an immediate hit. Approximately 200 were built initially and approximately 1,000 for 1955, with annual production peaking at 1,416 for 1957. Just 2,922 were built in all.
Accompanied by a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, this 1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster was produced during May 1957 and factory-equipped with US-specification bumpers and sealed beam headlamps. Known ownership of the Speedster dates to 1964, and it is believed to have earned a class win at the PCA Parade Concours in 1976. From 1981, it has enjoyed the care of just two owners and maintenance at Protech Motorsports in Greenville, South Carolina, including an engine rebuild at 56,748 miles in 1989.
The consignor acquired the Speedster in 1999 and, during his tenure, it received a photo-documented restoration in 2008 with bodywork and paint by Elite Custom of Simpsonville, South Carolina, and interior work and detailing performed by Sanders Imports of Clemson, South Carolina. An improved-specification transaxle from a later-model 356 C was installed in 2010; the proper unit accompanies the Speedster at auction, plus side curtains, a tool kit, a half-tonneau, and documents including a technical manual and service records since 1964. As offered, this Speedster stands as a well-maintained, high-quality example of an unqualified sporting icon – a worthy addition to any collection.