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Coachwork by Reutter
Originally priced at $2,995 – well below Porsche’s more luxurious coupe and cabriolet models – the 356 Speedster was equipped with a stylish, cut-down windscreen, racy bucket seats, a minimal folding soft top, and side curtains in place of standard roll-up windows. These features helped reduce the car’s weight and made it ideally suited to competition use.
It was not long before the 356 Speedster established itself as a dominant force in sports car racing, capturing wins at diverse venues – from the SCCA races at Pebble Beach to the punishing Marathon de la Route.
Thanks to its outstanding competition record, brilliant driving dynamics, and quality build, the featherweight Porsche became a favorite with sports car enthusiasts, particularly on the West Coast, where the milder climate allowed top-down motoring more often. Celebrities, such as James Dean and Steve McQueen, owned Porsche Speedsters, adding to the model’s hip, anti-establishment cachet.
The beautiful 356 A Speedster offered here was acquired by the consignor in Southern California in 2002. When it was determined that the Porsche’s engine number matched the factory records, the Speedster was confirmed to be an excellent candidate for a high-level, comprehensive restoration. The well-known European Collectibles of Costa Mesa was entrusted with the restoration work. Choosing the elegant combination of black with tan leather interior, the result is truly stunning. Initially, the 356 was completed as a gift for the consignor’s son, who was coming of driving age during the restoration. He enjoyed the car immensely before moving out of state for college, at which time the Speedster rejoined his father’s collection. To make the car a bit more fun on the road, a mild street cam was installed and the car is said to have a little something extra at higher revs.
Since completion of the restoration, the Speedster has been dutifully maintained by the consignor’s collection staff. It has been exhibited many times by the consignor and is stated to have won a prize on every outing. The black top and side curtains are especially crisp, and the Speedster is stated to run very well, thanks in part to a recent service following a period of storage.
As the years pass, Porsches continue to enjoy increasing popularity at all levels of collecting. The timeless 356 A Speedster will be at home in any garage, on almost any tour, or any show field of the owner’s choice.