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Coachwork by Reutter
Introduced as the lowest-priced Porsche for the American market late in 1954, the Porsche Speedster promised both style and excitement for the daily commute or at weekend races, and it offered a very different driving experience from the 70kg-heavier Cabriolet. Minimal and lightweight, it did away with heavy, padded seats in favor of lighter, non-reclining buckets. A side trim spear visually split the flanks, giving it a hunkered-down, ready-to-pounce appearance that, when paired with the short windshield, created dynamic and sporting profile. Evoking power and speed, the Speedster found a receptive audience in an increasingly affluent professional middle class, especially in California.
Utilizing the Speedster’s performance potential, John von Neumann, Porsche’s West Coast importer, drove the stripped-down newcomer at its first US racing event, winning the 1.5-liter class for standard series sports cars at Torrey Pines.
This desirable Speedster is from the final year of production, in which only 585 were produced; and 1958 is also widely regarded as the most sought-after model year of Speedster production. Remarkably original, this example retains its original engine, hood, and decklid; and the gas tank, sending units, and wheels are coded with the appropriate dates. This information is verified by an included factory Kardex from Porsche. Also included are an original owner’s manual, books, tools, and a jack.
The restoration was carried out by European Collectibles prior to 2008. Once the necessary bodywork was completed to factory standards, it received a concours-quality paint job in the original silver shade, and a full red leather interior was fitted with correct German carpets and period details. The engine, transmission, suspension, and braking system were rebuilt. Other significant work included the installation of a new wiring harness and triple-plating all chrome and brightwork. Throughout the restoration, NOS and OEM parts were used whenever available.
This 1958 Porsche Speedster is an excellent example of design and performance, incorporating all the improvements made through the model’s brief history. Authentically restored to exacting standards, this is a Speedster for the true 356 aficionado.