Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Reutter
Kenneth E. Hunter, Encinitas, California (acquired new in 1958)Michael Posner, Encinitas, California (acquired from the above in 1974)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Introduced in late 1954, the Porsche 356 Speedster was a dual-purpose sports car – one that could serve as both daily transportation and, with some minor modifications, a successful weekend race car. Originally priced at $2,995 – well below Porsche’s Coupe and Cabriolet models – the 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 reduced 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.
Constructed on December 13, 1957, this Porsche 356 A Speedster, chassis 84282, is a late-production T-2 example. These late Speedsters can be immediately distinguished from the earlier Pre-A and T-1 versions by their tear drop taillights, shine-up license plate light, rear bumper guards with integrated exhaust passages, and minor differences in hardware and interior trim. In total, just 1,129 T-2 Speedsters were built between 1957 and 1958.
According to factory records, this Speedster was originally finished in Ruby Red with black vinyl upholstery and equipped with US-specification bumpers and headlights. In total, just 233 Speedsters were originally finished in Ruby Red, a darker shade than the more common Signal Red.
This Speedster was sold new to Kenneth E. Hunter, a resident of Encinitas, California. Throughout his ownership, the Porsche served as a daily driver and was serviced by local mechanics such as San Diego Motor Imports Inc., Paul Naase German Car Service, and Mesa Porsche + Audi Inc. Mr. Hunter retained his 356 until 1974, when he advertised it for sale in a local newspaper: “1958 Porsche Speedster. One owner, good condition, hard, soft tops. $4,000.” Michael Posner, a fellow Encinitas resident, purchased the car, and the next year he had it refinished in black lacquer paint. Mr. Posner enjoyed it as a fun weekend driver for decades. In more recent years, the car was entrusted to California Porsche Restoration in Fallbrook, California, where it received sympathetic mechanical and cosmetic attention.
Having never been completely restored, this Speedster presents today as an ideal fair-weather driver or event car, with excellent original floors, precise panel gaps, and an inviting patina throughout. Still wearing its 1963-issue black and yellow license plates, the Speedster is also offered with an unrestored period hardtop, manufactured by Plastic Dynamics Inc. of Compton, California. Not only does it possess a charming history, it is a genuine three-owner Southern California car retaining its matching-numbers engine and a spectacular file of original documentation. This Speedster is a most exciting find and a true must-have for the serious Porsche collector.