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Coachwork by Reutter
*Please note that this Speedster is not a Super as stated in the catalogue, although it has been thoughtfully upgraded to similar mechanical specification. As stated in the catalogue, the car does retain its original matching-number engine.
Claiming in-period racing use and decades of storage resulting in a barn-find story, this finely restored Speedster is a beautiful example of Porsche’s classic lightweight roadster. According to the research of a more recent owner, this Porsche was purchased new by a US Army Captain stationed at Ft. Ord, just north of Monterey, California. Reassigned to Guam in 1964, the Captain was forced to sell the Speedster and Jack Hulphers of Santa Cruz, California, was the lucky buyer.
A year later, Mr. Hulphers sold the 356 to Donna Pepperdine, whose father, John, is believed to have entered the Porsche in local SCCA races and to have performed some modifications including the installation of a roll bar. In 1967, the racing Speedster was purchased by Dave Koehn of San Jose, California, who continued to campaign the car and performed further enhancements, such as lowering the suspension and rebuilding the carburetors.
In December 1968, the Porsche was acquired by John Clever of Tracy, California. Mr. Clever was a Porsche enthusiast and rally driver of no small renown in Northern California, a regular at PCA Golden Gate Region events and a friend of one of the area’s most noted Porsche performance shops, Garretson Enterprises. Recruiting proprietor Bob Garretson to assist him, Mr. Clever conducted additional upgrades to the Speedster, replacing the drum brakes with discs, adding KONI shocks and a highperformance camshaft for improved compression and performance.
Though it is not clear to what extent Mr. Clever campaigned the competition-modified Speedster, in 1974 he parked it in his barn and removed the engine for a rebuild. The motor was never reinstalled, however, and the car sat parked in the same position for the next 15 years until Mr. Clever towed it to the Speedster Fest in nearby Hayward, California, in 1989.
Returning to the barn, the Speedster sat unused for another 23 years, until Mr. Clever’s passing in early 2002. Later that year, his estate was examined and the forgotten Speedster was eventually brought to the attention of Bruce Robertson, a board member of the Sports Car Racing Association of Monterey Peninsula who quickly took the opportunity to snap up the once-in-a-lifetime barn find.
Robertson decided upon a full concours-level restoration, but wished to retain the period upgrades. David Pollard of Chico, California, was retained to supervise a complete rotisserie restoration of the car beginning in December 2002 that primarily consisted of a complete bare-metal media blast and new paint finish in the authentic Porsche shade of ivory. The chassis and suspension components were completely refinished, while the brakes were rebuilt, and a new steering box was installed. Doug McCombs of Group 356 installed a new correct interior (including the original restored seats), while North Hollywood Speedometer and Clock reconditioned all the gauges.
Completed in mid-2004, the extensive restoration totaled almost $59,000 in invoices, as reflected by a deep file of documentation including a date-specific log detailing the day-by-day process. Over 230 color photos were taken from the time the Porsche was discovered in Mr. Clever’s barn to the time it was completely restored, and they have been formally arranged in an elegant display binder including captions explaining the process.
This 356 A Speedster is incredibly documented, featuring a known ownership chain of just seven caretakers, one of whom possessed the car for 34 years. Exhaustively restored but retaining period performance upgrades by the great John Clever, this Porsche has spent its entire life in California’s forgiving climate and has established connections to some of the area’s most respected marque enthusiasts. It is sure to present strongly in 356-class competition and enthrall with its barn-find story wherever it goes.