Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Reutter
Current Owner (acquired via Paul Russell and Company in 2008)
Few open sports cars of the postwar period have inspired as much reverence and esteem as the Porsche Speedster–the legendary bathtub-shaped roadster introduced by Stuttgart in 1954. Based on the upmarket 1952 Porsche America roadster bodied by Erich Heuer’s Gläser Karosserie in Ullersricht, the Speedster was meant to capitalize on the American market’s new fascination with sporty convertibles.
The Speedster proved to be an instant sensation. Raced with great success in American events, a Speedster, driven by Bengt Söderström, claimed the 1955 championship in the SCCA’s F-Production class. As writer Walt Woron summarized in his road test for Motor Trend’s July 1955 issue, “(The Speedster’s) size, power, easy shift and steering make it fun to drive…For a sports car, and especially such a small one, (it) has a very smooth ride…There’s absolutely no wallowing when you come out of a dip; you’ve always got it under control.”
By the time capacity problems at Reutter prompted Porsche to phase body production to Drauz for the succeeding Convertible D model, almost 4,900 Speedsters had been built. Though many of these cars have survived, the relative rarity of such a popular model has resulted in a pronounced desirability for finer examples such as the car offered here.
This handsome Speedster is the 25th example constructed in 1958, a year in which only 552 cars were produced. A copy of its Kardex accompanies the sale of the Porsche. 1958 was the last year of regular Speedster production, suggesting that this car is not only one of the most refined examples of the beloved model, but also among the last of these great thoroughbreds.
As reflected by accompanying service invoices, in March 2009 a cosmetic restoration was completed by the esteemed Paul Russell and Company of Essex, Massachusetts. Paul Russell is well known as one of the country’s most distinguished restoration houses – with 40 Best of Show awards earned over 27 years – and the preferred choice of the foremost of collectors.
Among other measures, their skilled technicians performed a bare-metal repaint in blue, installed a new tan leather interior with a complementary blue soft top, and sympathetically refreshed mechanical components, such as the starter, fuel pump, and throttle linkage. Ideal for presentation at Porsche club events and local concours d’elegance, this handsome example offers the numerous pleasures of the venerable Speedster, one of the most timeless open sports cars ever created.