The 356 Speedster
Who could have foreseen on its introduction in 1954 that the Porsche 356 Speedster would become a cultural icon and one of the most coveted sports cars in history? Initially conceived by Porsche as a bare-bones offering produced to compete with the British and Italian makes that were proving so popular with American customers, connoisseurs both then and now quickly realized that the Speedster offered a uniquely purposeful, purist driving experience. The stripped down, minimalist car was an instant success, offering the same high build quality as the Porsche cabriolet and coupe, but at a lower price of just under $3,000. Today, the 356 Speedster is among the most iconic and recognizable sports cars ever produced, coveted by collectors and enthusiasts for generations.
The 356 Speedster we are offering - chassis 83524 - was delivered to its first owner Mr. H. Thomas via importer Max Hoffman, New York, in October 1957. The car was finished in silver metallic with red leatherette interior and beige bouclé carpet, the exact configuration in which it is presented today. In the 1970s, the Speedster was owned by Brad Shoemaker of La Jolla, California, who reportedly had the car restored as a class project at University of California, San Diego. In December 1981, he sold the car to fellow Californian Sam Ireland. Even though Ireland later moved to Lahaina, Hawaii, the Speedster remained in storage in San Diego. He ended up owning the car for almost 40 years until it was acquired by the current owner, an experienced Porsche collector from Switzerland. He had specifically looked for a healthy and complete Speedster project with an attractive original colour combination and full matching numbers, clearly not an easy task! After importing the Speedster to Switzerland, a full concours restoration was duly started by leading experts such as Karl Hloch, who rebuilt the mechanical components and added his magic touch to the engine. No stone was left unturned and the total restoration cost accumulated to roughly 250.000 CHF with all invoices present on file. We were lucky enough to test the Speedster extensively in the Swiss alps and we really fell in love with it. The handling is fantastic and the Hloch-rebuilt engine pulls incredibly strong even at lower revs. The Speedster comes with original handbook, original tool kit, side screens with pouch, tonneau cover with pouch, a copy of the Kardex, Porsche COA, Reutter Certificate of Production and history file.
We are very pleased to offer one of Porsche’s most iconic and coveted models in the ideal specification - clearly an opportunity not to be missed: A true 100-points example freshly restored by some of the best experts in the field, fully matching numbers retaining not only its original engine and transmission, but also the correctly numbered doors and bonnets and presented in it’s beautiful original colour combination.