Lot 378: Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster
70 bhp (SAE), 60 bhp (DIN), 1,582 cc OHV air-cooled, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with parallel trailing arms, transverse laminated torsion bars and anti-roll bar at front, swing axles with transverse torsion bars at rear, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,100 mm (82.7") " California car from new; restored in prior ownership of 27 years " Matching numbers and superb presentation " Porsche Certificate of Authenticity Based largely on the Gläser-built 356 America of 1953 and even retaining its Type 540 designation, Porsche's now-iconic, Reutter-built Speedster débuted in 1954 and owes much of its existence to Porsche's U.S. importer Max Hoffman, who astutely recognised the special needs of the American market and convinced his European partners to build specific models to meet them. Built to a price, and quite Spartan, the Speedster offered its buyers an economical and elemental, but characteristically Porsche, driving experience. Along with the regular 356 models, the Speedster was upgraded with a 1.6-litre engine and established a formidable reputation on American racetracks, with a youthful, even avant-garde, image to match. Porsche improved carburetion, added ZF worm-and-lever steering and made various mechanical changes, continually evolving the 356's engineering and distancing itself further from its Volkswagen-based roots. This superb and immaculate matching numbers 1,600 cc example from 1956 has always been a California-based car, until very recently, and as such, has benefitted from the dry, car-friendly climate of the Western United States. The previous owner maintained this beautiful 356 for 27 years, and it was during this time the car was restored to its current glory. The Speedster is equipped with correct headlamp stone guards, chrome-plated wheels, a Nardi steering wheel, as well as towel rail bumpers. The car also features the sensible addition of disc brakes for use in modern traffic conditions. Offered complete with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, this highly desirable and enjoyable 1956 Speedster is an enduring automotive benchmark with unmatched driving thrills.
RM Auctions, The Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
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