Chassis Number – 81069
Engine Number – 60005
Exterior Color – Ivory
Interior Color – Red
Engine Type – 4-cylinder air cooled
Gearbox – 4-Speed manual transaxle
Current Mileage – 10 miles (TMU)
Marque and Model History
For more than seven decades, Porsche enthusiasts throughout the world have enjoyed some of the greatest sports cars ever built. Built to race and raced to win, by the early 1950’s Porsche cars were making their mark in America when distributor Max Hoffman asked Porsche to develop a sports car that could compete against lower priced Triumphs and MGs. Porsche set out to build a car with essential performance traits, sparse features, and unprecedented reliability. The result was the now iconic Porsche Speedster; a name that continues to imbue performance and excitement.
The Speedster was uniquely outfitted with a lowered windscreen, no side glass, minimal trim, and performance components, all of which culminated in surprisingly strong sales, particularly in the United States, where year after year, Speedsters won the hearts of racers and enthusiasts alike. Today the remarkable 356 Speedster still holds a leading position as a premiere vintage Porsche, not only amongst enthusiasts but frequently cited by historians, designers, and motorsports journalists as one of the most influential sports cars of twentieth century.
History of this Car
This 356 Speedster exhibits all the wonderful features and aesthetic charm that lured so many enthusiasts into purchase when offered new in 1955. Though the early history of this car is not known at this time, it is known to have been in California by the mid 1970s. In 1977 the current owner purchased the car from a resident of Los Gatos, CA. The current owner, a renowned sculptor and artist, fell in love with the Speedster design, keeping it for decades with minimal use. In 2017 he commissioned a comprehensive nut and bolt restoration addressing all major mechanical components, systems, and cosmetics, engaging contracted specialists and experts to ensure that all details were both correct and properly finished.
The restoration included the installation of engine #60005, a 1953-year engine in series for the Speedster, replacing the engine originally delivered with the car. After three years of careful work, the restoration was completed in 2020. The owner drove the car one mile, promptly parking it in his garage where it has remained with occasional starts and warming to operating temperatures. In preparation for sale, the car was driven a few additional miles while making the driving video showing the superb mechanical operation of this beautifully restored Speedster.
Records accompanying the car include restoration receipts from Nick’s Old Car Specialty, Redlands, CA totaling well over $300,000. Work included replacement of the left and right longitudinals, new floor pans, rear seat mounts, battery box, rocker panels left and right, front and rear bumper braces, and bumper brackets, welding, heating shrinking areas, and shaping the front body sections to improve fit and finish of the hood to the front nose section. Metal work was performed to all body panels for fit and finish and all panels prepped for primer. Nearly 100 pages of detailed restoration notes document the metal work and restoration efforts covering all details including body and paint, Autos International interior, careful selection of cosmetic parts, detailed notations on the engine build, and numerous other highly detailed aspects to complete this beautiful restoration.
Today this beautiful Porsche exhibits excellent finishes throughout. The ivory paint is glossy throughout with no marks of significance to the otherwise beautiful surfaces. The quality of the paint is smooth and glossy with a vintage porcelain-like presence. The panel gaps and fit are excellent in all areas, opening and closing properly, particularly the doors, which shut with a distinctive and satisfying precision clasp along with the hood and engine lid which close with factory precision. The early 356 hood line “smile” encircles the front storage opening with uniformed symmetry, flanked by correct headlights and centred gold Porsche lettering. The tan canvas top and matching removable side curtains are in excellent condition and have only been used for static display since the restoration was completed. With the top folded down and stored, a handsome red tonneau cover finishes off the Speedster look. The windshield, double beehive taillights, gold Porsche 1600 emblems, and Speedster trim are all quintessentially Porsche and restored to a very high level of fit and finish. The gleaming domed chrome hubcaps fit perfectly to the correct stamped steel wheels, while the painted bumpers, Reutter coachwork badge, and Speedster script lettering complete the exterior with a sporting touch.
The interior is beautifully finished with proper materials including the correct German square weave carpeting and high-quality red leatherette expertly tailored over correct Speedster seats. The top of the dash, door panels, and cockpit perimeter are trimmed in matching material, delivering an engaging and purposeful presence to the cockpit. The instruments are gorgeous in color and finish, having been faithfully restored with correct green indication and properly finished needles, all of which are accented by a touch of ivory color on the gearshift knob and door handle escutcheons, exactly as originally specified. The elegant and simple dash is finished off with a beautifully finished Porsche factory steering wheel with polished aluminum spokes and a gleaming black, red, and gold Porsche center crest. Throughout the interior, all materials offer a unified appearance with excellent fit and finish, delivering a wonderfully composed presence to this fantastic Speedster.
The engine compartment has been faithfully restored using correct factory finishes, proper hardware and fittings, correct factory decals, hoses, wiring, and linkages. The engine is a correct early Porsche unit within a few hundred digits of the original engine. The engine is correctly finished including painted accessories and accurate factory labels for the engine components. A pair of K&N air filters are installed. The quality and cleanliness of the engine cannot be overstated in part due to just a handful of miles driven since the restoration was completed. The front storage compartment reveals the correct Speedster VIN number stamped in the structural support apron surrounded by factory correct finishes and beautifully executed trim, including a correct style spare wheel.
The underside of the car is yet another example of superlative restoration at the hands of Porsche experts. The underside is properly prepared with accurate factory type finishes, undercoating, and correct components prepared with modest material upgrades of factory applications performed to ensure longevity of the underside features.
Settling into the contoured Speedster seat, the engine kicks over immediately, warming to a smooth idle. With first gear engaged, the clutch operates with excellent travel and the synchros deliver smooth shifting, warm or cold, in all gears. The driving experience communicates all the pleasure and satisfaction that a properly restored 356 Speedster can achieve when building upon such an original car. The engine offers brisk, progressive acceleration without hesitation or misfire. Braking is effective in modern traffic with a firm, tall pedal, and symmetrical tracking even under more urgent application. This Porsche is accompanied by selected photos of the restoration, copies of detailed records documenting the restoration, a set of side curtains in a storage bag, and a red tonneau cover also with a storage bag.
Historically important, beautifully designed, and continuously sought after today, the iconic Porsche 356 Speedster remains as one of the most engaging sports cars ever built. This remarkable long-term owner Speedster is ready to drive, participate in Porsche club events, compete at concours shows with confidence and deliver continued years of Porsche excellence for its next fortunate owner.