Porsche 356 Speedster

In developing the 356, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche created the cornerstone of the Porsche empire and the patriarch of a race-winning model lineage. Production began in the late 1940s, and the first 50 cars were built almost entirely by hand. The 356 had an integral body and chassis utilizing unitary construction techniques. By 1955 it had developed into one of the world’s most respected sports cars, a remarkable feat when considering that Porsche had yet to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

The evolution of the Porsche 356 was swift, impelled not only by Porsche’s drive for technical improvement but also by the realities of commercial success. Sales outstripped even Porsche’s most optimistic sales forecasts, and with increased sales came opportunities to build more and more 356s in-house, as well as expand the model range.

Porsche family friend and sole importer Max Hoffman first introduced the Porsche 356 to the American market in 1952. The Speedster arrived two years later and owed its existence to Hoffman, who recognized the needs of a youthful, performance-minded Stateside market, particularly on the West Coast. Spartan in its appearance, it was devoid of luxurious outfitting, with a tiny top, small seats, side curtains and, of course, a chopped one-piece windshield. From the outset, it attracted the attention of the weekend warrior, amassing an enviable string of road-race victories and establishing a young, performance-oriented image for Porsche in the process.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in July of 2011 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.

1,488 cc overhead-valve horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel drum brakes. 82.7"

Source: RM Auctions

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