This 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster is a Pristine Example of Classic Motoring
How did something so basic and unassuming as the Porsche 356 Speedster become one of the most iconic vehicles in history? Simple, first you win over the motorsport crowd, then the enthusiast crowd, then celebrities, and then everyone else in the world. It doesn't hurt that the 356 originated during the post WWII boom, an era that also saw the rise of the "jet set" lifestyle, the birth of cool, and a widespread appreciation for minimalism. The 356 Speedster owes its existence to a man who seemingly could see where culture was headed, especially in the United States, and more specifically, Southern California. RELATED: See More of the Iconic Porsche 356
In late 1954, Max Hoffman, the sole U.S. importer of Porsches, conceived the Speedster as a cheaper alternative to the Coupe and Cabriolet 356 models. As Hoffman's U.S. sales accounted for one-third of all 356s sold worldwide, Porsche had to listen to him.
The car would have a low cut windscreen that could be removed for racing, special gearing, lightened body and be stripped of all unnecessary weather equipment. It would appeal to the growing number of affluent folks who wanted a sporty car they could enjoy on weekend getaways, and those who wanted a platform to work with that was closer to the Porsche race cars they enjoyed watching in competition.
A few things make this particular 356 Speedster even more rare and interesting than the other 3,676 examples produced between 1955 and 1959. First off, it's a right-hand drive model. And in the four years of Speedster production, only 22 were built. Second, this car spent the majority of its life in Australia, where it would eventually receive a bare-metal restoration from one of the leading Porsche specialists in the world. It was then imported to the U.K. in 2012, where it currently resides awaiting its next custodian to step forward.
Since this car was built in late 1957, it was fitted with the 1.6-liter flat-four engine that came in the 1958 Speedsters vs the 1.5 liter engine found in earlier 1957 Speedsters. Even a rough and rusty 356 Speedster looks better than the majority of modern cars, but this example, finished in Aquamarine Blue paint over a finely tailored Tan leather interior, is ready to take center stage in a museum, or your garage—considering it's for sale on JD Classics.
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