• Impeccably restored and important postwar sports-car icon
• Late-production 356A Speedster in factory-specified colors
• Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and massive document binder
• Accompanied by half-tonneau, boot cover, side curtains and storage bag
1,582 cc OHV air-cooled, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with parallel trailing arms, transverse laminated torsion bars and anti-roll bar front, swing axles with transverse torsion bars rear, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes; wheelbase: 82.7"
Based on the Gläser-bodied 356 America roadster and retaining its ‘Type 540’ designation, the Reutter-built Porsche 356 Speedster debuted at New York in 1954. The Speedster was championed by New York Porsche distributor Max Hoffman, who perceived demand for a lower-price, no-frills Porsche for the U.S. market. Equipped with a removable windscreen, simple bucket seats, minimal instrumentation, a cut-down windscreen, plus a small top and side curtains, the lightweight Speedster was priced from $2,995. Late in 1955, the updated 356A arrived, with its larger 1,600 cc engine providing a welcome power boost. Just 2,922 Speedsters were built in total, including 552 produced for the 1958 model year. Quick, nimble, and above all fun, the Speedster’s simplicity, unique character, and stellar handling made it an unqualified object of desire.
Completed on February 17, 1958 and numbered 84518, this 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster was delivered new in Metallic Silver paint over black leatherette upholstery. Factory options included USA-specification bumpers, and sealed-beam headlights. Known provenance dates back to the Speedster’s purchase by Allen G. Sibley on August 8, 1968, followed by Jack Wells, who acquired the car on February 2, 1970. During Mr. Wells’ 39-year tenure, the Speedster was extensively prepped for autocross racing and used as such until 2007, when he had the Speedster restored to street configuration. He retained the Speedster until June 15, 2009, when he sold it to Ray Morgan of Georgia, who immediately began a total and documented restoration over the following two years at his company, Vintage Motorcar Restorations (VMR).
To say the restoration was complete and painstaking would be a severe understatement. Following total disassembly, the Speedster’s body was media blasted and the bare body shell was then primed with zinc chromate for rust protection. The doors were then re-hung and properly gapped on all sides, all body surfaces were smoothed and prepared for primer, and the hood and rear decklid were painstakingly fitted. Equal attention was paid to headlight fit in relation to the front fenders and the cowl contour. All body seams were sealed with 3M sealant, all bare-metal surfaces were phosphate-treated to repel corrosion, and the underside of the vehicle was completely coated with Wurth SKS Body Schutz and black undercoating. Following a final application of primer and block sanding, the exterior of the Speedster was brilliantly finished in two-stage Spies Hecker Silver Metallic paint.
Inside the cockpit, lightweight Spyder seat frames were reconditioned and professionally upholstered by Autos International of San Diego, California. The dash is fitted with a very useful complement of Carrera-type instruments. An original Nardi steering wheel provides directional control. German square-weave carpeting, black leatherette upholstery, a rakish tonneau cover, a Haartz cloth top, twin Marchal driving lamps, and a storage bag for the side curtains round out the Speedster’s outstanding visual presence. Modern 12-volt electrics provide heightened reliability and ease of operation along with disc brakes at all four corners for added performance and safety.
As offered, the Speedster’s panel fit and bodywork are outstanding, the distinctive trim is virtually flawless, and the paint beautifully heightens the Speedster’s lines. The engine bay and front luggage compartment are equally impressive. Ownership history is confirmed and documented with state vehicle registrations back to the late 1960s and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity confirms original details including the factory-specified Metallic Silver paint and black leatherette upholstery. Limited post-restoration mileage ensures the Speedster’s good running order. Desirable items accompanying the Speedster’s sale include the original books, jack, the aforementioned Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, and an impressive document binder. Painstakingly restored and beautifully presented, this incredibly desirable 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster is simply an outstanding example of a true postwar sporting icon.
1958 Porsche 356A Speedster
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