Lot Number
20
"The Lieutenant's Speedster"
1958 Porsche 356A Speedster


ESTIMATE: $375,000 - $475,000
CHASSIS NO: 84308
• Only one owner from new, never before offered for public sale
• Purchased new in Germany by USAF Lieutenant Robert G. Dewey
• Complete with incredible documentation from new
• Porsche Kardex and Certificate of Authenticity, original manual, toolkit, jack, date-coded spare
• Numbers matching body, engine, and gearbox

1,582 cc air-cooled, OHV horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, 70 HP (SAE), 60 HP (DIN) at 4,500 RPM, four-speed fully-synchronized manual gearbox, 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, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7"


From its mid-1950s launch, Porsche’s elemental and avant-garde Speedster captured the lucrative American sports-car market and it continues to reign as a true sporting icon today. While styling was outwardly consistent throughout its production run, beginning in 1954 and ending in 1959, Speedsters carry key variations in terms of styling and engineering. Most importantly, they include so many individual keys to their originality and authenticity that all too often go missing with the passage of time. To offer a true, one-owner example of what many agree to be the best year of Speedster production, is a true honor. The journey of the car and its owner, USAF Lt. Robert Dewey is well chronicled in an incredible file of documentation and correspondence between the owner and Porsche while he was stationed abroad.

Just 2,922 Porsche 356 Speedsters were built in total, including a mere 552 examples of the 356A produced in 1958 for the year. Quick, nimble, and above all fun, the Speedster’s simplicity, unique character, and stellar handling continue to make it an unqualified collector favorite today. Purchased new as a European Delivery example directly from Porsche’s legendary Zuffenhausen works in Stuttgart, this 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster was the last in a line of three Speedsters purchased new by young Robert G. “Bob” Dewey, a recently-minted Lieutenant in the United States Air Force stationed in Germany. All three of Mr. Dewey’s Speedsters – a 1955, 1956, and this particularly most desirable 1958 car – were all painted red and purchased via the Heilmeyer Porsche dealership in Munich. Numbered 84308 and nicknamed “The Red Raider II,” this Ruby Red Speedster was purchased shortly before the Lieutenant’s pending reassignment to the United States, again with the able assistance of Herr Heilmeyer. Despite the extremely tight timeframe, Lt. Dewey was able to have the Speedster special-ordered and equipped from the factory with 356A Coupe-type seats, which he preferred for their improved comfort, and a theft-resistant locking steering wheel. In early 1958, this Speedster and the 1956 car were shipped Stateside when Lt. Dewey and his wife, Nina, returned to the United States. Through multiple postings over the following decades with the USAF, this 1958 Speedster was a beloved member of Mr. Dewey’s family until his eventual passing in July 2016 at age 87.

The Speedster faithfully served as Mr. Dewey’s thrilling daily driver/commuter car for the two decades following its arrival Stateside. Until daughter Gail arrived in October 1958, it was the only car for the Dewey family, which already included their young son, Russ, who also enjoyed his parents’ “vroom vroom” car overseas. Through all of the Dewey family’s subsequent postings to USAF bases in New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, and finally back to New Jersey, the Speedster was their constant companion. In fact, as related within a wonderful article penned for the November/December 2009 edition of the 356 Registry magazine, Mr. Dewey wrote, “This car, the 'Raider,' and its predecessors, have brought me so MANY happy times for 53 years…and counting. It is my middle “child” – born after my son and before my daughter – a true member of the family.”

As Mr. Dewey neared his eventual retirement from the Air Force and a move to sunny Florida, he commissioned Porsche specialist Bruce Baker to perform a total restoration to “as new” condition, with the work completed to show-quality standards. Awards at shows and PCA (Porsche Club America) events followed, including well-deserved recognition as the only original owner who picked up their Speedster new at the factory in Germany at the 2004 Monterey, California “50th Anniversary of the Speedster” celebrations. While used and driven by Mr. Dewey as Porsche intended and later fully restored, this exceptionally desirable 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster retains its “born with,” matching numbers body, engine, and gearbox. Unlike so many other Speedsters on the market, the original details of 84308 extend to the proper “308” stamped body panels matching the last three digits of the Speedster’s identification number, all five wheels are correctly date-coded “7/57” units, and even the hubcaps are the original, date-coded “57” items. Of course, a toolkit and the roadside jack are included.

Documentation accompanying this wonderfully pure Speedster is simply incredible, all housed within a military-issued box for safekeeping, and complete with all vehicle records from new to the present, including the original deposit receipt, purchase order, bill of sale, contract and purchase paperwork, and 1957 “New Vehicle” registration issued through the United States Army for a privately-owned vehicle. The original owner’s documents are contained within their red paper folio from the factory, including the driver’s manual, service book, technical data pamphlet, Reutter Care of Automobile Bodies booklet, and Porsche Tests booklet. Other exciting items include insurance cards and documents related to the Speedster’s transport to the United States with premium for Marine and War Risks, and shipping paperwork from Germany to Massachusetts. Tax, title, registration, and insurance cards are present from 1958 onward, as are service invoices and parts correspondence from 1959 to the present. Other excellent items include newspaper articles and magazine publications featuring Bob Dewey and his Speedster, a Porsche Owner’s Club Troubleshooting guide, and a statement of facts and brief history of the car by none other than Bob Dewey.

Included is a large binder of documents of the entire restoration performed by Bruce Baker’s Auto Research Associates. Inside are found the contracts, correspondence, invoices, progress reports, photographs, payment receipts, and a breakdown of the parts used for the restoration. Another file contains wonderful memorabilia including the original German license plate as depicted in period photographs, vintage key sets, a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, the factory Kardex production record, a 1958 Christophorus (Porsche A.G. magazine) calendar, a Christophorus Special Edition 356B publication, Porsche Club of America membership application, and period USAA Auto Kit.

“The Lieutenant’s Speedster” is a pure and truly thrilling find in today’s market, having never before been offered for public sale. This car has everything that serious collectors yearn for; loving single ownership, care and maintenance, numbers matching engine, original gearbox, body number stamped panels, date coded wheels and hubcaps, original owner’s manual and toolkit and a very impressive dossier of documentation. In short, this wonderful 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster, a fascinating story, continues to stand for everything that is great in the vintage car hobby. Amongst all other Speedsters, this one is truly special.

1958 Porsche 356A Speedster
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