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    MONTEREY 2009 CONSIGNMENTS
    1956 Porsche 356 Speedster

    Consignment #: 4014 Sign In to View Price

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    In 1939, Ferdinand Porsche designed and built three Type 64 cars for a Berlin to Rome race that was never run. Not until after the war and a few years of needed rebuilding was the next Porsche built, a mid-engine tubular chassis 356 prototype called “No. 1”. This has led to some debate as to the “first” Porsche automobile, but the 356 is considered by Porsche to be its first production model. Its reputation as a lightweight and nimble handling rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 2-door sports car eased Porsche’s access to design innovations that would be continued during the years of its manufacture contributing to its motorsports success and popularity.

    The basic design of the 356 remained the same throughout its lifespan with a priority on functional improvements rather than more regular styling changes. Nevertheless, a variety of models in both coupe and cabriolet forms were produced from 1948 through 1965. Cabriolets were offered from the start, and in the early 1950’s sometimes comprised over 50% of total production. In 1955, with numerous small but significant changes, the 356A was introduced. Its internal factory designation, “Type 1”, gave rise to its nickname “T1” among enthusiasts. In early 1957 a second revision of the 356A was produced, known as Type 2 (or T2). In addition to fixed-roof examples, convertibles were offered from the start, and in the early 1950s sometimes comprised over 50 percent of total production.

    Perhaps due both to celebrity ownership and its iconic slipstream shape, the best-known convertible model is the 356 Speedster, introduced in late 1954 after Max Hoffman, the sole US importer of Porsches, advised the company that a lower-cost, open-top version could sell well in the American market. With its low, raked windshield (which could be removed for weekend racing), bucket seats and minimal folding top, the Speedster was an instant hit, especially in Southern California. Production of the Speedster peaked at 1,171 cars in 1957 and then began to decline. Replaced in late 1958 by the “Cabriolet D” model, the Speedster’s sleek grace was slightly lost by the new refinement of the original as it featured a taller, more practical windshield, glass side windows and more comfortable seats. Like the Speedster, less than 1300 Cabriolet D models were produced, and 1958 brought about the replacement of the D by the 356B “Roadster” convertible and the end of an era.

    Finished in silver over a black interior with a black cloth top, this beautiful 1956 356 Speedster remains in fabulous condition both inside and out. The exterior paint is in excellent condition, literally flawless with not a scratch on it. As a long-term western example, there isn’t, nor has there ever been absolutely any rust on the body or pan anywhere. Inside, the spartan interior has been as lovingly-restored as the exterior with leather upholstery, correct carpets, crisp and clear instrumentation and the correct Nardi steering wheel. Long-ago re-powered with the engine from a 1961 356B, the numbers do not match the Porsche Zertifikat; however the engine compartment is as beautifully-detailed as the rest of the car. Not only a pleasure to look at, this engine is in prime operating condition, does not leak and is in excellent running order. If you’ve been on the hunt for a very special Speedster in one of the finest color combinations ever offered by Porsche, you will be hard pressed to find another car as beautiful as this on the market.

    
    

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