Monterey

17 - 18 August 2012

Lot 227

1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster by Karosseriewerk Reutter

To be auctioned on Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sold for $242,000

  • Chassis no. 82666
  • Engine no. 63133
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


75 hp, 1,582 cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine, twin carburetors, parallel trailing arms, front suspension with laminated torsion bars, rear swing axles with transverse torsion bars, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7"

Titles as 1957.

• Matching-numbers car verified by Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
• Owned by a Porsche factory mechanic since 1967
• Full rotisserie restoration

Americans can thank importer Max Hoffman for the Porsche Speedster. The New York dealer brought 15 special roadsters to the U.S. in 1954, and seeking a competitive price point, he ordered them with bare-bones equipment. The gamble paid off, and the simple Speedster captured the public’s imagination.

The 356 was designed by Ferry Porsche back in 1948, using the Volkswagen platform designed by his father. Lightweight and simple, it was instantly competitive, from hill climbs to long-distance rallying. A Works car won the 1,100 cc class at Le Mans in 1951, and in so doing, it set a pattern that would continue for 60 years, with Porsche producing some of the greatest race cars of the 20th century.

The Speedster took off in the U.S. with 4,243 finding enthusiastic buyers between 1955 and 1959, when the Reutter-bodied roadster was replaced by the more sophisticated Convertible D. This boasted a taller windshield, windup windows, and a respectable top, but it didn’t have the same magic.

The Speedster was simple, and its light weight made it more fun to drive than the Cabriolet. The windshield was cut down and the top curved, and an aluminum side spear made the car appear even lower. Tiny side screens replaced roll-up windows, and the top was minimal. The dashboard was made lighter with revised gauges, a padded lip, and no glove box. Seats were lower and non-reclining.

The car offered today was manufactured on October 15, 1956 and was one of 850 Speedsters sold in the U.S. that year, being delivered to Max Hoffman in New York, as confirmed by the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. It was sold by Porsche Import Cars in Chicago to a buyer who purchased it for his son. Unfortunately, the son destroyed the transmission, which was removed and some years later delivered to the dealership for an estimate of the cost of a rebuild. The mechanic who disassembled the transmission in 1967 is the car’s present owner. Originally a Porsche factory R&D mechanic, he was brought from Switzerland to work especially on the Carrera four-cam race cars belonging to Porsche Import owner Oliver Schmidt.

The estimate for the transmission rebuild was too much for the owner, who asked the mechanic, “Do you want to buy the car?” Once repaired, the Speedster became the present owner’s weekend car, as he moved to California and continued to work on Porsches. “Nobody restored cars in those days,” he recalled. “I got it running and fixed it up.”

The pressure of customer work always took precedence, but in 1998, the seller eventually began an unhurried restoration of the Speedster. He elected to strip the Porsche to bare metal and completely rebuild his car in every possible regard. His rotisserie restoration was fully documented and photographed, down to pictures of the bare-metal tub on the back of his VW transporter. Porsche enthusiasts will agree that the end result is spectacularly correct. The detailed provenance and unique proven expertise of the restorer ensures that this car is the equal of any Speedster.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more