2009 Melbourne International Motorshow Auction

1955 Porsche 356A Speedster (RHD)



Passed In


Engine Flat-4, 1582cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Speedster
Colour Silver
Interior Black
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

The original Porsche Speedster was a stripped down, roadster version of the 356 and became hugely successful in America, both as a road car and also for amateur race drivers competing in S.C.C.A. events. Built at the instigation of Porsche's American distributor Max Hoffman, the spartan Speedster went head to head with the best European sports cars of the day, from Alfa Romeo to the TR Triumphs. With dependable German mechanicals, minimal weight and great handling, the Speedster often beat much larger opposition and enjoyed a long and successful competition career through the Fifties and beyond. Mechanically the Speedster was closely related to its fixed-head 356 counterparts and remained in production from 1954 until 1958, with in excess of 4,100 sold in this period. Early (Pre-A) models were equipped with a 1500cc engine developing either 64 bhp or 82 bhp in Super guise, using a roller bearing crankshaft. In September 1955, the 356A was announced with larger 1600cc engines, again sold as the basic 70 bhp model or 88 bhp Super. More exotic still was the four-cam Carrera motor, primarily used for racing and it proved as fragile as it was fast. All Speedsters shared a shallow windscreen with a folding hood and side screens providing rather claustrophobic wet weather protection. Thanks in part to its association with glamorous film stars like James Dean and Steve McQueen, the 356 Speedster has always been a very desirable Porsche and examples rarely come on the market in Australia, making this a very rare opportunity indeed.