The Speedster's inspiration was credited to John von Neumann, Porsche's West Coast distributor, who had chopped down a Gmünd-built Coupe in the late 1940s to create a lightweight competition car. Explaining such a car's appeal Neumann once said: 'Guys want to go, on a Saturday night in June, down Sunset Boulevard with their elbow over the door and the girls can see them in the car.' Plus ça change ...
Instantly recognizable by virtue of its low, wraparound windscreen, its smaller and entirely retractable top, lower door waistline and twin bucket seats (all of which served to emphasize its sporting image), the Speedster was, in effect, an 'economy' model from Porsche intended to compete with the less-expensive British sports cars. The Speedster was powered initially by the 1.5-liter version of Porsche's horizontally opposed four, gaining the new 1.6-liter, 60bhp engine with the introduction of the improved 356A for 1955. Priced at $2,995, the Speedster was the lightest of the 356s, enjoying a commensurate performance boost that meant 100mph was possible. Combined with its renowned handling characteristics, the Speedster became an instant success in the burgeoning American sports car racing scene. Its combination of style, performance and value for money made the Speedster deservedly popular. Today the model, arguably the most handsome of the 356 variants, enjoys iconic status.
While examples of Porsche's legendary Speedster can be found from time to time, an example like this is very rare to come across. Boasting a no expense spared, nut and bolt restoration to the highest standards by 356-expert and PCA Concours Judge Tom Drummond III of Costa Mesa, CA, while finished in the car's original color of Aquamarine Blue and retaining the original, matching numbers engine and bodywork, this 356A 1600 Speedster stands out at the top.
If you want to read more about the Speedster up for auction at Amelia Island, go here: gaukmotors.co.uk/post/featured-auction---1957-porsche-356a-1600-speedster