2018 Shannons Melbourne Late Spring Classic Auction
Lot
82

1959 Porsche 356A Convertible D (LHD)

PASSED IN

Passed In

Specifications

Engine 1582cc four-cylinder
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Body Work Cabriolet
Colour Bright red
Interior Black
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel with hubcaps
Brakes Disc/drums

Description

This lot is no longer available

Built at the instigation of Porsche’s American distributor Max Hoffman, the original Speedster was a stripped down, open-topped version of the 356 and became very successful in North America as a dual-purpose sports car, proving popular with amateur race drivers competing in SCCA events. Thanks to unbreakable German mechanicals, minimal weight and great handling, the Speedster often beat more powerful opposition and enjoyed a long and successful competition career through the Fifties and beyond. In mechanical terms the Speedster was closely related to its fixed-head 356 counterparts and early (Pre-A) models were equipped with a 1500cc engine developing either 64 horsepower or 82 horsepower in Super guise with its roller bearing crankshaft. More exotic still was the four-cam Carrera motor, primarily used for racing and it proved as fragile as it was fast. Porsche introduced the revised 356A model at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1955, featuring many improvements to the body, trim and interior plus a new range of Type 616 1600cc pushrod engines. A further final revision took place in September 1957, with reworked (so-called T2) bodywork identified by the single ‘teardrop’ style rear lights. All Speedsters shared a shallow windscreen with a folding hood and side screens providing rather claustrophobic wet weather protection. The ‘D’ spec Convertible as here is a very rare car indeed and differs from a regular Speedster in having a slightly taller windscreen and wind-up windows, and it was only available in left-hand-drive. By the time Speedster production wound down in 1958, Porsche had built 2922 examples and they remain amongst the most collectible Porsches of all, with a cult following that shows no signs of waning. 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 special opportunity indeed.