Villa Erba

25 May 2013

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Lot 103

1955 Porsche 356 pre-A 1500 Speedster by Reutter

  • Chassis no. 80208

Sold for €190.400

70 bhp, 1,500 cc SOHC air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine with two Solex 40 carburettors, four-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,100 mm (82.7 in.)

  • Recently fully restored
  • Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
  • Copy of original Kardex warranty card
  • Ideal for vintage rallying and club events

Porsche’s immortal Speedster was born out of the vision of North American importer Max Hoffman, legendary for bringing open-top European sports cars to the burgeoning U.S. market. Based on the early America roadsters bodied by Erich Heuer’s Gläser Karosserie, the Speedster took shape with Hoffman’s realisation that a mid-market gap existed for a no-frills, race-ready convertible. Reutter smoothed over the America’s original bodywork to result in the famous high-waisted bathtub style, which eventually proved to be one of Porsche’s most celebrated designs of all time.

According to a copy of the original Kardex warranty card, this beautifully restored Speedster completed assembly on 14 January 1955, where it was finished in Signal Red paint and equipped with instruments in miles, sealed-beam headlamps, and a tonneau with zipper. Initially distributed to Hoffman’s famed New York City dealership, this Porsche more recently returned to Europe when purchased by the consignor, an enthusiast residing in Italy.

The owner soon commissioned a ground-up restoration that included a complete refurbishment of all mechanical and cosmetic components. The interior was reupholstered with tan cloth seats with red piping, whilst the proper Speedster steering wheel and dashboard were correctly refinished. The suspension and undercarriage were rebuilt and detailed, whilst all brightwork was fastidiously polished. Whilst the body was removed, it was taken down to bare metal prior to being painted in its stunning red finish. It should be noted that whilst this car’s original engine is no longer present, a period-correct 1500 Super engine has been installed, combining optimal authenticity with the 15 horsepower dividend afforded by the larger Solex carburettors.

Accompanied by a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, this wonderfully presented Speedster is sure to attract the fancy of any Zuffenhausen enthusiast. It is eminently suitable for both spirited open-air motoring at vintage events or for presentation at finer regional concours and club meets.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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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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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

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

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more