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Friday, August 20, 2010

1955 Porsche 356 Speedster


Registration no: EU taxes paid Chassis no: 81013 Price: Refer Department Although Ferdinand Porsche did not commence building cars until 1948, his engineering pedigree was well established with designs ranging from the awesome Auto Union V16 Grand Prix car to the Tiger tank. After World War Two, however, and fresh from serving a two year prison sentence as a result, Porsche decided in 1947 to build his own sports car. Given project number 356, by August 1948 the first production model had been completed. With aluminium fastback coachwork, pressed steel chassis and the engine behind the rear axle, manufacture began late in 1948 and the 356 debuted at the 1949 Geneva Show. Power came from a 40bhp, 1,086cc engine mated to a four speed gearbox, with independent torsion bar/trailing arm suspension and drum brakes all round. Allied to 87mph and 0-60mph in 17 seconds was excellent fuel economy due to good aerodynamics and low weight. In 1951 - the year of the first of Porsche's many Le Mans entries, finishing 20th overall - 1,290 cc and 1,488 cc engines were introduced. The following year came an all-synchromesh gearbox and one-piece windscreen. By 1954, however, Porsche sales in America were suffering from the onslaught of MG, Austin Healey and Triumph, whose cars provided as much exhilaration for a lot less money. It was thus that coachbuilder Reutter penned a minimal shell based on the convertible 356, with low wrap-around windscreen, reduced frontal area and height, removable side screens, a lightweight hood and more basic interior. Selling at a competitive $2,995, and available with either 55 or 70bhp 1,488cc engine, the 100/ll0mph Speedster proved popular on road and track - weighing 150lb less than a standard 356, it was also quicker and in 1955 a Speedster won the SCCA's 1,500cc class; indeed, actor James Dean raced one. The same year saw the introduction of the 356A with 1,290cc or 1,582cc engines, the latter producing 60bhp/75bhp. Chassis number 81013 was previously owned by well-known Porsche enthusiast James E. Schrager; author of `Buying, Driving and Enjoying the Porsche 356’ as well as numerous articles on classic Porsches for various classic car magazines. Finished in stunning black with brown leather upholstery, it is described by the vendor as being in very good condition, with particularly excellent paintwork and interior trim, and states that "This car really looks fabulous, it runs well and drives at it should”. Included with the car is a file of recent bills detailing works carried out on the car at considerable expense. Stated to retain its original Type 616/1 1600cc `Normal' engine, this stunning Speedster is offered for sale with a Porsche dating certificate, the aforementioned bills and an MOT certificate valid until November 2010.


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