Two-Owner Project – 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster

1955 Porsche 356 SpeedsterMarrying into money has got to be pretty nice, but marrying into an original Porsche Speedster isn’t so bad, either. That’s just what the seller of this car, located in Kila, Montana, has done, and even if the car is a bit of a mess, he’ll still be getting plenty of dough out of the situation. His wife’s father first got the car from the original owner in the early 1960s. Somewhere along the way a 1600 from a 1959 356 was mated to the original transmission, and both were completely rebuilt in 2004. As far as the most obvious issues other than the lack of an original motor are missing headlights, bumpers, and convertible top, along with some dents and bondo in the body. It’s not the ideal project, then, but even from the grainy pictures it looks like a fairly straight example. Besides, it’s a legitimate Speedster. Everybody and their mother want one of those.

The Speedster was conceived as an effort to keep costs down. U.S. importer Max Hoffman, like most, knew that the American market was the most important for postwar sports car manufacturers, and while Porsche‚Äôs 356 was a popular car on both road and track, it was also expensive. Purchase price was usually around $4,000, which put the tiny 356 with its Beetle DNA in the same territory as the bigger, sleeker, more powerful Jaguar XK120. Hoffman suggested to Porsche as early as 1950 that they needed a model priced to compete with the British roadsters that dominated the sports car market in the States. In 1954, Stuttgart finally came up with what Max Hoffman and, presumably, American motorists wanted. The new Speedster was essentially a reworked 356 Cabriolet with a lower raked windscreen that could be removed for racing, bucket seats, a basic folding top, and side curtains in place of roll up windows. A spartan interior and clever use of optional extras kept the base price at around $3,000. The Speedster remained the cheapest car in the Porsche lineup until it was replaced in 1958 by the Convertible D.

We don’t have to tell you about the magic of the “P word”. Interest in Porsches among collectors has always been high, but it’s gotten even crazier over the last couple of years and 356’s are definitely coveted, Speedsters even more so. This car won’t be sitting for long, and even if the seller’s reserve is ambitiously high, it won’t be a surprise to see him get it without issue, as bidders already seem to be going at it with the enthusiasm that a barn find Porsche seems to inspire.

Check out the 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster here on eBay, where the reserve is not yet met at $85,500.

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