Exquisitely Restored Example Benefiting from over 50 years of California Single Ownership. Many Concours First Place Awards, and Offered with Tools and Weather Equipment.
1957 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster
s/n 83020, engine no. P*716140*
Silver with Black Interior
After more than seven decades, Porsche enthusiasts throughout the world continue to restore, show and drive some of the greatest sports cars ever built. Although their humble and cost-conscious beginnings were instrumental in building their cars with an uncompromised level of motorsports development and production engineering, Porsche has always built cars with the highest level of quality and excellence. Built to race and raced to win, by the early 1950’s Porsche cars were making their mark in America when distributor Max Hoffman asked Porsche to develop a sports car that could compete against lower priced Triumphs and MGs. Porsche responded with a car that exhibited essential performance traits, sparse features, and unprecedented reliability. The result was the now iconic Porsche 356 Speedster; a name now synonymous with performance and excitement. The Speedster was uniquely outfitted with a lowered windscreen, no side glass, minimal trim, and performance components, all of which culminated in a delightful package, delivering surprisingly strong sales, particularly in the United States, where year after year, Speedsters won the hearts of racers and enthusiasts alike. Today the remarkable 356 Speedster still holds a leading position as a premiere vintage Porsche, not only amongst enthusiasts but frequently cited by historians, designers, and motorsports journalists as one of the most influential sports cars of twentieth century.
Originally offered with the 1.5 liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, by 1955 the 356 featured the 1.6 liter engine, now capable of achieving 100mph when outfitted with the 75hp “Super” engine. With production of approximately 3,762 Speedsters built from 1956-1958, many of these cars have succumbed to the ravages of time, making fine examples of exceptional quality all the more elusive in today’s market.
This 356A 1600 Super Speedster exhibits all the wonderful features and iconic charm that lured so many enthusiasts when offered new in 1957. Having been originally delivered in white, the car was comprehensively restored in the 1980s by Porsche factory trained specialist Wolfgang Reif. A native of Germany, Reif emigrated in the 1960s to Hayward, CA where he established and ran “German Competition Motors” for 44 years. Known by many Porsche enthusiasts as one of the finest service experts, Reif serviced this car for many years before purchasing it from the owner in 1967, remarkably retaining it as his personal car for 50 years. At the time of his purchase, the car had logged just over 40,000 miles. At that time, Reif believed these to be the original miles as the car was only ten years old when he purchased it. The previous owner had painted the car green, but it was otherwise in very good condition, retaining all the original body panels due to the temperate California climate. Under the care of the previous owner, the car was stolen but fortunately recovered, albeit without the original engine. A later series 356 1600 engine was installed and an improved later series 356 741/2 transmission with 12 bolt ring gear with specifically selected gear ratios 1st – 11:34, 2nd – 17:30, 3rd – 23:26, and 4th – 27:33 was also installed. By the 1980s, Reif decided to restore the car from the ground up to the highest concours standards, with the goal of winning top honors at Porsche events.
During its 35-year show history this Porsche Speedster has garnered approximately 30 1st Place finishes at Porsche concours events spanning 1983-2016 consistently posting perfect scores against a field of highly qualified competitors. This Speedster has not only proven to be a top-level performer in the years since it was completed, it has continued to win events through the 1990s and 2000s, still bringing in first place honors from 2013-2016. Judging sheets included with the car indicate multiple perfect scores from PCA Zone 7 Concours d’Elegance events with notations commenting on the exceptional detailing of this truly beautifully restored car. Among the many original features, the car retains all the original factory steel body panels, original factory glass, and the original factory cardboard battery cover, which is still in place.
Today this beautiful Porsche shows just over 46,000 miles, which are believed to be original. The gorgeous silver metallic paint has only modestly mellowed since the restoration was completed, still giving a fantastic luster to the iconic 356 body lines. The finish is glossy throughout with no marks of significance to the otherwise beautiful surface. The quality of the paint is very nice, smooth, properly applied with the right blend of metallic flake, and consistent detailing. The panel gaps and fit are excellent in all areas, opening and closing properly, particularly the doors, which shut with a distinctive and satisfying precision clasp along with the hood and engine lid which close with factory precision. The hood line delivers that distinctive early 356 “smile” encircling the opening with uniformed symmetry, flanked by the headlights and Porsche stone guards echoing the competition origins behind these cars. The black canvas top and matching removable side curtains are in excellent condition and have been carefully stowed when not in use. The top latches tightly in place and the side panels are easily installed, snapping into position should the driver encounter inclement weather. Even with the top up, the Speedster delivers a sporting look, hunkered down for action – a look that few sports cars can pull off with the top up. With the top folded down and stored, a handsome black tonneau cover finishes off the Speedster look. The original stamped glass and windshield, double beehive taillights, emblems, and trim are all quintessentially Porsche and restored to a very high level of fit and finish, further supporting the high-quality restoration and consummate care given to this car over the many years. The gleaming domed chrome hubcaps fit perfectly to the 1957-1961 date stamped wheels, while the painted bumpers, Reutter coachwork badge, and gold-toned 1600 Super and Speedster script lettering complete the exterior with a touch of sporting elegance.
The interior is beautifully finished with correct materials including proper weave carpeting and high-quality black material expertly tailored over correct Speedster seats. The top of the dash, door panels, and cockpit perimeter are trimmed in matching black, delivering an engaging and purposeful presence to the cockpit. The instruments are gorgeous in color and finish, having been faithfully restored with correct green indication and properly finished needles, all of which are accented by a touch of ivory color on the gearshift knob and door handle escutcheons, exactly as originally specified. The elegant and simple dash is finished off with a beautifully finished Porsche factory steering wheel with polished aluminum spokes and a gleaming black, red, and gold Porsche center crest. The correct black pile carpet shows only minor use in the foot well and just light evidence of age. Throughout the interior, all materials offer a unified appearance, excellent fit and finish, delivering a wonderfully composed presence to this fantastic Speedster.
The engine compartment has been faithfully restored using absolutely correct factory finishes, proper hardware and fittings, correct factory decals, hoses, wiring, and linkages. The engine has been properly finished including the correct alloy engine casting luster, factory specified and correctly painted components, and accurate factory labels for the engine components. The quality and cleanliness of the engine cannot be overstated. Once again, all the more remarkable, yet understandable given the many years of care from the dedicated long-term owner and trained Porsche factory technician. The front storage compartment reveals the correct Speedster VIN number stamped in the structural support apron surrounded by factory correct finishes and beautifully executed trim, including a correct spare tire and date coded rim. The underside of the car is yet another example of superlative restoration at the hands of a Porsche expert. The entire front portion of the floor is original including the original battery box. A section of the rear pan was replaced by a German body specialist who executed the welding and finish to a very high level. The underside is properly prepared with accurate factory type finishes using correct components with modest material upgrades of factory applications performed to ensure longevity of the underside features.
Settling into the contoured Speedster seat, the controls are naturally at hand, foot pedals in a comfortable position, and instruments easy to read. The engine kicks over immediately and settles into a smooth idle, warming gradually to operating temperatures. With first gear engaged, the clutch operates with excellent travel and the synchros deliver smooth shifting, warm or cold, in all gears. The car drives beautifully under a range of conditions with excellent feel and composure in handling and overall ride quality, especially with the specially selected gear ratios paired with the Super engine. The driving experience communicates all the pleasure and satisfaction that a properly restored 356 Speedster is capable of achieving when building upon such an original and sound car. The 1600 engine offers brisk, progressive acceleration without hesitation or misfire, delivering a driving experience that validates the many accolades history has offered for these wonderful cars. Braking is very capable in modern traffic with a firm, tall pedal and symmetrical tracking even under more urgent application. This wonderful Speedster comes with multiple concours trophies and plaques (shown in the photo gallery), several judging sheets showing perfect scoring at Porsche sanctioned events, a concours condition tool kit (including the rare tire gauge), concours condition jack and tire tools, front license plate, Porsche branded fire extinguisher, and a storage bag for the side curtains.
Historically important, beautifully designed, and continuously sought after today, the iconic Porsche 356 Speedster still remains one of the most engaging sports cars of the modern era. This remarkable long-term owner 1600 Super coupled with an astonishing history of 1st place concours wins is ready to compete in future shows surely at the top of its class. With its quintessential body design, stunning restoration, and known history, this Speedster is ready to deliver decades of continued Porsche excellence for its next fortunate owner.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608