SOLD 03/15

1955 Porsche
Pre-A 1500 Speedster

3-Owner California car with Hard Top, Tools, Fog Lamps, and Many Other Accessories. Much Mechanical Work by Ted Blake

  • VIN80866
  • Exterior ColorWhite
  • Interior ColorRed Vinyl
  • Mileage31298 Miles
  • Engine1500 c.c. Flat 4-Cyl
  • Engine no.P*60485*
  • Transmission4-Speed Manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ1711


1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Speedster
s/n 80866, engine number P-60485
White with Red interior

The Porsche Speedster is a legend among automobiles. Built with the less is more mentality, it was actually a case of removing equipment to reduce the cost of the car and compete with less expensive cars. Ironically, the cars are more collectible now and worth considerably more than their plusher counterparts. The car was built in direct response to requests for American Porsche distributor Max Hoffman for a car that would sell better in the United States and would be inexpensive enough to compete with Triumphs and MGs. The resulting car had only what was necessary: side curtains, a cut down windscreen, bucket seats, and a rudimentary top. The cars sold well, especially in the United States, and were popular among racers and enthusiasts. Certainly they occupy a unique place among American sports car culture, particularly California culture, where the car’s configuration and rudimentary weather equipment were and remain particularly appropriate.

This particular Speedster is an early production pre-A example with 3 California owners from new. Its current owner purchased it 15 years ago from a good friend who had owned it since 1965. The 1965 pink slip is still with the car, and that owner, reported that he purchased the car from its original owner. There is a thick file of old registration slips with the car, dating back to the mid 1960s.

The engine is a late 1955 three-piece case motor that is period correct but not original to the car. It has approximately 200 miles on a refresh, including valve job, and new piston rings. The clutch was also replaced, and the work was performed in mid 2014. The gearbox is a 519 unit that is believed to be original to the car, and was rebuilt with taller 3rd and 4th gear ratios (from a 356 Coupe) to improve the touring ability of the car. It was rebuilt in approximately 2002, when the car received significant mechanical work including rebuilt suspension, brakes, steering, and fuel systems. The car was repainted in its entirety in 2006, and the floors replaced not due to any corrosion but because they were dented over the years. The structural work and mechanical work were done by 356 expert Ted Blake. The car is equipped with desirable Glasspar hard top, which was restored inside and out, and the interior retrimmed. A set of Plexiglas side windows to go with the hard top is also included, as are the original unrestored side curtains.

Cosmetically, the car is an attractive driver level example. The body is solid and displays very good fit and gaps. The paintwork was done to high standards and is excellent overall with no significant flaws or damage. The chrome is very good overall, although there is light pitting in selected areas such as the headlight rings, as well as some light swirls in various other places. The glass and lights are in very good condition. The car is equipped with desirable Bosch yellow fog lamps, although one of them has a crack. The car sits on chromed 15-inch wheels although the painted original 16-inch wheels with bias ply tires are included.

The interior is in excellent shape. The upholstery shows light wear on the driver’s seat bolster, but the it is otherwise excellent including the dashboard and door panels. Door pockets have been added to the door panels, but were added in a way that is reversible without retrimming the door panels to permit a return to a more original specification should the new owner so desire. The car has correct square weave carpets which are in great physical condition although perhaps slightly faded. The correct rubber floor mats are in place, as are the early style instruments without chrome trim (including clever Stork temperature gauge) on the gauge faces. The steering wheel is excellent aside from some cracks on the horn button. The headliner of the hard top is in excellent condition.

The engine is extremely clean and well-detailed, to be expected of a powerplant that has been recently removed and refreshed. Its presentation is correct and crisp, including the decals on the fan shroud and oil filter housing, as well as the Knecht air filter housings. The engine compartment itself was not restored but is in good older condition. The condition of the trunk is similar. A correct rubber mat is in place, as is a matching 15 inch chromed spare. The fuel gauge (i.e. wooden rod) is also in place.

The car runs and drives well. Its carburetion is well dialed and provides good performance, particularly for a motor that has not been significantly reworked or hot-rodded. The brakes are effective and symmetrical in operation, and the gearbox shifts well with good synchromesh. The chassis and steering have an inimitable Porsche feel that is confidence inspiring and encourages the driver to drive in a spirited manner which defines this car as a genuine sports car.

The car is very complete and includes an exceptionally correct tool roll with tools. The car’s owner believes the bag is original, and the combination jack handle/lug wrench with functional hub cap removal tool (DP angem as is correct for an early production Speedster) is also present, along with Vigot jack. The Messko ballon tire pressure gauge with case is also present. The car also has its Continental branded spare generator belt, early hump back pliers, 4 spanners, and stubby screwdriver. Both hard and soft tops are included, as are Plexiglas side curtains for use with the hard top, and unrestored standard side curtains for use with the soft top, which has been restored. The 16-inch wheels are also included, as is a new tonneau cover and NLA reprinted Speedster driver’s manual. The car also comes with recent invoices.

This is an excellent opportunity to acquire an early production long term California Speedster finished in its original colors. It is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition and while not so crisp and perfect as to discourage its use, it is a very attractive example that is further distinguished by its Glasspar hard top and yellow fog lamps. It has been mechanically sorted and cosmetically freshened in recent years by its enthusiastic and knowledgeable owner, and is further distinguished by its extremely correct tool roll and various other accessories. It drives great and is eligible for a wide variety of prestigious events, for which it should be very suitable thanks to its hard top and taller 3rd and 4th gear ratios.

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.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608