1958 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster

Although Ferdinand Porsche founded his automotive design consultancy in the early 1930s, his name wasn’t associated with a car until 1949, when it adorned one of history’s greatest sports cars: the Porsche 356.

Following the original 356 coupé, a cabriolet quickly followed, and in 1952, 15 roadsters were crafted, spurred by US importer Max Hoffman’s vision for an affordable entry-level model. The roadsters’ success in the USA prompted the introduction of the Speedster in 1954.

The Speedster, distinguishable by its low, wraparound windscreen, retractable hood, and twin bucket seats, was positioned as a budget-friendly option against British sports cars. Initially powered by a 1.5-liter engine, it later received a 1.6-liter upgrade in the 1955 356A model. Priced at $2,995, it was the lightest 356, capable of exceeding 100mph, captivating the North American sports car racing scene.

Compared to its coupé counterpart, the Speedster offered superior comfort, performance, and fuel economy, earning accolades from publications like Road & Track and Motor Trend. With 4,822 units produced between 1954 and 1958, its blend of style, performance, and affordability cemented its place as an iconic variant of the 356 series, cherished by enthusiasts to this day.

Photos by Darin Schnabel courtesy of RM Sotheby’s