1954 Porsche SpeedsterSOLD
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Engine Type: 1500 c.c. 4-Cylinder
Color:Signal Red / Black Interior with Red Piping

Reference Number 293803

as of 7/22/2014

Overview
Car 1954 Porsche Speedster
VIN 80013 
Mileage 12,854 miles 
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Known History

 

1954 Porsche Speedster

s/n 80013

Signal Red with Black Interior and Red Piping

 

The Porsche Speedster is a legendary car with an interesting story. 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 MG’s. The resulting car had only what was necessary: a cut down windscreen, bucket seats, side curtains, 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.

 

Speedster production began in Autumn of 1954, based on the “pre-A” rather than the 356A like the vast majority of Speedsters built. The first 200 cars are markedly different from the remaining Speedsters because they were built on converted Cabriolets that were pulled from the production line by Porsche, rather than starting as Speedsters like later production cars. This was the result of Max Hoffman’s sense of urgency to get the cars onto the market and indeed, the initial shipments went exclusively to Max Hoffman and none were sold in Europe or anywhere else for that matter. Gradually as the first two hundred cars evolved, the details unique to the earliest cars disappeared. The early top configuration disappeared by car number 67, the early type seats changed around chassis number 122, the early type two piece case engine disappeared around chassis number 126, and many other changes gradually disappeared by the time the last Cabriolet-based Speedster was ready for final assembly on 30 December 1954. Thus, the earlier a Speedster, the more unusual features it has, and this car, chassis number 80013 is among the earliest Speedsters in existence.

 

This car is believed to be the fifth production Speedster completed, having been finished on the 8th of October 1954 immediately after serial number 80009 (the cars were completed out of sequence). It was in the first shipment of Speedsters, along with car numbers 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, and 17, all of which left the Porsche factory bound for Max Hoffman in New York on the 19th of October 1954. There were 8 red cars, one white, and the only silver 1954 Speedster made. Originally signal red, the car remained on the east coast for most of its early life, and was acquired by a long term owner in Maryland named Bryan Moore in 1968, who immediately painted the car Bahama Yellow, a contemporary Porsche color, and upholstered the seats in brown over the original black upholstery. He kept the car until 1989 and by the 1990s, the car was in Southern California and was sold to a Chuck Hammers. The car’s current owner purchased it in 2005 in intact condition and set about performing a comprehensive and exhaustively researched restoration that ultimately saw the car win a host of first place PCA concours awards including two first places at National PCA Porsche Parades in 2012 and 2014. The car has won first place every time it has been judged.

 

The restoration was exhaustively researched for correctness, particularly the tremendous number of unique details resulting from the car’s extremely early production number. The following list includes many but not all of the unique early Speedster characteristics present on this car:

-Built on a converted Cabriolet body, which has braces inside the rockers behind the front wheels, stepped sides of the inner fenders on either side of the rear seat, and low wheel arch openings on the rear wheel arches

-Early rounded front trunk handle

-Low bow convertible top with locating pins rather than screws below the rear window as well as leather retaining straps (straps replaced by normal latches around chassis number 67 in November 1954)

-Molded relief in rear valence for exhaust tips

-Pre-A undercarriage details such as riveting and front compartment vents

-Aluminum escutcheons around side curtain holes in the doors as well as snap for the curtains toward the back of the door rather than in the center

-Two-piece case engine which stopped being used around chassis number 132 with Stork capillary oil temperature sensor

-Early distributor cap with valve clearance plate

-One piece dash with no defroster vents

-Heater knob under dash rather than behind the shift lever

-Seats mounted on wood riser blocks instead of being hinged (hinged seats appear at chassis 122 in late November 1954)

-No front sway bar (appeared in November 1954)

 

Every aspect of the car was included in the restoration. Structural repairs were performed as required (floor pans and battery box), but the body panels were retained, and the body number stamps are present on both doors as well as the front and rear deck lids. The level of attention that went into the car, particularly the correctness of its presentation, is truly extraordinary. The car previously had an incorrect engine fitted and a correct two piece case motor was supplied by Pre-A specialist Tom Birch, which is unstamped. The restoration was completed in 2010 and the car went on to win the following awards:

 

2014 National PCA Porsche Parade, Monterey, California: First Place in the Concours d’Elegance Restoration Group and Winner of the prestigious Zuffenhausen award. (Score was 296.1 out of 300)

 

2012 National PCA Porsche Parade, Salt Lake City, Utah: Placed First in Class in the Concours d’Elegance Restoration Group and won the prestigious Zuffenhausen award; featured in the Historic Car Display. (Score was 297.1 out of 300)

 

2011 National 356 Registry West Coast Holiday: Concours d’Elegance Winner of Best in Show, and First Place in the Speedster Class.

 

2011 Invited participant in the very exclusive one-time-only international Porsche Race Car Classic, Quail Lodge, Carmel, California

 

2011 Season Zone 7 PCA Concours First Place Overall for C2 Class.

 

2011 Zone 7 PCA Golden Gate Region Concours d’Elegance, Carlsen Porsche, First Place.

 

2011 Zone 7 PCA Sacramento Valley Region Concours d’Elegance, Niello Porsche, First Place.

 

2011 Zone 7 PCA Yosemite Region Concours d’Elegance, First Place

 

2011 PCA Zone 7, Redwood Region, Concours d’Elegance, Ledson Winery and Vineyard, First Place

 

2011 California 356 Club annual Concours d’Elegance (North Meets South): First Place Speedster Class

 

Judging sheets are included, as is a Certificate of Authenticity and a copy of the factory Kardex. The car is of course in outstanding cosmetic condition. The body is extremely straight with excellent fit and panel operation. The paintwork was performed to the highest standards and is essentially unmarked, while the chrome and other brightwork are excellent. The car sits on correct 16 inch wheels, which are chromed and wear period Firestone bias ply tires, which give an authentic period presentation. The lights and glazing are also excellent, as is the weather equipment. The side curtains come with bag, and there is also a bag for the removable tonneau cover.

 

The interior presents equally strongly and is extremely difficult to fault. Aside from some hairline cracks in the horn button the interior is essentially in as new condition. The upholstery is excellent, as are the carpets. The detailing is superb and the dashboard, instruments, and controls are also in as new condition, if not better.

 

The engine compartment and trunk are also extremely well-presented. A correct 16” spare is in place and even the graduated wooden fuel stick (early cars have no fuel gauges) is present. The engine compartment is highly detailed and extremely clean, retaining the correct early features such as the distributor cap valve clearance plaque, side exiting distributor leads, Stork oil temperature sensor, and cursive script voltage regulator cover.

 

This is an unrepeatable opportunity to acquire one of the earliest Speedsters in existence. That alone makes it an irreplaceable car, but add to this its superlative correctness and exhaustively-researched award-winning restoration and the result is a truly historic car. As an extremely early Speedster, this car has a large number of unique details, each of which was extensively researched and painstakingly restored. Certainly the car’s PCA concours awards are a testament to this. In addition to the Kardex, CoA, and judging sheets, the car has a sheaf of correspondence, photos from the restoration, and period photos of the car before it was painted Bahama Yellow (prior to 1968), as well as photos of the car when it was yellow. It comes with correct early Speedster white tool bag with partial tool set, restored jack, as well as owner’s manual, side curtains with bag, and tonneau cover with bag.