1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera SpeedsterSOLD

1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera Speedster

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1957 Porsche 356 Carrera 1500 GS Speedster
- 1 of 77 4 cam GS Speedster's made in the model's 4 year production of 3676 Speedsters made
- Fitted with an ultra-rare (1 of 14 made) type 692/1 4 cam engine with a 10% power increase from the 547/1 to 110 PS at 6400 rpm
- Inspected prior to purchase by Rolf Sprenger of Porsche for the current owner
- Feature and cover star in November 1995 Classic and Sportscar article on the Porsche 356 Speedster 4 cam
Conceived at the behest of the Porsche US importer Max Hoffman at the time, the Porsche Speedster was actually an attempt by Porsche to provide the lucrative California market with a no-frills stripped-out roadster which could be sold for under $3000. The model came equipped with lightweight bucket seats and a low wrap around screen and instantly was a commercial success with 3676 examples sold over a 4 year period.
At around the same time as the roadster was conceived, the legendary 4 cam Fuhrmann engine was developed - ostensibly for competition use. This technical masterpiece - also known as the "vertical shaft" engine was developed by the former Porsche engineer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ernst Fuhrmann in 1952. The engine is characterised by two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank, controlled via shafts with angular gears – the eponymous vertical shafts – based on Fuhrmann’s ingenious design. The engine was essentially the springboard for Porsche success in competition and resulted in success at Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana against much larger engined competition - hence the subsequent adoption of the "Carrera" soubriquet for competition inspired models.
The union of the lightweight Speedster chassis and body with the Fuhrmann 4 cam engine became an option for road cars - admittedly at an additional 50% cost over a pushrod engined Speedster. Only a handful of wealthy enthusiasts pulled the trigger to order the ultimate Porsche of the period, although the end result was a highly successful competition car which could be used to cruise "Sunset Strip" after racing. In addidtion to the exhorbitant purchase price, the Carrera Speedster came with precise maintenance requirements which were at odds with the expertise universally available at the time, which sadly resulted in many of the 148 Speedster 4-cams being converted to simpler pushrod motivation.
Despite a much higher level of performance, the Porsche 356 A Carrera GS Speedsters are nearly identical in appearance to their less exotic pushrod-engined brethren. The differences merely amount to larger bore exhaust pipes, an 8,000 rpm rev counter, a couple of extra dashboard ignition control switches, wider wheels, and a slightly lower rear ride height and more obviously, the coveted gold "Carrera" script on their front wings and rear body panel.
Due to the high value of a genuine Carrera Speedster, ensuring the authenticity of an example offered for sale is of paramount importance.
Today any Speedster is a highly prized collector car, but a genuine 356 Carrera 1500 Speedster is a collector car of a different magnitude.
Details on this car - #83492
<img src="https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/E50AAOSwjDZYe5nX/s-l400.jpg" alt="magazine" width="290" height="400" align="left" border="2" />The car presents it's original and desirable colour scheme of Silver Metallic with black leatherette interior, anthracite carpets and hood in black cloth.
The car was built to "USA" export specification in 1957 and the Porsche Kardex supplied by Porsche Classic Department in 1992, addressed to Kienle corroborates this. A comprehensive 3 year (£135k) restoration by Kienle was undertaken between 1992 and 1995 and the build sheet was used as reference for the restoration work. The photos on file also show the car's good original condition prior to the restoration and there are photos and correspondence of the comprehensive restoration process.
Post restoration the car covered under 100 km in the hands of it's last know previous owner - during which time it was featured in the November 1995 edition as the cover car in Classic and Sportscar on an article on the "most desirable Porsche of all."
 
Prior to purchase in January 1998, #83492 was inspected at the current owner's request by Rolf Sprenger (architect of Sonderwunsch/Special Wishes) of Porsche, an acknowledged factory expert on these cars on the 27th December 1997.
His report is part of the car's comprehensive history file but can be summarised as follows:
Delivered from the factory on the 26th June 1957 to USA specification
The report confirmed that the car was in very good condition and all mechanical elements of the car, such as engine, transmission functioned correctly.
The car was noted to be original in all major respects and featured an additional oil cooling system at the front with an oil cooler on each side. This was not usual for the cars but was a notable improvement.
He noted that the original engine type 547/1 - 1500cc - 100 PS/6200 rpm had been replaced with a type 692/1 engine - 1500cc - 110 PS/6400 rpm.
The type 692/1 engine is a rare jewel and one of just 14 made. It was conceived as a refinement to the 547/1 engine in respect of changes instigated by Porsche technical manager Klaus von Rucker in 1958. Coupled with the twin oil cooler fitment this would suggest the engine was quite possibly replaced early in it's life. Due to the complexity and sophistication of these 4 cam Fuhrmann engines, many were simply replaced opposed to repaired when the engines required repairs, however it is unusual and fortunate that the 547/1 in this particular car was replaced by the ultra rare and more powerful 692/1 Fuhrmann 4 cam engine - which incidentally produces more or less the same power as the original engine in the legendary early 550 Spyder competition model.
The engine in #83492 was completely rebuilt by Karl Hloch in Schorndorf - the world renown Porche 356 Fuhrmann engine specialist - during the restoration by Kienle.
Since this car joined the current owner's significant car collection in 1998, it has been used sparingly, but has had no expense spared in maintenance and there are a number of bills on file to substantiate this.
The car is in superb condition and drives superbly. It comes with an original road exhaust for this model, as well as the less restrictive system currently fitted, which provides a noticeable power increase as well as vocal and sonorous voice for the legendary 4 cam engine.
Surviving Carrera Speedsters are always in great demand by knowledgeable Porsche collectors around the world. Fully restored examples infrequently come to market and this beautiful car, offered in its original paint and upholstery colour combination, presents a rare opportunity for the discerning enthusiast.
Along with a factory-issued Certificate of Authenticity, this car is supplied with a correct tool kit and jack and a comprehensive history file.

Reference Number 648960

as of 4/8/2021

Overview
Car 1957 Porsche 356 A Carrera Speedster
VIN 83492 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
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