1957 Porsche 356A Speedster Garage Find!

1957-porsche-356a-speedster

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Porsche market lately. We’ve watched as prices have skyrocketed in the past couple years, but people have been speculating for a while that the bubble is going to burst (sooner rather than later). I think certain models are seeing a price drop, but Speedsters and specialty models are still going up in value. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at this ’57 Speedster that recently sold at an RM auction for $341,000! Hagerty values a number 3 at $256k, which is probably about where this car lands condition wise. It does have some interesting history though and was parked in a Dallas, Texas garage for 40 years.

1957-porsche-speedster

The story goes that a 26 year old Sam Fleming purchased this Porsche in 1967. Shortly after purchasing it he met the love of his life, Nely. At that time it was painted bright white, but a close friend showed him a ball point pen one day and suggested he paint the car the same bright orange color. He liked the idea so much that he kept the pen, which Nely still carries with her today, and had the car painted to match.

1957-porsche-speedster-interior

They used the Speedster for a few years, picking up a very desirable hardtop along the way. Eventually though, it ended up parked in their garage and slowly it accumulated dust.

1957-porsche-356

Some 40 years later, it was discovered by our friend Tom Cotter. Other than the dust and age, the car remains exactly the way it was when Sam parked it all those years ago. It’s a bit sad that his family decided to let it go, but it’s better that it go to a good home than to deteriorate in the garage. Plus, Nely will always have that pen to remember Sam and the Speedster!

1957-porsche-356-1600-engine

I truly hope this isn’t the last we hear or see of this Speedster. The new owner will have some tough decisions to make with it. Do they restore it back to factory original or leave it the way it is and make it a driver?

1957-porsche

Personally, I like the color and the story, so I would leave it as is. Of course, you could carefully remove the orange paint to reveal the original paint underneath. That option might add the most value to the car, given the current market interest in all original survivors! So do you think Porsche prices are going to drop soon? Was this auction driven by market demand or by the current interest in barn finds and survivors?

Source: RM Auctions

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Comments

  1. Dan

    I bet this is the pen. I still have the one I got in the sixties. http://www.jackbergsales.com/writing/parkerbigred.htm

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  2. Rick Matisak

    Here’s a video of Barn Find Hunter about finding this car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6H87vwwVBo

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  3. Gert-Dietmar Hajda

    Sorry
    I can t understand why people pay for such an ugly car so much. There is absolutely no real value. This car has no design, no power absolutey nothing. I m a German and I know in these years the Porsche 356 was about DM 850, 00 (Deutsche Mark) costlier as a Glas 1300 GT. As I was a young man ( 18 years) I bought the Glas 1300 GT and was very, very satisfied that s was the reason that i bought 4 years back another Glas 1300 GT (built by BMW) I paid about USD 25.000 for the Glas in near perfect condition and I msut laugh about the people that they such a ridiculous amoutn for this Porsche

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    • stillrunners

      agree….thanks for your view

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  4. Todd Zuercher

    Just had a lovely chat with Tom yesterday at the SEMA show. I have all his books – now I need to watch his shows.

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  5. PebblebeachJudge

    At $350’000 it’s cheap. Consider a 300 sl, 4 times the price. Consider any shelby. Original speedsters are legends, and any under 350’000 are great value, and outright fun.

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  6. Luki

    Was this car hit in the front? It has VW headlight assemblies and the front bumper looks like it’s from another car. Wrong Seats too I believe.

    Jerry Seinfeld paid over $500k last winter for an original paint “ratty one” and had an interesting battle with the “Porsche Experts” over his reasons for paying so much.

    Miles Collier of Collier County Florida fame who is quite an expert on such things basically said Seinfeld was nuts.

    I’m praying my ratty old 71 911 Targa gets this kind of attention some day. I’m not holding my breath though.

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    • Mike L

      It looks like the bumpers were never painted from the original white. Coupe seats were an option for comfort. I see Hella stamps on the headlight lenses which are correct. The bulbs in the headlong housings should not be there as the were blocked off in the 356

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  7. pebblebeachJudge

    Look at it this way. If you had sterling in June, it’s worth 22% less now. If you have Swiss francs, you pay 1/2 % to the holding bank. If you have euro , get ready for a total collapse once Italy and Spain are called to pay their EEC debt, and then forced to revalue the banks real estate holdings. Holding gold? Good luck collecting it . Art ? Down 23%. Opportunity abound now, classic cars are Trophies for successful men. Everyone wants a trophy when he’s a good boy . Call me nuts.

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      I guess I look at it another way.

      Yes some collector cars are better investments than gold, art, or stocks. But many of us care how a car drives. I’m sure you know that, but you do sound like a money man who thinks mainly, or perhaps only, in terms of originality and restoration quality as they affect valuations now and in the future.

      I can admire the cars that make it to the highest levels of competition at Pebble Beach because they really are works of art, but what I really value more is a car that you can drive often, and especially a car that goes down the road well.

      I guess we all have our favorites that we feel go down the road well, and lots of people might like the cool look and the cool history of the Speedster, and be happy paying $350K to $500K for one even if it’s ratty like Seinfeld’s recent purchase and this car.

      But lots of people also think that older Porsches like this one don’t really go down the road too well, or around corners, or stop well, or…..

      So as something to look cool in, Speedsters are terrific, but as a car they leave a lot to be desired.

      Count me in the group that thinks they look cool and that James Dean looks extra cool in one. But I sure would rather own 5 or 10 other cars that aren’t worth nearly as much as these old Speedsters but that go and handle real well, and have great engineering, and great build quality, great handling, a great engine…etc.

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  8. Gert-Dietmar Hajda

    a Porsche 356 is not a trophy for a succesful man. Sorry for my hard words but no real “thinking” succesful man would pay so much money just for a tinker toy. Recently I parked my Glas 1300 GT nearby a Porsche 356. The owner from gets real mad as noone takes notice for his 356. Funny???

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  9. Mark

    The current pricing trend for crusty old Porsches reminds me of the Dutch Tulip Mania in the 1600’s. But who am I to say how the wealthy should spend their money? Whatever toots your horn.

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  10. brakeservo

    What beautifully staged and composed photos – true works of art. I wonder how much time and effort went into constructing the set and setting up the lighting etc. for the photos. No way these pictures ‘just happened’ – a true pro and artist was at work to create the scene.

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  11. Olaf E

    I was thinking I was looking at a diarama, 1;48 or something like that.

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  12. Jack Quantrill

    This is madness for a heap like this! Better off getting a reproduction for much less.

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  13. pebblebeachJudge

    If you have an important car in your garage, you won. If you are still dreaming , it’s too late. If you haven’t had the money or the hindsight to own a trophy car – put on your pants and stop wasting time .

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    • Glen

      Got my pants on, still can’t afford a trophy!

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  14. Mark S

    The price on just about anything in the marketplace is based on supply and demand. Right know demand is high and supply is low and anyone that can afford to pay $350k for a rusty old car probably won’t miss the money when the bubble bursts. As for this car after watching barn find hunters this car seamed to be part of a legitimate story. I’d love to have it but that is never going to happen as my wallet is to embarrassed to show its self.

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  15. stillrunners

    PBJ…..yes that’s what we in the states will be feeding on in the coming years…..or what’s in the garage…..

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  16. PebblebeachJudge

    In 1988 I had an orginal 300Sl roadster in this precise condition. I bought it, just to make a profit. I paid $34’000. When I went to sell it, it was not easy at $39’000. Soon after that, within a year, the 300SL had gone to $45,000 and I remember everyone saying that the bubble was on us, and would burst sending all the chickens to say the sky was falling. In 1989 the bubble burst. It became harder to sell classic cars, but still possible. In 2001 I had a Ferrari 275 GTB shortnose, could not give it away for $160,000. By 2003 the bubble burst with plenty warning. In 2010 I sold my Gullwing, for a lousy $400’000. Today, all that money is gone and so much for warning about bubbles. If the car is in your garage, you are safe in the long haul. If your money is in the bank, it’s smoke much sooner than any bubble.

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    • hhaleblian

      I’m with you Pebble. I had a 275 GTB that struggled to $180 in 2003, Lightweight RS at $90k. Holding is better than Franklins in the bank at.02%. I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll hang on to my speedsters, cabs, and early 911’s.

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  17. Bruce Best

    I think that the price is too high not because of the rarity of the car but because the finest feature of these bathtub Porsches is they joy of driving them and when they get this expensive they are so seldom driven. That is truly tragic.

    As for the Glaz 1300 mentioned, Just a little less powerful an engine but just as much fun to drive. There is just something about the non Mercedes cars of this era when the designers and engineers hit a sweet spot for making a car fun. The Porsche is the better financial investment the Glaz perhaps the more fun because it will get driven more.

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    • Gert-Dietmar

      the Glas 1300 GT has more power as the Porsche 356 and especially at great heat outside the Porsche isn t reliable due its air cooling. I remember ages ago a Porsche driver made a “race” on the Autobahn (we had no speed limit on the Autobahn that time) at high temperature. After 20 minutes the engine from the Porsche got into “smoke” and must stopp. May the Porsche will be a better financial investment but its not worthy. The Glas uses the same part on the shift gear( the Knob) for this Part I have to pay (in new) about US$ 10 but a Porsche owner for the same part about US$ 110,00

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      • Trickie Dickie

        Hey Gert………stop with the supposed overheating problems with air cooled Porsches. I live in Central California, San Joaquin Valley, one of the hottest places in the US during the summer. Continuous 100 degree summer days on end are not unusual. I have owned a total of six air cooled Porsches since 1965 until now and have never had an overheating problem, even in our terrible heat. I have many local Porsche friends and have never heard of damage from overheating.

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  18. Dave Wright

    We had several Glas cars in and around my shop in Germany in the mid 70’s. They were attractive enough ( not very old yet) but always had a kit car feel about them. Nothing fit very well, bodies were weak and developed lots of cracks. Off course the BMW drivetrain was great but to where near the class or quality of any Porsche or Mercedes.

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  19. PebblebeachJudge

    The Glas cars were in the precise class as kits , assembled by a small manufacturer. They are still considered kit assemblies cars, low quality fit, and cars that never had a real culture. They are compared to the many cars built in Brazil, Mexico and basically cars that lost their way in the marketplace. They are not comparable to the Real Deal, a genuine classic, nor do they have any investment upside. They are are lumped into the classification as kit cars with glass bodies. They always will be what they are.

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  20. Gert-Dietmar Hajda

    Yes that s true that the Glas was assembled by a small manufacturer but the quality was much better than any other car built in USA. Also the engine fro the Glas uses at first a belt to drive the camshaft and was in some other technologie ahead to others.I have a BMW 2000 CS as well but this isn t better made as the Glas. I any way the Glas looks like top model (woman) and the Porsche like a old Farmer wife. LOL

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    • PebblebeachJudge

      Hang on Glass-Gert, much better than other USA cars? Who is talking about cars in the USA ? you are on the wrong page. We are on the Speedster Page, An original real German Car. Your top model is in the eye of only one beholder here. Try showing her with a paper bag over your head while the old farmers show off their prized pumpkins . LOLATU.

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  21. Gert-Dietmar

    Hi Trickie Dickie
    I was several times in California (Mountain View, etc) and I had a “practice” about driving in CA. This is absolutely different to Germany. Especially in the time from 1965 till in the late 90 there were no speedlimit on 90 % on our “Autobahn”. Buyers from cars like the Porsche 356 wanted to use the max. speed from this car and -sorry- this doesn t “work” on great hear in the summer time. Normally a car like this (convertible)
    should be use to cruise slowly to enjoy to drive. Hope you understand now what I mean

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  22. Trickie Dickie

    I repeat…………..In all the years I have owned Porsches, all air cooled, I have never once had an over heating problem living here in extremely hot summers. Nor have any of my many Porsche Club of America friends, also driving in our 100 plus hot summer days. No, I don’t understand what you mean or are intending to imply.

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    • Gert-Dietmar

      Tricky Dickie
      driving in US compared to driving is complety different. I had my expierence in CA some years ago. Even on highways was a limit of 60mph. The lowest speed limit here in Germany is 130 km/h (ca. 80 mph) on most parts on the Autobahn there is no speed limit. Therefor some cars have a electronic “blocker” at 250 km/h (160mph)
      A Porsch 356 last about 20 min when using max speed (outside temperature at 40 centigrade) hopefully you know now what I mean. Everybody can buy what s he wants, most people don t know what they get. Most of them buys it as an investment
      and therefore the prices gone up enormously with no real value behind. I bought my Glas 1300 GT and BMW 2000 CS just for fun not for an investment

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    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Having done both, I think there is no question that driving at 60 MPH on a US highway vs. wide open throttle for miles on end on the Autobahn are very different things.

      I can imagine that a 356 will live in the heat of the US West, but also believe that the same 356 will not tolerate long wide-open throttle runs on the German Autobahn. Two very different things.

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