Barn Fresh 1958 Porsche Speedster!

This 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster is selling at no reserve on Saturday, October 5. Said to be an impressive survivor with a wonderfully patina’d exterior, it’s one of the few that hasn’t been put into a museum or undergone full restoration. The final price tag will likely be eye-watering, so check it out here on Worldwide Auctioneers’ website to imagine for a moment what it’s like to find one of these sitting in the barn.

The Speedster is said to be a well-documented car that is now in basic running/driving/stopping condition. The body presents as being scruffy, but also charming in a way that only unrestored cars can pull off. One would hope that a Speedster this honest would never be restored, but it is doubtful that this example will remain a weather-beaten driver after its sale on the fifth.

The interior may be missing a door panel, but it still has the iconic Speedster sport seats installed. The seller notes that the car is very complete and is particularly desirable for being a one-year-only “T2” body style. Given how rare a Speedster is in broad terms, one with a body style more coveted by enthusiasts is likely to push bidding even higher than normal. The Speedster is accompanied by its Kardex.

The 1600 engine is the numbers matching unit, which is sure to blow the minds of many enthusiasts, given how frequently 356s of this vintage had their engines swapped out in the 60s and 70s. The Speedster, with its low-cut windshield and no roof, looks like a race car standing still, and hasn’t lost a shred of its iconic image. Expect to see an impressive final hammer price for this survivor Speedster.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I don’t see “red lead” on the Kardex, Jeff, and wonder what it’s covering….

    No doubt this will sell for a large pile of dollars, after which the new owner will spend an equal (if not larger) pile getting it all shiny and new again. From what I’ve seen, those in Porsche World aren’t all that excited about “survivors,” and care even less for “patina.” Except, that is, if said Porsche has some special race history in its past.

    I find it rather sad that someone like me — only with a lot more folding money — couldn’t acquire this, go through it and have a fun driver. Every time I see a Porsche or similar sports car in a collection, I feel a bit unhappy that it’s not out there being used. Given its relative rarity, I’m pretty certain this car’s days of being flogged over a twisty road are over.

    16
    • Poncho

      You are incorrect on the survivor value…A friend’s father had an original 356 super speedster survivor, white with red leather interior he bout in the 60’s or 70’s from the original owner. He drove it occasionally and kept it in a climate controlled garage all those years. He kept it clean and massaged oils into the leather every year. Car was sold at auction in Atlanta last year at the 70th anniversary Porsche event there. They got over $400k. Car was a very well preserved survivor with show badges on the grill, original tool kit, luggage rack, and vintage ski’s on it. Perhaps it was a unicorn to start with. I don’t know enough about the rarity to say, but do remember seeing the car in person and it was in great shape. Not to be confused with a ‘project’ yanked out of the weeds from a 30 year yard nap and then ask the question can it be restored when you can see through the floor and the frame is ready to fold in half.

      1
  2. PDXBryan

    I love old Porsches, have for most of my life. There’s something wonderful about the way they combined speed and simplicity. Now that they are so outlandishly expensive, the whole thing seems twisted and out of whack so they’ve lost their attraction, even if I had the money. A nice replica seems way more appropriate in every way. Just let the money heads play their games, I’d rather drive.

    10
    • RayT Member

      Some years ago, I got to drive a Porsche 550. A real one, complete with more “patina” than anyone would have expected until they knew its first owner was a pretty well-known racer.

      I’ve driven Beck Spyders, too. Guess which was most fun in a real-world, let’s-try-to-hang-the-tail-out way?

      5
    • Kurt

      Parts for replicas are very reasonable as well, being VW.

      2
  3. Steve R

    The top picture looks like something you would see on the cover of The Rodders Journal.

    Steve R

    3
  4. Will Fox

    The rate of “barnfind” Porsche 356 models being “suddenly” found passed ‘amazing’ about 4 finds ago. Now it’s getting a little suspicious. Also, a little boring.
    You watch……someone will peel back a creaky barn door outside of Hackensack, NJ in about a month & “suddenly” discover a `48 Porsche coupe that turns out to be like the third production unit built. It’s just a matter of time………..

    4
  5. Had Two

    Had both a 356 Speedster and a 356 Coupe, same time.
    Both were 356 “S” models, the 75 h.p versions.
    The Coupe was and is a touring car, great for trips.
    The Speedster was a short trip, 20 miles or so, fun car.
    Didn’t keep both. Opted for the adventure long trips provided.
    In hindsight, should’ve kept the Speedster because of their
    values now. But then, the memories of those road trips
    are priceless.

    11
  6. bobhess Member

    Had Two…. Had 16 of them over the years in various forms. From ’69 to ’77 they were our basic transportation. In the Air Force at the time and even took our ’65 C coupe to Norway with us. Toured Europe in it and even had the factory put in a new engine (that we didn’t need but couldn’t resist) for the hefty cost of $1,800. Car was fun, the people who owned them were fun, and the factory was fun. Not a lot of that going on any more but as you say, “the memories were priceless”.

    9
    • OhU8one2

      With Speedster’s, less is more. Less weight and more go fast. Less options and features, more money. Love these car’s, but prices will never come to reality. At least not in my lifetime.

      1
  7. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Ouch ! Looks rough & put together. Where’d all the original stuff go & what about all that shiny clean stuff sprinkled around the big money missing ? & what about that rust colored primer, barf. I counted 5x mentioning collectors gotta haveability value. Come one come all. Rather have an America, no maybe a 904. Make it a 910. Berg Spyder. 2nd thought just a 356 with factory sunroof & bench seat AND a gas heater. Scratch all that I’ll take an original 4 cam sitting in pieces on my living room floor. Yep, that’ll do.

    1
  8. Smokey Member

    Guess I will have to stop reading Barn Finds. When Porsche stories like this appear it only reminds me how terrible I feel. In early 1960 I bought a perfect flawless 1955 red Porsche Super Speedster, with a factory installed roller crank, for $2500. It had less than 10,000 miles on it. It was also fitted with a custom Abarth muffler which made it sound wonderful, especially in the higher revs. A few years later I tried to sell it in order to get a new 1964 Porsche SC coupe. It was advertised in three large California newspapers and I didn’t get one call. Finally sold it to a local high school kid for $1500. I lost track of it. From the coupe I move on to a 1968 912 Targa, and then thru the years a succession of 911’s. But I will never forget that Speedster. If I still had it, I could haven sold it and bought Greenland.

    14
  9. Gaspumpchas

    RayT you make a great point. one of my pet peeves is that these cars have gotten so expensive the average Joe who has worked all his life supporting his family, can’t afford a project like this.I consider myself lucky to have 3 cars in my collection, and they have the distinction of the fact that they aren’t and never will be worth anything. I love ’em! 65 falcon conv, 64 ford f-100 short bed,,and a 390 powered 57 ranchero. Good luck to you, Ray and I hope you find a project!
    cheers
    GPC

    5
  10. TimM

    I’m really never going to play in the game of Porsche!!! It’s like the monopoly game can’t pay the price when you land on Park Place or Boardwalk with a hotel so you just try to avoid it!! I would love to have one of these and drive it and work on it as I go but there just to high priced!!!

    1
    • Alan Brase

      I’m seeing a few decent restorable B and C coupes out there at $12-25k. If I found one that only needed moderate rust repair and had most of its glass and interior, that would be a pretty good deal. I could be perfectly happy with a 75hp Super or even a 60 hp Normal for that matter. I’ve been to the 356 Registry events and some owners of late coupes are the happiest people in the world. Open cars are a lot more money.
      BTW, done right, they are VERY reliable. and NO, not so close to a beetle. Like saying a 54 Corvette is just like a 54 Bel Air. (Same block and head- not so similar cars)

      2
      • Had Two

        Porsche improved the transmissions on the later 356’s too.
        Early ones kind of notchy, yes, like the VW Bugs. Later
        ones were smoother, and the gearing was superb. The
        taller high gear would get one to 117 mph.

        2
    • DonC

      Hey TimM! Don’t give up on owning a Porsche. Set your budget and start looking for reputable dealers, etc. I’m sorry, I’m sure you know how to buy a car! Anyway, like so many cars, it’s almost ALL about the maintenance records. I bought a beautiful 2002 911 Cabriolet in 2011 with 60,000 miles on it, Awesome condition. $30,000. Still own it, couldn’t be happier. In that budget range you can buy all types of cars AND plenty of Porsche’s. Good luck!

  11. canadainmarkseh Member

    Hi priced glorified beetle.

    6
    • DonC

      Yep….and a Corvette is just a hyped up Buick right (both GM)
      And a Ferrari is just a high priced Fiat, right?

      Sorry, every time I read someone call a Porsche a VW, it’s just plain stupid and shows that the author knows nothing of the history or synergy with separation of the two brands.

      2
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Incorrect Don c I’ve read two books on the history of Porsche and VW and when it comes to the 356 they use vertically the same engine floor pan and suspension. They were conceived by the same man. They were however built in separate factories. After the war the British took over VW where as Porsche was retained by the Porsche family and didn’t start producing cars until Ferdinand and his son were released from prison after a period of detention. But Ferdinand still had the blue prints and was able to launch Porsche. So yes the 356 is a glorified beetle.

    • Alan Brase

      Well, maybe you better find some better books, or perhaps re read those two books.You don’t have it quite right.
      They were not conceived by the same man, though the two men were father and son.
      And Erwin Kommenda was at Ferry’s side most of the time the 356 was developed.
      1. Porsche 356 doesn’t even use a floor pan, separate part, like a VW type 1, which is a flimsy structure around a backbone, which relies upon the bolted on body for its torsional rigidity. The entire understructure of a 356 from 1948, is a sheet metal WELDMENT. A primitive version of how cars are made today, that had incredible torsional rigidity to weight ratio.
      2 the engine used the VW crank case, crank shaft, con rods, distributor drive gears, maybe the flywheel from 1949. NO OTHER VW parts. by 1951, the 1300 and 1500 at least, also had bespoke Porsche crank and rods. By 1954, Porsche made its own crank case.
      3. Transmission: from 1949 the case and axles, axle housings were the same as VW. I think the gear ratios were different. by 1952, or whenever the syncromesh debuted, most internal parts were Porsche, though they used the split VW case a couple more years.
      4. Brakes were VW for 1949 and 1950. by 1951 had their own quite elegant aluminum drums of larger size.
      5. front axle used VW sourced housings, but it welded in and was structural. Early trailing arms were VW parts.
      I would estimate early cars were 30% VW parts. Later cars more like 5-10%
      (Not too much different percentage from the 1954 Corvette/ Chevy passenger car contribution, actually).
      The Porsche family OWNED part of VW. I think 25% in the early years. but they had enough wealth that they could cut a deal with Reutter to build the cars starting with the 1950 models.
      So, I say, a RELATIVE of the VW type 1. A Less close relative than Hebmuller or Rommetsch or Karmann Ghia.
      But way better performance and finish in every way.
      And, keep in mind, they raced and won races. Won their displacement class at LeMans in 1951. An America Roadster won a race in the US in 1952. (My friend owns that car.)
      By 1955 they were winning amateur races all over the USA.
      You might check on VW race results.

  12. ccrvtt

    I know they’re different, but I still equate the 356s with the VW beetles. I feel pretty certain that the replica/kit cars can be made to give essentially the same experience for a fraction of the cost. Heck, they even reproduce the badges.

    Cobra replicas are the same way. Carroll Shelby once lamented that if he had a dollar for every ripoff Cobra he’d have retired much earlier.

    But it seems that some of the replicas are much more user friendly and less maintenance intensive. I know, I know, it’s not “the same”. But I’d much rather drive than wrench.

    8
  13. Jack Quantrill

    Years ago in California, a guy with a speedster ran off with a younger girl and told his wife to sell it and give him half. She sold it for $10, and sent him a check for $5! True story.

    3
  14. Tom

    35 years ago my girlfriend’s dad told me when he was in the Navy he drove the wheels off of one traveling from Norfolk, VA to Western New York about every other week to visit his girlfriend (wife to be).
    He regretting selling it for $400. I wonder how much he would regret it now.

  15. PETER

    a speedster is a stup-it car.
    it may be a great icon. but as a car useless.
    Max Hoffman called up Ferry Porsche and said the convertible is too expensive; make a cheaper car. thus was born the speedster; no rollup windows. tiny view outside.
    Yea, OK, with a roller cam 2 liter, engine a real speedster. otherwise a pretender.
    CANNOT,
    park it ANYWHERE. too valuable; useless as a car
    IDEA
    a beautiful idea, but hell, for the value of speedster you could have a number of Bugatti’s or some interesting older Ferrari. which MIGHT qualify as icon’s
    DRIVE IT
    on sunshine Sundays; tell your friends how much it is worth.
    BETTER
    drive the wheels off a replica, leave it in the supermarket parking lot. let it get dirty and enjoy it every day.
    I can understand a Convertible D, it is a car that you might dare drive.
    even if it might be worth $125K

  16. Alan Brase

    Uhh, no. A replica is pretty close visually. But the driving experience is NOT. I ride bicycles a bit. Driving a replica compared to a good intact chassis 356 compares to riding a clunker bike compared riding a bike made of Reynolds or Columbus tubing.
    That sheet metal WELDMENT chassis that Erwin Kommenda and others came up with in 1949 is remarkably stiff and light. There were definitely limitations with the 1930’s Auto Union style suspension, but one needs only to look at vintage SCCA photos of E(?) production class races where there were LINES of Speedsters (MAY THEY REST IN PEACE) followed by a coupe or two with maybe one or two other marques in the line. It was SCIENCE, Chassis science. And ya can’t do it with a VW frame and angle iron.
    Motors, fine. Any well built 1600 dual carbed, cammed VW might give you performance as good as a 356SC. For 100k miles? Not on the first try.
    The pushrod engines were NOT high maintenance. Except for the roller cranks. That was a 1930’s answer to a problem that didn’t exist by 1950, even with micro-babbit and later improved plain bearings.
    4 cam engines were a NIGHTMARE. Only for rich boys who could pay others to burn their hands changing plugs on a hot motor. (or truck loads of factory mechanics). Might be a little better with modern plugs and ignition. Best use might be as a coffee table.
    Skid pad performance in 1963 was well publicized at .89G lateral acceleration. 21 years later, 1984 Corvettes were better.
    The science is real.
    Prices have been falling ever since Brexit.
    Quit whining, buy a coupe, weld on patches. Drive it.

    4
  17. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Judging by the quality of the thumbnail photo, I knew clicking on this Barn Find would prove the auction price will incite watering eyes.

  18. Gsuffa Gsuffa Member

    There is no doubt that these cars ignite passion. We are 26 comments in and nobody has gotten around to commenting on the actual car featured.

    1
    • Alan Brase

      This is not a survivor car in the normal sense. It looks to be a pretty rough shell that somebody put on rockers and longitudinals and didn’t even properly attach them. Further, the doors look to have green primer insides, like they are NOS parts. There is NO original Ruby Red paint on this. Not many good pictures. What are they hiding? I say $100k-$145k, tops.

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