16 August 1998
1957 PORSCHE 356 CARRERA SPEEDSTER
White with black interior Chassis No. 82879
Engine No. P90756
Engine: dual overhead cam 4 cylinder, 1587cc, 128bhp at 6,400rpm; Gearbox: 4-speed syncromesh; Suspension: independent all around with rear anti-roll bar; Brakes: front and rear drums. Left hand drive.
Ferry Porsche and Karl Rabe began work on the type 356 project in June 1947. The concept was to put a mildly tuned version of the four cylinder Volkswagon engine and its gearbox in a tubular space frame. Volkswagon components such as suspension units, steering and brakes were used for economy and reliability. The VW engine, mounted first ahead of the rear axle and then behind it, produced a paltry 25 hp in standard form but was improved by enlarging the ports and raising the compression ratio from 5.8:1 to 7.0:1 and then to 8.7:1. The roadster's bodywork was designed by Erwin Komenda
The 356 line offered a variety of choices with a coupe, cabriolet and speedster to choose from. In Europe, the prospective buyer had a total of five engines to choose from, while in the States only three were available. However, to the delight of the Americans awaiting Porsches, the three imported into the States were the more powerful of the five: the 1600, 1600S and the 1500GS. The most powerful of which, the 1500GS, featured 8.7:1 compression, a Hirth built up crankshaft with one piece connecting rods and roller bearings for both mains and rods. With lower profile wheels and softer suspension, the overall ride was markedly smoother, while control and handling was improved with a Ross mechanism by ZF. The carburettors were supplied by Zenith instruments and the clutch was upgraded from the earlier coil spring Fitchel and Sachs model to the more responsive Hausserman diaphragm unit. The 1500GS model was described as a detuned version of the twincam 550 Spider, which was initially used in the 1954 Porsche race cars. The nameplate of Carrera was endowed on the high performance Porsche models following the car's impressive display in the Mexican Road Race, Carrera Panamericana.
The Carrera offered here is unique as it has been stored for much of its existence and is one of only 556 produced that year. The first owner, a Southern California resident, drove it for only three years before storing it for the next eleven. In 1971 the car was purchased by its second owner who subsequently stored it for another fifteen years. The professional restoration of the Porsche was begun in 1982 and was initiated with the complete disassembly of the engine and transaxle. The engine was rebuilt with only correct components by acclaimed specialist Bill Doyle of Fresno, California. The restorations took almost three years to complete, during which time the Carrera was resprayed its original white. Following restoration the Carrera was awarded first in its class honors at the Santa Barbara Concours d'Elegance. This Carrera is an exhilarating roadster and its clean ergonomics suberbly demonstrate the design excellence at Porsche during this time. The provenance of this car is well documented and all the work performed is believed to be of the finest quality.
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Please note this car is a desirable 4/Cam version.
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