In 2010 our client who had commissioned us to perform our second restoration ever, a 1963 356B Carrera 2, was looking to add a 356 Speedster to his collection. We sourced a three-owner, 1958 356A Speedster that had spent its entire life in California to begin the restoration with. It had been used as a race car by its last owner. It had a roll bar installed and there had been some metal from the rear valence cut away to fit a race exhaust, but showed no significant damage otherwise and still retained its original numbers matching doors, hood, and engine lid.
Excerpt from Peter Linsky’s 2013 Panorama article about Chassis #83873
“Little is known of 83873’s earliest history; but for our purposes, it came to light in late 1971 when it was offered for sale in the Los Angeles Times used car classifieds. The ad caught the attention of John Wilson, a 23-year-old restaurant manager living in the San Diego area. He had already owned a ’64 356SC while attending San Diego State, but sold it in 1971, leaving something of a void in his automotive world. One morning, as he was making a doughnut run for his work crew, he paused to grab a copy of the Times, something he did only a few times a year. It proved to be a fateful decision. Scanning the automobile ads over coffee, he spotted a 1958 Speedster offered for sale, but rather than being in the greater Los Angeles area, the car was located just a few miles away in the San Diego neighborhood of Pacific Beach. Intrigued, he called the listed number and spoke to the seller, whose name he recalls only as “Barry”. He quickly determined that Barry lived right across the street from John’s own brother (“I don’t know how many times I’d turned around in the guy’s driveway”, he remembers). After work that day, John drove over to Pacific Beach to look at the Porsche, which was stored beneath a tarpaulin in Barry’s backyard. John’s initial impressions of the bright yellow car were that it was a typical SoCal canyon-carver, set up for autocrossing with a full-width roll bar, flared fenders, and wide aluminum wheels. Chromed nerf bars had replaced the original bumpers, but all the other pieces seemed to be there.”
Chassis #83873 left the Porsche factory in 1958 with the rare distinction of not having information of how it was optioned or delivered recorded by Porsche. The Kardex (factory warranty card) and Certificate of Authenticity have no information available about the details of its specification. This provided an opportunity for rare factory options and color choices for the restoration.
The car was completely stripped to bare metal and the typical open-top 356 metal work was performed. The floor pans, driver-side rocker, and both longitudinals were replaced. Remarkably, the body was completely original and showed no signs of any incidents from its life as a race car. Repairs were made to the rear quarter panels, the rear exhaust valence was fabricated, and the gaps leaded to a Concours fit. With the metal work completed, the body was epoxy primed and undercoated with the correct texture coating before the Glasurit Orange paint was applied.
We sourced a number of rare optional components that were offered in the period, such as the 80-liter GT fuel tank, a Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio and loudspeakers, a VDM wood-rimmed steering wheel, correctly date-stamped Rudge wheels, and the yellow-tinted Hella fog lamps mounted to the body. The bucket seats were upholstered in tan leather with orange piping to match the exterior, and paired with beige square weave carpeting and a matching tan top. The 1600cc engine was stripped and rebuilt with a set of more aggressive camshafts and tuned to match. The result is a unique Speedster that is completely dialed in and drives as good as it looks.
After its completion, it went on to take the Zuffhausen Award at the 2010 Porsche Parade, 1st in Class at the 2011 Concours on the Avenue Carmel By The Sea, and Best in Show at the 2012 Porsche Grand Display at Carillon Point. It later changed hands and became part of an excellent local collection, where it has been meticulously cared for and driven sparingly over the years.
Rare: No color combination or engine type information recorded by Porsche (Kardex or Certificate of Authenticity)
Zuffhausen Award at the 2010 Porsche Parade, 1st in Class at the 2011 Concours on the Avenue Carmel By The Sea, and Best in Show at the 2012 Porsche Grand Display at Carillon Point
Featured in December 2013 Panorama Magazine by author Peter Linsky
Original VDM wood steering wheel
Painted Orange (Paint Code 711) Special Color available from 1957 to 1959
Numbers-Matching opening panels (stamped with last three digits of the VIN #873)
Rare Blaupunkt-Frankfurt radio with two speakers
All trim parts are original and restored by Victor Miles
Optional and original body-mounted Hella fog lights restored by Victor Miles
Original date stamped Rudge wheels
80L GT fuel tank
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