Classic 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster Review Dec 12, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Porsche is known for creating some of the most iconic and luxurious cars on the market, and their reputation was founded on classic sports cars that are still treasured today. The 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster is among the numerous classic cars that interest collectors and everyday drivers at the same time. The Speedster variation was introduced in 1954 and geared to California drivers where it was popular as a racecar. The 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster had some major enhancements with a 1,600cc air-cooled flat-four engine, making history as the first Porsche production vehicle to reach 100 miles per hour.

Styling

The Porsche 356 Speedster seats two people and has very low side windows and a low screen. The Speedster is like other Porsche designs with a sleek body, distinctive headlights, and an emphasis on functional simplicity and top engineering. You won’t find unnecessary embellishments but a stark interior. There are three circular instruments on the dashboard for the fuel/temperature gauge, the speedometer, and the tachometer and two bucket-style seats. There were also options available to add to the Porsche 356 Speedster’s styling, like Rudge knock-on wheels and the Glasspar detachable hardtop. As the second model year for the Porsche 356 Speedster body style, the 1955 was very similar to the original. This model was recognized for the low and raked removable windscreen, the minimal folding top, and bucket seats.

356A and 356 Pre-A

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The Porsche 356 was the first production model from Porsche launched in 1948. The factory model evolved throughout the years, going from the 356 to the 356C before production ended in 1965. The 356A was the second factory model released in 1955. The Speedster was only sold from 1954 to 1958 when it was replaced by the Convertible D. This means that a 1955 Speedster can be a 356 or a 356A (also known as the Type 1 or T1) released later in 1955. The first model is commonly referred to as “Pre-A” by enthusiasts and collectors, and many buyers prefer the “original” Pre-A editions.

Availability

Among classic car collectors, the Porsche Speedster is the most sought after among the various 356 Series models. It quickly became a favorite vehicle and even a “cult car” favored by James Dean and other stars. It can be a challenge to find one, particularly a model with factory options like those mentioned above. If you do get lucky enough to find one, be prepared to shell out some cash. In 2016, two vintage models sold for over $350,000. Any listings you find of these models will be in the same general range, most likely at least $350,000. By comparison, the 1955 Porsche 356 Cabriolet sells for an average of $313,500 while the Coupe only goes for $136,125 on average. This just goes to show that the Speedster is a rare classic with a timeless style and limitless appeal.

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