Monaco

10 May 2014

Lot 165

1956 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1500 GS Speedster by Reutter

To be auctioned on Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sold for €840.000

  • Chassis no. 82189
  • Engine no. 90638
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


110+ bhp, 1,498 cc DOHC air-cooled Type 547/1 horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with twin Solex 40 P11-4 carburettors, a four-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension with shock absorbers, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,100 mm

  • Original matching-numbers Carrera engine
  • Copy of original Kardex warranty card
  • Desirable Rudge wheels
  • Ideal for Porsche club events and vintage rallies


Dr Ernst Fuhrman’s Type 547/1 motor was originally conceived in 1952, and it was slated for the famed 550 Spyder race car, as it raised the performance quotient of Porsche’s classic flat-four engine design through the use of twin ignition, two dual-throat carburettors, and four-cam valve actuation rather than single-cam pushrods. The race-bred engine was finally introduced in production form at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show, alongside the debut of the 356 A, and it was dubbed “Carrera”, signifying a special, top-of-the-line performance model in honour of Porsche’s 1st and 2nd in class finish (and 3rd and 4th overall) at the 1954 Carrera Panamericana.

In addition to retaining its original matching-numbers Type 547/1 engine, which is a highly desirable and rare distinction, this early 356 Carrera Speedster claims some unusual specifications that bridge the GS and GT variants. According to the Kardex warranty card, this 356 A was originally distributed to the United States for retail by Max Hoffman’s renowned dealership in New York in August 1956. Records of Karrosserie Reutter’s indicate that chassis number 82189 was originally finished in white paint and fitted with a black top and matching complementary interior trim.

Although this car was officially designated as a Carrera GS, it possesses some features of the forthcoming performance-positioned GT variant that are believed to be original to the car. According to one Speedster expert, this Carrera was equipped by the factory with an upgraded engine, headlight grilles, and a 550 Spyder-style wing mirror, and it was appointed without a heater, making it one of a handful of GS examples with features of the forthcoming GT trim package.


By some accounts, this sensational Porsche was raced at Sebring, Daytona, and Riverside in its early years. Then, in 1992, it was re-imported to Germany and acquired a year later by collector Hans Reuter, who oversaw an exacting restoration that prepared the car for enjoyable touring. In addition to rebuilding the legendary Carrera engine to Spyder performance specifications, the restoration saw to several tasteful upgrades, such as the addition of Koni Classic adjustable dampers, a 356 B Super 90-specification camber compensator for the rear suspension, a 12-volt electrical system, an upgraded ignition system, Argus steel-braided oil lines, and new Michelin XAS tyres.

The 356 was also equipped with an original set of Rudge wheels, which are rare items that alone are estimated to value up to €35,000. The opportunity was additionally taken to endow the car with a couple of physical cues that were more becoming of its GT specifications, including the retro-fitting of a louvered engine lid and the addition of a stainless steel, Sebring-style, mesh-covered, single outlet exhaust. In this handsomely restored state, though painted red at the time, the car was depicted in Dr Michel Thiriar’s 1998 book, Porsche Speedster: The Evolution of the Porsche Lightweight Sportster, 1947–1994.

This beautiful 356 Carrera has most recently been subjected to a bare metal repaint in its original white finish, and it has also been re-trimmed with a new red interior. During that time, the engine was fully serviced by Porsche specialist Orlando in Italy. The Speedster is currently equipped with Cibie spot lamps, and it is also accompanied by side-screens, a correct tool kit, a tonneau, and a proper spanner for the Rudge wheels. It retains its original matching-numbers Type 547/1 engine, and as such, this early Carrera Speedster would certainly draw significant favour at discerning concours d’elegance. Along with its visual appeal, the car can be equally enjoyed for its high-revving performance, with heart-racing glimpses of the special flat-four’s dual-cam torque.

As the 60th anniversary of Porsche’s ground-breaking 3rd and 4th overall finish at the 1954 Carrera Mexican road race is soon approaching, there could hardly be a more opportune time to acquire an important early Carrera such as this handsome Speedster. The wonderful product of Stuttgart’s race-bred engineering abounds with authentic details, like a correct GS/GT tachometer and the original Weber fuel-pressure regulator, which is a rare and desirable mechanical component. Future ownership can look forward to the unmistakable growl of the legendary Carrera motor, which promises the singular gravitas of the Speedster’s unique, low-screened, open-top motoring experience.



Moteur quatre-cylindres à plat opposés type 547/1, 1 498 cm3, + de 110 ch, 2 ACT par banc, deux carburateurs Solex 40 P11-4, boîte manuelle quatre rapports transaxle, suspension à quatre roues indépendantes, freins à tambours hydrauliques sur les quatre roues. Empattement: 2 100 mm.

  • Moteur Carrera d'origine, numéros concordants
  • Copie de la carte de garantie Kardex d'origine
  • Désirables roues Rudge
  • Idéal pour les rassemblements de clubs Porsche et les rallyes historiques


Le moteur Type 547/1 du Dr Ernst Fuhrman a été conçu en 1952 et équipait à l'origine le fameux Spyder 550. Grâce à un double allumage, deux carburateurs double corps et une distribution par quatre arbres à cames en tête, il a pu augmenter le potentiel de performance du classique quatre-cylindres à plat Porsche. Ce moteur de race a finalement été présenté sur un modèle de série au Salon de Francfort 1955 où, à côté de la 356 A, était dévoilée la « Carrera » : ce nom faisait honneur à la première et la deuxième place de catégorie (troisième et quatrième place au classement général) de Porsche à la Carrera Panamericana de 1954, et il était donc attribué à la version la plus sportive de la gamme.

Non seulement ce Speedster 356 Carrera, parmi les premiers, est encore équipée de son moteur Type 547/1 d'origine (matching numbers), ce qui est particulièrement rare et désirable, mais en plus il offre des spécifications inhabituelles qui établissent un lien entre les versions GS et GT. D'après la carte de garantie Kardex, cette 356 A a été livrée neuve en août 1956 aux États-Unis, chez le distributeur bien connu Max Hoffman, à New York. Les archives du carrossier Reutter indiquent que la voiture portant le n° de châssis 82189 a été peinte à l'origine en blanc, avec une capote noire et une sellerie assortie.

Bien que cette voiture ait été officiellement désignée comme Carrera GS, elle présente certains équipements correspondant à la future version GT, plus sportive, et qui sont probablement sur la voiture depuis l'origine. D'après un spécialiste Speedster, cette Carrera a été équipée à l'usine d'un moteur amélioré, de grilles de phares et d'un rétroviseur style Spyder 550, tout en étant dépourvue de chauffage, ce qui en fait une des rares GS offrant un équipement répondant en partie à celui de la future GT.

Selon certains rapports, cette Porsche fantastique a couru à Sebring, Daytona et Riverside au début de sa carrière. Puis, en 1992, elle a été réimportée en Allemagne et acquise un an plus tard par le collectionneur Hans Reuter, qui a supervisé une restauration de qualité, de façon à pouvoir profiter de cette voiture sur la route. En plus d'une reconstruction du fameux moteur Carrera aux spécifications du Spyder, la restauration a connu plusieurs améliorations judicieuses, comme la pose d'amortisseurs Koni réglables, d'un compensateur de carrossage de 356 B Super 90 pour la suspension arrière, d'un système électrique 12 volts, d'un système d'allumage amélioré, de conduites d'huile Argus en acier tressé et de pneus Michelin XAS.

Cette 356 est également équipée depuis l'origine de jantes Rudge, pièces d'une grande rareté dont la valeur est estimée à elle seule à 35 000 €. Par ailleurs, l'occasion a été prise de rapprocher encore cette voiture des spécifications GT en l'équipant de quelques accessoires spécifiques comme un capot arrière doté de louvres et un échappement en acier inoxydable, style Sebring, à simple sortie. Dans cet état magnifiquement restauré, et bien qu'elle ait été encore de teinte rouge à l'époque, cette voiture est apparue en 1998 dans l'ouvrage de Michel Thiriar, Porsche Speedster: The Evolution of the Porsche Lightweight Sportster, 1947–1994.

Cette splendide 356 Carrera a été soumise récemment à une restauration avec mise à nu de la carrosserie ; à cette occasion, elle a reçu une peinture conforme à la teinte blanche d'origine et une sellerie neuve de couleur rouge. Pendant ce temps, le moteur a été complètement révisé par le spécialiste Porsche Orlando, en Italie. Ce Speedster est aujourd'hui équipé de phares additionnels Cibié ainsi que de side-screens, d'une trousse à outils, d'un couvre-tonneau et d'une clé spéciale pour les roues Rudge. Cette Carrera comporte son moteur d'origine Type 547/1, ce qui devrait lui permettre de s'attirer les faveurs des concours d'élégance les plus sélectifs. En plus de son charme visuel, cette voiture peut procurer de grands plaisirs au volant grâce à son moteur quatre arbres, dont la personnalité et le répondant découlent directement de son passé en compétition.

Alors qu'approche le 60e anniversaire des fantastiques troisième et quatrième places de Porsche à la Carrera mexicaine, on ne peut imaginer une occasion plus approprié pour faire l'acquisition d'une importante Carrera des débuts comme ce superbe Speedster. Ce magnifique produit de race, sorti des brillants ateliers de Stuttgart, abonde de détails authentiques comme un compteur de vitesses correct de GS/GT et le régulateur de pression d'essence Weber d'origine, un accessoire rare et désirable. Le futur propriétaire pourra profiter sans mélange du grondement légendaire du moteur Carrera, qui accompagne l'expérience unique d'être au volant de ce Speedster découvert, dont le pare-brise bas rappelle le caractère résolument sportif.

Addendum

Please note this car is a matching numbers 1500 GS Speedster.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

aclassick@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

aabaci@rmauctions.com

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

dwarrener@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmauctions.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmauctions.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

mgirardo@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

pgiddings@rmauctions.com

+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

pblond@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

vmandzak@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

jwhiteside@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more