THE BEAUTIFUL 1956 PORSCHE SPEEDSTER WE WISH WE COULD AFFORD

Instantly recognizable by virtue of its low, wraparound windscreen, its smaller and entirely retractable top, lower door waistline and twin bucket seats (all of which served to emphasize its sporting image), the 1956 Porsche Speedster was, in effect, an 'economy' model from Porsche intended to compete with the less-expensive British sports cars. The Speedster was powered initially by the 1.5-liter version of Porsche's horizontally opposed four, gaining the new 1.6-liter, 60bhp engine with the introduction of the improved 356A for 1955. Priced at $2,995, the Speedster was the lightest of the 356s, enjoying a commensurate performance boost that meant 100mph was possible. Combined with its renowned handling characteristics, the Speedster became an instant success in the burgeoning American sports car racing scene.

Photography: Bonhams

www.bonhams.com

Testing the Speedster alongside its Coupe sibling in 1956, Road & Track magazine wrote: "A more comfortable sports car for long, high-speed journeys would be very hard to find and certainly no other car achieves the combination of comfort, performance and fuel economy of the Porsche Continental Speedster or Coupe."

Its combination of style, performance and value for money made the Speedster deservedly popular. Today the model, arguably the most handsome of the 356 variants, enjoys iconic status. Built in September of 1955, this sporting 356A Speedster was finished from new in the striking and desirable Aquamarine Blue Metallic, and is ready for the US market with sealed beam headlights and a miles-per-hour speedometer. The one-of-a-kind vehicle is available for purchase by auction from Bonhams, with the estimated pricing between $425,000-$525,000.