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Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Speedster

Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Speedster

Cabriolet, 1954


  • VIN 80035
  • Chassis 80035, the thirty-fifth Speedster built, completed on October 26, 1954
  • The 1500cc plain bearing engine (Type 546) was completely rebuilt, balanced, and blueprinted

1954 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster

• VIN 80035
• Engine No. 33672 – Matching
• Transmission No. 4422 – Matching
• The 35th of only 200 Pre-A Speedsters built in 1954
• A welcome entrant at many prestigious Concours and Classic car Rallies.

Chassis 80035, the thirty-fifth Speedster built, completed on October 26, 1954, and was finished in White (603) over a Black leatherette interior. Acquired by a Porsche collector in Beverly Hills who was building a collection of significant Speedsters. He was having trouble finding a worthy Pre-A Speedster and when he found this very early serial number with matching number engine and gearbox, he knew it was the right 356 for the collection. Shortly after being purchased, he authorized his in-house restorer to facilitate a full Concour restoration with no expense spared. Over the next two years, chassis No. 35 was completely dissembled and the body was stripped to bare metal. The body was metal finished with the decks, doors, and bumpers fitted to achieve the best finish. The body was then primed, sealed, and painted. It was reassembled with all its hard-to-find original Pre-A items such as bumper moldings, blunt-nosed hood handle, light switch, door handles, badging, ignition key, and starter button.

All new rubber items, including grommets and seals were installed. The brightwork was triple plated to show quality. A completely new interior was supplied and installed by Auto’s International along with all the VDO instrumentation being restored. While only using NOS and OEM parts, all mechanical components including the drum braking system and electrical components were completely rebuilt or restored, installed, and sorted. The type 519, single-mount transmission was rebuilt with all new synchros and bearings. The 1500cc plain bearing engine (Type 546) was completely rebuilt, balanced, and blueprinted with all new main bearings, connecting rods, valves, balanced crankshaft, cylinder heads, pistons and cylinders, rebuilt distributor, and carburetors.

Price: on application

United States

European Collectibles
1665 Babcock St
CA 92627 Costa Mesa
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The vehicle in detail

Having been recently completed and receiving excellent care, the present condition is full show quality. The paintwork is stunning against the exceptional brightwork and exterior trim. The upholstery is trimmed in correct German materials and features VDO instrumentation with an original steering wheel. The date-coded 7/54 Sudrad 3.25″ x 16″ wheels are fitted to Michelin 5.50 Radial 16 175 80 R16 tires (2021 date codes). Further expressing this Speedster’s originality is the presence of its numbers-matched decks and doors, all of which display the 35 number stamping in the factory locations. The undercarriage is also in show condition with a chromate-coated driveline.

Mechanically powered by its matching 1500cc plain bearing flat-four engine (Type 546) producing 55hp @ 4400 RPM paired to its matching single-mount 4-speed manual transmission (Type 519). Complete with a toolkit, date coded Sudrad spare wheel, jack, boot cover, tonneau cover, side curtains, and photo documentation of the restoration. A very rare opportunity to acquire such a low production numbers of one of the first 200 Pre-A Speedsters, finished in its original color combination with a matching driveline. This would make a wonderful addition to any Porsche collection!

In early 1954, Ferry Porsche sat down with his company’s New York distributor, the entrepreneurial Max Hoffman, to discuss ways to sell more cars in what would become the firm’s most vital market, the United States. Porsche agreed to produce a bare-bones, low-cost sports car to compete with the British and Italian makes that were proving so popular with American customers.

The fledgling German automaker had some hurried decisions to make. With its contracted body manufacturer Reutter lacking the proper stamping dies in place to produce what Hoffman dubbed the “Speedster,” Porsche used what it had available as a starting point: 356 Cabriolet body shells. All of the first 200 Speedsters built in 1954 were based on Cabriolets whose windshield posts were simply cut off. Many of them also retained the mounting points on the rear quarter wheel housings for the Cabriolet’s folding canvas top.

When the new year arrived, those issues had been resolved, and Reutter began manufacturing 356 Speedster bodies in earnest. Carrying a base price of $2,995, the Speedster proved a hit in the showroom, especially in warmer climes. A typical Hoffman ad of the day proclaimed: “Years ahead in engineering, Miles ahead on the road.” Speedsters proved so popular in amateur racing, both with pushrod and the ferocious Carrera four-cam engines, that entire grids would often be filled with these diminutive warriors.


Year of construction: 1954
Model: 356 Pre-A 1500 Speedster
Body: Cabriolet
Series: 356
Mileage: 88465 mi
Power: 55 HP
Cylinder capacity: 1,5 Liter
Steering: left
Transmission: Manual
Drive: Rear drive
Fuel: Gasoline
Interior color: Black
Interior material: Leatherette
Exterior color: White
Manufacturer color code (exterior): White (603)
Matching numbers: yes
Condition: Partially restored
New / used: Used car
Ready to drive: yes

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Chris Casler from European Collectibles looks forward to your questions and is happy to help you.

Porsche 356 Pre-A 1500 Speedster

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