A 1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter will be offered ‘without reserve’ at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Hershey auction, scheduled for October 6-7 at the historic Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 356 offered is one that Porsche enthusiasts dreams of finding: a virtually complete and largely original, numbers-matching T-1 Speedster that has been stored in a dry Texas garage for more than 40 years.
The late Sam Fleming purchased this 1957 Speedster in the Dallas area in 1967 when he was just 26 years old; shortly thereafter, he met the love of his life, Nely. Before Sam and his wife-to-be traveled to Mexico to meet her parents, his close friend showed him a ball-point pen, which Nely still carries, and told him that he ought to paint the car that particular shade of orange. A photo album retained by his wife and family shows the car when he bought it in its original White paint (as a majority of Speedsters were finished). The door jambs and the underside of the hood and engine cover remain the original white. At some point early in the car’s life, the Porsche acquired its rare fiberglass hardtop, a dealer option that is much sought-after today.
Sam and Nely enjoyed their little “bathtub” for many years, until it was parked in the couple’s Dallas-area garage, where it would remain carefully covered up for some 40 years, until it was discovered recently by noted Barn Find book series author Tom Cotter. The 60-horsepower Type 616/1 1600 Normal engine and four-speed, fully synchronized manual transmission are both original to the car per the factory Kardex, a copy of which is included on file. The battery box shows minimal corrosion (which is usually expected of these old 356s), and the floors and body panels appear solid and rust-free, benefiting from the dry and Texas climate.
The Porsche remains quite complete, although the original bumpers had been removed; they were hung from the garage ceiling and will be included with the car, as will a box of additional parts and spares, including the original Speedster trim pieces. The car retains its hardtop, original side curtains, and convertible top and frame assembly.
Here is a rare opportunity to acquire a solid example of Porsche’s most desirable early sports cars; one that could either be given a complete restoration, or perhaps brought back to its original color by the judicious removal of its orange paint, which should reveal the factory-applied finish beneath. Regardless, old Speedsters in this condition are rarely discovered, and this one is ready to join its next owner.
This 1957 Porsche 356 A 1600 Speedster by Reutter will be offered at the RM Sotheby’s Hershey sale, scheduled for October 6-7, 2016 in Pennsylvania.
[Source: RM Sotheby’s; photos: Theodore W. Pieper]