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1955 Porsche 356 Speedster

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The projects just keep piling up. This one is a car I bought primarily to restore and sell, should be a tidy profit in there if I stay on budget. It's a 1955 Porsche Speedster Replica by Intermeccanica on a 1969 VW Beetle chassis. Running a 1640cc built dual-port, 4spd manual, etc... All typical beetle parts underneath so it's super easy to fix and everything is cheap to buy. 


The day I got it earlier this year:



Had these really dumb aftermarket seats and a cheap steering wheel on it. Those all got removed and sold at a swap meet. 



My goal is to restore it back to stock, I had some original Speedster seats re-upholstered in Maroon, I'll have the rest of the interior done as well after it gets painted. I'm gonna do the body in Silver Metallic, trying to invoke the James Dean Porsche Spyder look. 


So yesterday I started out on fabricating some seat brackets and tracks and installing them in the car. 


Here's the old steering wheel and T-bar shifter, both are long gone now...



Mocking up seat placement and drilling mounting holes:



You can see in this pic how many previous seat holes had been drilled in the pan. 10 holes had to be plug-welded on each side!



So here's the new seats and Ivory Autostadt-Wolfsburg Steering wheel. 



Next up is bodywork and paint, the body is really damage free; and being fiberglass, there is no rust at all. So paint and body should be a relatively quick and painless affair. Buying all new badges and chrome bits is going to eat into my wallet though... 



I'll post updates here as things progress, it's a really fun car to drive and I get more thumbs up and compliments in this than any of my Datsuns... :/



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Back in about 1966 I had a chance to buy a real Speedster. I believe it was a '57 or '58 in decent condition although painted a rather odd shade of green with a white top. I think the price was about $1800 (that is 18 hundred, not thousand. That shows what 356 Porsches were worth 50 years ago.) I was really tempted to buy it since I had Porsche fever and was actively looking for one. However I wanted a year around car and the Speedster with the single layer top and side curtains didn't seem like such a good idea. Also the price would have nearly cleaned out my bank account (although when you are in your teens and have the hots for a car that is a minor detail). So common sense won the day and I passed up the Speedster. Then in September 1967 Car and Driver Magazine published the classic article on the Speedster titled "Love Affair with a Bathtub". After reading that I dreamed for years of owning a Speedster. But the car gods had given me my chance and I blew it. I never found another Speedster or not one I could afford.


I did end up buying a '55 Porsche coupe in worse condition than the Speedster for either $900 or $995. I might have gotten along better with it if the heater hadn't been so mediocre. I didn't know it at the time but maybe the cooling shrouds or heater flaps could have been fiddled with to get more heat out of the thing. It also had a really jumpy clutch. I traded it to guy and his brother-in-law blew the clutch very shortly after we did the trade. The car may still be in the Spokane area. I haven't seen it in 3 or 4 years though. Its distinctive feature was a windup 8-day aircraft clock that someone had mounted in a cutout in the glove box lid. Since then I've bought another of those clocks just in case I find a cheap 356 to mount it in.



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