1954 Porsche 356

Pre A 1500 Speedster 1.5 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1954 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Speedster 1488
valued at £143,000
£568.93 / year*

History of the 1954 - 1955 Porsche 356

1954 - 1955 Porsche 356
1954 - 1955 Porsche 356

The Porsche 356 Speedster, designed in-house at Porsche by Erwin Komenda, was manufactured between 1954 and 1958. It is an open-topped sports car with a rear-mounted flat 4-cylinder engine, driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed synchromesh gearbox.

The 356 Speedster was initially conceived in 1950 in response to a request from U.S. Porsche importer Max Hoffman. Hoffman sought an open-topped sports car to compete with the imported British cars of the time, and Porsche responded with a prototype drawn up in 1951 named the America Roadster (which Porsche named the Type 540). Early production problems and a less than enthusiastic reception from the public led Porsche to rethink their design. It was clear a cut-down version of the current 356 Cabriolet would be suitable, and meant production could continue in-house unlike the expensively-produced Type 540.

In 1954 the Porsche 356 Speedster was born. It looked visually similar to a standard 356 from the waist down except for full length chrome strips that ran neatly through the door handles. On top, the small windscreen gave the car a very unique poise.

The Speedster was an instant hit in the U.S. and the Porsche 356A Speedster was launched in Europe in October 1955. Despite unaltered bodywork, the car was significantly uprated with chassis, engine, gearbox, and suspension improvements that ensured it drove as sensationally as it looked.

The 356A (T2) Speedster was introduced in September 1957 and continued until it was replaced by the Convertible D in 1958 and 1959. There was also an official production run of just eight Porsche Carrera Speedsters fitted with the high performance quad-cam type 547/1 engine.

Two engine options were offered in Porsche 356A Speedster replacing the 1500cc unit of the Pre A models. A 1600N (Normal) producing 60hp and the 1600 Super with 75hp. Both were naturally aspirated and of a flat-4 configuration driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed all synchromesh gearbox. These engines both pull well.

The complexity of the Speedster's body construction means corrosion is a consideration when purchasing and subsequently, sound original or restored examples are sought after. Engine originality should also be checked - all Porsche 356 and later Porsche 912 engines were interchangeable. Authenticity certificates showing correct numbers are obtainable from Porsche through the Porsche Club of Great Britain (PCGB).

The Porsche 356 Speedster is today a very rare car in the UK, although modern replicas based on the VW Beetle (such as Chesil, Tygan and Vintage Speedsters) are more common. The most desirable variant is undoubtedly the Carrera Speedster; its very small production numbers and impressive performance have ensured it has a privileged place in Porsche history.

The Porsche 356 Speedster was the Stuttgart company’s response to British open-topped sports car such as the Jaguar XK120, the AC Ace, and the Austin-Healey 100-4: all cars that combined beauty with top-down motoring. Today, it more than holds its own.

All 1954 Porsche 356 body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1300 Coupe 1.3 L £ 117,000 136,000 203,000 371,000
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Coupe 1.5 L £ 126,000 141,000 207,000 401,000
1954 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Speedster 1.5 L £ 120,000 143,000 187,000 353,000
1954 Porsche 356 Pre A Base Speedster 1.3 L £ 190,000 218,000 276,000 335,000
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1300 Cabriolet 1.3 L £ 153,000 179,000 272,000 449,000
1950 Porsche 356 Pre A 1500 Cabriolet 1.5 L £ 160,000 185,000 276,000 470,000
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