Daydream with me in a Porsche 356 A Speedster

It’s Friday. That means if your brain is anything like mine it has shifted from working tasks to daydreaming about driving. I looked at a lot of cars this week, but there is one that I just can’t stop thinking about. I’m doing my best here to stay focused, but just take a look at this thing.

It’s a 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster. A bright red two-seater on the beach. And it just derailed my afternoon. I will now be sitting and staring out the window, longing to hear the smooth purr of the Speedster’s 1600cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine in harmony with the sound of waves crashing.

Yes, there are things I’m supposed to be doing besides cursing myself for not being able to afford it when it crosses the block at Monterey Car Week at the Gooding & Company auction. I shouldn’t be leaning back in my chair and pretending to work the four-speed gearbox to keep all 60 horsepower in line. Or switching my right foot between the long accelerator and the high brake pedal. Or watching the large speedometer front and center as it sweeps through its range.

1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster steering wheel and gauge detail
Gooding & Company
1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster overhead
Gooding & Company

1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster driving
Gooding & Company

Nope. I need to clear my head of the car’s history—only three owners over the last half century—and its restoration by Jim Newton and Bob Campbell, both specialists in the Porsche world. That kind of high-quality restoration makes the car such an authentic experience, and you’ll have to do some true nitpicking to find flaws. But I refuse to think about it. At all.

Maybe if it weren’t for that overhead air-conditioning vent conveniently pointed at my desk I’d be able to ignore that the cool air is damp and salty and rolling over the low-swept windshield of that Porsche… moving my hair out of my face. I can picture myself right now, sitting in low-slung silhouette with the contrasting black hardtop, cruising down Main Street.

As long as I’m dreaming, maybe I can dip into my savings and pull out enough cash to cover the auction estimate of $475,000–$550,000. Or maybe not. The only check I can afford to write today is a reality check. Wait, is it time to change the oil on the Speedster? Maybe I’ll do that after I give the car a wax job. This 356 is so pretty I don’t even know what’s real anymore.

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