In 2010 our client who had commissioned us to perform our second
restoration ever, a 1963 356B Carrera 2, was looking to add a 356
Speedster to his collection. We sourced a three-owner, 1958 356A
Speedster that had spent its entire life in California to begin the
restoration with. It had been used as a race car by its last owner.
It had a roll bar installed and there had been some metal from the
rear valence cut away to fit a race exhaust, but showed no
significant damage otherwise and still retained its original
numbers matching doors, hood, and engine lid.
Excerpt from Peter Linsky's 2013 Panorama article about Chassis
"Little is known of 83873's earliest history; but for our purposes,
it came to light in late 1971 when it was offered for sale in the
Los Angeles Times used car classifieds. The ad caught the attention
of John Wilson, a 23-year-old restaurant manager living in the San
Diego area. He had already owned a '64 356SC while attending San
Diego State, but sold it in 1971, leaving something of a void in
his automotive world. One morning, as he was making a doughnut run
for his work crew, he paused to grab a copy of the Times, something
he did only a few times a year. It proved to be a fateful decision.
Scanning the automobile ads over coffee, he spotted a 1958
Speedster offered for sale, but rather than being in the greater
Los Angeles area, the car was located just a few miles away in the
San Diego neighborhood of Pacific Beach. Intrigued, he called the
listed number and spoke to the seller, whose name he recalls only
as "Barry". He quickly determined that Barry lived right across the
street from John's own brother ("I don't know how many times I'd
turned around in the guy's driveway", he remembers). After work
that day, John drove over to Pacific Beach to look at the Porsche,
which was stored beneath a tarpaulin in Barry's backyard. John's
initial impressions of the bright yellow car were that it was a
typical SoCal canyon-carver, set up for autocrossing with a
full-width roll bar, flared fenders, and wide aluminum wheels.
Chromed nerf bars had replaced the original bumpers, but all the
other pieces seemed to be there."
Chassis #83873 left the Porsche factory in 1958 with the rare
distinction of not having information of how it was optioned or
delivered recorded by Porsche. The Kardex (factory warranty card)
and Certificate of Authenticity have no information available about
the details of its specification. This provided an opportunity for
rare factory options and color choices for the restoration.
The car was completely stripped to bare metal and the typical
open-top 356 metal work was performed. The floor pans, driver-side
rocker, and both longitudinals were replaced. Remarkably, the body
was completely original and showed no signs of any incidents from
its life as a race car. Repairs were made to the rear quarter
panels, the rear exhaust valence was fabricated, and the gaps
leaded to a Concours fit. With the metal work completed, the body
was epoxy primed and undercoated with the correct texture coating
before the Glasurit Orange paint was applied.
We sourced a number of rare optional components that were offered
in the period, such as the 80-liter GT fuel tank, a Blaupunkt
Frankfurt radio and loudspeakers, a VDM wood-rimmed steering wheel,
correctly date-stamped Rudge wheels, and the yellow-tinted Hella
fog lamps mounted to the body. The bucket seats were upholstered in
tan leather with orange piping to match the exterior, and paired
with beige square weave carpeting and a matching tan top. The
1600cc engine was stripped and rebuilt with a set of more
aggressive camshafts and tuned to match. The result is a unique
Speedster that is completely dialed in and drives as good as it
After its completion, it went on to take the Zuffhausen Award at
the 2010 Porsche Parade, 1st in Class at the 2011 Concours on the
Avenue Carmel By The Sea, and Best in Show at the 2012 Porsche
Grand Display at Carillon Point. It later changed hands and became
part of an excellent local collection, where it has been
meticulously cared for and driven sparingly over the years.