By: Steve Heinrichs, Jim Perrin .
Only 4,145 Speedsters and 1,330 of its successor, the Convertible D, were produced over the five-year period from mid-1954 to mid-1959, but the Speedster is the car that put Porsche on the automotive map. Although the Porsche marque is renowned throughout the world, especially in its major market, the United States, what is less well known is how the Spartan Speedster contributed to the success of the company and became an icon.
In this definitive book, the authors, each a recognized Porsche expert in the specific subject matter about which he has written, bring together the details of the creation, marketing, development, and evolution of the Porsche Speedster and its impact on racing, and on racing and entertainment personalities during the special era of the 1950s. All aspects of this remarkable car are told here with many previously unpublished photographs and memos, and with much newly discovered documentation of Porsche's decision-making process in creating the car and then ending its production and replacing it with the short-lived Convertible D.
The 1950s were a special time in history. America and the world were reawakening from the bleak '30s and war-ravaged '40s. No aspect of the way we lived was untouched. From the arts to fashion; music, politics, technology, and even the automobile, the world was changing. The Speedster came into the largely British-dominated arena of sports car racing and became a major success from the races of Torrey Pines, California, to the racetracks of Europe.
As this book is published, the Speedster—created in June 1954 and introduced that September at Watkins Glen, New York—marks its 50th anniversary. Throughout its history, the Speedster has attracted a loyal group of owners and admirers. The visceral connection between Speedster and owner remains, 50 years later.