At Worldwide Auctioneers, we consider ourselves privileged to market and offer some of the finest and most interesting motorcars ever produced at our auctions. Without doubt, one of our favorite classic sports cars of all time is Porsche’s 356 Speedster. Looking fast even when standing still, the Speedster exudes an indescribable sense of adventure and avant-garde flair matched by few, if any, other cars, past or present. All surviving examples have a story to tell, but few carry the wonderful history of “The Lieutenant’s Speedster.” With just one owner from new and professionally restored, this very special 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster is quite likely the finest and most desirable Speedster of all to be offered on the Monterey Peninsula this year – on August 17th at the Worldwide Auctioneers Pacific Grove Auction.
Purchased new as a European Delivery example directly from Porsche’s legendary Zuffenhausen works in Stuttgart, this 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster was the last in a line of three Speedsters purchased new by young Robert Dewey, a recently-minted Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in Germany. Numbered 84308 and nicknamed “The Red Raider II,” this Ruby Red Speedster soon accompanied Lt. Dewey and his wife, Nina, on their return to the United States and through multiple postings with the USAF, remaining a beloved member of Mr. Dewey’s family until his eventual passing in July 2016 at age 87.
The Speedster was Mr. Dewey’s daily driver/commuter car for the next two decades following its arrival stateside. Until the Dewey’s’ daughter Gail arrived in October 1958, this Speedster was the Dewey’s family’s only car, which already included their young son, Russ. Through all family’s postings to New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, and back again to New Jersey, the Speedster was their ever-faithful companion. In fact, within a wonderful article in the November/December 2009 edition of the 356 Registry magazine, Mr. Dewey wrote “This car, the “Raider,” and its predecessors, have brought me so MANY happy times for 53 years…and counting. It is my middle “child” – born after my son and before my daughter – a true member of the family.”
As Mr. Dewey neared his eventual retirement from the Air Force and a planned move to sunny Florida, he commissioned Porsche specialist Bruce Baker to perform a total restoration to “as new” condition, which was completed to show-quality standards. Awards at shows and PCA (Porsche Club America) events followed, including recognition of Mr. Dewey – as the only original owner who picked up their Speedster new at the factory in Germany – at the 2004 “50th Anniversary of the Speedster” celebrations held in Monterey, California. Incredibly at this same event, Mr. Dewey was reunited with his prior 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster, which he had also brought with him to the United States in 1958 and subsequently sold in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Wonderfully preserved and maintained since it was restored and exceptionally well documented, “The Lieutenant’s Speedster” is a thrilling find in today’s crowded auction market and continues to stand for everything that is great about the classic-car hobby and the people who share our passion.
Watch our Pacific Grove sale website for more information on the outstanding collector vehicles to be offered by us and make plans to join us on Thursday, August 17th for the first catalogue auction of the storied Monterey Car Week celebrations. Full catalogue descriptions are being added soon and our full-color Pacific Grove auction catalogue will hit the press very soon. Be sure to register to bid and we look forward to seeing you there!