Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content
1958 Porsche 356A/1600 Zagato Speedster

Porsche 356A/1600 Zagato Speedster

1958 Porsche 356A/1600 Zagato Speedster

The Porsche Carrera Zagato Speedster is the last project presented by the Milanese Atelier under the Zagato Classic program, which aims to bring back to life special Zagato one-off models.

These cars, today lost, were characterized by a very significant design and represent a milestone in the history of the brand.

It was committed by American classic cars collector and Porsche pilot Herb Wetanson. He shares his great passion for classic racing cars with his wife Olga, who already committed a Lancia Aprilia Sport from the Zagato Sanction II program.

The first Porsche Zagato The original Porsche Carrera Zagato Speedster, the first Zagato bodied Porsche of the brand’s history, was built in 1958 for French gentleman driver and expert Porsche pilot Claude Storez, one of the best French pilots of that time.

He started his career in early 50s and became soon a skilled pilot. In late ’57 he was looking for the “ultimate” 356 for the 1958 races season. He put an order to Porsche AG for a 356 A Speedster (the lightest version available) with a Carrera engine and GS specs (the most powerful at that time).

Despite his car was very fast, he needed a even lighter and aerodynamic body shape to achieve maximum performance. For this reason he approached Zagato, whose fame he came to know and appreciated a lot during his attendance at the Mille Miglia in mid 50s.

Since the 20s Zagato was acclaimed as the leading Italian coachbuilding company for sport and race bodies. Storez asked the Milanese Atelier a light aluminium body for his Porsche 356 Speedster Carrera.

The Storez 356’s rolling chassis was taken from Zuffenhausen plant to Milan, where the body was assembled in the late August ‘58. At the end of the month it was sent back to Porsche headquarter for the engine to be installed.

Zagato technicians created a sport spider 2 seats body, very light and smooth. Its volumes paid homage to the 1953 550 RS and the 1957 718 RSK but it also anticipated RS60, RS61 and 356 Carrera Abarth GTL (bodied by Zagato) body style.

Starting from late summer Storez attended many competitions in France with successful results. But the its career was suddenly stopped on February 7th 1959 due to an accident. The car was wrecked and vanished.

The rebuilding

As the original car no longer exists. Zagato Classic team started reconstructing the forms of the Porsche Carrera Zagato Speedster by tracing its history. Official historical literature was fundamental.

For a perfect result, aiming to the same body realized by Zagato in 1958, the company coupled state of the art technology in reverse engineering and photometric control with the great value of handcrafted body panels.

These have been hand crafted by master panel beaters, working on a solid, machined buck form, obtained by the milling machine. The entire process guaranteed the reconstruction to be 100% faithful to the original.

Specs & Performance

submitted by Richard Owen
type Racing Car
built at Germany
coachbuilder Reutter Karosserie
production 1
price $ $ 5,995
engine Type 546 Air Cooled Flat-4
position Rear, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Aluminum
valvetrain Pushrod OHV
fuel feed Dual Solex 26 VFJ Downdraft
displacement 1582 cc / 96.54 in³
bore 82.5 mm / 3.25 in
stroke 74 mm / 2.91 in
power 44.7 kw / 60 bhp @ 4500 rpm
specific output 37.93 bhp per litre
body / frame Body over Steel Tub Chassis
driven wheels RWD
wheel type Steel Slotted Discs
front tires 5.60×15 Sport
rear tires 5.60×15 Sport
front wheels F 38.1 x 11.4 cm / 15 x 4.5 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 11.4 cm / 15 x 4.5 in
steering VW Worm & Nut
f suspension VW Parallel Trailing Arms, Boge Telescopic Dampers, 15mm Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension VW Leading Arms w/Torsion Bars, Hydraulic Lever-Arm Shock Absorbers
transmission 4-Speed Manual