Two in Celebration of the Porsche Speedster -

Two in Celebration of the Porsche Speedster

Speedster 50th Anniversary: Celebration of an Icon


Porsche Speedster Typ 540; Quintessential Sports Car

by Steve Heinrichs, with additional contributors

It is obvious from the first page that these two books—produced concurrently—were both labors-of-love and adventurous projects. They were conceived to salute and honor a particular Porsche on (as the title of one clearly indicates) the occasion of its fiftieth birthday. Speedster 50th Anniversary is an almost entirely pictorial tome with a few introductory pages explaining the gathering where most of the photographs featured were shot.

That photography—for that matter, the entirety of both books—has been accomplished by people who know their craft as well as they know their cars. The images are well-composed and lovely to view. The paper reproduces the images crisply and pages are artfully designed. The text is informative although sometimes seems a bit too adoring. But then, it is a celebratory Golden Anniversary special that was photographed, written, and produced by enthusiasts, and particularly dedicated ones at that. The photo captions are truly standout because most all of them identify the car by its specific chassis number. A car may change owners but not its own “name”, its chassis number. Thus this book provides Porsche-philes with a solid historical benchmark for the cars featured in the photographs, and that alone gives this book lasting value that extends long after it has gone out-of-print.

The companion book Porsche Speedster Typ 540; Quintessential Sports Caris the reference, presenting the history examined in microscopic detail. It too reflects author Steve Heinrichs and the additional contributors’ obvious love and respect for these cars and has been produced with equal care, making it high-quality in every way. As might be expected, there are many pages filled with enumerations of the various fixes, changes, enhancements (you choose the euphemism you prefer) that either address a concern or merely cosmetically update one model year from another. Included are reprints of hard-to-find factory literature, advertising brochures, and correspondence. Where necessary, each is accompanied by its English translation. The concluding appendices are invaluable references too. Organized by chassis designation, each car is listed accompanied by the description of how each was equipped at the point it emerged from the factory. The cross-referencing graphs summarize how many of each were built.

Porsche number one bowed in 1948. By 1954, when the factory rolled out the 356 Speedster, it had produced five thousand cars. Fifty years later, total Speedster production sat at 4,146. In the US, the Speedster had been debuted at a concours. There it so captivated the judges that they awarded it a first place—a brand new car took first place over anything else on the field of true vintage competitors. To ameliorate the likelihood of protests, the award had been quickly re-designated as First in Trade Class.

These special books are not generally available in stores. They can be purchased individually or in special sets from the publisher which is most easily found on the internet or by phone at 650-375-1312 (Pacific time). And, a demonstration of the serious dedication to historical accuracy, errata sheets are available that update and augment that which is on the pages of these books. Serious, yet beautiful and enjoyable books for the dedicated Speedster enthusiast.

Copyright 2009 Helen V Hutchings (

Speedster 50th Anniversary: Celebration of an Icon
by Steve Heinrichs, with additional contributors
Blue Lake Media Inc, 2006
256 pages, 439 color photos
List Price: $120
ISBN: 0-9746468-1-4

Porsche Speedster Typ 540; Quintessential Sports Car
by Steve Heinrichs and other contributors
Blue Lake Media Inc, 2006
256 pages, 253 b/w & 71 color photos
List price: $140
ISBN 13: 0-9746468-0-6

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