We work to the highest quality spec including galvanised chassis, stainless steel exhaust system, chrome & alloy exterior trim, cockpit & boot carpeting and leather seats.
Unprecedentedly sure-footed in corners from its upgraded suspension and brake system, the Pilgrim Speedster is lively and engaging, lovely for cruising and town driving.
A simply beautiful body design that’s complimented by a gel coat finish in black, white, navy blue, red and green options and leather interior.
Drive. Right-hand or left-hand drive options
Body Type. Roadster
Engine Size. 16500cc
Power. 95 BHP
Gearbox. Manual 5 Speed
Colours. Choose from any British standard colours
Porsche's big event of 1954 arrived in September: the charming, sporty Speedster. It was yet another bit of marketing magic from Max Hoffman, who, despite his experience with 1952 America, didn’t think U.S. demand for roadsters was quite so limited and that an inexpensive model should be a permanent part of the Porsche production line.
The Speedster was actually evolved from the Glaser-built America and even had the same Type number (540), but was designed by Reutter to minimise production costs. For instance, it used the regular cabriolet body but had none of its luxuries. The Speedster arrived with only a simple canvas top and side curtains instead of a built-in padded top and roll-up door windows, though its windshield was cut about 3 1/2 inches shorter for extra rakish appearance.
The cockpit was as Spartan as a Triumph TR2’s. Seats were simple buckets with fixed backrests. Instrumentation was limited to the speedo, tach, and temperature gauge; technically, the tach and heater were extras, but it was hard to find a car without them, so they were effectively “mandatory options” that pushed the typically delivered price over $3,000. But Hoffman realised his target base price of $2,995.
Hard to believe today, considering these cars now change hands for many hundreds of thousands of pounds and the Speedster – charmingly nicknamed the “Bathtub Sports Car” – was the most spartan and basic of all 356 models produced. It’s popularity today is undoubtedly linked to its timeless design incorporating wonderfully simple styling, so reminiscent of the amazingly popular cars later produced by Porsche and Volkswagen.
This hugely powerful influence on present-day classic motoring enthusiasts is what has driven Pilgrim to produce the latest and without doubt finest re-creation of this timeless classic. With significant improvements to the engineering since its inception, our latest rendition is also designed to evoke all the elegant lines and cheeky looks of the original cars from the ’50s; you may notice our Speedster has a sleeker retro look to it and the hood is more stream-lined. By also incorporating modern, fully independent twin wishbones, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes, and coil over shock absorbers to the radical front suspension, the driver can enjoy a level of handling and braking never before seen in a 356, original or homage.
This is further enhanced with the removal of the torsion bar to the rear suspension and the clever inclusion of a fully independent, adjustable coil over the suspension system. This allows, as with the front set up, infinite adjustment to Caster, Camber, and Toe to provide an extraordinary level of road-holding combined with the low and aggressive stance mimicking "Outlaw" Cars from the period. Even more authentic is the rebuilt and updated flat four VW 1651cc twin carburettor engine: it has the sound of the original!
The drive and feel, it has to be said, surpass the iconic 356.
In addition to a completely redesigned heater system, the instrumentation, seating, and level of trim with a beautifully manufactured low-line canvas top make the Pilgrim Speedster unique, not only in finish quality but in usability.
Designed for daily use or the occasional weekend trip the Pilgrim Speedster becomes a genuinely attractive alternative to commuting, far removed from the banal and the mundane. The iconic shape is loved wherever you go!
Love the idea of a classic but a bit overwhelmed by kit cars? We have a whole gallery of used Speedsters we restored and made good as new. We also have a whole website dedicated to muscle cars, so you can browse some of our stock there, but for Speedsters specifically contact us directly to see if we have what you’re after.
All our cars are registered correctly with the DVLA and have gone through the strict Government IVA test. (N.B.: This is extremely important; insurance companies will not pay out if Speedsters are incorrectly registered as VW’s, and you may find yourself in trouble.) The ruling is, if a chassis has been changed from the original it is no longer deemed a re-bodied vehicle. All but one Speedster had the chassis cut and re-made (our Pilgrim four-seater version which is made on an original chassis, thus not requiring chassis work and can therefore be registered as a re-bodied VW).
A warning: several car companies import Speedsters from across the world. They have not undergone any government safety checks. As a result, you could purchase a car that is unsafe (many countries do not have any technical safety checks), illegally registered and illegally imported, which you may not be able to sell in the future. For those of you that unfortunately have been caught, we remain always happy to help with IVA preparation and can put you in touch with the DVSA.