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Carleigh Porsche

Roberto Nickson


Behind the Shot

In 1954, the Porsche 356 A Carrera Speedster existed only on a drawing board. The competition department of the 20-ish-year-old company was trying to improve the design of its entry into the 3,197-mile Liège-Rome-Liège rally, considered the toughest in Europe at that time. Having placed very well in various races, previous Porsche entries were mostly stock cars based on stripped-down 356 coupes with streamlined aluminum bodies and covered wheels.

The designers placed a four-camshaft Carrera engine into the 356 coupe, lowered the roof, replaced the windscreen with a one-piece glass screen, and went on to win Liège-Rome-Liège for the second year in a row. Porsche decided to put 100 cars with the new package into production, and the 356A Carrera Speedster was born.

The 356 A sold for about $4,000 at the time—about $40,000 adjusted for inflation. Today, a fully restored 356 A sells for about $300,000. Several companies make near-exact reproductions that can be purchased used for $30,000 to $40,000 today, with modern conveniences and reliability that Porsche engineers would never have dreamed of in 1954.

Roberto and his fiancée, Carleigh, enjoy birthdays just a day apart. “For our 2018 birthdays, we decided to rent a classic Porsche and cruise around town, culminating in a lunch at Nobu. While we were waiting for our reservation, we decided to cruise around Malibu. We found this overlook and I decided to get my camera out and shoot.”