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Experiencing Porsche 356 Ownership for $30,000 not $300,000

Online Auction Company, BaT has two Speedsters selling in the $30,000 range, and one selling for ten times as much; what’s the deal? One is the real deal and the other two are replicas selling under the brand Vintage Speedsters. Note, the listings for the $30,000 Speedsters do not state Porsche Speedster, but they say Vintage Speedsters. This is a clever bit of branding to imply a Porsche, but is it a Porsche?

Porsche 356 Speedster
Replica vs Real | Top and Bottom are Replicas | Middle is Real

In each case of the Replicas the Vintage Speedsters feature a Volkswagen 1,915cc engine with a four-speed transaxle but you only know that if you look under the hood. Otherwise to the un-trained eye it looks like a Porsche Speedster and the owner is certainly trying to capture the ownership experience of a Speedster without the expense and worry that comes with owning and driving a quarter of million dollar car.

What is really interesting is how the State where these Speedsters reside legally classify the car. New York titles the Speedster as a Porsche, while California titles the Speedster as a Volkswagen. As far as I can tell the Vintage Speedsters replica titled as a Porsche does not have one significant component from Porsche. The body is a fiberglass replica (granted a very good one) and the engine and transaxle are Volkswagen. Congratulations to the original owner and builder for accomplishing getting the state to issue the title as a Porsche, but if the marketing as a Porsche became serious I suspect the owner/seller would hear from the Porsche trademark attorneys. Porsche is one of the most vigilant at protecting their brand.

BaT Community Comments on Speedster Replica

An exchange from the Bring a Trailer (BaT) listing for one of the Vintage Speedsters is interesting and captures the essence of owning a replica

Bigrookieinc "I’ve never understood replicas and clones, etc. feels like wearing a fake Rolex. "

DaveHasTrailer: "You don’t buy one of these to “fake it till you make it” like a rookie broker wearing a Canal Street Rolex on Wall Street in the early 90’s... you buy one to drive and enjoy without having to worry about some a$$hole rear ending you at a stop light in your ~$200K 356 that an insurance company can’t replace. The non-replicas are collectors that only the 1% can afford ... these are drivers. A steal at these price points, and so many conversations at the gas pump. I’d buy a replica to enjoy a classic look, with an analog feel, in something you don’t have to worry about getting a speeding ticket in. To each their own, but if I had an extra bay, I’d be bidding. Owner, GLW the A."

Air Brigade Thoughts on Replicas

Air Brigade can understand the enjoyment and fun of owning a Speedster replica. They provide you with the vintage looks but with safety and reliability of a modern car at a tenth of the price. Some owners will be happy and satisfied with this experience, while others won’t.

I am one who would want the real deal or not have one. If I had one, I would want Porsche running gear in it so it also drove as a Porsche. Granted, a Volkswagen is air-cooled, but it just does not have that same sound and driving experience as a Porsche flat-four. I think every time I drove the Vintage Speedster I would long for owning a real Speedster and would never be satisfied. But, that’s me, we all desire different experiences from our car ownership. If you decide to go the replica route, drive it, enjoy it and embrace it. That’s what is great about the car hobby; there is a space for all of us.

Details on the Vintage Speedsters Appearing on Bring a Trailer

Vintage Speedsters Replica of a Porsche 356 Speedster ( Titled as1957)

  • Sold on BaT for $24,500 on May 7, 2020

  • Built in 2016

  • Powered by 1,915cc Volkswagen with a four-speed transaxle

  • Pewter Metallic over light gray

  • Fiberglass body

  • Titled in New York as a 1957 Porsche

Vintage Speedsters Replica of a Porsche 356 Speedster (Titled as a 1963)

  • $21,000 ends in 1 day (May 11, 2020)

  • Built in 2005

  • Powered by a 1,914cc Volkswagen with a four-speed transaxle

  • Silver over red leather

  • Fiberglass body

  • Titled in California as a 1963 Volkswagen

Tags: Porsche Speedster, Vintage Speedsters, Porsche Speedster replica

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