The spark that launched Porsche’s road racing dynasty began with the “Fuhrman engine” in the landmark 550 Spyder racecar. Bringing that engine to the 356’s option list in 1956 and calling it “Carrera” boosted Porsche’s racing pedigree while also setting the foundation for special high-performance Porsche models to come. The expensive and complex Carrera engine was rarely ordered when new, and cars so-equipped demand a huge premium in the collector car market today. A 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster Carrera offered by Mecum Auctions in Monterey is expected to sell for up to $1.2M, or nearly 400% more than a Speedster without it.
The 2018 Monterey auctions were notable not just for record-setting Ferrari sales, but also for a strong showing among pre-war American cars. A 1935 Duesenberg SSJ LaGrande Roadster once owned by Gary Cooper stole headlines with a $22m sale, but Gooding & Company and Mecum each sold an Auburn Super-Charged Boattail Speedster for over $1m.