Reunion of the Rare

Luck, and lots of cash, reunite a 1957 Carrera Speedster with its original GT engine

April 3, 2014
Reunion of the Rare 1
Reunion of the Rare 2
Reunion of the Rare 3
Reunion of the Rare 4
Reunion of the Rare 5
Reunion of the Rare 6
Reunion of the Rare 7
Reunion of the Rare 8
Reunion of the Rare 9
Reunion of the Rare 10
Reunion of the Rare 11
Reunion of the Rare 12

Jerry Charlup glances at his passenger with a smile as he throttles his 1957 Carrera Speedster quickly through a tight corner, forcing his shoulder hard against the door. The sounds coming from the exhaust make a good substitute for conversation. Words could wait until later—and then only occasional words would be spoken. Words like “wow” and a couple others unfit for publication. Wind and road noise add to an already enjoyable driving experience. The Speedster hasn’t worn its top in ages, and even with threatening skies there’s only a light drizzle—hardly a concern for this Carrera, always driven hard, rarely pampered.

Jerry was first introduced to his Carrera through an ad in a Southern California newspaper. He’d fallen in love with the sleek shape while at an Orange county PCA concours in 1982. He saw four examples that day, and because of them he quickly forgot about the ribbon he’d just won with his new 911 SC Targa. “Immediately I just fell in love with them and said, man, I’ve got to get one of these,” he remembers.

Jerry began searching for a Speedster, and within a year he sighted that fateful newspaper ad. “The car had a Carrera emblem on the sides and back. At the time I didn’t know what a Carrera was and, fortunately for me, neither did the seller,” Jerry says. The cost of the Speedster was within his budget, so he bought it. When he got the car among his Porsche friends, he discovered how unusual his car was. Indeed, he was the owner of an authentic Carrera Speedster—but the pushrod engine powering it belonged to a 912!

Jerry started to research Carreras—particularly Carrera motors. He learned about engine Typ 547 and its brilliant developer, Ernst Furhmann, and how this motor—with its unique four-camshaft design, elaborate valve gear and dual-spark ignition—transformed Porsche from automotive innovators to racing juggernauts. Not having a proper four-cam motor for his car would prompt Jerry on another search.

Also from Issue 219

  • 2015 Macan First Drive
  • Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1
  • Low-mileage 914/6
  • 356/911 SC mashup
  • 2014 Rolex Daytona 24
  • Tech Primer: Racing Wheels
  • Porsche’s South African Racing, Part II
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