Porsche's US sales were dwindling because of the introduction of British roadsters on the US market. US importer Max Hoffman suggested Porsche to offer an spartanly equipped 356 to take on the British competition.
All engines were available in the Speedster but the rain top offer less protection than an umbrella. One of the owners of the Speedster was legendary actor James Dean.
Nowadays the Speedster is more valuable than other more luxuriously equipped 356s.