WDØM - Pagosa Springs, CO

Pagosa Springs, Colorado








The Saga of 80820
Unique in the World!
Porsche Carrera Speedster 1500RS

The February 1997 issue of "Excellence, the Magazine About Porsche", details Steve's heroic efforts to restore 80820 to original condition. Steve had the capability to apply appropriate resources to the car to restore it to pristine condition. And it shows. I would have never been able to do what Steve has done, and I want to thank him for saving this unique car and restoring "our car" to orginal condition. Some photos of Steve's dedicated work follow:

After Steve's restoration 80820 truly shines
It was featured in Excellence magazine

Silk scarf flying in the breeze while stationed
at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska

Speedster seats highlight the interior
of Porsche Speedster 80820

The original 4 cam 1500RS Carrera engine
that makes it one of a kind

80820 has its own special trailer
befitting a car of such rare status

I've logged many hours and many miles
behind this steering wheel

Steve organized the 50th Anniversary of the Speedster event at Monterrey, California in 2004. This historic gathering of Porsche Speedsters from around the world was celebrated in a limited edition book.

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I'm very proud to say that 80820, my Porsche Speedster Carrera RS (sorry Steve), was the centerpiece of the event. Again, my thanks to Steve Heinrichs for restoring this world-class car and making this world-wide event happen! I regret that I was unable to attend due to pressing family needs - my parents were moving to Santa Fe, NM, and I was helping them - but family comes first.

Here's a little 80820 history, borrowed from several sources:

  • Porsche Carrera RS Speedster, chassis 80820, was the very first 4-cam Speedster to arrive in the United States when it was unloaded from a ship in Miami in December 1955. It was also the very first 4-cam Speedster to be shipped out. It had hardly reached the docks when new owner Jan Brundage had it loaded on a ship bound for Nassau. This white Carrera RS Speedster was fitted with a Typ 547 motor and designated ‘RS’ for Rennsport, or racing.

  • The Speedster was finished September 14, 1955 to the special order of Brundage Motors (now ‘Brumos’) in Florida. Brundage Motors had sent a telegram to Porsche on August 25, 1955, ordering both a Speedster and also a Spyder with the 4-cam motor.

  • With 21-year-old Brundage behind the wheel at Nassau, 80820 became the first 4-cam Speedster to be raced. During the race at Nassau in December 1955, the Brundage Porsche and Phil Hill’s Ferrari had a run in when another competitor spun in front of Hill. Although the right side of the new Carrera RS Speedster was battered, Brundage completed his race.

  • Brundage didn’t race the Carrera RS again, but he drove it extensively and regularly. He also used it to drive to and race in the 12-hours of Sebring in 1956. In fact, he said that the little 4-cam Speedster carried him from 160 miles from Sebring back to Miami in “two hours flat.”

  • The car’s history was unknown for about 20 years until it appeared in Colorado Springs, CO, and I purchased it. In the late 1980s, Brent Fagan eventually found this remarkable Speedster on a Colorado used car lot. The subsequent owner was Gary Kempton, who reunited the engineless car with its original 4-cam power plant. The car was under restoration when the current owner acquired it and sent it to Tim Goodrich to have the work completed.

  • Chassis 80820 is the only Speedster known where the data plate reflects the ‘RS’ designation. It lacks the ‘Carrera’ side script fitted to most of the 4-cam Speedsters. Other details that distinguish this car are the larger 60 mm Spyder drums with radial fins. The drums of this very special Carrera RS Speedster sit inside steel and aluminum 16 by 3.5-inch wheels, instead of the narrower 3.25-inch wheels used on ‘standard’ factory Carrera Speedsters.

  • Stunning in its original white livery with correct red interior, 80820 was the winner in 1996 of the Overall Restoration Award at the 1996 Porsche Parade in Oklahoma. Chassis 80820 has been extensively researched and was the subject of a major article and pictured on the cover of Excellence magazine. One of the finest and rarest of all Porsches, this Carrera RS Speedster is clearly, as Excellence stated, one of a kind.


  • Jan Brundage during a "Lemans Start"
    at the beginning of the race

    A routine pit stop during the
    Nassau Speed Week Race

    These two photos are of the first owner, Jan Brundage, when racing the car in the Nassau Speed Week Trophy event immediately after receiving the car in December 1955. They were taken at the start of the race, and during a pit stop, before the car was hit by Phil Hill's Ferrari. Brundage neverthelesss finished the race - a testament to the determined survivability of Speedster Carrera 1500RS.

    Phil Hill went on to become America's ONLY Formula One World Champion Driver. Hill's having hit the car with his Ferrari on the right side of the Speedster explained the "crunch" marks I found on the passenger's side and near the dash window post while taking the car apart! As a result, I also have an "accidental link" to Phil Hill - pun intended.

    I have two favorite personal recollections about this car:

  • When we lived in Alaska, the Speedster lived in the garage under a form fitting car cover. Only when I decided to take it out for a drive, did I remove the cover. Preparing for one trip, I was aghast when I noticed that the driver's side paint was absolutely devoid of any shine! Eventually the story was revealed when my son said he and a friend of his decided to help me by "washing" it using the nearby bottle of "409" cleaner. Oh the humanity!!

  • My other favorite recollection is one from behind the wheel. I drove 80820 from Seattle, Washington, to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in about 18 hours - a distance of 1450 miles - when I was moving back from Alaska to Colorado on a new US Air Force assignment. What an incredible experience! Stopping only for fuel, I managed to average about 80 mph - exactly what Jan Brundage had done in his two hour trip from Sebring to Miami about 30 years before!
  • "My" 1955 Porsche Speedster Carrera RS is the subject of several web pages as well. Should you be interested in reading a bit more, please take a look at this link:

    My current sports car, a beautiful Quick Silver 2002 Corvette Targa Coupe, has its own page - you can read more by clicking this link:

    Thanks for stopping by my web page devoted to my favorite hobbies - amateur radio and sports cars....stop back often.

    Cheers,

    Joe