The predecessor to the Porsche's iconic Speedster is this prototype Type 540 Sport Roadster powered by a 1.5-liter air-cooled flat-four offering 75 horsepower. It is known as the American Roadster because this was the intended destination for this model. Ferry Porsche agreed to produce the car, at the insistence of Max Hoffman, an importer who was well attuned to his customers' desires. Porsche turned to the Glaser-Heuer company to produce the aluminum coachwork. All but the initial car carry Porsche's new 1500 Super motor. They sold for $4,600 or the equivalent of about three Chevrolets, and production was limited, with only 16 aluminum cars and this sole steel-bodied car being produced. The car possesses some unique features such as lower front fender well and a fixed windshield.
This steel-bodied example was originally sold to Hubert L. Brundage, 'Mr. B', the founder of Brumos Porsche. Hoffman had neglected to mention the steel coachwork and Brundage (who acquired the car sight unseen) was less than thrilled when it was discovered.
The car was destined for racing and its first appearance came at a rally in Clewiston, FL in 1953 where it finished first overall. It's most notable race came the next year at the 12 Hours of Sebring where it finished 7th in class and 15th overall.
The car has had several owners over the years and was restored in 2004.