The Aluminum Competition Roadster, aka American Roadster, was Porsche's first purpose built race car. The Competition Roadster was lower, narrower, shorter and lighter than the coupe or cabriolet production models due to its hand-made aluminum body with removable racing windshield. It was built by Glaser, rather than Reutter.
This particular car was the second made, and the first with the more powerful 1,500 Super engine, along with the larger aluminum brake drums. It was built specifically to win the Brynfan Tyddyn road race run in conjunction with the Devil's Despair Hill Climb, first held in 1906 in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania. Because the race had been changed to under 1,950cc, Porsche felt they had a chance at an overall win, where previously they had only achieved victories in the 1,100, 1,300 and 1,500cc classes. Their thoughts were well founded as Phil Walters did win making this the first to win an overall victory for the fledgling German car builder.
To achieve this victory, Porsche first built the lightweight racer and shipped it to importer Max Hoffman in May of 1952. But they also needed a winning driver. Following the 1952 LeMans race, Porsche invited noted sportsman Briggs Cunningham and his ace driver Phil Walters to Stuttgart, to convince him to buy this car. The car was resold by Hoffman to Auto Age magazine editor John Bentley who featured it on the cover of the December 1953 issue in its current livery.