Stripped by artist Daniel Arsham, this Porsche 356 Speedster proudly displays its patina


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From experience, she appears to be in poor condition. However, this is only an appearance, since this 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster is in perfect working order. A fan of the Stuttgart firm, the American artist Daniel Arsham took care of stripping the bodywork of this mythical model, to highlight the marks of time that it sports. This project is the result of two years of work.

Called Porsche 356 Bonsai, this car originally owned by the artist therefore adopts a vintage patina, but remains fully functional. The customization of this 70-year-old car is inspired by the Japanese wabi-sabi concept, which celebrates the art of imperfection. Adorned with a 3D-printed bronze bonsai tree, the engine cover grille houses the original boxer four-cylinder block, restored to factory condition.

A Japanese tatami in the trunk

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Porsche 356 | Photos of the Bonsai model customized by Daniel Arsham
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Porsche 356Photo credit – Porsche

The bodywork of this Porsche 356 is not the only patinated element. The round headlights feature weather-worn grilles. The front cover contains a spare wheel stored on a Japanese tatami made of rice straw. And to design the interior upholstery, Daniel Arsham was directly inspired by interior architecture.

A denim hood to protect the cabin

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Porsche 356 | Photos of the Bonsai model customized by Daniel Arsham
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Porsche 356Photo credit – Porsche

On board the Porsche 356 Bonsai, we find traditional Japanese fabrics, such as boro and selvedge denim. The combination of these fabrics results in an indigo patchwork. On the inside of the doors and on the edge of the seats, Daniel Arsham affixes embroidered topstitching using the traditional sashiko method. A rare thing, the hood is completely made of jeans!

It is exhibited in the Japanese capital in 2022

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Porsche 356 | Photos of the Bonsai model customized by Daniel Arsham
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Porsche 356Photo credit – Porsche

Not for sale at the time of writing, this Porsche 356 Bonsai designed by Daniel Arsham is designed to welcome its occupants as one welcomes guests in a house. This is the third Porsche customized by the New York artist. The convertible is to be exhibited in Tokyo, Japan, before the end of 2022.

In short

Daniel Arsham draws inspiration from the hospitality of the Land of the Rising Sun to transform his own 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster. After two years of work, the New York artist unveils the transformed car, whose body has been stripped bare in order to make visible a 70-year-old patina. Refurbished, the engine is protected by a grille adorned with a bronze bonsai printed in 3D. The interior is reworked with selvedge denim and boro, a traditional Japanese fabric. The hood that protects the cabin is even made of jeans! Not for sale, this 356 Speedster Bonsai is on display in Tokyo, Japan in 2022.

Quentin Gueroult



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