The legend of the Porsche Speedster goes well back to 1954 when Max Hoffman, the powerful and influential American importer of Porsche (as well as Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes Benz and others) requested a stripped-down version of the 356 to appeal to budget-minded weekend racers. The top-brass at Porsche were all too eager to please Mr. Hoffman and they quickly developed a new lightweight, open-topped 356. Named Speedster, it featured basic fixed-back bucket seats, a distinct cut-down windscreen that could be removed for racing, and rudimentary soft top and side curtains for weather protection. As usual, Hoffman’s read on the US market was spot-on and the Speedster proved to be very popular, particularly in California and among the East Coast sports car racing set. Since then, the 356 Speedster has become one of the most iconic and collectible Porsches of all time, spawning countless replicas, tributes, and imitators to this day.
In the late 1980s, Porsche themselves paid tribute to the original Speedster with a 911-based version that would see out the production of the long-running G-Model before the heavily revised 964 was released. A revival of the Speedster had actually been proposed by former Porsche chief Peter Schutz as far back as 1981, however, the Cabriolet was favored for its greater comfort and more universal appeal. But with the Cabriolet well-established, Porsche decided the time was right to have a little fun, and they developed a modern interpretation of the classic Speedster. The new version was based on a standard Cabrio body shell and 3.2 liter running gear, but it sported a new cut-down windscreen that was laid back a further 5 degrees, and a lightweight and simple top which stowed beneath a molded cover that recalled the “bathtub” shape of the 356. The doors featured hand crank windows, and niceties such as sport seats and air conditioning were optional. Also optional was the “Turbo Look” package which was particularly well suited to the “chop-top” Speedster. The performance was essentially unchanged, but outright pace was not the point of the Speedster. This was a car meant for pure, unfiltered driving enjoyment; a modern sports car for the traditional enthusiast. As a special edition swansong to the G-Model 911, just 2,065 examples of the Speedster were produced worldwide before the 3.6 liter 964 series was ushered in. Today, the Speedster has become among the most collectible and desirable of the 3.2 liter 911 series.
This spectacular 1989 911 Speedster was discovered by its most recent owner in Modena, Italy in approximately 2001. He was immediately struck by the car’s nearly showroom-fresh condition, and a deal was made to buy it on the spot. From there, it was imported to the US where it was properly federalized for use on American roads and it has remained in his collection ever since. Finished in the rare and highly attractive color of Linen Gray Metallic (Code L550) over a black interior, this Speedster presents in stunning condition throughout. It remains in a sparkling condition that belies its 29 years.
An original Italian market car, this Speedster was very well optioned from new, including the highly desirable M491 Turbo-look package that adds the flared bodywork, brakes and suspension of the 930. Other options include the high-capacity battery, limited slip differential, A/C, and factory security system. According to the previous owner, the exquisite Linen Gray paintwork and body are original, and the paint has recently been ceramic coated for additional protection and a beautiful finish quality.
This car features optional manually-adjusted sport seats trimmed in black leather which present in outstanding condition, showing very little use and remaining supple and beautiful. Original black “Silverknit” velour carpets are protected by over mats and are in excellent condition. Features include optional air conditioning, the original Porsche CR21 cassette player, and European market height-adjustable H4 headlamps. The interior of the Speedster is largely unchanged from that of a standard Carrera, and even with the cut-down soft top in place, visibility and headroom remain excellent, even for taller drivers.
This car retains its original engine which presents in excellent condition with original factory labels and markings and good quality cad-plated hardware. As one would expect from a pampered 911, it runs exceptionally well and is an absolute joy to drive. The 3.2-liter flat-six is one of Porsche’s finest; powerful yet tractable and virtually bullet-proof, with a surprising top-end punch and that distinctive air-cooled thrum. The famously light front-end allows for unassisted steering that communicates through the driver’s hands with telepathic accuracy. The G50 gearbox feels tight, with crisp and direct shifts through the gear lever. Recent Pirelli PZero tires fitted to original 16-inch Fuchs alloys inspire confident handling and the body feels tight and free of squeaks and rattles. Included in the sale are the original books, owner’s manuals, and original Speedster supplement handbooks. The sale will also include numerous spares, US market headlamps, a factory tool kit, and air compressor, as well as the original steering wheel, spare keys, period dealer literature and the necessary Federal DOT/EPA paperwork.
This truly exceptional 911 Speedster benefits from meticulous care and limited use in the hands of a series of fastidious owners. One of the most highly collectible of the 3.2-liter G-Model series; this gorgeous example is ready for enjoyment on the road or for inclusion in any serious Porsche collection.