The ’54 to ’57 356 Speedster was priced below $3,000, featured minimal standard equipment, and boasted a raked, chopped, and removable windshield. Fans adored them, but it didn’t keep the body style from disappearing. It would take three decades before it returned again, but when it did, it was a looker. And this is it.
The stunning Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster debuted in 1989 as a one-year special, incidentally also marking the 911’s 25th anniversary. Like its famous namesake, the 911 Speedster toted a frameless, raked windshield which could be removed for more spirited track driving.
At the rear, a svelte dual hump tonneau cover replaced the back seats, and to the driver’s right and left were roll-up windows. While you’ll see most Speedsters with the top down, a thin “emergency” cloth top was included.
Contrary to original form, these new Speedsters weren’t cheap—the 1989 models sold for around $65,000. Nevertheless, just over 2,000 were built, both in narrow and Turbo-look widebody configurations, and a tad over 800 of those came to North American shores.
Though the Speedster bloodline had remained stagnant for three decades, it certainly wasn’t forgotten. In 1983, Porsche engineer Helmuth Bott crafted a Speedster prototype from a 911 body. Three years later, Porsche President Peter Schutz green-lit development on another prototype.
It was the 1989 Speedster that finally saw the light of day, and it welcomed it with a blast of 215 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque from its 3.2-liter Carrera flat-six.
Expectedly, many of these cars were immediately squirreled away in collections and few trade on the open market. This Guards Red example recent did however on eBay, and it’s a stunning reminder of one of Porsche’s best kept lineages.
Photo Credit: Paul Motor Co.