The Speedster has always been, over the years, a limited series which Porsche sought to create the most simple and nimble open-top sportscar. A path started with the the no-frills, top-down days of the original 356 Speedster from the 1950s.
The 911 3.2 Speedster differed substantially from the convertible version. The Speedsters features an aluminium windscreen frame that is shorter and with a more shallow rake, and with a ‘double bubble’ rear cover that houses the fabric soft top. Inside, the seats are also mounted lower in the cabin. Its M491 wide body ‘Super Sport Equipment’ package also featured the 911 Turbo axle brackets and stabilisers, as well as the more powerful brakes. The absence of side deflectors and other details, made this car very light and significantly improved its performance compared to the convertible. BACKGROUND AND HISTORY:
Porsche's first take on an open-top 911 had been the Targa model of 1965, a 'halfway house' design chosen because of fears that a genuine soft-top would not meet US Federal safety regulations, but by 1981 the company felt able to proceed with the genuine article. Introduced in normally aspirated 3.0-litre form in 1982, the 911 Cabriolet lost little, if any, rigidity with the deletion of the Targa roll-over bar. The 911 Cabriolet proved a hit from the moment of its debut at the Geneva Salon in March 1982 and by the end of the 1983 model year had sold over 4,000 units, a total some 50% higher than that achieved by the cheaper Targa version.
Completing the soft-top 911 line-up was the Speedster, which revived a charismatic model from Porsche's past when it arrived in 1989, the name previously having been applied to that most stylish of the many Type 356 variants. The idea of a new Speedster had first crystallised in 1983 with the development of an ultimately stillborn prototype. Porsche's president, the German-American Peter Schutz, revived the project in 1986, knowing that such a model would have great appeal in the United States market. A prototype based in the 911SC was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1987, but by the time the production Speedster arrived, the 911SC had been superseded by the Carrera '3.2'.
Based on the 911 Turbo Cabriolet, though normally aspirated, the 3.2-litre Speedster was launched immediately prior to the introduction of the new Type 964 bodyshell and thus was the last 911 model to feature the old-style body based on the brilliant original design of 1963. The latter was reworked by chief stylist Tony Lapine, incorporating numerous references to the original 356 Speedster as well as a pair of controversial 'camel hump' cowlings behind the seats that concealed the stowed-away manual hood, a simplified affair described by the factory as for 'temporary' use. From 1984 Porsche had offered the 'Turbo-Look' body style - flared wheelarches, large rear wing and deeper front spoiler - on its normally aspirated models including the Speedster, the vast majority of which were ordered with this option. One of the rarest of the 911 family, the Speedster was built during 1989 only, a mere 2,065 cars being completed of which only 171 had the narrow (non-'Turbo-Look') body.
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