Porsche 911 Speedster Book
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Porsche Speedster - Legends live forever 1989-2011
This beautifully produced 396 page book celebrates the 30th birthday of the 911 Speedster. The Porsche Factory opened its archives to allow Porsche expert Andreas Gabriel to answer many questions about these wonderful cars using many previously unpublished documents and photographs. Technical expert Tobias Kindermann has contributed a detailed section that lists for the first time all the VIN numbers and paint finishes of every 911 Speedster made, by model and country.
The book briefly covers the early history of Porsche and includes some wonderful 356 photos. But the real detail is in the development of the later 911 Speedsters with interviews with Porsche race driver Herbert Linge and the history of the Bott Speedster starting in 1981 and leading to the 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster of 1989.
There are detailed interviews with key figures at the time including Freidrich Bezner and Bernd Kahnau which provide information and insight that I have not read before. It answers the question of why the 911 Speedster presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1987 with a slimline body could only be ordered with the Turbo look. The book gives a huge amount of information about the development of the 1989 Carrera Speedsters with many amazing photos which I have never seen before.
The book then goes on to discuss the development of the 964 Speedster for the 1993-1994 model year. Based on the Carrera 2 Cabriolet and at a lower cost, the new Speedster was only available in slimline form rather than with the 'turbo-look' of its predecessor. This rather strange decision by the factory is discussed at length in the book and it is revealed that only 15 'turbo' bodied 964 Speedsters were built to special request by "Porsche Exclusive"
I did not know before reading this book that the 964 Speedster was available with a Tiptronic gearbox and the more comfortable seats of the 964 Coupe - what would James Dean or Steve McQueen have thought of that!
The book then covers one of my favourite subjects - why did Porsche never build a 993 Speedster when this would have been such a beautiful car with the purest lines of any air-cooled Porsche since the 356 Speedster?
The book has extensive details of the one-off 993 Speedster made for Ferry Porsche's 60th birthday and the second 993 cabriolet conversion, made as a Speedster for the American collector, Jerry Seinfeld. The book also gives many photos and specifications of the 993 Speedster S built for an enthusiast in Germany in 2007 using original factory supplied body panels. There are many pages of photos and a lot of informative detail about these wonderful specials.
click on any image to enlarge
The final section of the book covers the most recent Speedster model, the 997 Speedster of 2010-2011, where a total of just 356 cars where produced. There is a huge amount of information about these cars, a lot of which is new to me including the substantial weight saving measures and the fact that they had both side impact and roll-over protection. Again, every possible piece of information about the model has been gathered together with full details of all VIN numbers, paint finishes and numbers going to different countries.
This is a fantastic book with so much in the way of new information and previously unpublished photographs. But is it the interviews with people involved in the design and productions of the cars and with enthusiasts and collectors that really make the book stand out for me.
John Mercer December 2016
EDITORS EDITION “Porsche Speedster Legends live forever 1989-2011”