Speedster History

 
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The 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster
January 1989 to July 1989

Even in the early days of the 911 some enthusiasts tried to create a Speedster variant even though the factory had not produced one. One that is fairly well known was created by Stan Townes who cut the top off a crashed 911 in 1969 and remodelled the front and rear of the 911 body as below:

Peter Schutz the Porsche president was a strong influence in the introduction of a 911 Speedster and designed a prototype in June 1986. It was basically a cabriolet with no top - just a small removable windscreen. It had flared wheel arches and could be transformed into a coupe with a special hard-top that included a windscreen.

In the same year, the Porsche technical director, Helmuth Bott, produced a second prototype based on a 911SC narrow bodied Cabriolet and with the same low windscreen as the Schutz Speedster but which curved round to provide some side protection. A large flat rigid removable tonneau cover had a raised area behind the driver as the drawing below shows:

 

The first 911 Speedster caused a sensation when shown at the Frankfurt motor show in 1987. Porsche engineers demonstrated the mounting of the rigid tonneau which transformed the Speedster into the single seater 'Clubsport' version

In the event most of the Clubsport features were not retained in the production Speedsters but some clubsport versions are still around as this shot I took at the Le Mans Classic 2010 shows: (click to enlarge)

In Autumn 1988, a year after the Frankfurt launch, the new Speedster was shown to Porsche importers. The cars had the Turbo look with flared arches and the Clubsport option had been quietly dropped. Some European dealers had already placed orders for narrow bodied cars and so, starting in 1989, Carrera Speedsters began to be supplied in both narrow body and Turbo-look styles.

A total of 2,104 3.2 Carrera Speedsters (option M503) were produced between January 1989 and July 1989. Almost half, 823, went to the USA and only 139 examples were produced in right hand drive format. Of the total only 171 narrow-body versions were produced, the Turbo-look being more popular.

 

The main difference between the Speedster and the Cabriolet is the low, steeply angled windscreen which can be removed for racing. There is no screen surround, the door glass winds down fully into the door without quarter lights. The hood was single lined, smaller and lighter than a convertible and when folded was able to be completely hidden under a humped fibreglass cover. Porsche were quick to point out that the hood offered 'weather protection' only.

Inside the car further weight was saved with the removal of the rear seats. A 'flat or slant nose ' was a further option but very rare. Some examples were ordered with air conditioning, and comfort or 'turbo' seats.

> The 964 Speedster of 1993/94

     
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