porsche speed­ster through the years

Total 911 - - The First Speedster -

356: Built at the be­hest of US dis­trib­u­tor Max Hoff­man who said Porsche needed a cheaper model, the first Speed­ster was ef­fec­tively a roof­less 356 with a rudi­men­tary wind­shield and sim­pli­fied in­te­rior. A Us-only road-go­ing model of which

4,000 were as­sem­bled, it put Porsche firmly on the rac­ing map in Amer­ica.

964: Porsche reprised the 3.2 Speed­ster theme us­ing the-then cur­rent 911, but de­spite an in­te­rior bor­rowed from the RS, a man­ual trans­mis­sion and power steer­ing, the 964 ver­sion of­fered no other ad­vance over its pre­de­ces­sor and looked like a slightly des­per­ate at­tempt to shore up flag­ging 964 sales in the early Nineties.

997: Two decades later, Porsche took up the Speed­ster idea again, but now the ob­jec­tive was clearer: a col­lec­tor’s 911, pro­duc­tion limited to a sym­bolic 356 units. Once again a hooped cover dis­tin­guished this low­ered wind­screen, two-seater 911, but the hood mech­a­nism was not au­to­matic as one have might hoped.

991: Ap­par­ently based on the GT3 rather than the more softly sprung Car­rera, the con­cept sug­gests this will be closer to the orig­i­nal barchetta, a point em­pha­sised by its sil­ver paint and bon­net-mounted fuel filler. Its man­ual gear­box and cen­tre-lock wheels also em­pha­sise sport­ing pre­ten­sions. Pro­duc­tion is likely in 2019; the only cer­tainty is that its price will not un­der­cut the base 991.

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