Lot #22: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster
California-based Speedster with only some 4,300 miles from new.
- Very rare limited-production Porsche model; 1 of 823 U.S. cars built
- Elemental and evocative variant of the final Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 model
- Exceptional, low-mileage California car; unmodified and well maintained
- Very well equipped with factory options; Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
- Later-production car with factory-original ‘Turbo’ style front valance panel
- Complete with window sticker, receipts, original books, tools and gloves
Later-production example with extremely rare factory-original 911 Turbo front valance. Body retains factory-applied cosmolene sealant. Complete with window sticker, original books and tools, and gloves, plus receipts and Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. Freshly serviced and feels, looks, and drives as new. A great example of one of the last 911s built at Porsche’s original Stuttgart works.
Specifications: 3,164 cc air-cooled SOHC horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine, Bosch DME electronic fuel injection and engine management, 217 BHP @ 5,900 rpm,
5-speed G50 manual gearbox in rear transaxle, independent MacPherson-strut front suspension with lower wishbones, torsion bars, and anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with trailing arms, transverse torsion bar, and anti-roll bar, four-wheel ventilated hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 89.5”
Clearly channeling the avant-garde and elemental 356 Speedsters built specifically for the U.S. sports-car market of the 1950s, Porsche president Peter Schutz conceived a modern variation on the theme, based upon the modern 3.2-liter 911 Cabriolet in 1986. Helmuth Bott, Porsche’s technical director, soon refined the basic concept, adding a removable fiberglass rear tonneau cover with dual fairings, evoking the basic lines of the original 356 Speedster. While a ‘Clubsport’ prototype with cut-down racing windscreen was the hit of the 1987 Frankfurt Show, Bott’s Speedster design was further refined into production-ready form and eventually approved as Option M503 on the outgoing 3.2-liter 911 Carrera for 1989.
As produced, the new Speedster featured a lowered windscreen and wind-up side windows, the welcome elimination of the Carrera’s normal vent windows, a low-profile, manually-operated convertible top and deleted rear seats to accommodate the fiberglass rear cover. While various production figures for the 911 Carrera Speedster have been published, analysis of Porsche’s serial-number assignments confirms 2,065 Speedsters were produced for public sale, all within the “K Program” run spanning August 1988 to July 1989 including just 823 destined for sale in the United States. Of the Speedster’s production, the overwhelming majority – 1,894 of them – were “Turbo Look” cars, based on the basic body shell of the 911/930 Turbo, with its aggressively flared front and rear fenders, front and rear spoilers, upgraded suspension, heavy-duty 4-piston disc brakes with cross-drilled rotors, and 7-inch front and 9-inch rear wheels. While the Speedster was optionally available with the racing 935 Turbo-style “Flachbau” or “Slant-Nose” front-end body style, only the “Turbo Look” was available for Porsche’s key German and American markets. Pricing of the comprehensive “Turbo Look” option was a lofty $13,045 alone, but factored into the Speedster’s $65,480 base pricing.
On sale only from January through September 1989, the new-generation Speedster was an immediate darling of the era’s collector-car speculators, with virtually unused examples soon changing hands multiple times in short order for considerable premiums over their original MSRP depending upon factory options selected. The Speedster was a most fitting way for Porsche to celebrate the end of the long production run of the celebrated 3.2-liter Carrera. In fact, the Speedster is historic as the final model to have been produced at Porsche’s old Stuttgart factory “… on a floorpan derived from the original Type 901,” as stated by Road & Track editors in its February 1990 report. Performance, the Speedster’s true raison d’être, was strong, with the Porsche clocking 0-60 acceleration times of 6.0 seconds, ¼-mile times of 14.5 seconds, and a 149-mph top speed, and the responsive handling that all 911s are long renowned for delivering.
Highly engaging in its rare Grand Prix White paint finish over Black partial leather upholstery, this 1989 911 Carrera Speedster is a later-production car, completed on June 16, 1989, factory-fitted with an extremely rare ‘Turbo’ style front valance panel, and delivered new to California. It was very well equipped with factory options including requisite California emissions equipment, a steering wheel with raised hub, a Blaupunkt ‘Charleston’ radio, a rear luggage compartment in place of rear seats, Comfort seats (L/R), air conditioning, and rich velour carpeting for the luggage compartment. The Speedster was acquired by the Consignor from a Los Angeles-based private collection in 2011 and only some 4,300 miles have been traveled from new. A virtual “time warp” vehicle, this Speedster retains the original cosmolene sealant and it has been used only sparingly since it was purchased by the Consignor. In addition to the original books, tools, and even the factory-supplied gloves, this Speedster includes the window sticker, Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, and service receipts. The newer tires have just an approximate 10 miles of use and the Speedster is freshly serviced and ready to enjoy, delivering an irreplaceably tight feel and the overall appearance of a new vehicle. As offered, this rare, very well-optioned, and immensely collectible 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Speedster pays tribute to the original 356-series Speedsters of the 1950s while enjoying a unique identity, historic status, and significant demand today.