1957 Porsche 356A Speedster

While an excellent Porsche, of any era, tends to marry a combination of blistering performance with a high degree of refinement, it is many of the no-frills examples that command the greatest attention. One of the earliest of those was the 356 Speedster. As Porsche’s first production vehicle the 356 was around for nearly twenty years before being replaced by the 911 and the Speedster remains one of the most iconic variants produced. Only available for a short 4 years the Speedster served the American market as a lower-cost spartan alternative to the standard 356, while also providing weekend racers a model they could use at the track. Belying its short production run, the Speedster was quite successful in its early years and Porsche has revived the iconic moniker a few times for the 911, but it’s always tough to top the original. The example we see here is a Black on Black 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster, located in Houston, with 95,898 miles on it.

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1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster

We’ve shown quite a few 911 Speedsters over the past few months, either in the guise of the 3.2 Carrera or the 964 Carrera 2, but I cannot recall the last time we featured the original, the car those 911s were intended to recreate in spirit: the 356 Speedster. Here we have one of those rare examples: an Aquamarine Metallic 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster. Released in 1954 the first Speedsters were quite a success, though the overall run would be short-lived as interest waned and the Speedster was replaced in 1958 with the Convertible D, followed by the 356 Roadster. With a spartan interior, minimalist top, and removable windscreen the Speedster was intended to appeal to weekend racers and those who wanted a no-frills, lower-cost, Porsche and during those initial years that’s exactly what it did, especially in the sunny environs of California. The short life the model lived has made the 356 Speedster a highly sought after collectible with the earliest examples being particularly noteworthy. Because we come across them so rarely they are almost always worth our attention.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1994 Porsche 911 Strosek Mega Widebody Speedster

If the BMW E30 market has been crazy over the past few years in terms of appreciation, it’s really nothing compared to the Porsche 911 market. From cars that were worth between $50,000 to $75,000 not many years ago, suddenly we see early 911s worth triple or four times that amount. Make that car a special model, such as a 73 RS, and you’re looking at a top value around $800,000 and climbing; around $650,000 more than it would set you back only 7 years ago. This has resulted in many other models of the 911 being pulled up, and one of the more recent special models that has continued to have a strong market following is the Speedster model. However, does that increased value get boosted or negated when you look at a modified version of the original – a car like this Strosek wide body version of the 1994 Speedster:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera Strosek Speedster on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

I tend to go back and forth about whether I prefer the look of the 3.2 Carrera Speedster or that of the 964-based Carrera 2 Speedster, but there is something about the particular car featured here that really catches my eye in ways that others have not. Either Speedster is, of course, intended to harken back to the original 356 Speedster and to a degree the narrow-bodied Carrera 2 seems to come closer to the mark in that regard. There were a small number of narrow-bodied 3.2 Carrera Speedsters made, but they are so few that I can’t recall coming across one. Getting to the car here, as the market for the 3.2 Carrera has intensified I’ve been curious about the effect that would have on the rare variants of these models. The Speedster has always been very expensive so we may wonder how much more value they may show in the near term, but if this seller can even approach this asking price, then it would appear that the Speedster market has increased quite a bit as well. Here we have a gorgeous Grand Prix White 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster with red leather interior, located in Monterey, showing 22,300 miles.

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1994 Porsche 911 Speedster

Going on 60 years since its debut the Speedster remains a hallowed name in Porsche circles. Introduced in 1954 to satisfy the desires of weekend racers, the 356 Speedster was a no-frills version of the 356 with bucket seats and a removable windshield. While sales were initially good it would eventually be replaced by a more traditional convertible model as buyers sought to enjoy their open-top motoring with a few more creature comforts included. But the name had been born and the 356 Speedster remains one of the most highly valued and sought after Porsche collectibles. Porsche would resurrect the Speedster name in 1989 with a 911-based Speedster modeled off of the 3.2 Carrera. The basic formula was similar to that of the 356. For the 964, Porsche again sought to bring the Speedster back and in 1993 the 964 Speedster, based off of the 964 Carrera 2, was released. The 964 Speedster used the same basic mechanics of the Carrera 2, but came with a manual folding top, removable windscreen and more spartan interior. Only 936 were produced during its 2-year model run. The car we have featured here is a 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Speedster, located near Washington, DC, with 43,663 miles.

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1957 Porsche 356A Speedster

While many of us deride the American car market for what it deems verboten to us, we have to remember that years ago, it was this very same market that helped shape some of the model lineups of post-war German automotive manufacturers. Such was the case with this car, the Porsche Speedster. Egged on by importer Max Hoffman, Porsche decided that a more basic, lower cost model would appeal to this market. The Speedster was quite successful by Porsche sales standards. Curiously, this more basic model has become one of the most prized models of the entire 356 range. This 1957 example for sale in California has been fully restored was formerly owned by actor Michael Parks.

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster Twin-Turbo

If the insanity of the crazy modified 80s wasn’t enough for you in earlier’s DP 935 Targa, how about a 962-powered 911 Speedster? Sound absolutely bonkers? Yup, it sure is. But in the no holds barred world of the well-heeled, you can create just about anything that you want. Borrowing elements from the 962, 934, 959 and DP935 and adding them to the already quite rare and valuable Speedster, Bruce Canepa created the ultimate enthusiast’s dream of a convertible 911:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster on Hemmings.com

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1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

I suppose it is a testament to the current Porsche market that it seems like we are more frequently coming across attempted sales of the 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster. Harking back to the original 356 Speedster, these featured the mechanicals of the 3.2 Carrera but added a raked, removable, windscreen and removed the rear seats in favor of a hard tonneau cover. As an homage to a weekend racer, these were always destined to be collectors and, like most, the example featured here has predominantly spent its life in a garage as it shows only 8,639 miles on the clock and appears nearly spotless inside and out.

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1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

Throughout our pages we have consistently trumpeted the virtues of the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera as relative values for any buyer looking to get into a classic 911. These cars take us back to when driving was analog rather than digital and combine graceful aesthetics with enough performance to provide for miles and miles of driving enjoyment. As with most things in life, there are exceptions when it comes to finding value for our performance dollars. Here we have a 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster, but unlike the 3.2 Carrera off which it is based, the Speedster is not the car for those searching for value. Speedster is such an iconic name within the Porsche stable that these cars are almost always bought up and immediately packed away upon release rarely to be seen on the road. Produced in the final year of classic 911 production the Speedster served as an elegant send-off prior to the release of the 964. It was a car built for Porsche purists who favored style over performance. The car here, located in Oregon, has seen a scant 5,948 miles in its pampered life and comes dressed in the always beautiful Guards Red exterior over a Cashmere and Black interior.

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Year: 1989
Model: 911 Speedster
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 5,948 mi
Price: $159,995

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster on eBay

Motogroup, LLC is very pleased to present this GORGEOUS Collectible 89 Speedster…Truly a Stunning Porsche, of the highest possible quality, without a doubt the finest available in the US…
214 hp, 3,165 cc SOHC flat six-cylinder engine, Bosch digital motor fuel injection, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with McPherson struts, lower A-arms, coil springs and sway bar, independent rear suspension with semi-trailing arms, coil springs and sway bar, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 89.4″

• Only 5,948 original miles
• One of only 824 produced for U.S.
• Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

The original 1954-59 Porsche 356 Speedster was originally demanded by U.S. importer Max Hoffman. With its cut-down windshield and emergency-only top, it was to be an inexpensive sports cars for the youth market. Its raffish good looks and minimalist equipment clicked with customers, and original examples remain much prized and sought after in the collector car market.

The concept floated around as a fond memory for 30 years, finally re-emerging in 1989, when the new 964 model was delayed. Styling chief Tony Lapine transported a number of the old 356 styling cues to a limited production model, which sold for a hefty premium. Lapine raked and cut down the windshield, dispensed with the back seat and capped the space with twin “camel humps.”

In all, 2,065 Speedsters were built in 1989, with only 824 coming to the U.S., most with the “turbo-look” wide body. They were pounced on by investors, with some buyers paying as much as $100,000 to buy a new one. As a result, many have few miles on them, 24 years later. This car is one of those examples, with a mere 5,950 recorded miles. As might be expected, it is in effectively new condition, with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, finished in Guards Red with a tan leather interior and black top. It is fitted with air conditioning, power seats that also raise and lower and a Blaupunkt Charleston stereo. This car represents an excellent opportunity for a Porsche collector in search of rare, landmark models. Pre-Sale viewing by appointment only to qualified principals.

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The question any buyer of a car such as this must consider is how high the market for these will really go. $160K is a lot of money for a car that underneath it’s beautiful skin remains a standard 3.2 Carrera. The Porsche market has generally been much kinder to higher powered variants than to the cosmetic rarities and while the Speedster will certainly, and already has, remain somewhat insulated from those problems, there will inevitably reach a point where the market plateaus. I don’t think $160K is where that plateau will reside, so this isn’t necessarily overpriced, but I do wonder just how valuable these will become. Financial matters aside, the Speedster is a beautiful icon of Porsche engineering and will always have a place in the marque’s lore. It is a pity, though, that these cars are almost never driven.

-Rob