Battersea Evolution
7 September 2015
Lot 139

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster


£173,600 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Gearbox No.
Italian Libretto
  • One of only 171 “narrow-body” Speedsters produced in 1989
  • Showing only 23,051 kilometres; documented ownership from new
  • Supplied with its original factory books and manuals
  • Includes a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

217 bhp, 3,164 cc SOHC air-cooled aluminium horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with DME Motronic 2 electronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transaxle, independent front suspension with MacPherson struts, lower A-arms, torsion bars, and an anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with semi-trailing arms, transverse torsion bars, and an anti-roll bar, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with four-piston aluminium callipers. Wheelbase: 2,273 mm

The 911 Speedster was based upon a prototype conceived in 1983 by Porsche’s senior engineer, Helmuth Bott, who intended it to be, much like its 356 namesake, a lighter and more spartan open version of the popular 911 SC Cabriolet. Given the company’s economic situation at the time, the project was set aside. In 1986, however, Porsche’s new president, Peter Schutz, revived the concept, with a focus on having it based on a 911 Carrera. He thought it would be attractive to the Porsche Club racing community in the United States, where the name “Speedster” remained something of a holy shrine.

A pre-production version was unveiled at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show. As it was visually arresting, with its flared wings and wide tyres from the Turbo-look package (a small number, no more than 171, were in the “narrow-body” cabriolet chassis), as well as a steeply raked and cut-down aluminium-framed windshield, and a fiberglass “clamshell” tonneau with moulded-in headrests covering the rear passenger area, the Speedster attracted a great deal of attention.

Essentially a 911 Carrera Cabriolet with Option 503, the limited-production Speedster instantly became an “image-maker”, but by the time owners had specified various add-ons, it was no longer a less-expensive, competition-oriented lightweight. In this instance, the delivered price in Italy of a narrow-body example with just a few options was a substantial €43,870. Rather than a racer, the new Speedster turned out to be a fair-weather cruiser, with its “temporary” thin-fabric folding hood being able to keep out the elements if caught in a surprise downpour. Although, it did offer wind-up or power windows, rather than the primitive side-curtains of the original 356 Speedster series. Few owners bothered to erect the hood, as the car looks best in open form.

Offered here is a very nice low-mileage ’89 “narrow-body” Speedster that was used only on special occasions by its original Italian owner. Based on the car’s current odometer reading of 23,000 kilometres, those occasions were few and far between, and the 911 shows very little wear from new. This Speedster was delivered to its original owner on 28 July 1989 and was finished in traditional Guards Red with a black partial leather interior and a black fabric top. Selected options on the car included the deletion of the rear seats in lieu of more luggage space, velour carpet in the front luggage compartment, and Goodyear tyres. This car was also fitted with a Blaupunkt stereo system.

Notably, the Porsche still includes its original tool kit, jack, collapsible spare tyre, and factory first-aid kit, as well as Italian registration papers, which include its Estratto Chronologico and handbooks in both German and French. The car presents very handsomely, with its original paint and interior all in very good condition. For rapid fair-weather touring, this rare Speedster would be an ideal choice.