Despite a span of 35 years between Porsche’s original Speedster, the 356, and its 911 namesake, the auctioneer Historics at Brooklands suggests there are signs the ’80s icon is developing a similar aura of adulation that has seen its predecessor become one of the most collectible classic cars.
With its steeply raked, low-cut windscreen and sleek “double-hump” fiberglass cover - paying homage to the 356 and other sports-racers of the 1950s era - the Carrera 911 Speedster stole the show at its public unveiling during the 1988 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Just as the 356 Speedster was introduced on the basis that a lower-cost, simply trimmed, open-top version of the car could sell well in the speed-obsessed American market, Helmuth Bott’s evocative design for the 911 Speedster was equally unequivocal in its desire to adopt an overtly sporting presence.
Although production models were marginally more luxurious than the Frankfurt prototype, with a taller windscreen and roll-up windows, the convertible top was manually-operated and simpler than that of the 911 Cabriolet, with no headliner and thinner insulation used.
Build of the new-generation Speedster began in 1989, with construction capped at just 2,104 Speedsters, all produced in a six month period from January to July. All were equipped with the Turbo-specification chassis and competition-style brakes with cross-drilled discs and four-piston calipers.
Although 171 cars were fitted with a narrow body, the majority of Speedsters were equipped with Porsche’s striking “Turbo Look” bodywork.
Historics’ 1989 wide bodied 3.2 litre model is presented in metallic Zermatt silver with a full claret red leather interior and matching soft top. A right hand drive, UK specification car, it’s fitted with a five speed manual gearbox, 16” Fuchs alloy wheels, stainless steel exhaust and electric sports seats.
With the 911 Speedster the last Porsche model produced at the old factory in Stuttgart; a fact that along with its rakish lines and limited production numbers ensured it became a highly collectible car from the outset, Historics is expecting offers in the region of £62,000 to £76,000 at Brooklands on Saturday 24th November.
Much as the 911 Speedster saw its styling born out of the standard 911, so the earliest Porsche Speedster took its cues from the original 356 and in a further fillip to fans of the Porsche marque, Historics has consigned a 1960 Porsche 356B T5 Super Cabriolet to its sale.
Originally supplied to Brumos Porsche Car Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida, the T5 body styled 356B Cabriolet was imported to the UK in 1995, before being given a sympathetic restoration and a new lease of life by marque specialists.
With every attention paid to detail, including an interior re-trim that features the correct carpet weave, Historics is predicting no let-up in love for a model it has sold at each of its first three auctions in 2012, and expects significant interest in its latest consignment, with an estimated sale price of between £40,000 and £50,000.