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A brief history of Porsche Speedsters

Chopped-down, open-air Porsches are not a new thing, y’know…

  • 356 Speedster (1954)

    It all came about when Porsche’s American importer convinced ze Germans there was a market for an open, stripped-out model costing less than $3,000. And so in 1954 the 356 Speedster was born. It had the same body as the Cabriolet model, but a more steeply-raked windscreen and less equipment (less money for less car? Those were the days…).

    The ultimate version - the 1957 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT Speedster - was the first production Porsche to reach over 200km/h, or 124mph.

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  • G-Model 911 Speedster (1988)

    The G-Model’s swansong. 2,103 were built in all, 161 with the narrow Carrera body and the rest with the Turbo’s wide-body. Like the 356, it too had a shortened, more angled windscreen and little equipment. A manual top was hidden under the body-coloured, plastic bubble behind the seats.

  • 964 Speedster (1992)

    Just 930 of these were built - most with the narrow body. The 964 Speedster had no air conditioning, electric windows or airbags, but it did get specially-trimmed seats from the 911 Carrera RS and a top that was supposed to be easier to operate.

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  • 993 Speedster (1995)

    This is the one. Just two of these things exist. One was a green, narrow-bodied car with an auto’ gearbox built for Ferdinand Alexander Porsche himself. The other, a wide-body silver car with a manual gearbox (pictured) built for comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Plenty of people just built their own out of 993 Cabrios. Originals are no doubt worth a bit nowadays.

  • 997 Speedster (2010)

    No Speedsters for the 996-generation 911, so it was 15 years between this thing and the two-off 993 of the mid-Nineties. Built to celebrate 25 years of Porsche’s Exclusive Manufaktur division, 356 were built (get it?) for a whopping €201,682 each.

  • 991 Speedster (2019)

    After months of concepts and teasers, the 991 911 Speedster is here. And it costs – um – £211,599. A whole hundred grand more than the 911 GT3 upon which it’s based. The last-ever 991-era 911 is effectively a GT3 Cabrio, with the wailing 4.0-litre six giving over 500bhp and a manual gearbox. Read the full story here.

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