As enjoyable as vintage 911s may be, a significant portion of Porsche’s fanbase is constantly trying to sharpen and improve them. Singer is arguably the biggest name in the 911 restomod game, but several other shops have put their own spin on the concept. Among them is California-based Gunther Werks, known for turning 993s into GT3-fighting machines. And its latest project is a recreation of one of the rarest Porsches: the 993 911 Speedster.
There aren’t many Porsche 911 Speedsters out there—especially not 993 Speedsters
Although today the Speedster name is closely-tied to the Porsche 911, it didn’t start there, Automobile reports. While the 1953 356 America Roadster introduced the idea, the first vehicle to officially carry the name was the 1954 356 Speedster, MotorTrend reports. They’re both severely stripped-down roadsters; the 356 Speedster’s roof is best described as “minimal,” Silodrome reports.
It wasn’t until 1989 that the Speedster returned, this time as a Porsche 911 variant, Top Gear reports. The 1989 car’s modifications mirrored the original but were mostly about aesthetics. However, starting with the 1992 964-gen 911 Speedster, the roadsters became sportier than the base Carrera—with one exception.
The 2010 997-gen car, for example, is based on the contemporary Carrera GTS. And the most recent model, the 2019 991-gen Speedster, is the closest thing to “a convertible GT3,” Car and Driver reports. That’s in part because it has the same 9000-RPM, 503-hp 4.0-liter flat-six as the contemporary GT3, The Drive reports.
The one exception, though, is the 993 Porsche 911 Speedster. Not because it’s not sporty, but because Porsche never officially made it. Emphasis on ‘officially.’
Admittedly, no 911 Speedster was ever made in large quantities. Porsche only made 356 997-gen cars and 1948 of the 2019 car, The Drive reports. But there are only two factory-made 993 911 Speedsters in existence, Petrolicious reports. A dark-green one was made in 1995 as a birthday present to Alexander Ferdinand Porsche. And in 1998, Jerry Seinfeld convinced Porsche to convert a silver 993 911 into a Speedster, Road & Track reports.
Over the years, several owners made 993 911 Speedsters of their own. And now, it’s time for Gunther Werks to take its turn.
Gunther Werks is turning a handful of 993 Porsche 911s into Speedsters
The Gunther Werks 993 911 Speedster isn’t just a roof removal. To maintain the car’s structural rigidity, the shop added in extra chassis bracing, a custom cage, and roll hoops for safety, The Drive reports.
But to keep the curb weight low, the roadster also has a carbon-fiber hood, carbon bucket seats, and forged center-lock wheels, Hagerty reports. The floor is also carbon-fiber, as is the removable top and parts of the dash, Autoblog reports. Plus, not only does the Gunther Werks 911 Speedster have a smaller windshield, but the windshield is actually optional. Also, the door mirrors and handles are billet aluminum.
Not only does Gunther Werks give the 993 911 the Speedster treatment, but it also gives it more power. Instead of the standard rear-mounted 3.6-liter flat-six, there’s a 4.0-liter flat-six rated at “roughly” 435 hp, Motor1 reports. The engine breathes in through a ram-air scoop built into the rear spoiler, Top Gear reports, and out through a 3D-printed Inconel exhaust. And the roadster rides on a “dynamic” JRZ suspension with light-weight components from Eisenlohr Racing, The Drive reports.
Besides the carbon-fiber seats, the interior features a dash with carbon-fiber and aluminum sections and built-in shift lights. Gunther Werks also repositions the 911’s pedals for better ergonomics. Plus, not only are the seats lower than stock to improve the center of gravity, but you can order them upholstered in weather-resistant material.
Compared to ‘priceless,’ ‘expensive’ is a (relative) bargain
As of this writing, Gunther Werks hasn’t revealed pricing details for its 993 911 Speedster. However, given that its previous car cost $525k, it’s safe to assume the roadster will cost at least that much. Of course, that’s still a bargain compared to the unobtanium that is a factory-built 993 911 Speedster.
Admittedly, compared to other Speedsters, Gunther Werks’ car starts to lose its ‘bargain’ status—but only slightly. Although you can build a kit-car replica of it, an original 356 Speedster can easily fetch over $300k at auction, Bring a Trailer reports. Pre-991-gen cars hover closer to $150k, BaT reports.
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