When it launched back in 2019, the 911 Speedster retailed at £211,599 - a number that made it at least £100k more expensive than the ‘standard’ 991 GT3 when it first arrived in 2013. We marvelled at that premium when we drove the Speedster, but suggested Porsche was on very solid ground thanks to the appreciation that any stripe of limited-edition, run-out GT3-related 911 would likely enjoy on the open market. Now, three years later, a lightly used example of the open-top model is available in the classifieds for £312,990.
Even allowing for unprecedented secondhand values, it’s hard not to gape at the six-figure consistency of that second bounce. Whether or not the Speedster is ‘worth’ that kind of outlay hardly seems pertinent anymore (although it’s notable that the open-top GT3 is still in the shadow of the GT2 RS when it comes to silly-money 991s); as we all know, the market for low volume Porsches departed virtually all real-world considerations years ago. Is the Speedster fabulously good to drive? Yes. Is it more than £200k superior to a 991 GTS Cabriolet? No.
Of course, the upside is that the GTS will gently depreciate to the point where a mere mortal might consider it attainable, and chances are it will earn more affection from its owner than most Speedsters ever will - if only because the GTS is almost certain to accrue many more miles. Not every example of the Speedster’s 1,948 production run will be confined to a climate-controlled collection (even this one has notched up a decent-ish 6k since 2019) but it would take a certain sort of intrepid individual to throw any financial consideration to the wind, and use the Speedster as a daily.
Obviously, there are more than a few people with pockets plenty deep enough to blithely shrug off the implications of frequent use, but they tend to be the sort of people who aren’t accustomed to the idea of a ‘daily’ in the first place - unless we’re talking about helicopters. No, whether by choice or circumstance, most Speedsters will seldom see the light of day. And while there are many more things to mourn or care about at the moment, that does seem a shame. Because, cost aside, there’s no question Porsche did a job with it.
Or rather, Porsche Motorsport did. The department responsible for every GT-badged model is not accustomed to half measures, and while it is compromised by definition, the Speedster doesn’t drive like a car burdened with many. It was fascinating at the launch to learn that the team had been kicking around the concept for years, and that it started life with no roof whatsoever. The fabric one that it did earn - by dint of it being at least partly manual - is plainly not meant to be used unless absolutely necessary. Make no mistake, the 510hp Speedster is all about frolicking topless.
It does this about as well as any convertible you’d care to imagine. Sure, there are prettier alternatives; certainly lighter ones, with larger engines. But the best performance cars are typically about cohesiveness, and the constituent parts of the Speedster go together like a Dire Straits album. It goes about its business so well that you even forget the nagging suspicion that a GT3 shorn of the roof probably shouldn’t be considered a GT3 at all, no matter how fast or feelsome. Should you buy one with all the money in the world? Well, a cheaper (but still stupendously expensive) 991 Touring still easily trumps it for desirability in our book. But you could have one of those, too. Encouragingly, both look good next to a chopper.
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