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Porsche Speedster

A Windshield Installation That Costs As Much as a Boxster S: Making Your Own 993 Speedster

The trouble with limited-run Porsche models is there simply aren’t enough to go around, and the 993 Speedster is among the most extreme cases. When Porsche launched a 911-based Speedster in 1989, they initially built 800. When they re-launched the Speedster with the 964 generation in 1994 they made just 936. When the 993 came around, things were even more limited. Porsche built just two- one for Butzi Porsche, and one a few years later for Jerry Seinfeld. If you want a 993 Speedster and don’t have a deep, personal connection to either of those two, you need to make your own.

Headlines get views, but a $50k windscreen undersells the challenges of getting the screen on the car. Making a Speedster from a 993 is far more than buying a hilariously expensive piece of glass and bolting it in. According to owner John Sarkisyan fitting the screen involved more than $10k in fabrication, to say nothing of additional thousands to bring the doors and side windows to Speedster standard. Just converting the glass on this car crossed the $70k mark- or about as much as a new Boxster S.

While widebody Porsches are going to be polarizing by there very nature- especially cars that are less track-oriented, we appreciate John’s commitment to his vision. Each of his creations brings a unique aesthetic, top-notch interior, and a singular vision to the car in question. It doesn’t matter if the car is a 356, a 912, or even an SLK32 AMG-turned Mercedes Gullwing, John gives each car a truly unique flair.

What do you think of this unique Speedster creation?

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Sharing a 356 Speedster via Blockchain

On paper I like the Turo business model, and I like car clubs like Classic Car Club Manhattan. As someone who doesn’t have the money to buy numerous exciting cars, they can be a good way to try a variety of interesting cars. Of course, for people with higher budgets, becoming partial-owners of a high-dollar car is a very effective way to trade in and use cool cars. Indeed, Paul Zuckerman and Spike Feresten discussed this approach in a recent Smoking Tire Podcast. This does require partnering with people you know, who share your interest and taste. However, using blockchain technology could change this radically. Porsche even introduced their own car sharing program overseas a couple of years ago.

TEND, an Ethereum-based marketplace for sharing luxury goods, is attempting to break down this process. By sharing a car via blockchain, TEND can spread the costs across numerous anonymous investors. The platform allows buyers to use tokens to buy shares of a product, which puts the asset itself on the blockchain.

This approach targets younger enthusiasts, who have an interest in the product, but who may not have the assets to own a classic Porsche fully.

Breaking Down Shared Ownership

The 356 will ultimately be maintained by the affiliated dealer, Porsche Zentrum Zug, but that is not the end of the chain. Ownership will be brokered through the blockchain using Smart Contracts. These protocols will allow the individual shareholders the ability to create and enforce the ownership contract without a third party. In this situation, each shareholder is meant to have access to the Porsche in a fair and equitable way. Handoffs will occur through the dealer, though the dealer is not a part-owner.

The 356 acts as a token, which in the world of cryptocurrency is a tradeable asset which can be floated on the blockchain.

The dealer’s role is then to act as a physical platform for the app, not as a rental agency in the traditional sense. In this way users can ensure that the Porsche is cared for, while remaining accountable to one another via the Blockchain Smart Contracts. The TEND users reportedly wanted to work with a single dealer to ensure that a known group of people are ultimately responsible for the 356 itself.

Branching Out

TEND and Porsche Zentrum Zug are planning to bring more Porsches into the program. Ultimately TEND wishes to use this model with a number of other brands. In this way, TEND will turn other items into Tokens.

TEND is not alone in this pursuit. Well known brands, such as Kodak, have begun using the coin model for a variety of uses. Kodak is using their cryptocurrency as a rights management model, adding security to a photographer’s work. TEND’s model is similar, ideally giving increased rights and protection for owners of shared luxury assets.

Concerns

My primary concern is volatility. Particularly over the last year, cryptocurrencies(bitcoin, most notably) have proven to inflate and deflate at an astounding rate. By using a Porsche as the token, an asset typically traded using a more stable currency, the owners might find themselves on the wrong end of these currency changes.

At this stage, this process is Porsche Zentrum Zug’s only interaction with cryptocurrency. The dealer is using this program to track the usefulness of the product. By their own admission, Porsche Zentrum Zug is not « fully on the cryptocurrency train. »

It will be interesting to see where this endeavor goes. On one level, it seems entirely more egalitarian and accessible than most commercial car-sharing programs. On another, the fears about cryptocurrencies as stores of value can now be measured against an asset car enthusiasts understand deeply.

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Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Speedster: the finest open-top 911?

Back in the Fifties, Porsche made a simple, purist sports car. It did so by cutting the roof off the contemporary 356, taking off the side windows, stripping the interior of fripperies, giving it a cool name and, complete with a super-attractive price tag, rolled it out to the market.

Totally enamoured, the public duly jumped at the chance of owning one, and the Porsche Speedster legend was born.

It’s surprising, then, that Zuffenhausen forgot about this reaction so quickly. It was launched in the mid Fifties, yet by the Sixties the Speedster concept had gone.

3.2 Carrera Speedster 3 By the time of the 911 in 1963, nobody was really sure that open-top cars could actually exist anyway – with the creation of the Targa a case in point – and so for the next two decades, any thought of reviving the original Speedster spirit simply wasn’t on the agenda.

But then, in the Eighties, once he’d almost single-handedly saved the Porsche 911 and restarted development for it, company CEO Peter Schutz began playing around with some more outlandish ideas.

Green-lighting the Cabriolet and bringing it to dealer showrooms wasn’t enough for him; he had something even more extreme in mind. This turned out to be a Porsche 911 with no side windows, just a rudimentary windscreen, and not even a roof to speak of – a cut-down Cabriolet, if you like, just like the 356 created three decades before. The 911 Speedster concept had arrived.

3.2 Carrera Speedster 4

Clearly, it found favour within the company. Technical director Helmuth Bott later had another go, this time on an old narrow-body SC rather than the widebody favoured by his boss. He also paid a bit more attention to wind protection at speed, with a cool ultra-low wraparound windscreen.

Amalgamating both ideas led to the creation of a concept car set for display at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the reaction to it proved to Porsche that the concept was worth investigating further.

To read more about the 3.2 Carrera Speedster, including more about its development, and what it is like behind the wheel, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 114 in store now. Alternatively you can purchase online, or download straight to your digital device.

3.2 Carrera Speedster 1
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