Auctions and Brokerage
In the early 1950s, Max Hoffman, a New York-based importer of high-line European automobiles, served as the sole Porsche importer to the US. By 1954, the Hoffman Motor Company accounted for nearly one-third of Porsche’s global sales. When Mr. Hoffman spoke, Ferry Porsche listened. As lower-priced offerings from Great Britain dominated the US sports car market, Mr. Hoffman became convinced that the 356’s high price was the problem. He suggested that Porsche build a pared-down 356 at a more affordable price. This, Mr. Hoffman argued, would help Porsche gain market share from its UK competitors.
In response, Porsche built a 356 convertible with a low rakish windshield, primitive folding top, lightweight bucket seats, minimal sound-deadening, and plastic side curtains in place of roll-up windows. Porsche named the car “Speedster,” and an indisputable automotive icon was born.
At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Porsche unveiled a 997 version of the Speedster to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Porsche Exclusive, Porsche’s in-house workshop, which produces limited-edition models and customizes new Porsches to individual customers’ specifications.
Paying homage to the original Speedster, Porsche built 356 of the 2011 997 Speedsters. Unlike the austere 356 Speedster, this new car came standard with nearly every available Porsche option. With its impressive array of standard equipment, show-stopping good looks, and nostalgic nod to its predecessors, the 2011 997 Speedster was special, even in the rarefied air of limited-production Porsches.
This 2011 Speedster is extraordinarily uncommon, being delivered in Carrara White. As with all 997 Speedsters, it shares basic architecture with the 997 GTS, featuring a wide body, rear-wheel drive, and 3.8-liter engine. Equipped with Porsche’s Powerkit, consisting of unique cylinder heads and a variable intake manifold, it produces 408 bhp at 7,300 rpm, 63 more than a standard Carrera. It is equipped standard with Porsche’s fantastic carbon-ceramic brakes, seven-speed PDK dual-clutch paddle-shifted gearbox, Porsche Active Suspension Management, Sport Chrono Plus package, and limited-slip differential.
Aesthetically, the 997 Speedster is beautifully enhanced through the use of a windshield profile lowered by 60 mm, Fuchs-style wheels, double-hump top boot, a unique aerokit, and black stone guards at the rear quarter panels. The Speedster’s cockpit is augmented with painted interior details, 385-watt Bose sound system, and smooth leather seats with unique checkered pattern and Speedster stitching.
The opportunity to acquire a two-owner example with less than 3,500 original miles is rare. The chance to purchase a limited-production 997 Speedster must be a consideration for any serious modern Porsche collector.