For $40,000, Lower The Roof, And Raise Expectations

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The national chain, Casual Male XL specializes in clothes for the amply framed dude, while on the other hand today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe limbo-low 911 Speedster does not. And at forty grand does its price needs to be chopped like its roof?

The BASE in BASE Jumping stands for Buildings, Anntennas, Spans and Earth, a listing of the major departure points for the adrenaline junkies who taunt becoming a bug on the windscreen with every low-altitude leap. After yesterday, you could replace Earth with E30 as the owner of that RB-powered '87 325 was trying to make the jump from his wildly customized car. Unfortunately, its 85% Crack Pipe loss found the bound too profound, just like its perceived high price.


The opposite of high, of course, is low, and what's low? A snake's belly, that what. And almost as earth-proximate as that reptilian bacon may be found the windshield on today's 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster. That narrow swath of glass is attached to a representative of what is the last, and arguably one of the best iterations of the original 901 ever released, albeit one that comes stripped of many of the trappings one might expect of a high-zoot sports car.

Speaking of original, the archetype Speedster was the 356-based car created at the behest of Max Hoffman, the US importer of all things Porsche, who convinced the company that they needed a cheaper, more stripped down car for the American market because - well, we're a bunch of cheapskates. That car fitted a cut-down windscreen, which was removable for racing, side curtains, and deep-welled racing buckets. The 356 Speedster was produced in a number of iterations from late ‘54 to ‘58, when the model was replaced by the 356D.

The 911 Speedster - which some would call the illegitimate heir to the Speedster throne - debuted in production form in 1989, maintaining the 356 model's cut-down windscreen, but lacking its true roadster nature by having (manual) roll-up windows. The top is also a lot more friendly for the moneyed class as it does not require a troop of boy scouts to erect. There's also a double bubble fiberglass cap behind the seats giving the car a more of a Quasimodo look than the stock cabrio.


Underneath the retro Speedster accoutrements is the standard Carrera platform - the last before the switch to the heavily redesigned 964 - and could be had like this car in wide-ass Turbo look form, or, even more rare, with skinny genes. Everything on this 25,300-mile Speedster looks to be in good shape - well, as best as can be determined by the tiny Craigslist pictures - and seems to have never been visited by the aftermarket fairy or his evil hobbit cousin, Bilbo Douchbaggins.


The interior is standard 911, sans some of the electrics, and is described as being cashmere in color. That seems to be just a fancy way of saying tan, and as such it's surprising that the seller didn't refer to the ebony exterior as endangered Amazonian pygmy panther black. Wheels are likewise hued and are righteous Fuchs.


By the time the 911 had evolved into the Carerra, of which this is derived, the legendary flat six had punched its way out to 3.2 litres and 217-bhp in naturally aspirated form. These late ‘80s cars also had become relatively bulletproof and are not unknown to do 200K on the factory motor. That being said, when things do go wrong be prepared to take it deep in the wallet.

The 911 Speedster is rare even by Porsche standards - only 2,104 cars being built in ‘89. Pricing seems all over the map - when you can find one for sale - and in fact there's one on eBay right now that's been bid up to seventy five grand. That's why this car's $40,000 price tag seems so intriguing.


Of course, a Carrera Cabrio from this year, which comes with electric windows, a pair of vestigial seats in back, and actual headroom, would probably only command two-thirds that price in similar condition. It's because of that less-costing-more attribute that this 911 Speedster makes a good candidate for your critical pricing eyes.


So, what do you think, is this low-roofed Porsche worth popping the purse strings to the tune of $40,000? Or, is that a price that puts its low roof out of reach?

You decide!


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