Which Car Would You Buy If You Had 200K?
Now guys, this is purely a hypothetical question since a) the 1989 Porsche Speedster is valued way over $200,000.00 and you can’t even buy the Porsche 911 R anymore for $200k since they were all sold out. The Porsche 911 R was a limited run of 991 cars built and offered first to previous Porsche 918 Spyder owners. All units were sold out. We’ll now seeing 2nd hand Porsche 911 R for sale easily at twice its sale price.
But Glenn and I thought this would be a fun question to ask as we were walking in a local Porsche dealership. The Dealer had a pristine white 1989 Porsche Speedster for sale as well as a Porsche 911 R. The Porsche Speedster had low mileage and had a price asking for $225,000.00. The Porsche 911 R was just sold to a owner who didn’t have space at his home, so the dealer is keeping it on the showroom floor till he’s ready to bring it home.
The Porsche Speedster was a limited run model back in the late 1980’s. This was before the big splash to come with the Porsche 964 and then the Porsche 993 in the 1990’s. The Speedster was a basic 911 3.2 Carrera Cabriolet with special options. It had the ‘wide-body’ turbo look option know as “M491”, a lower and unique aluminum framed windshield, 1-piece wind-up side windows, and a special low-rider fabric top. When the top was down, the Speedster had a special twin-hump fiberglass top that covered the back. Only 823 were sold in the USA, out of a total worldwide run of 2,056 units.
The Porsche 911 R is basically a current 991 Porsche GT3 without the racer body gear and comes with a magical 6-speed manual mated to the GT3 engine. The manual and the rawness of the car is what makes this Porsche 911 R a standout in today’s PDK, computer-controlled Porsche 911 world. Its basically an old-world Porsche 911, allowing the driver to control the car and not vice-versa. It was offered to previous buyers of the Porsche 918 Spyder, and all the owners took the bait and put their money down for the special ‘old-school’ Porsche 911 R.
Decisions between the Porsche 911 R and the Porsche Speedster
Now when it comes to this hypothetical choice, we have to set up the parameters. Of course you must have the money to burn since both of these cars will not be daily drivers. They will mostly be the cars you drive on nice sunny weekends and to the local car & coffee meets. Also these are investment cars, since the thinking is both will appreciate over time. So think of it as borrowing a car for a moment in time. As you have the privilege in driving the car, you will hope to sell it down the road for an much appreciated price.
So with those parameters set lets look at each one.
This car is a dazzling display of current Porsche powertrain, handling and technology – and some lack of. It has all the modern attributes that make the Porsche 991 such a standout but also contains the raw feel of the Porsche 911 from the past. Everything on the outside of the car looks right – from the wide-body hips that comes from the Porsche GT3, to the special stripes, dual exhausts and cross-hatch net grilles on front and back.
Inside the car looks delicious with the desirable carbon-fiber seats and the familiar interior of a Porsche 911. What stands out is that 6-speed manual that is a specially made to configure with the drivetrain of the Porsche Gt3. The final gift of the Porsche 911 R is that all future GT3 cars will have the manual as an option moving forward. Currently, the current generation of the 991 GT3 only came with the PDK transmission as an transmission option. The steering comes default with the rear-wheel steering package from the GT3, which helps stability on high driving speeds.
This car will be special to drive. Fast, sleek, raw, engaging and visceral in experience.
The Porsche Speedster is a classic. Made in such limited numbers when it came out, they were deemed to be a collectible out of the gate and many were put straight into the vault – never to be driven till their aged like fine wine. This is the classic air-cooled 3.2 flat six engine, not a turbo-charged car. This may fool some since it has the wide-body look of the turbo and also borrows some suspension/brake pieces from that year Porsche 911 Turbo. This car will drive like a classic air-cooled 911. Not powerful (only 214 hp), but light and crisp in handling, with a bias weight to the back. Heavy on the back-end, it will have its oversteer bite which the 80’s 911 were known for before modern electronics helped make the car into a better neutral handler.
The interior and controls is pure 80’s. Meaning features like the A/C will work OK, and ergonomically things only make sense to the German engineers of that time. It has the classic 5-dial instrument panel up front with the tachometer right in the center. And with the top down you do get to hear the full song of the flat-six engine, as you row it thru the ancient 5-gear transmission.
This is not only a classic car but also a time-machine. Taking you back to a time where driving a rear-engine designed car was fun but note logical to drive. Technology since then has made the 911 a into complete driving machine.
If it was a pure case of investment your mind has to go with the Porsche Speedster. The recent jump the past few years in air-cooled engines price values will only increase. And in terms of rarity, this car is one of the rarest air-cooled Porsche 911’s you can get from the 1980’s. Its worth more then the Porsche 911 Turbos of its time, especially with low mileage.
But if you want to enjoy a car as well as to have it as an investment then the Porsche 911 R is the clear winner. The Porsche 911 R is the best example of the 911 philosophy built today. Power, control, handling, feel, prestige – the Porsche 911 R has it all. Plus it does it with less. Less tech, less isolation of feel, less corporate parental controls.
We take the Porsche 911 R please in Lava Orange.