Project Porsche: A 911 Speedster Inspired by the 356
The Autohaus Hamilton garage is alive with the song of Porsche projects being built as we speak, and we’d like to share some of the exciting Porsche action with you!
The first car we’d like to introduce you to is this 911 Speedster, inspired by the 356 Speedster’s lovely svelte lines and cut-down windshield, combined with the chunkier curves of the 911 Speedster.
To get started, we needed a donor car. Our perfect candidate was a silver 3.2 Carrera Targa or Cabriolet, which had already had its internals rebuilt. The Targa comes standard with additional chassis strengthening, so that gives us the rigidity we need for our car, and we wanted to finish the project in silver, so we wanted to start in the right place and not devote resources to repainting the car. This frees up our budget to spend entirely on what we want to build!
We searched far and wide to find the correct combination until we found our factory right hand drive silver ’84 3.2 Carrera Targa.
We’ve backdated it to the early long hood look, and fitted pre-’73 long hood front guards and latch panel. It’s also had the windshield and Targa roll hoop removed in preparation for the speedster look.
When we began the project we did a huge amount of research into 911 Speedster builds, and were particularly enthralled by Stan Townes’ 1967 911 Speedster, which is a stunning combination of clean lines and curves in all of the right places.
Our build is going to feature the 356 Speedster windscreen look - low and ‘50s futuristic - which is a magnificent aesthetic, but presents some challenges. The 911 windscreen is much taller, so it needs to be cut down to about half the height. When Stan built his car back in the ‘60s he went through nine (nine) 911 windscreens before he got the perfect fit for his car.
We’re going to use a custom plexiglass windscreen, which we’re fitting to a custom speedster windscreen frame that we’re going to fabricate for our purposes. This will give us a 356 windscreen frame and windscreen in the correct width for the 911’s wider body.
Around the back we’re going to find a balance between the 911 Speedster’s chunkier humps and the 356 Speedster’s lower profile. We’ve had a 911 3.2 Carrera Speedster clamshell supplied, which we love, so we’re going to follow that aesthetic.
We’re going to set the clamshell up so that it can be lifted from its leading edge and the underneath can be used for storage. We’re removing the rear seats and fitting a panel behind the front seats, the lid for which will be the clamshell itself. Once everything’s arrived and being fitted we’ll fabricate and fit the parts to smooth everything out and refine the flow.
In terms of the interior we’ve found some very fancy retro seats and will be restoring everything to make it a very nice, classy place to spend an afternoon cruising in the sunshine.
This car is primarily an aesthetics project, but we’re not a team to ignore the internals! That is why we sourced a vehicle which, from the start, had received a top-end rebuild and had a rebuilt gearbox already. It’s not going to be a Group 4 monster, but it’ll drive beautifully, and that’s what these cars are all about!
Stay tuned to the site and our Facebook page for all the updates as we complete this project over the coming months!