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California-based tuner Gunther Werks elbowed its way onto the crowded resto-modded scene by bringing the 993-generation Porsche 911 into the 21st century. It built and sold 25 cars, which is easier said than done. Its followup is a modern interpretation of the ultra-rare 993-based Speedster with a muscular look and the power to match.
Gunther closely followed Porsche's definition of a Speedster by adding a hard cover over the space formerly occupied by the rear seats, but it didn't chop the 993's roof off and call it a day; that would have been too easy. It also redesigned the front bumper, added new-look rear lights, and created a decklid with an integrated spoiler specifically for the Speedster. Most of the body panels and the aforementioned cover are built with carbon fiber.
Extra bracing tucked under the body helps offset the loss of rigidity, while roll hoops behind the seats protect the occupants in the event of a rollover. Although the renderings released by Gunther show the Speedster with a windshield, brave buyers who want to face the wind (and the bugs) head-on can order the car without one.
There's more carbon fiber inside: the floors, seat shells, and parts of the dashboard are manufactured with the weight-saving material. Gunther also moved the pedals to make the driving position more ergonomic.
Like the coupe, the Speedster is powered by a naturally-aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six built by Rothsport Racing. It's tuned to develop over 435 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque, and it spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Gunther pegs the engine's redline at 7,800 rpm in the name of durability and reliability.
Gunther Werks will build 25 units of the 993 Speedster, and the lucky enthusiasts who send the company a deposit will be encouraged to work directly with the styling department to create a custom-designed car. We don't know precisely what it takes to put one in your garage, but keep in mind the company charged $525,000 for the 400R.
The official Speedsters
Even at over half a million dollars, the 993 Speedster is an absolute bargain compared to the two examples built by Porsche. The first was given to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the son of company founder Ferry Porsche, for his 60th birthday on December 11, 1995. Shown above, it's now part of the Porsche collection. It's occasionally displayed in the company's museum and sometimes taken out, though its odometer only shows around 1,300 miles.
Jerry Seinfeld commissioned the second example. In 2000, he shipped his 1998 4S Cabriolet back to Porsche and asked the company to transform it into a replica of what was then the only 993 Speedster. Porsche obliged, and it sent the second and final 993-based Speedster across the Atlantic in 2001. The project's cost was not made public.