It’s not yet another Porsche... In fact, we shouldn’t even regard the Speedster as a car, let’s call it for what it is; an art piece.
For this Test Drive issue, I wanted to do something a little different. Let us for one second not focus on this beautiful object for its drive, but for what it represents. The aura and sex appeal of this car is something the Tesla driver (though I love tech) just wouldn’t grasp. Why? Because at this point, as I mentioned, it’s not even about the drive anymore.
Close your eyes: picture a hot summer day in Palm Springs in the early 90’s. Now, from a distance, just as the steaming concrete from the horizon meets your eye-level, you see Black Betty rolling over towards you. This fully black, almost Beetle-shaped Porsche only has room for the driver, and his or her favorite person riding shotgun. This car is for choosers.
The curvy, robust shape moving from the front-end all the way to its muscular shoulders and somewhat bulky Speedster back, is simply perfect.
Let’s go back in time for one more second, in order to understand which attributes make a Speedster a Speedster.
Back in 1954, Porsche originally came up with a grand idea, far from today’s marketing techniques, to build a “younger” speedster; a sportier version of its grandma. To achieve that aesthetic switch, several attributes were required: A steeper and smaller windscreen, a coupé cabriolet with a cover over the almost non-existing back seats. At the time, this was actually less equipment, which resulted in a cheaper car retailing for about $3’000. I mean, where do I sign-up?!
Over the years, the fundamentals of the Speedster and its recognizable shape remained, and subsequently became iconic. Especially when talking about its famous movie features with names such as James Dean, Steve McQueen and many more that come to mind. There is no denying its cool-factor, and slight feeling of living as an outlaw, which resonates with me when dreaming about this beautiful machine.
Good news: this particular Speedster comes in black-on-black, on black. I love black cars, not necessarily for sports cars but in this instance, it just fits her so perfectly. The thing with Porsche is, they've perfected the art of minimalism throughout their history. A Porsche is beautiful because it is a simple machine, yet timeless.
Get into this narrow-body 964 (only 171 procured) and immediately feel like a rockstar. Funny thing is, 3.2l isn’t a marvel. It’s no doubt a great car, but compared to other models I’ve had the chance to drive, there isn't much drama in the driving itself. Maybe that is a good thing, in order for you to handle everything going on in your surroundings.
I always say that a Porsche, depending on the model and color, is the only luxury sports car you can drive anywhere (even in France) without getting eyed in a condescending way.
Essentially, the Speedster just attracts pure love from everyone, and the people in Geneva aren’t the most outgoing in the world by a mile... But driving around in this thing, you get looks and a couple shy thumbs-up at every corner.
Driving through the streets of a city on an early, warm Summer day is very special in this car, as it almost transcends you back to another era where perhaps things weren’t as complicated. Maybe it is the lack of people wearing masks that makes me feel this way, but even if it’s just for an hour or two, I’ll live every second of it.
Though it’s no RS, the car handles well and is hard and sporty. The round noise of the engine cruising through the boulevards, wind in your hair and sun in the back is just about as good as it gets.
Be it a vintage model or a new edition, I will be very attentive to the Speedster package looking ahead. By all means it is not the most practical car, not to mention more expensive than it’s grandmother...