• A $50,000 Windshield Isn’t the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster

You need to pony up if you want to recreate one of the rarest Porsche models of all time

The Porsche 911 (993) is one of the most sought-after Porsche 911 models in history. Its place in history is secure as the last 911 generation to feature an air-cooled engine. It’s considered the grail among grails, the kind of car that routinely sells for around $200,000. Now imagine a scenario where the grail among grails gets even rarer. Should we call it the grail among the grails among grails? That’d be too confusing so let’s just call it by its actual name: the Porsche 911 (993) Speedster.

The 993 Speedster is so rare that Porsche actually built just two units of the model, one for Ferdinand Alexander Porsche for his 60th birthday in 1995 and another for TV comedian Jerry Seinfeld. In other words, you have a better shot at finding Narnia than spotting an actual 993 Speedster on the road. But, just because these two models are a sight unseen, that doesn’t mean that we can’t see proper replicas that carry the exclusive essence of the 993 Speedster in the proudest way imaginable.

That’s the case with John Sarkisyan, who many of you know is an ace in the classic car restoration and modification scene. Sarkisyan is the man responsible for the Steampunk Porsche 911 and the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, both of which were created on the bones of different models. Sarkisyan’s latest project is this stunning Porsche 993 Speedster, which started its life as a 993 Convertible. This is proper aftermarket tuning done to the absolute peak of its powers. It’s no wonder that, in recreating the 993 Speedster, Sarkisyan ponied up a significant amount of money, including dropping $50,000 on the car’s windshield. Believe it or not, the $50,000 windshield isn’t the only outrageously expensive part of this recreated Porsche 993 Speedster. Then again, that’s the kind of price you have to pay if you want to build yourself a model where there are only two actual ones in existence.

A Recreation of a Very Rare Porsche Speedster

Before you start hyperventilating at the thought of a $50,000 windshield, a little bit of context is in order. See, the 993 generation of the Porsche 911 holds a special place in the hearts of Porsche purists. Not only is it the last 911 generation to come with an air-cooled engine, but it’s described as the “latest complete ‘modern classic’” and the one and only Holy Grail among Porsche enthusiasts. The book “Porsche 993 — Essential Companion” also refers to the 993 as the “King of Porsche,” a title that has taken greater meaning in recent years. Simply put, the 993 Porsche 911 is the best and most desirable version of the 911 series.

The 993 Porsche 911 was introduced from 1994 to 1998. In the five years it was on the market, Porsche sold 68,029 units of the 993 generation 911. That’s a healthy number that supports the generation’s popularity back in the day. A lot of versions of the 993 made up that total output, but the rarest among these versions aren’t included in the final tally, in part because they were never sold to the public. I am, of course, referring to the Porsche 911 (993) Speedster.

A $50,000 Windshield Isn't the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster
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It’s a matter of record that’s undisputed. There are only two 911 (993) Speedster’s in the world. Two. That’s three fewer than the number of fingers I have in one hand. Two. One of these two models was built by Porsche as a gift to Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the son of Ferry Porsche and the grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, for his 60th birthday back in 1995. As for the other 911 (993) Speedster, well, it was given to Jerry Seinfeld in 1998. That’s it.

So, you can imagine how desirable the 911 Speedster is when there are only two models in existence.

There’s literally no way to get your hands on one unless you build one yourself.

This brings us to resto-builder extraordinaire, John Sarkisyan. We know all about this dude. He’s responsible for some of the most wicked resto-builds you’ll ever see, including the positively delirious Porsche 911 Steampunk and the equally mesmerizing Mercedes-Benz 300 SLK that isn’t actually a 300 SLK. Underneath that glorious facade sits the bones of a far more modern Mercedes SLK 32 AMG. That’s the template Sarkisyan followed in building his very own Porsche 911 (993) Speedster. The donor car? A Porsche 911 (993) Convertible.

A $50,000 Windshield Isn't the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster
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According to Sarkisyan, the task of building a 911 (993) Speedster was next to impossible because of the difficulties in procuring an actual Speedster kit — they’re almost non-existent — to get the project off the ground. Fortunately, Sarkisyan was able to acquire the parts he needed for this project from a Porsche 911 (964) — the predecessor of the 993. In fact, all the parts that make up Sarkisian’s 993 Speedster are all 964 parts, including the aforementioned windshield that cost Sarkisyan a whopping $50,000 to buy from Porsche. Sarkisyan noted that it was also the last 964 windshield that Porsche had in stock, which, I suppose, puts the $50,000 price tag in perspective. Even more ridiculous, Sarkisyan added that the price of the windshield, together with all the fabrication work that needed to be done to make the parts and panels fit, came up to around $70,000. “The windshield cost more than the whole car,” he told Hoonigan.com’s Larry Chen.

A $50,000 Windshield Isn't the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster
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Included in the staggering price tag of the windshield and all the work that came with it are the rubber window linings that cost $2,000. Imagine that for a second. Rubber window linings for $2,000. I’d describe it as ‘incredible,’ except that ‘crazy’ came to mind first.

As expensive as the windshield and all the work that came with it was, the entire build didn’t revolve around that one aspect of the car alone.

Sarkisyan and his team put in a lot of work in dressing up the interior, too. You can tell, at first glance, just how much detail went into the whole process of putting together this section of the car. The plush brown leather that covers most of the interior surface is rich, smooth, and downright looks expensive. Speaking of which, Sarkisyan also pointed out how rare the car’s steering wheel is. He also added that the two sports seats aren’t your typical Recaro seats. According to Sarkisyan, they’re actually the first set of a new product that Recaro just came out with.

A $50,000 Windshield Isn't the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster
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Then there’s the 3.6-liter flat-six engine that Sarkisyan and his team also had nightmares about building. Thankfully, the team received help from a number of sources, and, they were able to build the whole thing up from scratch in a matter of days before the 993 Speedster was displayed at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas.

All told, Sarkisyan said that the engine could produce around 315 horsepower, a modest improvement from the 270-horsepower output coming out of the factory-built engine.

The built-up engine complements the KW hydraulic assist coilover setup, which helps the car’s ride height go up by an inch at a push of a button.

A $50,000 Windshield Isn't the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster
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The last piece of this build puzzle are the wheels, which Sarkisyan confirmed as a set of Fifteen52 Magnus Walker Outlaw wheels that Sarkisyan himself repainted three times to get the perfect aesthetic color.

The finished product undoubtedly speaks for itself. It’s beautiful in a knee-buckling kind of way. You look at it, and you’re just entranced by how close Sarkisyan managed to recreate the Porsche 993 Speedster using parts from its predecessor, the 964. Sure, it’s not a real 993 Speedster, but when you’re talking about a car that only exists in the form of two units, it’s the closest thing you can get to see a unicorn on the road. Does anybody really care that the windshield alone cost $50,000?

I certainly don’t.

A $50,000 Windshield Isn't the Only Outrageously Expensive Part on this One-Off Porsche 911 (993) Speedster
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Further reading

1995 Porsche 993 Cup 3.8 RSR
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Read our full review on the 1995 Porsche 993 Cup 3.8 RSR.

Source: Larry Chen via Hoonigan.com

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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