This is OG Porsche tuning done right

The Porsche 911 is a lot like wine. The older it is, the more desirable it becomes. That appeal has stretched bounds that we previously thought didn’t exist. No more is that clear than in the aftermarket tuning world, for example. There once was a time when the mere thought of modifying an original Porsche 911 was tantamount to automotive treason. But now? It’s not only become a big business, but it’s also evolved into a what-you-can-do-I-can-do-better competition among aftermarket companies. Take this 1989 Porsche 911 Targa 3.2, for example. Traditional convention suggests that this classic 911 Targa should be kept in stock condition, preserved in its OG state for all eternity. German tuner DP Motorsports had other plans. It’s not the Porsche 911 Targa 3.2 anymore. It’s the Porsche Phantom Speedster, and guess what, it looks spectacular.

Exterior

  • Used to be a 1989 Porsche 911 Targa 3.2
  • Turned into a Speedster a decade later
  • Nardo Gray paint finish is color-of-choice in the exterior
  • Black trim and orange decals
  • Lower and wider than the stock model
  • 16-inch rims wrapped in Continental Sport Contact tires
1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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Before we dive deep into this stunning creation, a bit of a back story is in order. The Porsche 911 Wide-body Phantom Speedster traces its roots to the 1989 911 Targa 3.2, a model that was actually part of the Porsche 911 Classic’s family tree.

The Targa 3.2 was actually part of the last iteration of the original 911 series before Porsche retired the model to give way to its replacement, the Porsche 964.

This particular model doesn’t look like a Targa 3.2 now, but it used to be one for almost 10 years before its owner at that time decided to turn it into a Speedster in the late 90s. It’s taken that form for 20 years now, and it’s traveled a lot, too, changing addresses from the U.S. to Germany at some point in the early part of the millennium. Today, this model is owned by a Berlin-based individual who sought out German tuner DP Motorsports to give his 911 Speedster an even more retro appearance, harkening back to the pre-impact bumper F-model Porsche 911s that were in vogue in the 1970s. The car that we see here is the result of that update, and, well, job well done, DP Motorsport.

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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The man behind the project was Patrick Zimmerman, the son of DP Motorsport founder Ekkehard Zimmerman. Tasked with a clear objective of giving the Targa 3.2-turned Speedster a proper retro update, Zimmerman and his team started by dressing up the convertible in a striking Nardo Grey paint finish, a popular color for all generations of the 911. In fact, a lot of people who own modern versions of the 911 purposely dress up their sports cars in the exact same finish. The choice of color worked well on the Speedster, particularly after Zimmerman and crew added black trim pieces on the door handles, light surrounds and orange Porsche decals that run along each side of the Speedster.

The tuner also lowered the Speedster’s front bumper and added wide rear arches, giving it a pronounced wide-body look that captures the ethos of a proper throwback car with an appealing visual that looks timeless.

The black-on-black wheel-and-tire combo — 16-inch rims wrapped in Continental Sport Contact tires measuring 205/55-16 in the front and 245/45-16 at the back — is the chef’s kiss of DP Motorsport’s masterpiece. The end result is a Porsche that looks to have been lifted out of a time capsule. It’s hard to miss the big bumper-bumper look in the front and the spoiler with the integral fog lamps. The side profile also displays the quintessential Speedster look, right down to the hunched look in the rear section of the car.

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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Sure, not everyone appreciates the appeal of a modified retro Porsche, but those who know their history of the 911 will appreciate the intricacies that went into turning this Targa 3.2-turned Speedster into what DP Motorsport now calls the 911 Wide-Body Phantom Speedster.

Interior

  • Non-original steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara
  • Metal gear shifter knob
  • Non-era-specific audio system
1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
- image 841804

The interior of the Porsche 911 Wide-Body Phantom Speedster didn’t receive as much love as the exterior. The only significant change is the steering wheel, which is different from the original steering wheel that Porsche used on the 911 Targa 3.2. Those who remember the original steering wheel will know that it featured a flat rectangular surface in the middle with the “Porsche” name on it.

The steering wheel on the Wide-Body Phantom Speedster does not have the flat rectangular surface.

Instead, it comes with the classic three-spoke design with Porsche’s crest right in the middle, surrounded by not-so-unassuming bolts. The wheel itself also benefits from an Alcantara wrap with a white 12 o’clock marker and Porsche’s script logo beside it. Best I can tell, this wheel looks aftermarket, perhaps sourced from Momo or Abarth.

Another notable change is the metal gear shifter, though it’s pretty much inconsequential. One other thing you’ll notice is the car’s audio head unit and system. I can’t specifically say what brand this new head unit is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the original Blaupunkt radio from the original 911 Targa 3.2. Best I can tell, it looks like a Sony CD deck unit from the late 1990s.

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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Other than these items, most of the parts of the original 911 Targa 3.2 are still in the Phantom Speedster.

That includes the massive — and I mean massive — instrument cluster with the five independent dials that scream for your attention. The seats look like they have age in them, but that could also be machine washing trickery on the part of DP Motorsports. Either way, it’s clear that there was an intention from someone — maybe the owner, maybe the tuner — to keep as much of the 911 Targa 3.2’s interior design as intact as possible. That shouldn’t come as a surprise because part of what makes this project special is the goal to keep the Porsche model’s memory alive today.

Drivetrain

  • Expected upgrades to the 3.2-liter flat-six engine
  • Output increase from 218 horsepower to 260 horsepower
  • New parts expected to be added
1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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Unbelievably, the Porsche 911 Wide-Body Phantom Speedster is not a finished product. Not yet, at least. A separate powertrain upgrade is scheduled to take place in the “next winter season,” which is to say that it’s probably happening later this year or early next year. It’s a bummer that this isn’t the finished product because if I owned it, I’d want the project, and all of its tentacles, to be finished by now. But it’s not, so we’re going to have to wait a little while longer before the owner of the 911 Phantom Speedster can parade his pride and joy around.

The good news is that DP Motorsports already has an idea on what it plans to do with the sports car’s current powertrain, beginning with an expected power bump from the 3.2-liter flat-six engine’s current output of 218 horsepower.

For this project, DP Motorsport is targeting an output of 260 horsepower. That’s an improvement of 42 horsepower, which doesn’t sound much relative to modern cars. But it’s a lot for a car with decades-old mechanicals like the Phantom Speedster. So, how does DP Motorsport plan to go about it? For starters, it plans to use a series of modern parts to replace old ones that have moved well beyond their years of use. Shrick-camshafts are currently in the order sheets, as well as a bigger throttle valve and an exhaust manifold. There are also plans to perform an individual adjustment on the engine test bench, which makes sense since a beat-up flat-six would probably require more than just these parts to get going again.

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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Outside of the powertrain upgrades, DP Motorsport also plans to install a club sport thread chassis provided by the industry’s best in that department, KW. PU-bearings from Superpro will also be used, specifically to reduce the stress in the axle bearings. At this point, it’s difficult to imagine how the finished product is going to look like, not just aesthetically, but from a performance perspective, too. Will it be able to drive as smoothly and as seamlessly as the original 911 Targa 3.2? What kind of sound can we expect from the flat-six engine, especially with a lot of modern donor parts thrown into the mix?

Our thoughts will be occupied by these questions for the next few months. Hopefully, DP Motorsport doesn’t experience any setbacks in its schedule. The almost eight-month-long wait to see this project to completion is enough cause for anxiety, not just for us, but, more importantly, for the person who owns this car.

Pricing

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
- image 841799

Don’t expect the Porsche 911 Wide-Body Phantom Speedster to go on sale. First of all, it’s not a finished project, and when it is finished, it’s highly unlikely that the car’s current owner would want to sell it as soon as he takes delivery of it. So, as far as this particular model is concerned, it’s not going in the market anytime soon. That said, projects like this don’t come cheap. The cost of modifications already comes up to around $20,000 depending on the parts and equipment that will be used. Then there’s the actual vehicle, which technically traces its roots to one of the last versions of the original Porsche 911 Classic model. That’s not a cheap ride, folks. All told, this entire project should cost at least $100,000. At least. How much beyond that is a question that you should ask DP Motorsport.

Final Thoughts

1989 Porsche 911 Wide Track Phantom Speedster by DP Motorsport
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I wasn’t old enough to remember the Porsche 911 Targa 3.2, or even the Porsche Speedster. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this line of work in the last decade or so, it’s that you don’t have to remember a car to have a fond appreciation for it. That’s where I’m at with this project. The last few years have seen an increase in classic Porsche 911s receiving restorations to return them back to their former glory. Some projects accomplish that task while others less so. I am bullish about this specific project from DP Motorsport, not just because of the history behind it, but, more importantly, in this case, the way it looks now. I mean, the 911 Phantom Speedster is beautiful. It’s beautiful in the same way the sunset is beautiful. There’s a timeless quality to it that doesn’t go out of style, no matter how old it is. Throw in the expected mechanical upgrades, and it’s one awesome thing after another with this project. I’m excited to see what the finished product looks like. For now, though, I’m pretty stoked just looking at its current state. It just…it…melts the eyes.

  • Leave it
    • Not a finished product yet
    • Not cheap
    • Definitely not for everyone

Further reading

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster High Resolution Exterior
- image 452511
1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

Read our full review on the 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster.

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