You don’t have to search far through the listings of Car & Classic to find something special. Certainly, when we sit down to write about a specific classified each week, we are spoiled for choice. However, this week was different as we stumbled upon something exceptional, namely this 1988 Porsche 911 Spyder by Paul Stephens. Or the PS 911 Spyder, to give it its actual name.
If you’re not familiar with the work of Paul Stephens, let us fill you in. He, for reasons we’re not quite sure of, drove his first 911 at the age of nine. This experience, which saw him hit 100mph on an old airfield, was a moment of genesis. Since then, the model has been in his blood, which probably explains why he set up his own specialist 911 business some twenty-five years ago. But the business which bears his name doesn’t just fix, maintain and sell 911s. Oh no, Paul is a creative sort and as such, has set about building his own versions of the 911, one of the most dramatic of which, you’re looking at here. The PS 911 Spyder.
With more than a subtle nod to cars like the 550 Spyder, the PS 911 started life as a ‘normal’ 3.2 from 1988. This was a good place to start, as it means there is ample power and there is also the much better G50 manual-transmission. The 915 ‘box before it was never famed for being all that precise, and as such, would have been somewhat egregious if included in a car as focused on driving as this one.
The roof was lopped off, the body strengthened and then the real work started. It’s not just a 911 with some metal cut off. Far from it. Some 2,000 man hours went into the build, and those hours saw artisan craftsmanship in the form of the bespoke aluminium doors, the double hump rear, the bonnet and the rear decklid. A custom wraparound, low level screen was created, and the interior was stripped back and built up sparingly but to an incredible standard. The resultant car, which has also been tweaked to produce some 205bhp, is an event both to look at and, of course, to drive.
This example of Stephens’ designs was adored so much by its discerning owner that he took it to Germany with him, where it has caused many a German to do a frantic double-take, no doubt. Now though, it’s time to move it on having covered a mere 1,400 miles since it was built. At £167,000, there is no denying that this is an expensive machine, but it’s also one of a handful ever built, and as well we all know, exclusivity in the Porsche world is a desirable quality.