At the 1982 Geneva Motorshow Rinspeed introduced it's first Porsche conversion; the Rinspeed 938 Eclipse based on a Porsche 911 SC Targa. The Eclipse combined elements of the common slant-nose idea with Porsche 928 tail lights, an idea that was stretched even further in the 1983 939. Allthough the design looked quite unique something interesting was going on with it....
Allthough there was no mention of this in any press-release by Rinspeed, the car hint is given in the 1982 Rinspeed catalogue: the "Rinspeed 938 Eclipse" was actually based on a design by US-based American International Racing (A.I.R.), a company founded by Dan McLoughlin in Burbank, CA. The car Rinspeed built as the Eclipse was actually a modified bodykit design called the "A.I.R. Porsche 938". A picture of this A.I.R. 938 is in the catalogue, without any Rinspeed modifications on it. The name 938 came from 911 + 928... Not for anybody who can do math!
The design of the Rinspeed Eclipse consisted of the following modifications:
- A slant-nose which it seems was partly genuine Rinspeed; the front fenders were possibly A.I.R. fenders with pop-up head lights installed, the front bumper was a modified A.I.R. piece with Rinspeed's addition of a small air-inlet between te fog lights for the oil-cooler.
- The rear-end was an A.I.R. piece, which incorporated Porsche 928 tail lights, something Rinspeed used for their next Porsche design; the well known Rinspeed 939 / R39 of 1983. The exhaust protuding through the bumper might have been a Rinspeed-mod.
- Rims on the car were 16" BBS.
- Interior: the interior of the Rinspeed Eclipse included sports seats by König and a custom Raid steeringwheel. A Clarion G80 Stereo was also fitted.
The '82 Rinspeed 938 Eclipse. The front bumper is a modified American International Racing item, the front-fenders are probably also A.I.R. items with possibly the head lights as a Rinspeed modification.
The rear-end of the Rinspeed Eclipse: a butt with 928 tail lights... a part of the A.I.R. 938 bodykit.
Not the best of pictures, but historically interesting: the Rinspeed Eclipse at the '82 Geneva Motorshow.
From the '82 Rinspeed catalogue: the "American International Racing 938" in full swing.
Even the "938" name was borrowed from A.I.R., with the addition of "Eclipse".
Text: copyright Bram Corts 2019