The late 1970s and early 1980s were a trans-formative time for Porsche. After a long string of successes with the Porsche 911 and 917 on the race track, they were moving into new territory with a series of front engined cars. Not only were these cars appearing on the race track, though; Porsche intended the 928 and 924 to be the replacements for its aging 911/912 lineup. The result was a special time for water-cooled fans, as Porsche spent a considerable amount of time and resources in between the end of the 917 project and the beginning of the new 956 project on the front engined 924. In order to tie the model to performance and wins on the track, Porsche undertook an ambitious racing schedule, entering the 924 in everything from showroom production-based “D-Production” in SCCA to the World Rally Championship and Le Mans. The resulting lineup of impressive turbocharged 924s have become legendary, but ultimately they’re much more rare to come across than their 911/934/935 counterparts. Still, in the early 1980s they were cutting edge – 2,000 lbs, 400+ horsepower and massive flares hiding 935-spec BBS center-lock magnesium wheels. Sound awesome? You better believe it:
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Few motorsport images are quite as evocative as the legendary period of Group B; flying machines spitting stones and belching flames as they skirted trees and rocks at breakneck speeds with crowds only inches away. The ever more powerful cars hurtled their drivers in increasingly lighter and more delicate evolutions of cars towards immovable objects – an act which is some cultures would probably be akin to ritualistic suicide. By 1985 the writing was on the wall; it was a deadly sport that needed to be reigned in. But perhaps more than any other period, this is the time that rally fans and motorsports fans in general identify as one of the most memorable and important periods in racing history. Obviously, the big winner of the period from a reputation standpoint was Audi. The car that helped to define and end the period of wild turbocharged excess, the Quattro has obviously been the spawn of many replicas, such as this one for sale today in England:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro “Group B” Rally Car on eBay
The E86 Z4 was a fairly radical departure from the E36/8 that it replaced. In many ways, the Z3 was born out of a series of spare parts and in some ways almost seemed an afterthought. It wasn’t as innovated as the Z1 and while the original M Coupe has become a fan favorite, the Z3 just overall seemed the odd-man out in the BMW lineup. On top of that, the design just overall hasn’t aged particularly well in my mind. But in 2002, the redesigned Anders Warming penned E85 Z4 roadster launched. It was bigger in every dimension, with cutting edge new styling that managed to incorporate both round and angular designs into one fluid package that somehow worked well. Over a decade on, it still looks quite new to me – one of the best tests of the staying power of a design. Also one of the best tests is that it was somewhat controversial at the time, but by 2006 and the launch of the M models most critics were convinced that it was a nice package. The addition of the stellar S54 powertrain certainly didn’t hurt, and with just 1,800 examples of the new Coupe design in the U.S., it was guaranteed classic status. But that hasn’t stopped some from converting the coveted Coupes into race cars, such as this Fall-Line Motorsports built wide body:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 BMW M Coupe on Race-Cars.com
One of my favorite aspects about the Porsche brand is they have never been timid with color. Even to this day, you are able to tailor your Porsche specifically to your preferences via the Porsche Exclusive program, giving you the option of having one special Porsche. This orange 911GT3 RS is not the result of a Porsche Exclusive order, but is fetching nonetheless. This example for sale has over $60,000 in upgrades and while it appears to be a dedicated race machine, it is still street legal. It comes with a lot of extras, including a custom trailer, representing quite a deal for the next owner, especially if you consider what the entry cost is to a new 911 these days.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911GT3 RS on Rennlist
The wild LS2-swapped M Coupe has popped back up on eBay, now with a substantially lowered price to $36,500. There’s a lot of custom engineering that you’re getting for free at that price, and it all looks very well executed. I originally incorrectly believed the car was vinyl wrapped but was corrected by the seller that it is in fact painted matte orange. I love the audacity of the build and it’s just not possible to get more speed for less money in the German car world. This is one really cool setup for a track car and much more unique than the typical M3 or Porsche Turbos!