Tuner Tuesday: 1987 RUF BTR

The well worn cliche is that power is intoxicating. While typically that expression is used in reference to abuses by individuals it seems no less applicable to cars. Once you get a taste of a level of acceleration, you begin to want more. And more. And maybe even a little more. Thankfully there exist outlets for such desires; builders who are happy to provide you with completely unnecessary levels of power in our continual pursuit of more. Just bring your wallet.

For your Porsche the name nearly synonymous with the need for extra power is RUF. RUF has been in the game for a long time, producing modified Porsches for 40 years. While in many cases these are conversions where the owner buys a 911 and has RUF parts added by an appropriate installer (or by RUF themselves), RUF also has produced their own builds utilizing nothing more than a Porsche chassis. These cars were badged as a RUF rather than a Porsche and come with a RUF VIN. The one we see most commonly and the one that really got the whole thing started is the BTR. Fitted with a 3.4 liter turbocharged flat-6 mated to a 5-speed manual the BTR was a much more powerful version of the 930 capable of outclassing most any production car available at the time. Naturally that extra performance along with their relative rarity makes them a highly sought after commodity. Here we have one such beast: a 1987 RUF BTR, located in Virginia, with 37,472 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 RUF BTR on eBay

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1987 Porsche 944S with 15,000 Miles

It’s no great revelation that values of the transaxle Porsches are all over the place. I looked at two of the most expensive you could buy recently with the twin low-mileage Turbo S Silver Rose examples:

Double Take – 25,000 Miles Total: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S Silver Rose

In impeccable condition, it was no surprise that the asks were out-of-reach for nearly all enthusiasts. On the other end of the spectrum sits the lowly 924; you recently had your choice of either of these very clean examples for about $4,000, both special in their own way:

Face Off: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo v. 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition

But I have to say, the one I covered recently that bothered me the most was the $20,000 ask for the 1988 944 Special Edition, or “Celebration”, model. Sure, it had one of the coolest interiors offered by Porsche in the period, though it’s soundly outdone by the Silver Rose.

1988 Porsche 944 ‘Celebration’ Special Edition

But I just can’t wrap my head around why you’d want to pay a premium for one. For the 924S Special Edition, it makes sense, in a way. The delta between normal and SE values is small and there are tangible performance gains for the Special Edition. But the Celebration was effectively just a loaded 944 with a neat interior. Surely, there must be a better option?

There was.

Alongside the appearance package offered on the regular 944, Porsche introduced the “Super” 944. The new M44/40 double overhead cam motor upped power output substantially to nearly 190, but outside of the subtle “S” badge on the rear and the embossed “16 Ventlier” on the side trim, there were no signs of the performance gains under the hood. There was a substantial change, however, to the base price, which cut the middle ground between the ~$32,000 944 and ~$40,000 Turbo at around $37,000. I always felt like Porsche’s pricing versus power gains on these models seemed a little too convenient; you got the impression that they could do more with the model, but didn’t want to tread on the 911’s toes. Apparently, so did buyers at the time. The 944S failed to sell as well as the normal 944 or the Turbo, with about 8,800 imported over the short two year production cycle before it was replaced by the even more potent and better looking S2. Few appear today like this 15,000 mile Zermatt Silver Metallic one does:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944S on eBay

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Paint-to-Sample 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa M491 Turbolook

After seemingly going a while without seeing one it now appears Turbolook 911s are all coming out of the woodwork. I’ve posted a couple that I particularly liked, one of which specifically because it was a coupe as those still aren’t coming around very often. It is still the case that most of those we see are the earlier, and slightly less desirable, models with the 915 5-speed transmission. There are fewer of the later G50 transmission models with the ’89MY naturally leading the way in rarity.

But here we have one of those later models. It’s not a Coupe, but still has plenty of appeal in its own right: a paint-to-sample Marine Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with the M491 package and 81,713 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Paint-to-Sample 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa M491 Turbolook on eBay

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1987 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet

Last week I presented a 930 Slantnose that I thought was about as ’80s as a Porsche could get. While I don’t think this one pushes beyond it, it certainly brings with it its own ’80s appeal and includes elements that 930 Coupe lacked.

Here we have a Cassis Red Metallic 1987 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet with just 45,400 miles on it. The very fact that it’s a Cabriolet, rather than a Coupe, garners it an extra dose of excess in appearance. The Slantnose, side strakes, and massive spoiler when paired with a top-down environment really bring a peculiarity to the design that we don’t often see. The chrome wheels take it over the top. The full wood dash too strikes me as very much an ’80s sort of feature. Not that a wood dash itself dates the car, but when fitted to a Slantnose 911 Turbo it creates a disjunction combining luxury and aggression that feels very at home in the time period. It’s all quite fascinating, really.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet on Rennlist

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Litmus Test: Granite Green Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

We sometimes can be a bit hard on cars with very low mileage. Why buy any car – especially a performance car – to park it in a garage and treat it like a museum piece? Or some ornamental furniture? It seems wasteful. This 911 has suffered from no such stagnation. It has almost 250K miles on it. While that’s still not a ton of miles per year, it is a good bit more than most 911s we see. It’s been enjoyed. It has stories; drives bringing its owners excitement, and perhaps even some heartache whenever it was sold. It’s also damn good looking and sitting mostly in its original specification of Granite Green Metallic over a Grey-Green interior. All of this beauty is on auction with no reserve. We really can’t ask for too much more with any 911.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Granite Green Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday E30 Showdown: 1986 Alpina C2 2.5 v. 1987 Hartge H26

We last got to look at a modified E30 through the disappointing realization that finally after years of trying to sell with different dealers, the car listed as an Alpina C2 2.5 was just a very convincing replica. But as noted, the car was clean and wore a lot of really expensive Alpina bits – so while the price tag of $22,800 seemed high for a replica, it was in some ways amazingly justified.

So what happens when the car in question is a real Alpina? We find out when we look at an actual Alpina C2. The asking price in that case was nearly double at $39,500. And when you factor in that the C2 is one of the less desirable E30 Alpinas out there, that’s drawn into sharper contrast.

So here we are again with another Alpina to consider, but it’s not alone. One of our readers spotted a Hartge H26 – an even more rare to see variant of modified 1980s E30. And to kick the rarity up a few notches, both are 4-doors instead of the usual 2-door sedans. So how do they compare in terms of pricing, and are these cars all that they seem?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Alpina C2 2.5 on eBay

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Mystery Solved?: 1987 Alpina C2 2.5

Back in February, I took a look at very hot item in the marketplace – a clean, European-spec BMW E30 modified by Alpina.

Or, at least that was what was claimed.

Further research pointed out some problems. I found it to be a car I looked at two years ago in 2015, then listed as a 1986 C2 2.5. The VIN was transposed incorrectly, but the stranger item was that the year was wrong. Stranger still was that a tremendous amount of the car didn’t seem to work. Yet it was a lot of Alpina for the money even as an automatic, as it was relatively clean and priced well below other similar E30 Alpina asks.

Well, here we are some ten months later and it’s popped up in a new listing with a new seller. We’ve seen that before, so no big surprise there. As I started to look through the listing, though, I was struck by just how lazy it was. Okay, there were new photos, but none of them were detailed. The VIN is filled in with “1”s. Then I got to the text, which is a near-carbon copy of the last listing. I say near for two reasons – one, the current listing cut and paste the prior listing….twice. So, halfway through the details, you start all over again!

But perhaps that was done to distract you from the one detail which was added to this listing. Cleverly stuck in after the copying of the prior listing, just before all the fees you’ll need to pay, was a second change and the line which finally answers the questions about this car:

Note this is an Alpina clone with correct Alpina numbered engine.

That’s a pretty frustrating statement to bury in the end of the listing. The ad listing has, for the last several years, maintained how rare this car is and they’re just now getting around to admitting it’s not a real example? That’d be understandable if the owner just figured this out, yet they’ve continued to list the car as a legitimate example outside of that one line stuck in there. Despite this it still looks like a nice example and appears to wear a lot of expensive Alpina items, but this is certainly a case of caveat emptor.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Alpina C2 2.5 Replica on eBay

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1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Carat by Duchatelet Cabriolet

What do we have here? This 911 is really rare and I’ll admit I was a little stumped by the designer until after some searching. This is a Black 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with a Carat by Duchatelet interior. It’s located in New Jersey and has only 48,000 miles on it thanks to hanging around in storage for more than a decade.

So who is Duchatelet? A company out of Belgium well-known for their Carat by Duchatelet high-end interior work performed principally on Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce cars of the ’80s. Apparently they also worked on Porsches. From the outside their designs are pretty subtle, so much so that when I first was looking through these pictures I couldn’t figure out what was so unique about it. When you get to the interior, it all becomes quite clear!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Carat by Duchatelet Cabriolet on eBay

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Double Take: Open-top G50 Carreras

I’m forcing the issue a little bit here as I will freely admit there aren’t great reasons for lumping these two 911s together. So why? Basically because I think each is worth consideration for those in the market for a 3.2 Carrera, but neither is really distinguished enough that I think one is obviously superior to the other, nor are they distinguished enough to write up separately. So why not look at them both?

These two 911s each present as similar examples of a late classic 911 and since neither is a Coupe they also present the choices for those who prefer a bit of open-top enjoyment. Each comes from the final three model years after Porsche fitted the G50 5-speed manual transmission and I think their condition is pretty comparable. While the mileage of each is a bit different neither is crazy high nor crazy low. Lastly, I think their selling prices should be pretty close. So if you’re in the market for a G50 Carrera and want a little wind in your hair these both should be worth further investigation.

I’ll go chronologically and begin with this Grand Prix White 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in New Jersey, with Dark Blue leather interior and 68,050 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

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1987 Audi 5000CS Turbo

The gulf between North American and European market performance was wide in all manufactures in the 1980s, but no where did it feel more vast than with the Audi products. That was especially true with the turbocharged variants of the large chassis. In European guise, the Type 200 5T developed 170 horsepower even without an intercooler, while the U.S. 5000 Turbo managed only 130 from the 2.1 liter inline-5. That was a 24% drop in performance, and it didn’t get much better with the Type 44 replacement. Though displacement later grew to 2.2 liters in the MC1 and 2 codes, power output never exceeded 162 horsepower. That meant that the 1987 Audi 5000CS Turbo (and the turbocharged quattro model) produced only about 81% of its European equivalent’s power output.

Despite that, the 5000 was a great sedan. It was quite, comfortable, and more modern-feeling than its contemporaries. It was also good enough for notorious BMW-friendly Car and Driver to add it to their 10-Best list – even without the trademark all-wheel drive. With weight fairly far in excess of 3,000 lbs, the luxury sedan wasn’t a rocket off the line, but on the roll it was a competent and quiet cruiser. Audi claimed the automatic-equipped Turbo model would hit 60 mph in 8.7 seconds and flat out would do 130 mph – numbers that were barely better than its normally aspirated smaller brother Coupe and 4000S front-drive models (themselves not particularly notable for being quick!). But thanks to some notoriety in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and great press (ahem – well, for a bit anyways!), these Audis sold fairly well. For example, compared to the 4000 quattro and Coupe GT models, the 5000 Turbo was traded in much greater numbers despite its high price. In 1987, Audi sold just shy of 2,000 Coupe GT models and nearly 3,000 4000CS quattros. But the Turbo? They sold 6,849 of them. Why are they so rare to see then?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 5000CS Turbo on eBay

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