Motorsports Monday: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup

Continuing on the 944 theme, there are of course a few transaxles that actually are worth some big bucks right now. The development models – the 924 Carrera GT, GTS and GTR – are pretty well priced out of this world. In the 944 run, the Silver Rose cars are highly valued, too – but value-wise, they’re relative bargains compared to this car. Yet I’ll still claim that this car is a relative bargain compared to its contemporaries. Let me explain.

As a promotional series in 1986, Porsche teamed with Rothmans for sponsorship of a one-make support race series in Canada. The result was the 944 Cup, which ran normally aspirated lightweight examples of otherwise stock 944s in 1986 and 1987. Every once in a while, one of these rare rides (there were only 31 sold) pops up and we’ve covered them before. The big draw on these cars are the lightweight aspect thanks to no sunroof and manual windows, and of course the Rothmans livery.

But the series proved successful and in 1987 Porsche followed up with the more developed, more powerful and more excited Rothmans 944 Turbo Cup. In fact, the Turbo Cup cars were developed for single-race series around the globe – in total, there were 5 series and just shy of 200 Turbo Cup cars produced. Like the prior 944 RC, the formula was pretty simple – lighten a 944 Turbo, leave the engine “stock”, and fit it with race equipment. But Porsche, being Porsche, went a bit above and beyond.

Though the Turbo Cup looked for all intents and purposes like just a 1987 Turbo with racing colors and a cage, the reality was far from that. The engine retained most of its stock components, but Porsche fit magnesium oil pans and intakes to lighten the load. The turbocharger was uprated as well to develop more twist. Magnesium carried over to the transmission bits and even the wheels, which copied the production series designs but were much lighter. Inside the Turbo Cup gained a cage and a Recaro race seat, but lost its climate control, the glove box, the radio console and even door pockets. Power steering and air conditioning were yanked. Gone too were the rear wiper, remote hatch release and power windows. Like Audis from the period, the brake system was anti-lock, but included an on-off switch to disable the system. Bilstein provided upgraded damping, and Porsche also fit larger roll bars front and rear. The result was that they managed to get the road going 944 Turbo down to 1,280 kg (2,800 lbs) while simultaneously making it more powerful.

As some of the most limited 944s out there, and coupled with a popular race series featuring some of the most famous names in 80s sports car racing, the Turbo Cup cars have developed a cult following and bring some of the strongest bids in the transaxle world:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup on eBay

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1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

If you feel like you have seen this car before, you’re not wrong. I have come across it a couple of times recently for sale, though that’s not quite what I mean. When I saw it I didn’t immediately feature it precisely because I thought it looked familiar and I planned to come back to it and see what was up. As it turns out, we’ve featured it before making this somewhat of a revisit.

About 2.5 years ago we featured this Cassis Red Metallic 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa when it was offered for sale by one of our readers. It’s now come back up for sale. I think it is in the hands of a new owner – based on the stated location of the car – and the mileage is up slightly from last time. It now sits at a still very reasonable 72,450. Mostly, I thought it was worth another post because it looks really great!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa 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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Tuner Tuesday: 1982 Alpina B7S Turbo Coupe with 20,000 Miles

Continuing on today’s green theme and moving up the pecking order a few notches from the E12 duo from the other day, here we have something of a monster. Alpina offered E24 fans a special treat with a turned up turbocharged variant of the 635CSi that was good enough not only to rival BMW’s own M6/M635CSi, but indeed to better it.

The M88 was already a bit of legend before BMW offered derivatives in the /3 and catalyst-equipped S38. With 256-286 horsepower depending on tune, it was about as good as non-exotic normally aspirated motors got in the 1980s. But Alpina had always had a knack for outdoing the cars their creations were based upon, so in went the turbocharger. The result was impressive in any form; the Turbo Coupe/1 was good for 300 horsepower and could match the acceleration of the M cars. But matching wasn’t enough, so Alpina upped the power with the B7S. Now up to 3.4 liters and good for 320 plus horsepower and nearly 400 lb.ft of torque, it was a car which could rip your face off anytime, anywhere. Like all Alpinas, they were lovingly crafted and full of exquisite detail work and limited to only 30 examples:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Alpina B7S Turbo Coupe on Enthusiast Auto

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1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa Police Car

From a purchasing perspective this car really will only be of interest to serious collectors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t just enjoy what it is. We’ve seen police versions of Porsches before. It’s kind of cool to consider such cars being used for patrol work. They’re certainly better than the ubiquitous Crown Vic in the US. Of course, US police roll in a few interesting coupes as well. I know I’ve seen Mustangs and Camaros pulling people, but those aren’t quite a 911. Given the typically higher speed limits of many European highways I can understand the need for better performing patrol cars.

This one went into duty for the Dutch Rijkspolitie. Based off of a 3.2 Carrera Targa it’s fitted with the standard police lights and sirens and even came with a set of the phone dial wheels, which we rarely see on 911s from this period. This one has a good number of miles on it and we always might wonder about the maintenance and severity of those miles given the sort of usage a police car is likely to see, but I don’t think most buyers would be expecting to use this as a daily driver. It’ll be tucked away and preserved. It’s current condition looks quite good though.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa Police Car on eBay

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1988 BMW M3

It’s only been a little over a week since I last looked at an E30 M3. A 297,000 mile example with extensive rebuild work, it brushed up against $40,000 in bidding in the no reserve auction.

Clearly, M3 mania hasn’t died down all that much.

Sellers have taken note; at any given time, there are a plethora of E30 M3s available on the market. Today’s search yielded no less than eight examples on eBay; average asking price? About $64,000. But that’s nothing compared to the nine that Enthusiast Auto Group have, including no less than five Sport Evolutions. If you have to ask….

But not many sellers are laying it out on the line. If the market really is plum crazy for these cars, why are more people not rolling the dice and taking market value? For example, if a nearly 300,000 mile example hits the best part of $40,000, what would a much lower mile example bring?

We’re about to find out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 on eBay

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1988 Porsche 930 Coupe

I’m going to take a short break from my value shopping to present a 930 that I like quite a bit. It is not a good value. It is, however, a color combination I like a lot and don’t see that often.

Here we have a Marine Blue Metallic 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe, located in Kentucky, with what I believe is a Linen leather interior and 53,285 miles on it. The ad is very short on the details and while I don’t mind a concise ad a 50K mile 930 isn’t really a candidate for such a lack. So there’s legwork to be done on the part of any interested buyer, but it’s a really attractive car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe on eBay

Year: 1988
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.3 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 53,285 mi
Price: $125,000 Buy It Now

This is a beautiful 1988 Porsche 930 Turbo. Low mileage at 53,285. Runs and drives great. Exterior is a rare marine blau metallic. Interior shows normal wear for its age. This is a very special car and will not last long!

Every time I see a Linen interior I wonder if it’s a complete pain to keep clean. Some of the photos here kind of show the sort of thing that would worry me! Generally speaking this interior looks quite good and in good shape. There don’t appear to be any major problems like tears, scuffs, or cracks in the dash. It looks very clean. But a light colored interior like this will show dirt and imperfections much more than darker colors, even much more than tan, and here we see the evidence of that. Given how close up the pictures appear to be I don’t think it’s the sort of thing we’d get too upset about. It’s just a difficult color to keep clean.

From what we see of the exterior everything looks in fine shape. We don’t have enough pictures to judge accurately, but what we see is fine. Otherwise, we know nothing. {insert GoT reference} And that’s where the problems lie with this asking price. It could be that it’s fully documented and serviced and closer inspection will show that the interior and exterior condition is as good as it seems. If that’s the case, then perhaps $125K could make sense if you absolutely desired the color. But probably not. Not for an ’88.

We encounter this situation frequently with the 930. An ’89 is extremely desirable because it’s the only year these came with a 5-speed manual. It also happens to be the final year of this icon’s production. So high prices can be supported. But you can find plenty of ’86-’88 930s for below $100K so it takes the perfect combination of options, very low mileage, and documentation for prices above $100K to make sense. I think the mileage is too high for that to happen here and we have no idea about the documentation. I really like the color though!

-Rob

1988 BMW 735i

You don’t see many E32s on the road anymore. Most have been consigned to the junk yard by now. That’s a shame. With this generation 7-series, BMW hewed close to the guiding principles that served it well back in the day, when it offered cars with simple, unfussy styling and a brawny but somewhat subdued road presence. The V12-powered 750iL was marvelous when running right but monstrously expensive to fix when it broke. The “entry level” 735i, on the other hand, was powered by the notoriously robust, inline six M30 engine. Displacing 3.4 liters, it’s the same motor that found its way into the 535i and 635CSi of the same period. With about 208 hp on tap to move around a car weighing about 3,500 lbs, it was no performance behemoth. But it certainly cost less to run than its larger-engined siblings. That makes this nicely kept 735i the perfect candidate for use as an interesting daily driver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735i on eBay

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Outstanding E32 Face Off: 1988 BMW 735i and 750iL

Such was the depth of BMW’s great designs from the 1980s that often the E32 is overlooked. Unlike the E23 it replaced, the scaled-up Claus Luthe-inspired design really worked and the heavy-weight look of the 5-series in a fat suit was met with more aggression, yet still elegantly. As you’d expect from a car intended to challenge the W126, BMW threw the kitchen sink at the 7-series, upping not only the technology, luxury and interior materials utilized in the E32, but the engine offerings, as well – the M70 and later M73 V12s beat Mercedes-Benz to the market with silky smooth and powerful twelve cylinder motors that were the trump card with the Trump types.

Yet while popular and well built, finding good examples of especially early 7s has become quite difficult. Today we have two interesting examples to consider. Both are far from original, though each in their own way is compelling. For those who like subtle speed, there’s a M70-powered, low mileage 750iL Alpina B12 5.0 clone from Japan. If you’re a little more in-your-face and like to row your own, there’s a Racing Dynamics-inspired 735i 5-speed. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 750iL Alpina Clone on eBay

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All Black Everything: 1988 BMW M5 Euro Clone

Let’s get the elephant in the room out in the open: this 1988 BMW M5 has 225,000 miles, and the asking price is $42,000. It’s also pretty far from original.

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That’s good, because there’s really a lot to like in this particular example of the legendary chassis. First off, it’s one of the very, very few of the already scarce U.S. spec E28s that were imported with option 0232 – full black leather. That makes it one of 101 imported to North America as such, and of those only 30 were sold in the U.S.. That alone makes it quite desirable. But then this M5 goes a step farther, and by a step I mean several flights of stairs. Outside we have a European bumper and headlight swap; I know, some people prefer the U.S. setup in the same way that some people consider Marilyn Manson a musical artist. It’s also ditched the original M5 rolling stock for wider, modular and forged BBS RS wheels. And that high mileage? No worry, the S38 has been rebuilt and turned up a few notches, while the upgraded suspension has dropped down and stiffened the ride.

The result? Boy, does this look like one mean super sedan.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay

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