1989 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet

There are a couple things about this ad that make me chuckle, but the overall impression of this 1989 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet remains the same: it looks very good. With fewer than 6K miles on it this is one of the lowest (perhaps the lowest) mileage 930s I’ve seen and its condition looks the part. As the seller makes clear, these are very rare in general among all 930s, but that this is an ’89 makes it just that much more special. This is the only year you could get a 930 with the 5-speed manual transmission and the premium buyers have been willing to pay for that one-year-only transmission has been significant for quite a while. I don’t know if buyers will pay the steep premium this seller is seeking – this 930 has been up for sale for a few months now – but even if the price comes down some, I do not expect it to come down a lot. If you want a collector time capsule of one of these very unique Porsches, then this one requires a look.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: RUF Auction Roundup

It’s August and that means it’s car auction time. Much of the car-collecting world will be out in California this weekend either at Monterey or Pebble Beach – maybe even Carmel. A lot of cars will change hands and some of those will help set the market over the next six months. I always like to highlight a few that seem particularly fun.

As usual, there are a lot of Porsches on auction, though truthfully there is less this year that really grabbed my attention than in years past. But there is always good stuff even if there are fewer of them. For instance, if you’re a very esoteric Porsche fan, Gooding & Company will be auctioning this 1 of 1 1966 Porsche 911 Spyder. This post will not be about that car, in part because I don’t even know where to begin with that car, and, in fact, this post will be slightly tangential to Porsche. We’re going to look at RUF because there are a few very cool RUFs being auctioned. These are the real deal; these aren’t conversions carried about by shops here in the US nor even are they conversions carried out in Pfaffenhausen at the RUF factory. All three of these have a RUF VIN. They are all insanely rare and like all RUFs insanely fast and focused.

We’ve seen a lot of RUF 911s come up for sale over the years, but the three we have here are some of the best examples available. They all come from the 911’s air-cooled days and are a mix of almost unknown and iconic. Let’s begin with the icon: a 1989 RUF CTR, the model famously tested as the ‘Yellowbird’ and which put the rest of the tuning world on notice:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 RUF CTR at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auctions

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1989 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel

The Jetta Diesel wasn’t a big seller in the U.S. early on as oil-burners fell out of favor in the mid-80s. Up through 1987, you had your choice of the 1.6 liter diesels with or without turbochargers, producing 68 and 52 horsepower, respectively. For 1988, both disappeared, yet oddly there was a run of ’89-’90 Jettas that reintroduced the 1.6 ME diesel prior to the launch of the new EcoDiesel model. While the diesel had been able to be selected in higher “GL” trim level earlier, the ’89-’90s were base model only and are fairly rare to find. But today a nice ’89 example has popped up for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel on eBay

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1989 Porsche 944S2 ROW

Although the United States is one of the most important market for its sales, the 944S2 is a case where a majority of the cars sold were “Rest of World” examples. Total S2 production was 19,945 units, and of those about 6,036 came to North America. When you compare that to the 944 Turbo, 25,107 were built with 14,235 sold in the United States alone. Typically, the European versions of the 80s cars we look at had more power, but that was not the case for the S2. The M44.41 was a world engine, meaning it was only available with catalyst and rated at 207 horsepower (211 according to Porsche, although that’s the motor’s PS rating rather than HP). So what did a “ROW” 944S2 get you? Well, the shorter and lighter rear bumper treatment for one, side indicators just ahead of the rub strips, and in front you got integrated dual fog lights/driving lights rather than the fog/dummy setup on U.S. cars. In the case of this particular ’89, you also got the option for a really neat Studio cloth interior:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944S2 on eBay

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1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet

There is something wonderful about the excesses of certain ’80s automobiles. I assume at the time this was all taken quite seriously, but looking back now it is always good for a laugh. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like these cars. In fact, I like them quite a lot, but driving a convertible with a massive spoiler supporting its huge rear surely can’t elicit feelings of seriousness. It’s not as head-turning as a Slantnose, but still these 930s are ridiculous in the best possible ways. The only thing that can make these better is when its excesseses are turned up even more. If you’re going to punt subtlety, then why not go all the way?

This Porsche does just that. Here we have a Slate Grey Metallic 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet, located in San Diego, with a special order Lobster Red interior and a whole host of additions by the tuning mavens at RUF. The RUF bits are mostly of the cosmetic variety so there isn’t much in the way of additional performance to be had here, but the 930 does just fine as standard and those cosmetic enhancements help this 930 stand apart a little more. As if it needed much help. I love it!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – RoW

Have you been hoping to get your hands on a 3.2 Carrera Club Sport but found the very high prices a bit out of reach? Then this might be an option for you. To be clear, this isn’t a bargain basement Club Sport; it’s not something that an ambitious owner put together himself to mimic those great cars. The asking price still is high, it’s just not Club Sport high, which may position it in a spot that a few more prospective buyers have a shot at it. Pricing aside, it seems like a very interesting 911 and one that should be a hoot to drive.

While not necessarily the best representation of pricing, the last Club Sport I featured was priced at $365K. It was the only Irish Green example produced for the U.S. market and was very low mileage. And lest we think that price simply was the result of an overly optimistic seller, that Irish Green example had previously sold for $330K. We have even seen a regular Black Club Sport with a price well above $200K. As I said, the Carrera Club Sport can be prohibitively expensive. With a price tag just below $110K this Diamond Blue Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, imported from Japan, doesn’t have quite the Club Sport price, but it does have a bit of a Club Sport nature to it. Is that enough to warrant this six-figure cost? Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – RoW on eBay

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1989 Volkswagen GTI

Update 7/3/18: After not selling for the nearly $10,000 asking price last week, the seller has dropped the ask to a much more reasonable $5,995 today.

Generally, when one goes through the trouble of importing a car, that car is something really special; a car which otherwise didn’t come here. But occasionally a strange one sneaks through and leaves me scratching my head. Case in point? Today’s 1989 GTI.

Surely, if you want a Mk.2 GTI you’re not without options. Granted, they’re harder to find than other 80s performance icons – especially in original configuration – but then I’ve just covered a string of affordable examples with a ’85, a ’86, and a ’89 16V all quite reasonably priced well below $5,000. Since importation fees alone can eat up most of the sale price of those examples, you’d have to want to bring in a Mk.2 that wasn’t seen here – a Rallye, G60, Limited or Country, for example.

So what have we here? A standard 1.8 GTI, albeit with a few small twists:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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1989 Audi 200 quattro

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been well over a decade since I bid farewell to my Audi 200. It was never meant to be; I had always admired the turbocharged Avants and so when one came up for sale for an incredibly low asking price, I jumped.

Turned out it was more than just me that needed a jump. And it turned out that the 200 needed a lot more than just a jump; the clutch was thoroughly fried, as were the brakes, and the fuel system, and a few other odds and ends. I patched it together and we enjoyed a memorable run of events. Of all my automotive calamity stories, about 50% revolve around both of my big body Audis. The V8 created more hair-raising events (such as the time the throttle stuck wide open and in an effort to stop it I managed to set the brakes on fire), but the 200 wasn’t to be outdone.

There was the time I left the tollbooth on the Mass Pike. The car was running particularly well that day, so I gave it WOT leaving the gate. First to second and the nose was pointed at the sky! Surely, everyone must be saying “WOOOOOOOW!!!“, and it turns out they were because I had blown an oil cooler line and was crop dusting Sturbridge with a thick coat of atomized 10W-40. Another time the voltage regulator died, leaving me to switch various electrical items on and off to balance the charge between 11.5 and 14 volts all the ride home from Cape Cod. It blew several tires while on the road, which admittedly probably wasn’t it’s fault but was exciting nonetheless. I found out that the ABS worked – well – in an ice storm on 95 one time as I passed a braking BMW on the hard shoulder. The coolant lines froze one day – a major feat, since there was theoretically coolant in them. It twice threw alternator belts, leaving me to drive home the length of Rt. 24 at 5am with no lights on. The air conditioner didn’t work. Actually, basically everything electronic didn’t work particularly well if I’m honest. The radio’s blown speakers weren’t enough to overcome the wind noise created by the necessity to have the windows down at all times if the outside temp was over 60. But the kicker? The kicker was that the brake lines collapsed, leaving the calipers to randomly seize partially closed. As a result, you had to go full throttle to maintain 50 mph which, as you read at the beginning of this passage, occasionally presented an explosive problem. I gave up eventually, unable to stomach this car consuming more of my money.

Sound charming? It was. But most of my issues probably would have been remedied if I simply had bought a better example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Audi 200 quattro on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491/M470

I have featured a lot of rare 911s over the years, but I have never featured one of these. I’m not even sure I have seen one for sale. This is just about as rare as they come. I have featured examples that are more rare due to paint-to-sample or other custom options and I guess the reason this 911 is rare is for similar reasons. The model itself, the 3.2 Carrera, is not especially rare, but an ’89 Carrera equipped with the M491 Turbo-look package is a rare thing indeed.

Production of the Turbo-look package gradually waned as the ’80s wore on and once the 930 had returned to U.S. shores. Somewhat strangely those who still opted for the package tended to select it on the Carrera Cabriolet rather than the Coupe or Targa. :shrug: Determining accurate production numbers has been difficult; a long-circulated letter from PCNA themselves has been shown to be very inaccurate. Perseverance pays off and the best numbers now show there were 15 M491 Coupes produced in 1989. That’s not very many.

But what really makes this example rare isn’t just the M491 Turbo-look package. It is the other even more rare M470 front and rear spoiler delete package. Of the 15 M491 Coupes produced in 1989 only 5 also had the M470 package. There were only 2 Targas equipped as such so this isn’t the rarest, but 1 of 5 will have to suffice. It’s stunning!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491/M470 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo RAUH-Welt Begriff

I’m not sure I know where to begin. There is A LOT going on with this 911 and, in this case, that’s a good thing. I first saw this 1989 Porsche 911, modified by RAUH-Welt Begriff and Turbo Kraft, on Rennlist near the end of last year. It looked great and I actually thought it might sell pretty quickly even with its very high price. It had all the right attributes to attract the right sort of attention for what is a pretty over-the-top machine. Then I didn’t see it for a while so I thought it had sold. Lo and behold it had not sold so this time I wanted to take a closer look.

RAUH-Welt Begriff can be pretty divisive among 911 enthusiasts. Not only are Akira Nakai’s designs pretty wild, but many of his creations entirely consist of cosmetic modifications. They are cars that hearken back to many of Porsche’s early race cars with huge power, preposterously wide rear fenders, and massive wings all designed to keep the rear tires firmly glued to the ground. That sort of design in a road car isn’t always appealing and when there isn’t enough grunt to back up the looks the appeal is lessened further. However, there are exceptions; there are builds that possess the wildness of RWB’s designs AND the power to go along with it. This RWB is one such machine. The claims: 600 horsepower, 2,400 lbs. I don’t think outright performance will be an issue.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo RAUH-Welt Begriff on eBay

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