As much as I like to talk about the high prices being fetched for Corrados, GTIs and Sciroccos, the reality is the biggest numbers being asked and pulled from 1980s and 1990s Volkswagens are the vans. They’re not something I generally cover, but once in a while one pops up that is surprising and worth note. Today’s is no exception.
What attracted my attention first was the year – 1991. Of course, the main problem there is that in the U.S. market, the Eurovan didn’t launch until 1992. Volkswagen of America was still selling the niche and expensive T3 at that point. So was this a case of a transposition error or just an uninformed seller?
I’ve seen this car for sale for a little while and have kept meaning to come back to feature it. There’s just so much to take in initially and I’ve pulled up the listing a few times. It’s obviously far from anything original and is an extensive build, though it does possess interesting historical characteristics that should give it appeal beyond the typical custom build. It’s very bright, probably pretty loud and raucous, and sure to be very fast.
So let’s get the basics down. Effectively it sounds like this build began as a way to find a home for a very special engine: a 3.8 liter single turbo flat-6 producing 550 hp developed by Andial that served as the engine in a Pike’s Peak winning 964 Carrera 4 back in the ’90s. To house the engine a 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo with around 90K miles on it was found and work began. Those are excellent pieces to build upon. A suitable paint was needed so the designers reached back to the ’60s to source one of Porsche’s earliest pastels to show up on the 911: Pastel Blue. Combine all of that with a whole host of parts to improve upon the suspension and braking, along with a new interior, and you get the final product we see here.
Just because it’s got an exotic name or badge doesn’t mean it’s automatically out of your reach. That’s the lesson for today’s twin E34s. If you’re willing to undertake a bit of a project you can certainly save money up front. Just like we saw with the S65 AMG Andrew wrote up, the initial cost you pay only going to be part of your total outlay but for the price of a small economy car, you can grab another league of luxury, performance and exclusivity that a Nissan Versa could never dream of matching. So which of these project E34s is the one you’d chose, or are both busts?
I always find it difficult to find 964 Turbos in interesting colors. Which is weird because of all the 911 models I feel like the 964 is the range I think had the largest number of unusual colors available. Porsche always has offered quite a variety, but it seemed with the 964 they let themselves go even further. But it seems buyers stuck with the more traditional options.
Here we have an obvious exception: a Tahoe Blue Metallic 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in Brooklyn, with a color-to-sample Linen leather interior offset by a healthy dose of rootwood accents and 78,952 miles on it. I’m not very familiar with Tahoe Blue Metallic and this one is said to be 1 of only 3 Turbos equipped in this color combination. The extensive options list likely takes it to the top of that already exclusive company.
Let’s stick with yesterday’s blue theme and take a look at another of Porsche’s really nice blues. Here we have a Cobalt Blue Metallic 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe, located in Houston, with a light grey and blue interior and 74,452 miles on it. As should be immediately apparent, Cobalt Blue is a very pretty and striking shade of color. It doesn’t jump out at you as much as Minerva Blue does since it’s a darker shade, but though it may be more reserved it none the less shines brightly and exudes plenty of character. On the much more modern lines of the 964 – modern relative to an early 930 – it looks great bringing both elegance and excitement to this 911’s curves. It helps that this one looks in very nice shape!
The 1991-1992 GTI followed the same basic recipe as the 1987 model we saw this past week, but everything was turned up a few notches. Starting in the mid 1990 model year, all US bound A2s received the “big bumper” treatment; new smooth aerodynamic covers front and rear. To help to differentiate it a bit, the GTI’s blackened arches were widened. Filling those arches were new 15″ wheels from BBS. The multi-piece RMs were lightweight and the perfect fit for the design, echoing other contemporary class-leading sports cars such as the M3. Volkswagen color-coded the mirrors and rear spoiler to match the car, as well. VW also gave the GTI a fresh face with more illumination; quad round lights filled the grill, and foglights illuminated the lower bumper. Prominent GTI 16V badges still encircled the car.
Power was up to match the heightened looks. Now with 2.0 liters of twin-cam fun, the GTI produced 134 horsepower at 5,800 RPMs and 133 lb. ft of torque at 4,400 RPMs. Coupled to the close-ratio 5-speed manual, that was good enough to drop 0-60 times below 8 seconds. That may not sound like much today, but at the time it was another league of performance compared to the typical economy car. Holding you in place were the same heavily-bolstered Recaros that special editions like the ‘Helios’ 1989 Jetta GLI Wolfsburg had enjoyed.
It was a recipe for success, but these cars were also relatively expensive in period, and fell into the global recession time frame which affected sales of nearly all European marques drastically. The general consensus is that around 5,000 of the last of these GTIs were imported, putting their rarity on the level of the M3. But because they weren’t M3s, there are far less around today to enjoy and few turn up in stock configuration for a myriad of reasons.…
The 911SC isn’t the only model where you can find decent value among air-cooled 911s. The 964 too has typically shown itself as another option. Admittedly it does get more difficult and, of course, you are going to pay a little more for comparable mileage and condition, but you’re getting more car so we can’t be too surprised or upset by that. The top end of the 964 market, especially for the many limited-production models Porsche released at the time, stretches well above that of any 911SC. But the regular cars, there we can find something.
The one we see here, an Amethyst Pearl Metallic 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe located in North Carolina, fits into a similar category as yesterday’s 911SC in that it should be a reasonable value in theory, yet currently is priced too high. It’s up for auction with no reserve, which provides some hope of appropriate cost, but the starting bid has been set too high to induce any bidding. With time that should come down – or with the start set at zero – and then we’ll have a chance.
Model: 911 Carrera 2
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 142,900 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction
You are looking at a very clean, well maintained, 1991 Porsche 911 (964) Carrera 2 with service records dating back to new.
This 964 has lived in the east coast its entire life and owned by a retired lawyer for most of the past decade. The car is very clean and well detailed.
The exterior and interior present beautifully. The Amethyst Pearl Metallic paint reflects very nicely. New center reflector and brake lights. The cashmere beige interior has remained all original except the stereo (original is also included).
Okay, enough Audi dreaming. Are there any interesting VWs over in England? You bet! While production of the U.S. bound Scirocco was long over, Volkswagen continued to produce the second generation Scirocco right through the 1992 model year. This particular model, the GTII, was the model which finally wrapped up production a decade after it began in mid-1992.
The GTII was the mid-range model in the Scirocco lineup. Top of the range was the Scala [née GTX(née GTi)] with its 112 horsepower 1.8 liter motor borrowed from – you guessed it – the GTi. Below that model lay the GTII [née GT(née CL)], which shared the bodykit and 1.8 liter displacement, but only had 90 horsepower and steel, rather than alloy, wheels fitted. While not as sought as some of the range-topping models like the GTX or special “Storm” models, this GTII offers classic looks on a modest budget:
I’ve been living with my W126 300SE for several months now. In that time I’ve clocked up about 1,500 miles and taken the car on a few road trips in the mid-Atlantic region. Apart from a couple of initial hiccups (which I wrote about here), it has been a pleasure to own and a real joy to drive. Comfortable, stately and classically good looking, my friends joke that all it needs is a set of ambassadorial flags on the front bumper. It’s true that the 3.0 liter motor lacks the low-end torque made by the larger V8 models – I have to use the kick-down switch at the bottom of the throttle pedal more often than I did in my smaller W201. But once up to cruising speeds on the highway, the 300 behaves much like the 420 and 560. The six cylinder M103 motor is robust and relatively easy to fix (except for the fuel injection system, which can be a bloody nightmare when it goes wrong). And the proportions of the short-wheelbase exterior are, to my eye at least, just right.
As I covered in my last 90 quattro 20V post, while the sedan version of the small chassis mated with the 7A dual-cam EFI inline-5 may not have looked quite as sexy and evocative as the Coupe version, it was a bit quicker and more rare. That’s carried over to today; with such a small pool to begin with at only around an estimate of 1,000 imported here over the short 2-year production cycle, it bears to reason 25 plus years later there won’t be many in good shape. Factor in the typical Audi depreciation and lack of careful ownership downstream, and coming across a 90 quattro 20V like today’s 23,000 mile example is just to the left of impossible: