The Porsche 911 Cabriolet – An Air-Cooled Chronology

I don’t know what exactly has lead to my decision to feature Porsche’s various air-cooled Cabriolets. I suppose it was a confluence of circumstances. During one unseasonably warm February weekend, I found myself sitting outside enjoying a beverage and the warm sunshine. As one does. A very pretty 3.2 Carrera Cabriolet drove by. The condition looked very good and it was one of those subtle but interesting color combinations. The exterior was some shade of metallic grey and it had a nicely contrasting green interior. Perhaps the exterior was Granite Green Metallic; I’m not really sure, but it was nice looking. It was a perfect afternoon for enjoying such a car.

Then I started coming across some interesting 911 Cabriolets for sale. After a couple of them I wondered if I could find one from each air-cooled model. I was successful and a post was born. I’ll say from the outset these aren’t from the value part of the 911 spectrum; interesting enough they are all priced within a few thousand dollars of one another. None is inexpensive, but all look in very good shape and promise enjoyable drop-top motoring. We’ll look at them chronologically starting with the first 911 Cabriolet Porsche produced: this Guards Red 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet, located in Illinois, with just 19,016 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet on Excellence Magazine

Year: 1983
Model: 911SC Cabriolet
Engine: 3.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 19,016 mi
Price: $69,000

19,016 miles; 1 family ownership; Last year of the 911 SC; First year of the 911 Cabriolet (only 5337 made); Numbers-matching collector car; Guards Red original paint; Meter confirms factory specifications; Full black leather interior; Black leather sport seats; Heated & tinted windshield; Blaupunkt Monterey AM/FM/Cassette radio; Factory alarm
Black top – excellent; rear window – perfect; 16” Fuchs alloys – excellent; Yokohama tires; 3.0 liter engine; 180 hp, 5-speed 915 trans; All tools, air pump, jack, etc.; All books, manuals, touch-up paint, etc.; Window sticker & original dealer paperwork; No winters, no rain, no bad roads; 19,016 mile time capsule; No modifications since new.

Typically I wouldn’t think a 911SC would have much chance of selling at this asking price. This is very nearly the highest asking price of the four cars we’ll see here. But the 911SC Cabriolet is a different animal. As both a first year and one-year-only model there is extra appeal over and above most other SCs we come across. Add to that the very low mileage, original paint and sport seats and we have a very appealing 911. It’s a fairly standard color combination and I think that’s the only thing that will hold the price down some, but everything looks great. Obviously, this wouldn’t be the best option for actually enjoying some top-down miles, but as an excellent example of the first 911 Cabriolet it’s a nice option.

Let’s now step forward a few years to the last of the classic 911 Cabriolets with this Linen Grey Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in New York, with Burgundy interior and a low 31,249 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

Year: 1989
Model: 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 31,249 mi
Price: $64,995 Buy It Now

This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Cabriolet with 31249 original miles.This car is in exceptional condition and has been well serviced. Car was recently serviced at well known Porsche specialist Rennwerke LTD. in September of 2015 ( 31090), new oil, filters, battery, 4 new tires, all new brakes front and back. Car had a new clutch installed at 27000 miles. Car comes with original owners manual and service booklet and service records. Car runs exceptionally well and is one of the best G50 examples we have seen. For more details call 631-283-8819

You might not believe, but this is the lowest priced of the four. Again we have a pretty low mileage Cabriolet that presents very well. While a much less traditional color combination this Linen Metallic over Burgundy combo works quite well and reminds me a lot of the Cabriolet that passed me on that sunny day. There’s always debate among buyers of the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera about which to get; the differences between the models are minimal though with this final-year model you’re at least getting the most refined of the bunch: a bit more power than with the SC and with the more stout – though heavier – G50 5-speed manual. Both models are great and both of these look to be fine examples, though both come with pretty high prices.

From here we’ll see quite a few more changes with the final two models. The 964 was a near full redesign of the classic 911 and the 993 itself move on quite significantly from the 964. Changes came quick and fast. For the 964 we have another Guards Red example, though this time with a Tan interior and a few more miles at 54,186.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on eBay

Year: 1994
Model: 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 54,186 mi
Price: $69,684 Buy It Now

1994 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Red Metallic Exterior over Tan Interior

I’m usually indifferent to the 964 Cabriolet, but this one really grabbed me and I found it very striking. That’s the good part! The bad: of the four cars here this one is the most obviously over priced, especially given that we are offered no description to provide even a modicum of detail to understand its history or condition. It does look very good and as another final-year model there’s certainly appeal, but for this price it needs to be about perfect and documented. Perhaps the documents exist. I don’t know, but I’m going to move on to the 993.

For me this one is the most interesting of the bunch. I think it’s easily the most sensibly priced and the most interesting color combination. I wouldn’t normally go after this sort of color, but here I think it works: a Grand Prix White 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in New York, with Chestnut Brown interior and a low 29,164 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on Excellence Magazine

Year: 1996
Model: 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 29,164 mi
Price: $67,900

1996 PORSCHE CARRERA CABRIOLET for sale.

Motorcar Classics is proud to present this beautifully original 1996 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet featured in L908 Grand Prix White with BM Chestnut Brown leather interior and matching Chestnut Brown convertible top and boot cover. This Porsche has been cherished by its local second owner since 1999 and has covered only 29,464 miles. This superb Carrera has the 6-speed manual gearbox and it has never been damaged, modified or restored. The original porsche AM/FM/CD stereo is still in place.

The 993 is Porsches internal designation for the version of the Porsche 911 model manufactured and sold in model years 1995-1998. The 993 is not just the last air-cooled 911, but also the last of the hand built 911s. The 993 is often called the best and most desirable of the 911 series, not only because of its beauty, but also because its performance is very good, even by modern standards. The book “Porsche 993 – Essential Companion” refers to these cars as the “King of Porsche,” and it is widely acknowledged as “The purists’ Holy Grail.”

This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase an investment-grade example of the last air-cooled Porsche model in arguably one of the prettiest color combinations.

Questions or concerns please call or text Reid 516-655-0940

My biggest quibble with this 993 is that it looks like it might have gotten caught in the rain with the top down as the passenger seat looks at bit mottled. This can happen with a Cabriolet, but in this case the leather doesn’t appear to have come away unscathed. Perhaps there’s something going on with the lighting. Otherwise, this Cabriolet looks great and I do think the more elegant shape of the 993 in general provides a nice canvas for a refined top-down sports coupe. As the very last of the air-cooled models there’s obvious appeal and I think this one is priced such that buyers will still feel comfortable putting additional mileage on it. It’s current owner has had it for a while so hopefully it will even come well documented. If that’s the case, then this looks like the winner.

I don’t know if I’d necessarily consider myself a convertible guy. I do own one, but I bought it because I wanted something light weight, rear drive, and with a manual transmission. That the roof came down just happened to be part of the package. I do enjoy those top-down drives though. The senses are fully stimulated and while sacrifices to rigidity certainly can make it a little less sporting the overall experience definitely doesn’t lack for purity. The 911 will be no different. It may not be your track machine, but there are plenty of other drives to be taken.

-Rob

Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2

Few Porsches capture the imagination and turn heads like the 911 GT2. And among the various iterations of the GT2, the 993 GT2 is the most coveted. While engineering and technological progress naturally have rendered later models more powerful and sophisticated performers, the raw prowess of the original car remains the benchmark. Serving as both the first 911 GT2 put into production as well as the last and only air-cooled GT2 produced, the 993 brings with it the kind of rarity that rapidly elevates prices. Add in that it represented the highest performance among production 911s of its day and you’ve pretty much checked all of the boxes a collector could desire. The example we see here, a Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 having traveled around 33K kilometers during its life, will be up for auction next Friday at RM Sotheby’s auctions in Phoenix.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 on Classic Driver

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Double Take: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo

Could it be that there might actually be some value to be found on the 993 Turbo market? It has seemed like an impossible dream for a while as prices continued to elevate, but as I look around now I’m starting to wonder if there’s been a shift. Granted, we’re still not talking about inexpensive cars; after all north of six figures remains the norm. But we’re getting closer to crossing that magic barrier. I first had an inkling of this last summer when I featured this 911 Turbo and thought all things considered the price wasn’t bad. It wasn’t cheap, but it felt like prices had moved down a step. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but I think now we need to give them a little more attention. The two we’re going to look at here aren’t the only two Turbos on the market right now, but they’re two that stood out to me the most. I’ll begin with the cheaper of the pair: a Black over Tan 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo with 80,533 miles on it located in Denver.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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1996 Volkswagen GTI VR6

6/6/2017 Updated with a new listing from a new seller – click HERE!

The Mk.3 Volkswagen GTI is in a pretty tough spot right now. For many, they’re too new to consider a classic in the making. But let’s take a breath on this one right now – the first VR6 powered GTIs can legally be registered as a vintage car in some states. Now that your mind is blown, move on to the next step – when was the last time you saw a really nice, clean and original VR6? Right, what was it – 2002? Sure, the Mk.3 didn’t have the best interior quality or the best build quality. But then, neither did the Mk.1 or Mk.2, and the GTI versions of those are firmly into collector status. The third generation may suffer from not being a Corrado and looking a little less special overall than the first two, but the addition of the VR6 into the chassis made for one thrilling driving experience. This might be the perfect time, then, to snap up a nice VR6 and get ready to rock some antique

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen GTI VR6 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion

We’re all pretty familiar with Ruf’s long history of producing automobiles derived from a Porsche chassis. Their ethos falls similarly in line with Porsche itself, though with everything turned up a notch (or in some cases many notches). Whether they are Ruf-modified Porsches or possess an actual Ruf VIN, these cars combine the best of high performance and refinement. One of the cars we see most frequently is the BTR, which used the 3.2 Carrera as the basis for producing a variant of the 911 Turbo. The successor to that model, generally called the BTR2, was produced for the 993 and is the car we see here. They could use most any configuration of the 993, whether the rear-drive Carrera 2 or the all-wheel drive Carrera 4 (though I’ve even come across one based off of a Turbo S) as their base and from there received the typical Ruf treatment that provided a single turbocharger, modified suspension and braking, and a redesigned interior with integrated roll cage. Since either the Carrera 2 or Carrera 4 could provide a base, Ruf was providing either an alternative to the 993 Turbo in its all-wheel drive configuration or a toned down version of the GT2 with rear drive. The example we see here began life as a Carrera 4S prior to being shipped off to Pfaffenhausen for its conversion and features a fairly interesting interior showing off what seems to be a cross between houndstooth and tartan inserts. I’m not sure what we’d call that, but it’s quite eye catching!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf BTR Conversion on eBay

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1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

I’m always curious when colors change within a marque, especially when they are colors that I particularly like. Here we have an Iris Blue 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, located in Indiana, with 39,975 miles on it. Iris Blue is a color that we’re fairly familiar with here as it’s been seen on the 3.2 Carrera quite a few times. It’s a really nice shade of blue that veers to the lighter end of the spectrum and one of my favorites available during that time. As should be quite clear, the shade of Iris Blue available for the 993 was quite different, no longer a light blue, but now a dark blue that shows hints of purple when under direct light. The pictures here bear that out fairly well. The full name of the color is Iris Blue Pearl and it is that pearl effect that gives the color is shifting possibilities. I will admit, as someone who loves the original version of the color, that it looks stunning here and seems to work particularly well on the curves of the 993.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S on eBay

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1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi Variant

If I told someone in the general public that a 21 year old, cloth interior Volkswagen rolling on steel wheels would be worth $10,000 on the open market, they’d probably laugh. After all, Volkswagens half that age are worth only around 50% of that figure. But to the general public, the moniker “1Z” means little else other than the first number and last letter. Unless they’re trying to pass some perverted field sobriety test, that combination just wouldn’t have any deeper significance. But to Volkswagen enthusiasts, “1Z” is the password to secret hyper-milers. They’re the name of the Kingdom of special hippie-crunchy, make-your-own-gas type of automobile enthusiasts. One step from Moonshiners, they take showers about as often as they wash their cars (read: not frequently). They test the suspensions of their cars with how much weight they can carry and or tow at a given time. The term “low mileage” is not in their vocabulary, instead proudly patting themselves on the back for the hundreds of thousands of miles they’ve clattered slowly away. Instead of bragging about 60 m.p.h. times, they are happy to rub your nose in 60 m.p.g. claims. And though the 1Z 1.9 TDi came in a few packages stateside, they absolutely go gaga over Passat wagons of the manual variety:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi Variant on eBay

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1996 Volkswagen GTI

The third generation Volkswagen GTI 2.0 might just go down in history as the least appealing of the brand name. Starting with the move to 16 valves in the second generation, the 8 valve models would play second fiddle as mostly an appearance package slapped onto an economy car. But while the second generation had the benefit of butch good looks, flared arches and the signature quad-round headlight arrangement to make you feel that you had gone upscale, when it came to the third generation’s base GTI it was a bit of a head-scatcher. It wasn’t that you didn’t get equipment; your $16,000 got you lots of standard items such as air conditioning, an upgraded stereo, power sunroof and door locks, and a few other premium-feel items (An alarm! Specially colored seat fabric!). The meat of the GTI was the appearance changes, though – from the 14″ alloy wheels to the dual-chamber headlights and projector fog lights, along with smoked tail lenses and a roof-mounted antenna, the special grill held the all-important letters “GTI”. But the performance of the ABA 2.0 inline-4 was standard Golf fair and the suspension wasn’t upgraded – this was, after all, just a Golf. That meant 0-60 in a lethargic 10 seconds unless you fried the front tires and knocked .2 seconds off – the result of all those “luxury” item additions. The 2.0 was a poser, then, and lived fully in the shadow of the high-output VR6 model which packed a full 50% more power in the same package but with upgraded brakes, suspension and wheels. The premium to jump to the VR6 was about $3,500 – a lot of money. But the leap in performance well paid off for your additional indebtedness, and consequently the 2.0 seemed to be popular only with college-bound Jersey girls who were convinced their compact economy hatch was actually a bumper-car ride at an amusement park. Few survive in the condition of this one today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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Duck Duck Goose It: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Replica 3.2 VR6-swap

The Golf Harlequin is one of those strange creatures that ostensibly would look more at home in a art festival than in a car show. Volkswagen’s “Chinese fire drill” of body parts from primary colored Golfs was an interesting exercise, leading to the moniker Harlequin – a reference to the colorful and semi-psychotically eyed ducks, themselves named after a colorfully dressed character in Italian 16th century theater. Now that you’ve learned something, these Golfs have become legendary and desirable in their own right despite effectively being a base model underneath, leading to the replica color scheme not only extending to copies of the originals, but even to replicas utilizing other Volkswagen models. My local Volkswagen dealer, for example, has used the scheme not only on post-Mk.3 delivery Golfs, but even their Chevrolet Express parts vans have the mismatched tones. But today we’ll look at a replica GL which has gone to great lengths to mask itself in the colorful attire. Unlike the originals, though, this one has a serious weapons-grade revision in the drive department:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Replica VR6-swap on eBay

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1996 Porsche 911 Turbo

After last week’s auctions, I’ll turn to a 911 that would have been right at home being featured at any one of them. Desirable model, very reasonable mileage, apparent pristine condition, and an elegant color combination. While perhaps not as rare as some of the models we see reach top dollar at those auctions, this 993 Turbo would certainly hold its own and its buyer could take it home knowing that he wouldn’t have to preserve it under cover at every moment. Sure, we’re not likely to see it banging around with a set of snow tires in mid-January, but it still can be enjoyed quite a bit when the weather turns nicer. So here we have an Arena Red 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in Houston, with Marble Grey leather interior and 38,300 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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