I think this 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo comes under the heading of “never judge a book by its cover” because while it’s a very lovely car from the outside it is really all about the interior. That’s the part of this one that will have appeal relative to all of the other 993TTs on the market. It’s quite clearly special order. I’ll also be quite upfront and state that I don’t like the way it has all come together. However, I’m very happy that it exists. It shows us the type of things that Porsche has made possible over the years for its more intrepid customers so even if it isn’t what I would do it might give you some ideas. I also think it’s only a couple minor tweaks from looking quite good. Let’s take a look:
The W202 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG has gone from being a neat little footnote in Mercedes-Benz and AMG history as being the first post-acquisition AMG car to a car that collectors are now seeking out to add them to their stable. They aren’t at the level of the 190E 2.3-16v, nor do I think they will ever be, but the demand has definitely picked up over the past year or two. Because of these cars being unloved and overlooked for as many years as they were, lots of them fell into the hands of people who used and abused them then moved on to the next cheap car. At the end of the day, this is still a W202, so its tenancy to rust is always a major issue as well as some other things that plague the chassis such as the tendency for head gasket in the M104 engine to leak oil from the back of the head. Sadly, this 1997 C36 up for sale in Canada, seems to suffer from both of these mentioned things. Although if you do the math on the purchase price plus potential repair costs, maybe you could come out ahead and have yourself a really cool car that the value is slowly rising on.
A black 911 isn’t always going to be the thing to draw our attention. After all, we see black 911s all the time. But when the color is covering one of the best looking 911s, then I think we have something. Here we have a 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in Brooklyn, with a reported 68,000 miles on it. The black exterior is contrasted with a beige interior. For some, and that includes me, that light and dark juxtaposition between exterior and interior is just about perfect. For others it doesn’t work. If you happen to be one of those in the former camp, then I think this one deserves a look. Like with any C2S the price is pretty high, but you are getting one of the best naturally-aspirated air-cooled 911s Porsche produced and certainly one of the most attractive overall designs.
Let’s see if we can figure out what we’ve got here. Despite its appearance this is not a 993 Turbo S. The rear vents in the quarter panels, the quad exhaust tips, and the yellow brake calipers all make it look the part, but it isn’t. It is an Ocean Blue Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo with a Black leather interior and 23K kilometers on it. It also just so happens to have been fitted with a number of Turbo S pieces. As noted, the mileage is given in kilometers and the speedometer shows km/h so this clearly was not originally a U.S. market 911. In which market did it originate? We aren’t told. It’s also not quite clear why the original buyer would order a standard Turbo and then effectively convert it to a Turbo S. Porsche doesn’t typically make it less expensive to “build your own” so to speak. Perhaps a Turbo S was not available or perhaps the owner just wanted something more unique because given that this one is claimed to be 1 of only 2 such Turbos to exist it’s quite a bit more rare than the already very rare and very desirable Turbo S.
I don’t come across a lot of what I would consider reasonably priced 993s. As the last of the air-cooled 911s the 993 always has been pretty highly prized and it seems like prices never really dipped into the reasonable territory of most of its predecessors or its successor. Well, especially its successor. This one, however, doesn’t seem priced too badly. With an asking price of $48K it’s not inexpensive by any means, but relative to a lot of other air-cooled options these days that’s not too bad.
Here we have a paint-to-sample Oak Green Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Boise, with a Classic Grey leather interior and 93,310 miles on it. To make it just that little bit more special it is also equipped with a set of the very desirable hard-back sport seats.
Keeping track of special options packages isn’t easy and I will admit I did not know this existed. I’m still not entirely sure it does, but after some searching I’m pretty sure.
This is a 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S with the Vesuvio package, which was an optional package offered through Porsche Exclusive that provided a few contrasting cues to highlight that stunning exterior paint. We have featured the 993 in Vesuvio Metallic before; we’ve even seen the 993 C2S in Vesuvio Metallic before. But the full package? That I have not seen.
From what I could gather it appears there originally were 24 of these 993s produced. One of those has been totaled, which leaves us with the figure this seller gives us that this is 1 of 23 known to exist. That’s pretty rare. To make this one even more rare – though probably not more desirable – this one is a Tiptronic. There are only a couple of those, so if you’re uninterested in a manual transmission, or if the years simply have passed you by and driving a manual no longer is feasible or desirable, then this should mark one of the very rare opportunities to get your hands on one of these cars.
Last week I checked out an extremely well-kept 1996 Mercedes-Benz S600 Coupe that was probably the nicest example currently for sale. It had a price tag to match, but I argued that it was probably worth it over a cheaper example with a bunch of problems that will seem never-ending if you don’t stay on top of them. Today, I wanted to check out the brother S600 up for sale in Brooklyn, NY sedan with triple the mileage but surprisingly a higher price. Truth be told, this S600 painted in the rare Green Black Metallic has been up for sale for a while and it probably has to do with the price tag but curiosity got the best of me so I really wanted to take a look at this M120-powered sedan.
Just last night, a friend informed me he had “acquired an older BMW”.
“Willingly?”, I asked. He affirmed he had contractually agreed to this life changing experience. “What model?”, I furthered.
Now, supportive friend Carter probably should have nodded in approval. After all, the Z3 is great value for the money. They’re cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, and fun to drive. But what actually came out of my mouth was laughter. Not maniacal laughter, mind you, but just the uncontrollable mocking type that you immediately feel a bit bad about. Hoping to redeem the situation a bit, I prodded “Six cylinder…?” Nope. 4. I contained further laughter at this point, but I was grasping for straws. Meekly, I ventured “…..manual….?” hoping for some affirmation. “YES!” he happily retorted, glad to finally confirm a question of mine.
It’s actually a nice car, and it’s in great shape, and he paid almost nothing for it. But from the same period, BMW had some other affordable, fun to drive and even more potent options for enthusiasts. Take, for example, the M3 Sedan. Like the Z3, it was rear drive. Like the Z3, it has a manual, and they share some achitecture. But while the Roadster has a bit of a stigma that results in enthusiasts’ dismissal, the M3/4/5 has developed into a legend in its own right. Damn the fact that it didn’t have the more exotic Euro motor, if you want a cheap and pure driver’s car while still being able to comfortably transport 4 adults, they don’t come much better than this platform:
Update 2/12/18: A year after we originally featured it, this ultra-rare S6 Plus is back with 1,000 more miles for $500 less. It’s still a steep price for one of these super-S models, but it’s pretty hard to find them at all, never mind like this.
Audi’s sleeper sedan squared up against some seriously stiff competition in the early 1990s, and to be frank, though it was innovative it came up a bit short in the power department. In turbocharged 20 valve form, the 2.2 liter inline-5 cranked out 227 horsepower and 258 lb.ft of torque. That was impressive by 1980s standards, but in the early 90s you needed to carry a bigger stick. BMW’s E34 M5 brought nearly 100 horsepower more to the party at 311 with the revised 3.6 (and yes, it had more torque than the AAN, too), but Mercedes-Benz really crashed the party with the E500, whose M119 held a full 100 horsepower and 100 lb.ft of torque advantage over the Audi. You could be as clever as you wanted, but a 50% power disadvantage was a bridge too far to cross for the legendary 5 pot no matter how many wheels were driven.
The writing was on the wall, and Audi decided to offer an upgraded V8 model alongside the S4 in the rest of the world. Starting in October 1992, you could select the same ABH 276 horsepower 32V 4.2 liter all-aluminum V8 in the S4. The switch to S6 saw the introduction of the revised AEC, which gained 10 horsepower for the 1995 model year and would continue to be the standard V8 in the S6 until production ended. But the big new was the 1996 introduction from Audi’s skunkworks quattro GmbH of the Plus model.
The Plus upped the ante quite a bit with the reworked AHK V8. Though it displaced the same 4.2 liters and had the same 32 valves, the breathed on motor had 322 horsepower and 302 lb.ft of torque. Power was matched with upgraded suspension, brakes, wheels and some small “Plus” badge details – this was still the decade of stealthy performance, after all. Few who look at this model would see anything other than a C4 sitting on slightly larger wheels. But for those in the know, this was one of the most potent super sedans (and wagons!) of the 1990s:
Update 2/6/2018: After selling in November for $2,250, the new owner of the Candy White GTI is selling it with an uninstalled turbo kit asking $2,900 now.
Tired of seeing high prices for Corrado SLC VR6s? Today is your day, because nearly all of the fun offered in the 6-cylinder Corrado was also slotted into the GTI. For a hair under $20,000, you got the same thrilling 2.8 liter VR6 mated solely to a 5-speed manual. Did you want an automatic? Well, then buy the Jetta. Sure, that motor and the bigger body of the Mk.3 meant it was quite a bit heavier than the previous GTIs had been – by 1995, the ‘hot hatch’ had bulked up with 700 additional lbs of super-weight gain Mk.3000 versus the A1. But faster? Without a doubt. With nearly double the horsepower of the original U.S. market model, 0-60 was sub 7-seconds and you could hit 130 flat out. Coupled too with VW’s ‘we don’t care if you think it’s broke we’re not going to fix it’ styling attitude, the Mk.3 might have not looked as slinky as the Corrado, but underneath it was still a Golf and as such, practical.
So while the Corrado pretended to be a Porsche, the GTI remained the answer to the ‘what if’; you wanted a Porsche, but you a) didn’t want to (or couldn’t) pay for a Porsche, and 2) you occasionally needed a car that you could actually use to transport things other than your smile. This was the recipe that made the first two generations successful.
It was no surprise then that the third generation GTI remained a niche hit for Volkswagen even in relatively dire times for European imports. While finding a nice GTI VR6 can be quite difficult, it was a bit of a Thanksgiving treat to see two pop up in my feed. So which is the winner?