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!
As a brand Porsche is known for a lot of things: Production of sports cars that meld luxury, performance, and livability better than most any other marque. A prestigious racing history dating back more than 40 years. And, of course, their most iconic production car utilizes a physics defying rear-engine rear-wheel drive layout. I’m sure there are more. Among the long-time fans and enthusiasts Porsche also is known for its variety. For a price, customers can choose from a wide array of custom options for both the exterior and interior. Even when certain limitations are apparently placed upon such options, certain buyers still might manage to get around these in order to produce their custom Porsche. These programs have gone under the name of Sonderwunsch (Special Wishes) and Porsche Exclusive.
The most common of these options is paint to sample, which typically draws on classic colors from Porsche’s past (though the color doesn’t HAVE to be a Porsche color) made available alongside whatever standard options are produced at the time. As prices for collectible Porsches have increased it appears that the number of buyers selecting a paint-to-sample exterior also has increased. Among air-cooled 911s it is very rare to come across a paint-to-sample example; among current production they are still rare, but you will have no trouble finding one. Some of that certainly is down to recency and increased production more generally, but I think there’s more to it than that.
This 1986 Porsche 930 is not a modern Porsche so we remain in the realm of the extremely rare. It also has not stuck to only a paint-to-sample exterior.
I would like to make an argument for subtlety and I will use this 911 as my cue. Granted this is still a 911 so it’s not like we’re talking about a sleeper sedan or something of that sort. But within the realm of backdated 911 builds I do think this one has taken a much more subtle approach and the result might just be my favorite of the bunch. There are no decals, there is no ducktail spoiler, there are no fancy Recaro seats in the interior. It isn’t crazy wide or a wild color. This 911 is built in such a way that those with only passing familiarity with the car might not even realize it has been modified at all. I think there is appeal in that.
The 911 design is a beautiful design on its own even when stripped of many of its more aggressive cues. These are performance cars, there’s no doubt about that, but that pedigree doesn’t always need to be shouted. Sometimes simply letting an attractive design look its best is enough to stop observers in their tracks. And I do think this 911 accomplishes that quite well. It’s well balanced, appearing both elegant and sporty, maximizing the better parts of the long-hood 911 and the 3.2 Carrera to produce something that might be better than either one on its own.
I’ve featured the 911 Speedster quite a bit over the years. Enough so that these days they usually only catch my eye when there’s something pretty unique about them. While I like them a lot, and love the original 356 Speedster, there’s a degree to which they all blend together and are more or less the same: Black, White, or Red with very low miles and seemingly pristine condition. There’s little more to say than, “Here’s another 911 Speedster for sale.”
The version produced for the 964 is itself a little more unique. It’s narrow body reminds us much more of the original 356 compared with the Turbo-bodied 3.2 Carrera-based 911 Speedster. The color palette also appears to be more diverse, though that may be anecdotal rather than based on actual production. There are still plenty of Red, White, and Black.
This one shines through those colors like a beacon beckoning you to drive it. And driven it has been! Here we have a Speed Yellow 1994 Porsche 911 Speedster, located in St. Louis, with factory painted sport seats and 81,516 miles on it. 81K miles may not seem like much for a car that’s nearly 25 years old, but for the Speedster, a 911 always coveted by collectors, it’s a good chunk of mileage.
Here we have a Casablanca Beige Metallic 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Chicago, with Tan interior and 68,747 miles on it. We’ve seen Casablanca Beige on the 911SC before. However, I find that this one looks much better. I don’t know if the photos have been touched up or if the lighting simply is different, but there is a rich burnt orange or darker gold hue to this Targa that I haven’t seen in previous examples of this color. I suspect in person it will look similar to those other examples. That said, this is the first I’ve seen it on a Targa and the various Targa trim pieces and larger rear glass may be playing a role in this shift in color. I’m not really sure. Regardless, it’s a very unique color and I think here it’s looks great.
Last weekend I posted a 911SC Turbo-look Coupe that was of interest to me almost entirely for how it might compare with the car we see here: a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe equipped with the M491 package. The 911SC was a non-factory conversion performed by one of its early owners utilizing the body, suspension and braking from an ’88 930. In effect, it recreated the M491 package for the 911SC. There are a whole host of factors to be considered with that car, but ultimately it represented a potential opportunity at getting into a Turbo-look 911 for less cost. While I thought the price was a bit too high, it appears it has sold so I guess someone saw the value to be had.
With significant mileage differences between them this M491 Carrera doesn’t make for a direct comparison with the SC, but the price increase is easily apparent. For some, however, that non-factory Turbo-look never really would have been under consideration. It is the real thing they’re after. Here we have the real thing. It’s one of the earlier models when quite a few more were built so it’ll be less expensive than a later G50-equipped Coupe. It’s said to be well documented and in its current condition it looks great!
I’ve featured a decent number of these backdated 911s and they always come in a wide range of quality and design. Mostly they’re good-looking 911s and I think we can understand the desire to produce such a build. They combine the beautiful and highly desirable aesthetics of the early long-hood 911 with a more modern and higher performance drivetrain of a Carrera or later 911. They also tend to be a good bit lighter than the original donor.
The consistent problem with these builds is price. Or, to put it more specifically, price relative to the performance gains. Many of these builds retain the engine and transmission of the donor – usually either a 911SC or 3.2 Carrera. In itself that’s fine; those are good engines and with the reduced weight of the build the performance gains and aesthetic improvements are worthwhile. However, this all might cost a decent bit of money, especially if the donor car itself needs some work, and as a buyer you’re only going to pay so much for what ultimately are aesthetic changes.
The way to solve the price problem is with a better engine. The 964 and 993 are both there waiting, it just isn’t as easy to get a hold of what you need. At that point we’re really getting the performance improvements and the higher price begins to make sense. Singer, of course, has made its name using bespoke 964s and can sell them for half-a-million dollars. That’s not at all what this car is. It has, however, chosen to eschew the usual 911SC engine and moved up the chain: a 1997 3.6 liter from the 993. Now we’re talking!
There are very few cars that will pop off the page like this 1973 Porsche 911T Targa. Chartreuse will do that. The color even sounds bright and vibrant. The Birch Green GT3 RS I posted a couple of weeks back gives it competition. I’ve seen Acid Green show up of late and it’s another. If you desire a very bright green with yellow hues from almost any era of the 911’s life then Porsche has you covered.
There is something about it on an early 911 though that makes the color pop even more. The chrome accents help highlight the color, the Targa roll hoop accentuates that feel even more, the Fuchs, the fat tires showing that extra bit of black, and perhaps even the less rounded design. All of these come together to make a bright color seem even brighter.
It goes without saying that this color is rare and while I don’t know how popular it was in the early ’70s there seems to have been a recent revival of Porsche greens. A lot of them are showing up as PTS options on modern 911s. Relative to the proliferation of the standard blacks, silvers, and whites you’re still not likely to see one often, but perhaps their overall desirability is on the uptick. Either way, this one looks phenomenal and I’m sure it’ll grab all of the attention on any cruise.
Aubergine! Otherwise known as Eggplant. Aubergine is one of my all time favorite Porsche colors. It was available briefly in the early ’70s and that’s it. In part, I love it because it’s very pretty, but I also love it because it’s a color we so rarely see on any car. Purple simply isn’t a common car color. There are very good reasons for that as most shades of purple really don’t work well on cars unless you choose a very dark metallic hue, in which case under anything other than direct lighting it will look black.
Aubergine transcends those problems and finds the right balance between showing off the color, i.e. it doesn’t just look black, while also remaining subdued enough that you don’t feel like it’s a circus car. The pictures here do a nice job of conveying the way it looks under different lighting and this particular example, a 1972 Porsche 911T Coupe, looks in good condition with paint that shows pretty well. I don’t see Aubergine 911s all that often, but I’m always glad when I do.
This 911 is a little bit of a curiosity. It should be of interest to particular buyers and could be a nice opportunity at a unique 911 for reasonable cost, two things that do not always go hand in hand. I’m also specifically interested in what it should cost, but we’ll get into that below.
So what is it? It’s a 1982 Porsche 911SC Coupe with all of the standard 911SC running gear, but with the body, suspension, braking, and interior of a ’88 930. That makes it similar to the M491-equipped Carreras that Porsche made available from the factory, though obviously this one was not built by the factory. An M491 911 can be a pretty expensive purchase. This one shouldn’t be and in that regard provides something different for those who would like a Turbo-look 911, but can’t stomach the high price. It’s definitely in driver level condition, but the engine and transmission have been rebuilt so hopefully it is mechanically sound.
As they say, the devil is in the details and this one definitely will require a knowledgeable person to look it over and insure all of the work was done properly. The current owner has put a decent number of miles on it so hopefully he too can help with those details. If it all checks out, then it should be a fun car.