Motorsports Monday: Mecum Racing Porsches Roundup

As Rob mentioned in his Jade Green Targa piece the other day, we’re entering in quickly to auction season. Mecum, typically the purveyors of more muscle cars than European rides, nonetheless had quite an impressive lineup of signification Porsche race models that cover a few decades and many changes in the company’s history, so I thought it would be pretty neat to take a look at them. It’s very interesting to see over a relatively short period of time the many changes that Porsche’s motorsports programs have gone through.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 934.5/935 at Mecum Auctions

Motorsports Monday: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera Cup 3.8 RSR

Over the weekend I took advantage of some frankly great streaming video from the IMSA Racing application to view some of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. And the action was thrilling, with several classes being decided not in the last hour, but in the last minutes. Of particular interest to me was the GTLM category, where Porsche had been going round after round with team Corvette over the past few years. And while they weren’t challenging for the overall victory, it gave me pause to consider Porsche’s contribution to racing. You see, Porsche has recorded 22 overall victories at Daytona, but what’s perhaps more impressive is the claimed 77 class victories they’ve claimed. It wasn’t to be this year, but one of the 991 RSRs did make it to the podium. Fitting, then, that we should look at one of the more impressive and expensive variants of the 911 RSR; the 993 Cup 3.8. Only 30 of these racing variants were produced; less even than the road-going 3.8 Carrera RS with which it shared its name. Lightened, widened and with something like 400 horsepower coming from the race-prepared motor, these are still seriously potent track weapons today some 20 years later:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera Cup 3.8 RSR on Race Cars Direct

Motorsports Monday: 2001 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The number of Porsche 911 variants can be baffling. Just the other day, Rob and I were joking back and forth that at one point a few years ago, Porsche offered no less than 20 variations of the 911 model to the public. Not to be outdone, the current lineup has added one more and created a nice drinking game of “How many current 911 models could you name?” Add in the racing variants, and things get even more convoluted. Porsche’s top of the heap racing model has always varied, but when it came to the 996 Porsche went full-bore with the 911 GT3 Cup program and created a potent race car for pros and well-to-do amateurs as well. Indeed, the GT3 Cup program was the model for many customer-based race programs that exist in Audi, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ferrari and the like today. But the lineage of the GT3 gets confusing, too. Launched in 1998, it was effectively a replacement for the 993 Carrera Cup model. Called the GT3 Cup, it was a stripped out factory built race car with a turned up motor and some trick suspension and wheels, along with a little added aero tweaks that would be the basis for the later road going model named after it – the 911 GT3. Confused? Well, in 1999 Porsche dropped the “Cup” from the name and added “R” to make race models distinct from road going models. Now, that’s easier. Then, they brought the GT3 Cup model back in 2000 with some mild performance upgrades. But things really started to get messy in 2001, when the company launched the GT3 RS model – not to be confused with the GT3 RS road going model, which wasn’t launched until 2003. Still with me? Well, then in 2004 they needed to differentiate the road and race GT3 RS, so with some more upgrades was launched the GT3 RSR.…

Motorsports Monday: ex-Dempsey 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

There has always been an allure about racing for actors, and some pretty famous ones have been associated with the Porsche brand. The list of famous movie stars that have piloted racing Porsches is pretty illustrious; Steve McQueen certainly made a splash, but then so did Paul Newman. Of course, James Dean is always linked with the brand. So does Patrick Dempsey belong in that storied group? You could argue that perhaps that wasn’t the case for acting, but in terms of passion for racing Dempsey has shown through his actions that heading to the track is a top priority for him. He even went so far as to say he’d quit acting if he could get a full-time racing ride. His exploits at Le Mans are at least on par with McQueen’s famous movie. And yes, you can say that too much has been made of it – but in my mind, Dempsey’s spotlight on the privateer competitions has only highlighted how fantastic the sport is, how diverse the drivers are, and represents the best aspects of the passion of racing. To prove that he’s serious, coupled with factory driver Patrick Long, Dempsey secured 2nd at Le Mans in 2015 and 3rd in the GTE Championship overall. That’s seriously impressive no matter how you slice it. Today, you can buy a piece of that Dempsey magic and plant your bottom right where Dr. McDreamy sat:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on eBay

1994 Audi RS2 Avant

Why would anyone even contemplate paying $35,000 for a 21 year old, complicated and turbocharged Audi wagon that you can’t register in the U.S. for 4 more years? Because of the badge that adorns the front – the magical “Renn” added to the S2 badge, along with the legendary name Porsche scripted below. That meant that this relatively unassuming Audi 80 quattro Avant had been produced in Zuffenhausen rather than Ingolstadt and had added a healthy dose of even more “Sport” to the small chassis. Ostensibly, though the Sport Quattro was the first “RS” vehicle, the RS2 was the first to wear the badge which has become synonymous with Audi’s speed department. For many Audi aficionados, though the RS vehicles have become much faster and more luxurious, just like the 500E and the M3 Audi has never made a car better in its overall execution than the original. Not that it was slow by any means; Porsche’s massaging of the inline-5 resulted in 311 horsepower – even more than the Sport Quattro had from essentially a very similar motor – so despite being much heavier than the Sport had been, the RS2 wasn’t much slower; sub-5 seconds to 60 and a top speed north of 160 mph. Along the way, it was capable of bullying everything outside of a supercar; yet this car also established the move from Audi’s 2-door “halo” vehicle to a long line of fast five doors. Porsche also upgraded the brakes and wheels with Brembo units and 17″ “Cup 1” wheels creating a signature link. So, too, was the color signature; original called “RS Blue” rather than the color name it’s often mistaken for – the later Nogaro – the bright blue is still the go-to shade for Audi’s fastest. Even within its fast contemporaries, this car was legendary, and the upgrades to the motors and wheels spawned an entire generation of enthusiasts to turn up their inline-5s stateside.…

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo

It may sound strange, but this is – I believe – the first non-S, non-Cup 1988 944 Turbo we’ve written up on this blog. While that may not sound outrageous, the 944 Turbo is a staple of these pages and considering the thousands of cars we’ve written up – virtually with every production year covered – it’s a bit strange to me. But as with 1987, 1988 was a year of change for the 944 Turbo; while the standard model carried over the ABS and airbag changes from the previous model, there were no major changes (the DME chip was changed from 24 to 28 pin; that’s about it). However, the big change was the half year introduction of the “S” model; standard M030 suspension and upgraded power were the highlights. While the power increase wasn’t huge at only 30, the limited run status, additional power, cool Silver Rose colors and upgraded suspension mean that it’s the model that we often concentrate on. Of course, that means we overlook the standard Turbo, and that’s a shame – because like the ’86 and ’87 cars, they were still great performance values and offered significant forced induction street credentials. It was, after all, a Porsche Turbo you were cruising in; select Guards Red from the color pallet and you’d have completed the Yuppie dream coupe recipe:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

1995 Audi RS2 Avant

If yesterday’s low mileage S6 Avant wasn’t enough fast wagon love for you North American fans, I have just the cure. It’s easy to forget that our neighbors in the Great White North have managed to enjoy European model legal status for a full decade more than that U.S. fans; thus, it’s not abnormal to see some wild Euro cars come up for sale. Kijiji is nearly as much of a tease as Ebay.de, and today is no exception as a rare RS Blue 1995 RS2 Avant with lower miles has popped up for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi RS2 Avant on Kijiji

Motorsports Monday: 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

There are few marques in the automotive industry whose name is as synonymous with road racing as that of Porsche. While Porsche’s reputation has been built largely through their racing success it also comes through their continued desire to make available to their customers lightened or more powerful variants of their road cars. Or in the case of the car we see here, a 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, a full on racer. The homologation requirements of many of the road-racing series that Porsche competes in do make this somewhat of a necessity, but that still doesn’t change the fact that for a (considerable) sum of money interested buyers can live out their dreams to take part in semi-professional racing behind the wheel one of the most renowned road-racing machines in its class.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Porsche 911GT3 Cup on eBay

Coupe Week Motorsports Monday: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3

There’s something that is inherently appealing to me about the idea of a aluminum V8 engine swapped into a Porsche 944. Sure, you could argue that just buying a 928 would scratch that particular itch, and in many ways you’d be right. But say you want extra power and cheaper operating costs? These are things that the Porsche 928 doesn’t particularly excel at, coupled with the more complicated and fragile electronics of the 944’s big brother. The smaller, lighter 944 then seems to be a natural choice; with near perfect weight distribution and bits that swap in easily from the higher-horsepower Turbo model, you can have a track-ready sleeper for about the same price as a decently sorted 928 – but choose the right engine, and you’ll have much more motivation at your call. In the case of this 1987 944, that choice would be the all-aluminum 6.2 liter V8 from the new Corvette – the LS3, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb.ft. of torque right out of the box:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3 on eBay

Motorsports Monday: Porsche 911 GT3 Cup v. Cayman S

For German car fans who love racing, it doesn’t get much more exciting than Porsche’s long history of endurance racing. Indeed, Porsche’s venerable 911 seems intrinsically linked with racing – undoubtedly, part of its mystique. However, true factory racing Porsches have always been pretty expensive when new and still are so. Watching yesterday’s coverage of the 24 Hours of Daytona had me cringing as the multi-hundred thousand dollar Le Mans class 991 Porsches took each other out, attacked Opossums and exploded crankcases. It wasn’t a great day for Porsche at a track where the company has had an impressive string of successes. So, today I decided to take a look at two racing Porsches as an homage to their first rate engineering, their enduring appeal and incredible performance:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on eBay