Feature Listing: 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo with 11,000 Miles

Do you ever have those moments where you look back 5-10 years and think of the cars you could have bought so much more cheaply than they appear on the market today? I think back to cars like a few I mentioned this morning – the M3 and Quattro – that could be had in great condition for under $10,000 only a decade ago. Then there are cars on the cusp of taking off – cars like the 190E 2.3-16 and 944 Turbo – that are currently still attainable, but one wonders for how long. Moving up a few leagues from the minors in the majors, though, and it wasn’t very long ago that Porsche 911s weren’t astronomically expensive. Think the E30 M3 is bad? Let’s talk about cars like the 930. In May, 2013 Hagerty valued an absolute top condition 1986 Turbo around $60,000. Today, the same estimate is $315,000 – amazingly, down slightly from last fall when $325,000 was the top number. If you pardon the poor pun, the 930 has simply outpaced the stock market many times over, proving it has supercar staying power.

The same can be said of the car that replaced it, the 964 Turbo. Even a standard 3.3 went from a top value of $50,000 in September, 2014 to a pretty steady $275,000 today. Are these numbers always being realized? Perhaps not, but it certainly gives us a value trend. And that leads us to the 996 turbo model. The 996 has been demonized left, right and center for being watercooled, ugly and even fragile, though at least the latter doesn’t necessarily apply to the turbo model. The result of that is it is, without a doubt, the most performance you can buy on a reasonable budget with a Porsche badge attached to it. There’s another school of thought, though – and that is that the 996 won’t remain a budget forever. It’s impossible to predict if there will be a similar bubble to these cars, but the rumor mill seems to be swirling that people in the know are picking up excellent examples in the anticipation that it just could take off:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo at Sun Valley Autos

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Honorable Mention Roundup

We get a lot of submissions from readers – something we greatly appreciate! But the reality is that we don’t get the chance to write up all of these cars, and some deserving examples slip through the cracks. For some time I’ve wanted to do a roundup of all the examples we missed out on, so today I’m doing just that. Here’s a group of neat cars that we didn’t get a chance to look at in more depth. Thanks again to all of our devoted readers who have sent in some of these suggestions – we really do love getting your suggestions, so keep sending them and tell us if this “Honorable Mention Roundup is a good idea!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera X51 ex-Koni Challenge

There are countless enthusiasts who have converted street cars to track cars for their own pursuit, this author included. Few of them are professionals, though (this author included), and consequently buying a used one is always a bit of a mixed bag of dealing with shortcuts, ill-conceived modifications or poor planning. At their base, these cars were also often used street cars initially, with years of miles on the road softening their chassis and electrical connections. Shifting gears, though, there are special cars built by enthusiasts that really stand out. These are close to factory builds; pro teams who take brand new street models and convert them to race cars for specific series. Today’s 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera was one such car; built for the popular production-based Koni Challenge, it’s an upgraded version of the already potent 911 that’s available for a fraction of the cost of the original build:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 Carrera X51 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday Turbo Quattro Coupes: 2004 TT 3.2 quattro HPA Turbo and 2009 R8 4.2 Heffner Twin Turbo

When they launched the original Quattro, Audi redefined how performance could be packaged. With supercar performance but day to day practicality, the Quattro established a niche that made Audi unique amongst not only German manufacturers, but indeed the automotive world. Since then, however, the idea of all-wheel drive and turbocharged platforms have spread not only to sister companies Porsche and Volkswagen, but indeed to Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Opel and even outside Germany to Japan. So Audi once again redefined its packaging; in the case of the TT, they brought expensive styling to the masses, and in the case of the R8, they brought supercar performance and packaging to a 911 budget. But it’s not just Audi that has raised its game; tuning firms are held to much higher standards then they were in the 1980s. Go back and look at some early Callaway turbo setups, for example, and you’ll see what was cutting edge in the 1980s – levels of fit and finish that just aren’t acceptable today, along with driving characteristics not suitable to most owners. Computerized engine management has transformed what is possible in the tuning world to the point where today’s packages often retain OEM-levels of driveability with otherworldly performance on tap. Two great examples of this can be found in HPA’s turbocharged Audi TT and Heffner’s twin-turbocharged Audi R8:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi TT 3.2 quattro HPA Turbo on eBay

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1994 Audi S4

It’s funny that as enthusiasts we desire what we can’t have; there are a plethora of Audis that aren’t import friendly currently that I long after and plenty of rare BMWs and Mercedes-Benz models that make the collective jaws of the automotive community hang low. Yesterday’s European-spec 1994 M5 3.8 is a great example. It’s a very rare car that in pristine shape draws some serious dollars out of the woodwork and enthusiasts pine over. But in terms of all-out speed and value for your money, the Audi S4 packs much more punch than than the boys from Munich or Unterturkheim. Available generally for a quarter to at most half the price of most of the E34 M5/500Es on offer that are in reasonable shape, they can easily be customized and upgraded – and the results can be fantastic:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1998 Dinan S3 BMW M3 Sedan

If earlier’s Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 911 Turbo didn’t quench your lust for all things purple, I’m happy to offer another Barney-colored treat for you. However, unlike the friendly and more than somewhat irritating children’s star, the object of interest here is the very popular and quickly become a classic E36 M3 sedan. Offering practicality, a stiff chassis with lighter weight than the coupes, this car has turned into one of the more sought after BMWs in recent history. This is especially poignant considering the current state of the rest of the 1980s M market; if you don’t jump on the bandwagon now, you’re likely to miss out. Further heightening the appeal of this sedan is the more rare shade of Techno Violet; a polarizing but popular color, and of course the full spectrum of Dinan S3 upgrades. Take a look at this purple people eater:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Dinan S3 BMW M3 Sedan on eBay

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