1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

Here’s another favorite of mine from the ’80s and this particular 911 is really captivating me more so than I would normally suspect it should. Part of the allure is the color, but that’s also why I wouldn’t expect it to look as good as it does. I mean, grey isn’t terribly exciting as exterior colors go, nonetheless it’s attracting my eye here. The rest, however, does make for an attractive model. The Turbo-look 911 served as a popular option for US buyers unable to get a 930 during the years in which that model was on hiatus. As the moniker suggests, the package provided the various attributes to modify the appearance most notably the wider rear of the Turbo. Significantly, the package also included the Turbo’s suspension and braking serving to provide not only a unique look relative to the narrow-bodied 911, but improved performance in certain areas. Generally speaking, the M491-equipped cars have been more desirable than other 911s and the Coupes especially garner a good bit of notice. Here we have just such a beast: a Turbo-look Meteor Grey Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in California, with 113,709 miles on it.

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1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe M491 – REVISIT

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The Guards Red 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe equipped with the M491 Turbolook package, which we featured in November, is back up for auction. This time its starting bid has been lowered from the $75K price of the previous reserve auction, which received no bids, to a $65K starting bid. That has received one bid thus far and the reserve remains unmet. If this low-mileage Carrera hopes to garner sufficient attention to reach its reserve, interest will have to ramp up quickly.

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The below post originally appeared on our site November 17, 2015:

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1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – M491

I’ve had my eye on the market for the 3.2 Carrera of late after coming across a slew of them with very high prices. We’re seeing similar movements, though with more actual sales, with the market for the Porsche 930 as well. The car we see here, a Silver Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with the M491 (Turbo-look) option package and 109,300 miles, walks a line between both of these worlds, but right now is avoiding the very high asking prices of those others. The pricing phenomenon with the 3.2 Carrera seems down primarily to some very-low-mileage examples coming up for sale, which obviously won’t really have much bearing on this one. We should keep in mind though that as an ’87 MY Carrera this M491-equipped 911 also has the G50 5-speed transmission and we don’t see quite as many of these around. These factors all combine to make this a pretty desirable 911 and if the condition is as the seller describes it should have plenty of life left in it.

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1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

Last week I featured a couple of very high-priced Carreras and today we’ll look at another, though this time one that should be pushing demand more significantly than the other two standard cars, we’ll have to see whether it actually does. Here we have a Guards Red 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in California, with about 20K miles on it. Of import to us here: it has the M491 option package on it, typically known as the Turbo look. While garnered the Turbo-look due to its use of the wider rear of the 930, along with the whale tail, the M491 package wasn’t just for looks. It also included the braking and suspension of the Turbo to go with that wider rear. These were a 930 with a naturally aspirated 3.2 liter flat-six. For some the package still seemed a bit of a fake intended for those who simply wanted to look the part. Others, however, viewed it as a performance improvement, even if power remained unchanged, but with the lower stress and lower running costs of the reliable 3.2 liter engine. Regardless of which camp you might find yourself, the M491-equipped Carreras remain popular; for some their desirability has even increased as the more reliable nature of the engine stands out even more now that we’re 30 years down the road. With popularity comes higher prices and if the prices of last week’s Carreras are any indication an M491 model should stretch pretty high. The difficulty will come when those prices being to eclipse those for a 930. In such cases you probably wouldn’t be dealing with a similar level of car, but it would still bring about plenty of questions over which car one might prefer.

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1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe – M491

We have featured a decent number of M491-equipped 911s and as the air-cooled market has continued its upward trend we have seen more and more of them pop up for sale. The M491 option package was conceived as a way to provide 911 customers in the US market a performance option that resembled the 930, but retained the standard Carrera’s naturally-aspirated 3.2 liter flat-six. That option package, in appropriate fashion, was dubbed the “Turbo Look” package. It was first made available in 1984 during the 930’s six-year hiatus from the US market and continued to be available, though was selected in far fewer numbers, even once the Turbo returned in 1986. The package included the Turbo’s front and rear spoilers along with its wider rear, complete with 930 suspension, braking, and wheels. Even without the extra power of the Turbo the M491 package was popular among enthusiasts for its superior handling and braking and many of these 911s saw a good deal of track time. It is only in recent years that their collectability has been recognized, but due to their performance focus even fewer of these already rare examples remain in excellent condition. For any prospective 911 owner desiring the appearance, handling, and braking of the Turbo, but without the highly-strung and maintenance intensive turbocharged engine the Turbo-Look Carrera makes for an attractive option. The example we see here comes from the second year of the package’s availability: a Nugget Brown Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Los Angeles, with Champagne leather interior and 92,863 miles on it.

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1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – M491

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I’ll continue with the Cabriolet theme, though unlike yesterday’s car which I specifically featured because it was a Cabriolet this one appeals to me for additional reasons and that it happens to be a Cabriolet simply is coincidence. This Cabriolet equipped with the M491 package offers many of the stylistic and handling upgrades of the 911 Turbo, but retains the less highly strung and more maintenance friendly naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter flat-six of the standard Carrera. While accurate production numbers for the M491-equipped cars have been notoriously difficult to pin down for their six years of production (1984-1989) these cars are certainly more rare than a standard Carrera. It does appear that the option was prevalent on Coupes early on and then shifted heavily toward the Cabriolet once the actual Turbo was again made available in the US. Still, as a performance variant the M491-equipped 911s have become highly sought after, especially for the later years that also came with the G50 5-speed transmission.

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1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa – M491

We might as well strive for completeness, right? We’ve had a run of Targas around these parts lately and while I know we haven’t shown every variant of the classic 911 Targa I feel pretty certain we will have now covered the major bases of the model with the one we have here: a M491-equipped Guards Red 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in San Francisco, with 46,530 miles on it. This, of course, shares more than just a passing resemblance with the 930 Targa featured on Thursday. First made available in 1984 for the 911 Coupe, and in 1985 for the Cabriolet and Targa, the M491 package included the wider rear, whale tail, suspension, and braking of the 930 garnering them the Turbo-look moniker. As with many 911 variants, the Targa had the smallest production numbers, with production of all models gradually reducing after the 930 had been reintroduced to the US market. That makes examples equipped with the highly desirable G50 5-speed transmission quite a bit more rare than those with the 915 and as such we should expect an additional premium over the premium the M491 cars tend to attract in general.

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1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – M491

Americans are somewhat used to performance cars not being available on our own shores even though they might be available elsewhere. In many cases there are no alternatives and we must simply live with this fact. Sometimes, however, the manufacturers make available a car that strives to fill this void. Such is the case with the car we see here, a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Florida, equipped with the M491 package. Referred to as the Turbo-look or Widebody Carrera these combined the standard 3.2 Carrera engine with the body, suspension, and braking of the 911 Turbo and offered buyers a 911 with some performance and appearance upgrades during a time when the Porsche 930 was unavailable within our market. Like most any other widebody Carrera, these were some of the best looking of the standard cars produced and have become quite sought after by enthusiasts and collectors alike.

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1986 Porsche 911 Carrera – M491

To provide some satisfaction to its customers who hoped to own a 911 Turbo during the years when the Turbo was not for sale on the US market, Porsche offered the M491 package. Sometimes called the “Turbo-look” 911 these cars were essentially a 930 minus the forced induction. While that’s no small difference, it did mean that prospective buyers had the option of buying a standard 3.2 Carrera with the upgraded braking and suspension of the Turbo, along with its wider rear and tea-tray spoiler. Derided by some, over time the M491-package 911 has become a hot commodity amongst many enthusiasts for its greater dynamic capabilities, paired with the lowered maintenance concerns and running costs of the naturally aspirated engine. The example here is a modified M491-packaged 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera that perhaps has hoped to make up some of the performance differences brought on by the lack of the 930’s engine.

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1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet – M491

Last week we featured this M491-optioned Carrera Coupe. It sold for its Buy It Now price of $47,000, which at the time of writing I felt was high within the current market. I was wrong. It comes as little surprise then that almost immediately after that auction ended another M491-optioned Carrera appeared on the market, though this time a Cabriolet. Coincidence? Possibly, but we see this sort of thing happen often enough that I assume the second seller is capitalizing on the market, and I wouldn’t blame him. Here we have a M491-optioned 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in Connecticut, with 50,805 miles on the clock.

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