Continuing on the 944 theme, there are of course a few transaxles that actually are worth some big bucks right now. The development models – the 924 Carrera GT, GTS and GTR – are pretty well priced out of this world. In the 944 run, the Silver Rose cars are highly valued, too – but value-wise, they’re relative bargains compared to this car. Yet I’ll still claim that this car is a relative bargain compared to its contemporaries. Let me explain.
As a promotional series in 1986, Porsche teamed with Rothmans for sponsorship of a one-make support race series in Canada. The result was the 944 Cup, which ran normally aspirated lightweight examples of otherwise stock 944s in 1986 and 1987. Every once in a while, one of these rare rides (there were only 31 sold) pops up and we’ve covered them before. The big draw on these cars are the lightweight aspect thanks to no sunroof and manual windows, and of course the Rothmans livery.
But the series proved successful and in 1987 Porsche followed up with the more developed, more powerful and more excited Rothmans 944 Turbo Cup. In fact, the Turbo Cup cars were developed for single-race series around the globe – in total, there were 5 series and just shy of 200 Turbo Cup cars produced. Like the prior 944 RC, the formula was pretty simple – lighten a 944 Turbo, leave the engine “stock”, and fit it with race equipment. But Porsche, being Porsche, went a bit above and beyond.
Though the Turbo Cup looked for all intents and purposes like just a 1987 Turbo with racing colors and a cage, the reality was far from that. The engine retained most of its stock components, but Porsche fit magnesium oil pans and intakes to lighten the load.…
I have another few rare sets of wheels to check out this week, starting with some polarizing but cool Brabus wheels. They’re pricey but quite a way to set your Mercedes-Benz apart. There’s also a set of BBS RX wheels which remind me of some of the great designs gone by since BBS switched hands. This week I found another set of Rial wheels, this time slightly different with a large offset. There’s also a rare set of Volkswagen Votex wheels. And if you’re feeling ridiculously rich and have an early 911 that you want to have a race look, there’s a set of ultra-rich magnesium Minilites that is priced around the cost of most cars I look at. Enjoy!
Like the M3 from earlier, the Carrera RS has been a model that is the dream of many Porsche enthusiasts and the subject of many replicas. Some are merely cosmetic, others go for wild and exacting recreations. But the value of 911s has progressed to the point where something interesting is happening; track cars now make a viable option to convert back to street cars. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see the same thing occur with the E30 M3 market where tracked out original M3s get converted back to street cars. But this later 911S has been given the RS treatment by notable builder Musante Motorsports. I had the pleasure to work with Chris Musante before his business was fully off the ground; his attention to detail and knowledge of building Porsche air-cooled motors is certainly top of the field, and an early 911 that Chris just rebuilt recently won the Lime Rock Vintage Festival show. It’s no surprise then that this 1977 model that Musante Motorsports built looks awesome:
Our reader Kyle recently requested to see more magnesium wheels; as I have a bit of a early magnesium BBS wheel fetish myself, I was only too happy to oblige. Here’s a quick selection of the magnesium wheels on Ebay – BBS isn’t the only magnesium wheel producer, but they’ve got some of the best designs. Interestingly, a few years back many people thought these wheels were throw-aways as no one wanted old race wheels, but a resurgence in popularity has once again made them a valuable commodity. From vintage racing Porsches to modern track cars, magnesium wheels are still some of the lightest you can get and in the 1980s they were one of the few ways to get really wide wheels on your race car. Generally, BBS wheels with an “E” prefix denote magnesium centers, though the new E88s below claim to be forged aluminum. I’m secretly hoping to find a set of languishing BBS E51s – they were originally 4×108 15″ and 16″ wheels fitted to 924s and would bolt right up to my Audi. What are your favorite?
Ah, the DP 935. It’s a car that in the world of Porsche generates both enthusiasm and enthusiastic hatred of the modifications. There’s no denying that they were one of the more spectacular modified Porsches in the 1980s, though, and while Duran Duran seems to be playing in my head everytime I see one, I nevertheless love to find them. We last looked at a blacked-out and modified 1986 DP 935 almost exactly a year ago. Today’s model, like the all-black model from last year, is not 100% correct or the full-crazy European-spec slantnose, but the U.S. spec toned down package that retained the original bumpers. Also like that car, this example has non-original wheels and an engine rebuild/refresh. Is it the one to buy?
Last week, I wrote up a 944 Rothmans Cup car, a model that introduced the idea of a factory-backed, one marque race series as an opener for larger races. In truth, this was no new concept; the unused M1 race cars got turned into the “Procar” series in the late 1970s/early 1980s and run with F1 drivers before races, as well as prior forays by Porsche in the IROC series. But the 944 Rothmans Cup was an effort that any gentleman driver could partake in, and that made it a bit more special. While the racing was close for sure and generated plenty of great action, the lightweight 944s really weren’t particularly fast in the grand scheme of things. Having launched a new Turbo model of the 944 in 1985, Porsche nearly immediately started development of the Cup version of the 951. With sealed motors pushing a bit more power that stock thanks to some revised engine mapping, catalyst-free exhaust and a revised magnesium intake, the real gains came in further use of exotic materials to lighten the cars. While the regular 944 was a bit lighter, the Turbo Cup went the next step; lightened suspension, magnesium wheels, stripped interior and plastic pieces. Undercoating was never installed on these cars and as a result of many small changes, the 944 Turbo Cup weighed in some 400 lbs less than the roadgoing version. Even with a modest power increase, this made for one potent and very special race car:
It’s a rainy day here in New England, so I spent some time finding my favorite wheels on Ebay. Most of these are period option or aftermarket wheels, but all of them are pretty cool. I especially love the BMW Ronal wheels, the ATS AMG wheels in nearly new shape and the amazing BBS magnesium Bugatti EB110 wheels. Which are your favorite?
Update: thanks to reader KevinR for correctly spotting the Mercedes-Benz wheels were Centra Type 31s. Thanks!
It’s been only a few weeks since I looked back at a super black DP935 that popped up for sale again with no changes but a hefty price increase. Well, today there is another DP modified car; this time, a claimed 1 of 1 Targa model built from a 1988 911. One of the criticisms of the black DP was that because of many changes over it’s life, it was effectively a highly modified turbo with a DP body kit. Today’s car suffers from the same fate, in a way – though it’s much more original. Bought in Germany and delivered to DP Motorsports, this Targa got the full external DP kit and some gorgeous BBS magnesium race wheels as well as a lowered suspension – but critically, no engine modifications seem to have made their way into this car. Afterwards, the interior was modified into the red/black combination that it currently sits in. With very few miles, this may be one of the more unique period-correct pieces in Porsche tuning history available right now:
I still remember well the first time I got to hold a magnesium wheel – I was at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, and a bit of a joking and free-loving owner of a Pantera literally threw one – complete with steam-roller tire – towards me with the tagline “Here, catch!”. Grimacing in the impending pain I was about to experience as this dishwasher-box sized wheel lobbed at me came closer, I reached out and caught it, fearful that I would be on the hook for the wheel’s cost when I dropped it even though this joker wouldn’t be by my hospital bed for the multi-week recovery from my collapsed lungs and broken ribs. To my shock, I caught the wheel, and my tensed muscles experienced nearly no shock. It was comical how light the wheel was; something I wouldn’t experience again until I picked up a Formula One Ferrari wheel years later. Today, there is a set of ultra-rare OZ Racing wheels on Ebay for a very reasonable price:
Model: Tarmac Rally
Bolt Pattern: 4×108
Offset: Not Listed
Tires: Not Included
Price: $1,155 Buy It Now
Okay, okay, you’re right – last week we featured BBS wheels too. But let’s just say I have a thing for BBS wheels and I’m in the driver’s seat on this one, so I get to control the radio, okay? Seriously though, BBS wheels are some of our favorites at GCFSB when they’re specified as either OEM wheels, OEM upgrades or aftermarket options. Today we have a few different options for you and like last week, I tried to get one of each marque. Unlike last week, we’re going to focus on specifically the “basket weave” design that BBS popularized. Let’s start with one of the more under appreciated BBS wheels, the RA found on 1987-1992 Volkswagen Jetta GLis:
Model: RA 375
Bolt Pattern: 4 x 100
Offset: ET 35
Tires: Not included
Price: $1,199 Buy It Now
a set of 4 genuine
BBS RA 375 SPORTLINE
They are OEM from VOLKSWAGEN GERMANY!!!!
6x15H2 ET 35
The wheels are hard to find in this condition, but don´t forget the rims are used, look the pics.
Shipping to USA $ 395. For shipping to other countries please contact me for the price.
Payment with PAYPAL only.
The refinish on these wheels sure looks great – I actually had a set of RAs that looked just like this, gold with a polished lip. They could be specified from BBS like that in the 1980s; these, however, have been made to look like that from the original all-silver (or super rare Helios Blue) that came on the stock GLis. I think they look great; gold was one of the most popular colors in the 1980s and these would dress up just about any 2002, 320i, E30, A1, A2, A3 or early Audi.…