At the beginning of the 1990s, pretty much everyone was stepping away from twin-cam inline-4s. While they had been the rage in the 80s and “DOHC” was nearly as popular as Miami Vice, buyers demanded more power and refinement. Sure, you could make 200 horsepower from a high-strung four-pot; but making it tractable for daily driving, passing emissions, and reliable? That was another ball-game. As a result, most major manufacturers went to larger displacement 6- or 8-cylinder motors in their small performance cars.
Everyone, that is, except for Porsche.
Porsche dialed in the 944S2 a bit more with updated 928-inspired looks and a new ‘VarioCam’ adjustable valve timing on the 3-liter inline-4. Now with 237 horsepower and an impressive 225 lb.ft of torque, it roamed the sports car elite field like a small dinosaur. Porsche added another speed to the mix, but since this was a relatively expensive 4-banger coupe based on a twenty year old design, they didn’t sell particularly well. A total of 2,234 Coupes were imported between 1992 and 1995; the last year was the worst seller, with a scant 259 making the journey. This particular last-year example may just be the best one left in the country:
Hardly out of production, journalists and enthusiasts alike are already calling the last of the naturally aspirated M3s a classic in the making. Some have even gone so far as to call the E9x M3 the best M product BMW has produced. Certainly it was a screamer, with butch good looks to back up the impressive power chops on tap from the S65 V8. As always, I’m drawn to the more unusual colors offered through BMW’s Individual program and today’s example is a pretty interesting one. Apparently, dissatisfied with the yellow-toned options from BMW’s own color catalogue, the buyer of this particular M3 asked BMW to head to the Black Forest and it came back with Speed Yellow from Zuffenhausen. A vibrant tone more piercing than Dakar but not as orange as Atacama, does this E92 light up your sky?
I’m always a fan of the showdown posts; no surprise, since I think I’m the only one who does them here! While it’s nice to highlight one car at a time, I’m just a fan of the opportunity costs; considering what my money could go towards otherwise. Plus, though we see comparisons of new cars in magazines and online fora, it’s not often that we have comparos including nearly 40 year old cars. While I usually highlight this type of comparison in my 10K Friday posts, today is a bit different and I believe the first time I have a showdown on Tuner Tuesday. I’ve rounded up a quintet of neat cars that are all modified from stock by some of the most famous tuners of the 1980s; which is the winner?
Last week on Motorsport Monday I wrote up a 1995 BMW M3 that was ready to hit the track; for under $20,000, it sure was a track weapon on a budget. But if your budget is a little bit higher, the natural choice for the German car fan is to look towards Porsches, and Porsche’s out-of-the-box race car, the GT3. We’ve written up a few GT3s of various generations in the past few months, but the screaming deal in 911s right now are the first to hit U.S. shores, the 2004 models. Today’s model was a streetable GT3 that has been modeled after the more expensive, complicated and pricey to run Cup models, and like last week’s M3 looks ready to willing to hit the track in the proper Speed Yellow:
Model: 996 GT3
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 13,300 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
Factory Speed Yellow.Very Clean, Professionally prepped by DAWES Motorsports. Many upgrades to GT3 Cup Specs. PCA Logbook. California car built by GMG Racing and DAWES Motorsports. Only 12900 miles. Never hit or damaged. Ultra clean. 2:05s at Watkins Glen and 1:17s at Summit Point.
Special software for left foot braking etc. very well sorted and quick car. Will take Porsche street car trades 72/72 or 87-98 911’s
Tim Holt 610-692-7100 for ANY questions
GMG exact Porsche Motorsports replica cage with additional bars from A pillars thru firewall to both shock towers and NASCAR door bars.
JRZ Shocks, rebuilt. 1000lb and 1200lb springs with tenders
2 Sets CCW Monoblock 18×9.5 and 18×12 wheels
Extra Long wheel studs
GT3 Cup/RSR race clutch with lightweight flywheel
New axles 2 races ago
SCCA PCA mast cutoff switch, battery relocated to passenger footwell with legal tray and tiedown
DAWES Motorsports fully rebuilt differential for extreme race lockup
DAWES Motorsport rear Aux.
It has been a year and a half since I sold my E39 M5. It just does not make sense for me to have a car since I always seem to have several around I can drive. The problem is none of them could be considered “enthusiast” vehicles by any means. Frankly I am surprised I have held out as long as I have.
While it makes no sense whatsoever I have been having sinful thoughts about Porsche 993’s. Maybe I will just get one for the summer. Hopefully by the fall I will have come to my senses and I can go back to driving worn XC90’s and spunky MINI Coopers? The problem is I don’t have the time to restore one, I need something turn key and ready to go.
A little something like this…
Here is a great description from the seller –
“I figure I’m going to have to write this if I intend to sell the car, so here goes: Speed Yellow 993 C2. Never been smoked in, never been in an accident, never been in snow, and has VERY rarely seen rain. I shipped it in from California, where it was religiously maintained at High Performance House (650.364.6234). I have most records since new. It’s immaculate. Without getting into specifics, it pulls very hard, stops very well, and handles great.
Definitive “reluctant sale.” I don’t have to sell the car, and I’m finding that it’s killing me to write this. Porsche guys talk about buying cars that are “fully sorted” – this car is definitely that. Only thing it could use is a center taillight piece. I have the Autocheck (which is clear) and the VIN if you’re interested in doing a Carfax (which is clear) instead. The car has been maintained by Taylor Chapman (of Chapman Auto Works – 703.467.9130) since its arrival in Virginia.