Motorsports Monday: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S

For those that haven’t had the pleasure of driving a 944 Turbo S, allow me to describe the sensation. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be the stone in a sling shot, it’s a pretty good analogy. My first drive in a S saw me pull up to a merge onto a secondary highway. The slightest gap opened in traffic, and since I was in a Porsche I naturally thought that half a car length with the closing traffic at 65 m.p.h. seemed doable. Clutch out, foot on the floor, and….nothing. I thought I stalled the car. I had just enough time to look down in disbelief, feel the blood draining from my head and look into the mirror, uttering “Oh…shi” when BAM – the car came on boost. Like the intro to Star Trek – The Next Generation, the front of the car stretched towards the sky and elongated as I rocketed forwards. How that manifests itself on track leads towards a very odd driving style. At my favorite track, Lime Rock Park, for example, in the Turbo S you need to be on throttle when you should be off throttle. Otherwise, if you wait for the car to be where you would normally hit the throttle, you’re halfway down the straight. The best example of where this odd throttle usage comes into play is in “Big Bend”. A decreasing radius corner, if you nail the throttle after the first apex, normally you’d spear straight off the road. The last thing you want to do when those front tires need to bite in a car with 250 horsepower is lift the nose up. But when you nail the throttle in the 944 Turbo, it doesn’t have 250 horsepower. It has 10. Maybe 12. So, you plant the throttle, turn in and as you’re about to hit the apex BAM, the boost comes on, helping to rotate the rear end and you can throttle out of the corner.…

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

For a car as rare as the 993 Turbo S we do seem to be coming across a decent number of them right now. The one we see here certainly qualifies as one of the more interesting color palettes and even at the insane prices we see for these it should attract a good deal of interest. Here we have a Cobalt Blue Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S, located in Washington, with Midnight Blue leather interior and yellow accents with 17,917 miles on it. The blue on blue look is something I have grown accustomed to seeing on the 911. I’m far less accustom to the yellow accents we see in this interior, which certainly make a bold statement and help break up an otherwise monochromatic appearance to the car as a whole. I’m not sure what sparked the choice of yellow – perhaps it is as simple as matching the brake calipers of the Turbo S – and I’m equally as unsure of what I think about it. Thankfully the use of yellow was fairly restrained. I have no reservations about the exterior color choice: Cobalt Blue simply is fantastic and here on a Turbo S it looks both aggressive and alluring. With 424 hp the Turbo S are fantastically quick cars that bring with them a high level of refinement and luxury. While perhaps lacking some of the insanity of the 964 Turbo S, especially the lightened 3.3 liter version, there is little to find at fault with the 993 and the overall shape is about as good as it gets. This is the final evolution of the air-cooled 911 design and when I look at that shape I quickly understand the disappointment felt by 911 enthusiasts upon the release of the 996.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Here’s a rare thing: these days the only thing more rare than a limited-production air-cooled 911 is a limited-production air-cooled 911 with a decent number of miles on it. And that’s exactly what we have here with this Black on Black 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S, located in Northern Virginia, that has seen 105,280 miles over the course of its life. While I’m sure we have all suspected such cars to exist we almost never come across them and for this to be the last and most valuable of the air-cooled Turbos (excepting, of course, the 993 GT2) I’m shocked to see it. It’s fantastic though! The current owner of this car, who has had it since 2001, certainly appears to have gotten the most out of this purpose-built machine. With the market for air-cooled Turbos in the midst of a precipitous climb where might potential buyers value this example with such high mileage? Hopefully this auction will shed some light.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay

1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau

I’m not sure if I can do justice to this car. While not the ultimate version of the 964 Turbo, nor the ultimate air-cooled 911 Turbo, the 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau remains for me the best. It is the final iteration of Porsche’s turbocharged 3.3 liter flat-six that had been in use since 1978 powering these machines to heights most other automakers scarcely would have envisioned. This is a car that probably never should have existed since Porsche likely had intended for the 964 Turbo to debut with a turbocharged version of the 3.6 liter engine found in other iterations of the model. But the development of that engine took time and the early years of the 964 saw the continued usage of the engine from the 930. When it finally became time to retire its use, Porsche gave the 3.3 a wonderful send-off in the guise of the Turbo S: a lightened, more powerful, version of the standard 964 Turbo that remains one of the lowest production models in the Porsche portfolio. I featured one a couple months ago that we surely wouldn’t call subtle, but whose exterior did come in a somewhat subdued Silver. The one we see here, painted in stunning Electric Blue Metallic, possesses no such subtlety and will be on auction as part of Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé 2015 on September 4 in Oxfordshire, England.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau on Silverstone Auctions

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S Silver Rose with 7,000 Miles

Ultra-low mileage cars always present a bit of a conundrum. Lust worthy? Without a doubt; I certainly look at every car that I have owned and wished that it was effectively in brand-new condition with no prior signs of ownership or the years that have passed. But what’s the cost of having had someone lovingly look after the car you’d desire today? Well, it’s relative in some regards. Let’s look at this 1988 944 Turbo S and break it down – is this mega-priced 944 Turbo S Silver Rose Edition still the giant killer it was 27 years ago?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S on Autotrader

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

We’ve all seen the insanity of the Porsche 993 Turbo market. As air-cooled 911s in general have steadily appreciated in value, the most powerful of the last of the air-cooled models has lead the way with precipitous gains seemingly defying all reason. Naturally, the more rare the model the more extreme those value increases have been and with buyers now showing little hesitation to ask for $200K+ for a standard Turbo it is no wonder that Turbo S owners would seek to capitalize on the madness with even steeper asking prices. That brings us to the example here, a Black and Tan 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S, located in Florida, with just 9,208 miles on it and an asking price over half a million dollars. There is no doubt that these will stand beside the 993 Carrera RS and GT2 as the most sought-after models, with the GT2 leading the way by a substantial margin. While power increases weren’t substantial for the US market (424 hp vs 408 hp for the standard Turbo) the relative scarcity of the model and the cachet of saying you have the baddest air-cooled 911 around garner these cars significant appreciation. They also marked a slight change in the ethos of the model itself that has continued up to today. Unlike the 964 Turbo S, which was lightened and austere in its fittings, the 993 Turbo S retained the luxurious offerings that have been a hallmark of the 911 Turbo since its inception. It was to be the most refined and powerful road-going 911. Of course, with the release of the GT2 Porsche insured that its customers had both options available to them and sent the air-cooled 911 out in the best ways possible.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1994 Porsche 911 Speedster Strosek Turbo S Widebody

I’m going to segue for just a moment to a pop culture phenomena – Keeping Up With The Kardashians. You see, you can sit around all you’d like and say that it’s horrible television – or indeed, that television in and of itself is horrible. You can say it’s exploitation or reverse exploitation. You can say that Kris and Caitruce are atrocious parents. Yet, one thing is for certain; there is money associated with the name and the program, and people apparently really want to watch and partake in them. They want to smell and look like the Kardashians, they want to know about their love and sex lives, they want to see fat Rob going out in public. In short, people want to see the train wreck in progress, and the Kardashians are brilliantly cashing in all the way. Like it or not, Kim Kardashian has repeatedly been the highest paid reality star in the world and makes not just millions, but tens of millions of dollars for her exploits. Clearly, they’re doing something right – or so horribly wrong, people can’t help but bear witness.

Enter Strosek. Strosek has a reputation. That reputation is for creating…well, monstrosities out of seemingly innocent and well meaning Porsches. And yet, they’re not alone. There is Rinspeed, who similarly custom-destroy cars on a regular basis. Then there were other crazy tuners, such as Konig, who tried to turn everything into a Ferrari Testarossa…badly. But Strosek had a unique talent for really creating horribly ugly versions of desirable cars. Yet, they must be doing something right – first off, people actually went to Strosek and bought the cars. Yes, I know that’s amazing, but not only that – they paid Strosek a lot of money to build them. And here we are, talking about them over two decades on.…

1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau

Like the 930 before it, the 964 Turbo would end its run having used two different engines. The first, a refined version of the 930’s 3.3 liter turbocharged flat-six, was used out of necessity while Porsche completed development of a turbocharged version of the standard 3.6 liter engine that debuted with the 964 more generally. The second engine, then, was that 3.6 liter, which came on board for the ’93 and ’94 model years. After nearly 15 years of use, inspiring the dreams of many, and helping establish the 911 as one of the world’s preeminent sports coupes the turbocharged 3.3 was to be put to bed. But Porsche, a company which takes a particular delight in final year send-offs, wasn’t quite done with it yet. Enter the 1992 Porsche 911 3.3 Turbo S Leichtbau (Lightweight). As the name would suggest the 3.3 Turbo S was taken in a slightly different direction from other Turbos and provides a nice contrast with the later 3.6 Turbo S, the apex of 964 performance and luxury. This is more in the vein of the GT2: a lightened, track-oriented, rear-drive Turbo that would debut a few years later for the 993. The GT2 perhaps is a more extreme example, but as we can see here the 3.3 Turbo S was not intended to provide a high degree of refined cruising and this specific example even has a more extensive roll cage than other versions I’ve come across (as rare as that may be). All told 86 examples were produced making these one of the rarest 911s and another of the exquisite 964 variants.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau on Pannhorst Classics

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Rare cars in rare colors are a perennial favorite of ours here at GCFSB. These cars can cause a bit of consternation since, especially in the case of a rare Porsche, they frequently arrive having traveled very few miles, but ultimately the variety of options and interesting aesthetics win us over almost every time. We featured a rare 993 Turbo S a couple weeks back and here we have another of these beautiful and high-powered air-cooled Turbos. Here we have a very pretty Ocean Jade Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S with Grey leather interior that is believed to be the only such combination produced for the Turbo S and is set to be auctioned at The Amelia Island auctions on March 13. Like many such cars the mileage is low, in this case a little over 15K miles, and it is in absolutely stunning condition.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S at The Amelia Island Auction

1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S

I have spent much of this week focusing on the 993, a 911 that I don’t feature quite as often as many other models even though it has very wide appeal and in many cases significant collector interest. For the most part I have been trying to find examples that fit that collector objective most obviously and I will end the week with one of the more special variants produced: the 993 Turbo S. Like any 911 model with a ‘S’ appended to its name the 993 Turbo S was a more powerful version of the standard Turbo. However, unlike some other S variants it didn’t feature a more spartan interior, presumably because Porsche also was producing the 993 GT2 in order to satisfy those seeking both more power and also lighter weight. Other distinguishing features were the rear-fender vents (as we saw with the 964 3.6 Turbo S), redesigned rear wing, and yellow brake calipers in place of the Turbo’s standard red calipers. With only 182 produced for the 1997MY the Turbo S is definitely a rare car and the one we see here in the always captivating Speed Yellow with only 5,489 miles is likely one of the lowest mileage and, for me, best looking out there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S at Sloan Cars