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.
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?
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.
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.…
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.
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.
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.
The Holy Grail. Indiana Jones found it and lost it; Arthur and his knights were thwarted by the French and arrested by British police. It is the thing we all search for, but is a constantly shifting and elusive form. For automotive enthusiasts there are numerous possibilities, but for fans of the 911 Turbo this is the model about which most will speak. The 964 Turbo could never be pinned down. Because a turbocharged version of the M64 initially wasn’t ready the earliest cars used the 3.3 liter flat-six from the 930. Then in 1992, as a final send-off for that 3.3 liter engine, a Turbo S was produced prior to the introduction of the proper 3.6 liter Turbo. But even this would not be the last model, because in 1994 Porsche took all of the remaining 964 Turbo chassis, some 93 cars, and created the 3.6 liter Turbo S. Most of those were also optioned as a Flatnose, but there were two variants that remain some of the rarest 911 models ever produced. The Japanese market received 10 examples, all painted Polar Silver Metallic, fitted with the 935-derived Slantnose, made popular on the 930, rather than the 968-derived Flatnose of the Turbo S cars. And then there is the model we see here: only offered in the US market there were 17 ‘Package’ cars, which had all of the standard Turbo S options EXCEPT the Flatnose. The front end was mostly akin to any other 964 Turbo. 17 were produced, 10 in Black, 2 with Black over Cashmere leather, 1 of those was an exhibition vehicle. All of which leaves this car as a 1 of 1.
It’s been a little while since I featured a 996TT so now seems as good a time as ever to see how the market stands for these performance bargains. The example featured here is an Arctic Silver 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S, located in California, with 16,483 miles on it. 2005 was both the last year of the 996 and also the first year of the 997. Because the 997 Turbo would not be released immediately Porsche continued production of the 996 Turbo and for its final year of 996 production introduced the Turbo S. From a power standpoint the Turbo S essentially was the previously offered 996 Turbo plus the X50 power package. Add ceramic brakes and interior upgrades and you have the Turbo S. While Silver will never be my favorite color it has become pretty desirable among Porsche fans over the last decade and at the very least should allow you to cruise without attracting too much attention.
Last week, we reviewed a beautiful white 1998 993 Twin Turbo converted to Ruf Turbo R specifications. They say lightning never strikes twice, but Ruf has never been one to listen to convention or limitations. Surely the most elite of the German tuners, Ruf automobiles demand a premium over their already expensive Porsche cousins. However, there is a difference in the market between a car with an original Ruf build certificate and one that has been converted by the owner. This example looks cracking in silver, and like the white car is not an original Ruf car but a converted example.
Model: 911 Turbo (993)
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6 Twin Turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 75,704 miles
Price: $74,888 Buy it Now
1998 Porsche 993 Twin Turbo Ruf, rare Ruf conversion with rear-wheel drive. Twin-turbo 3.6 motor, 6-speed manual transmission. Absolutely stunning! Over $60,000 invested, including –
Fresh 3.6 twin turbo w performance tuning
Rear-wheel drive conversion
Ruf front & rear bumpers (originals, not replicas)
Ruf 19″ wheels in Hypersilver
Ruf sport leather steering wheel (new)
Ruf gear shift (new)
Ruf floor mats
Turbo “S” exhaust tips
Turbo “S” rear wing
Sports hardback seats
Billstein PSS9 adjustable coilover suspension
Strut tower brace in carbon fiber
Upgraded sound system
We have receipts for the engine work done (over $30,000)
Recent PPI done last month by Powertech in NJ (see attached report)
Perfect compression and no leaks
Excellent concours condition
All books and manuals
Exterior is free of any scratches or rock chips
Runs and drives great
Driver seat has wear as expected (see pics)
Everything works as expected
Cold air conditioning
Wheels are free of any curbing
Tires have over 50% tread
About us –
We specialize in pre-loved air-cooled Porsches.