Whenever I see very rare cars come up for sale more frequently I naturally become curious about what’s going on with the market. I mentioned a while back that I’ve felt like I’m seeing more M491 Turbo-look Carreras coming up for sale than in the past. For many of those cars it isn’t necessarily too surprising since the early years of the package’s availability saw quite a few of them produced. But the later G50-equipped examples are another matter. Even more rare are the final-year examples and it is those that I’m suddenly seeing for sale more frequently. Why? I don’t know.
Prior to this year I had seen only a couple for sale with the coupes almost impossible the find. Those coupes remain elusive, but following on the heels of the M491 Carrera Cabriolet I posted two weeks ago here we have another. This time the exterior is Grand Prix White rather than Black and there is added rarity as it was one of the even fewer that selected the M470 spoiler delete option.
This is a car I feel I have to bring more attention, but I’ll admit I find the ad quite strange. Not strange in the sense that I think something fishy is going on, but in the sense that this isn’t really the best way to get maximum dollar for your car. It should sell fast though and maybe that’s the point.
This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with the M491 Turbo-look package. If you’ve been following along lately you’ll know that these are rare. Very rare. Once the 930 returned to the U.S. market in 1986 sales of the Turbo-look package went down rather quickly. That makes decent sense. We also must add to this that Porsche debuted its new G50 5-speed transmission for the 911 in 1987, thus making the last three model years of the 3.2 Carrera a little more special on today’s markets. By the time we get to the final model year in 1989 the number of M491-equipped 911s had become quite low. Granted, of the three available models, the Cabriolet was produced in the greatest numbers so this one isn’t as rare as these 911s get. Nonetheless, there only were 24 of them. Oh and it’s up for auction without reserve. Rare indeed.
It feels like it’s been a while since I posted a 911 Speedster for sale and this one seems interesting enough to bring to everyone’s attention. At least I think it’s an interesting one. The mileage is very low, but that really isn’t a peculiar thing among Speedsters. It seems like we’re more likely to come across an example like this with a mere 3,514 miles on it than one which actually has been driven. What I am more interested in here is the color. It’s Dark Blue, which is one of the more rare colors we’ve seen. The only problem is that it’s near impossible to tell if that’s actually its color. I’m pretty sure it is. The pictures taken close up do look somewhat blue. Very dark blue. So dark that in most of the pictures it looks black!
Red, white, and black were the dominant colors for the 911 Speedster so I’m always interested in those that are in most any other color. This one fits that bill even if the difference is extremely subtle.
There are a couple things about this ad that make me chuckle, but the overall impression of this 1989 Porsche 930 Slantnose Cabriolet remains the same: it looks very good. With fewer than 6K miles on it this is one of the lowest (perhaps the lowest) mileage 930s I’ve seen and its condition looks the part. As the seller makes clear, these are very rare in general among all 930s, but that this is an ’89 makes it just that much more special. This is the only year you could get a 930 with the 5-speed manual transmission and the premium buyers have been willing to pay for that one-year-only transmission has been significant for quite a while. I don’t know if buyers will pay the steep premium this seller is seeking – this 930 has been up for sale for a few months now – but even if the price comes down some, I do not expect it to come down a lot. If you want a collector time capsule of one of these very unique Porsches, then this one requires a look.
It’s August and that means it’s car auction time. Much of the car-collecting world will be out in California this weekend either at Monterey or Pebble Beach – maybe even Carmel. A lot of cars will change hands and some of those will help set the market over the next six months. I always like to highlight a few that seem particularly fun.
As usual, there are a lot of Porsches on auction, though truthfully there is less this year that really grabbed my attention than in years past. But there is always good stuff even if there are fewer of them. For instance, if you’re a very esoteric Porsche fan, Gooding & Company will be auctioning this 1 of 1 1966 Porsche 911 Spyder. This post will not be about that car, in part because I don’t even know where to begin with that car, and, in fact, this post will be slightly tangential to Porsche. We’re going to look at RUF because there are a few very cool RUFs being auctioned. These are the real deal; these aren’t conversions carried about by shops here in the US nor even are they conversions carried out in Pfaffenhausen at the RUF factory. All three of these have a RUF VIN. They are all insanely rare and like all RUFs insanely fast and focused.
We’ve seen a lot of RUF 911s come up for sale over the years, but the three we have here are some of the best examples available. They all come from the 911’s air-cooled days and are a mix of almost unknown and iconic. Let’s begin with the icon: a 1989 RUF CTR, the model famously tested as the ‘Yellowbird’ and which put the rest of the tuning world on notice:
The Jetta Diesel wasn’t a big seller in the U.S. early on as oil-burners fell out of favor in the mid-80s. Up through 1987, you had your choice of the 1.6 liter diesels with or without turbochargers, producing 68 and 52 horsepower, respectively. For 1988, both disappeared, yet oddly there was a run of ’89-’90 Jettas that reintroduced the 1.6 ME diesel prior to the launch of the new EcoDiesel model. While the diesel had been able to be selected in higher “GL” trim level earlier, the ’89-’90s were base model only and are fairly rare to find. But today a nice ’89 example has popped up for sale:
Although the United States is one of the most important market for its sales, the 944S2 is a case where a majority of the cars sold were “Rest of World” examples. Total S2 production was 19,945 units, and of those about 6,036 came to North America. When you compare that to the 944 Turbo, 25,107 were built with 14,235 sold in the United States alone. Typically, the European versions of the 80s cars we look at had more power, but that was not the case for the S2. The M44.41 was a world engine, meaning it was only available with catalyst and rated at 207 horsepower (211 according to Porsche, although that’s the motor’s PS rating rather than HP). So what did a “ROW” 944S2 get you? Well, the shorter and lighter rear bumper treatment for one, side indicators just ahead of the rub strips, and in front you got integrated dual fog lights/driving lights rather than the fog/dummy setup on U.S. cars. In the case of this particular ’89, you also got the option for a really neat Studio cloth interior:
There is something wonderful about the excesses of certain ’80s automobiles. I assume at the time this was all taken quite seriously, but looking back now it is always good for a laugh. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like these cars. In fact, I like them quite a lot, but driving a convertible with a massive spoiler supporting its huge rear surely can’t elicit feelings of seriousness. It’s not as head-turning as a Slantnose, but still these 930s are ridiculous in the best possible ways. The only thing that can make these better is when its excesseses are turned up even more. If you’re going to punt subtlety, then why not go all the way?
This Porsche does just that. Here we have a Slate Grey Metallic 1989 Porsche 930 Cabriolet, located in San Diego, with a special order Lobster Red interior and a whole host of additions by the tuning mavens at RUF. The RUF bits are mostly of the cosmetic variety so there isn’t much in the way of additional performance to be had here, but the 930 does just fine as standard and those cosmetic enhancements help this 930 stand apart a little more. As if it needed much help. I love it!
Have you been hoping to get your hands on a 3.2 Carrera Club Sport but found the very high prices a bit out of reach? Then this might be an option for you. To be clear, this isn’t a bargain basement Club Sport; it’s not something that an ambitious owner put together himself to mimic those great cars. The asking price still is high, it’s just not Club Sport high, which may position it in a spot that a few more prospective buyers have a shot at it. Pricing aside, it seems like a very interesting 911 and one that should be a hoot to drive.
While not necessarily the best representation of pricing, the last Club Sport I featured was priced at $365K. It was the only Irish Green example produced for the U.S. market and was very low mileage. And lest we think that price simply was the result of an overly optimistic seller, that Irish Green example had previously sold for $330K. We have even seen a regular Black Club Sport with a price well above $200K. As I said, the Carrera Club Sport can be prohibitively expensive. With a price tag just below $110K this Diamond Blue Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, imported from Japan, doesn’t have quite the Club Sport price, but it does have a bit of a Club Sport nature to it. Is that enough to warrant this six-figure cost? Let’s take a look:
Update 7/3/18: After not selling for the nearly $10,000 asking price last week, the seller has dropped the ask to a much more reasonable $5,995 today.
Generally, when one goes through the trouble of importing a car, that car is something really special; a car which otherwise didn’t come here. But occasionally a strange one sneaks through and leaves me scratching my head. Case in point? Today’s 1989 GTI.
Surely, if you want a Mk.2 GTI you’re not without options. Granted, they’re harder to find than other 80s performance icons – especially in original configuration – but then I’ve just covered a string of affordable examples with a ’85, a ’86, and a ’89 16V all quite reasonably priced well below $5,000. Since importation fees alone can eat up most of the sale price of those examples, you’d have to want to bring in a Mk.2 that wasn’t seen here – a Rallye, G60, Limited or Country, for example.
So what have we here? A standard 1.8 GTI, albeit with a few small twists: