I wrote the other day about the approaching warmer weather and the joy of top down driving. That was as an introduction to a Cabriolet but I know not everyone is interested in the full top-down experience. Especially the associated weight gains or lack of rigidity that goes along with it. Or perhaps you’re more interested in an air-cooled 911 regardless of the model. In either case, this 911 may suit your needs a little better: a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in California, with only 26,900 miles on it.
Of course, from a performance standpoint this Carrera Targa isn’t going to match a 996 Turbo Cabriolet. And the price may end up more or less the same so performance per dollar certainly is way down. But a classic like this isn’t just about the performance. It’s about feel and connectedness and the sense that you, the driver, ultimately are in command. For some that is enough to turn them away from any water-cooled 911 and toward these classics. For others the allure of 415 hp simply cannot be passed up. Options are good!
I will admit here I am really stretching the boundaries of what makes sense for a double take. I had already come across this Nutmeg Brown Metallic 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and wanted to write it up because of its fairly rare and unusual exterior color. I like darker metallic browns a lot and we almost never see them outside of a few years in the 70s and 80s. I’ll admit that brown isn’t the most appealing car color for many, but in the right circumstances it can work quite well.
Then I came across a much newer 911 in a very similar color and thought, why not? So if you are a fan of these dark brown exteriors this might give you a sense of your options and, what for me is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this, the relative cost and performance that’s available to you. Let’s look at the Nutmeg Brown Carrera first:
I have featured this car previously, but some cars are worth revisiting should they come up for sale again. This is truly one of those special cars. This is an Irish Green 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport. Naturally, the Club Sport is a lightened factory Carrera with upgraded suspension and a modest boost in power. Weight savings came about through the typical means: remove basically all of the creature comforts along with the rear seats. Voila, 154 pounds lost! They also are very rare with only 340 produced worldwide from 1987-1989.
Of those 340, a mere 28 Club Sports came to the US market and this is the only example in Irish Green. (I’m not sure if it’s the only example worldwide in Irish Green. I suppose that depends on how we read that statement.) It has traveled a mere 9,311 miles during its 29 years of existence and I’m guessing none of those have been track miles. It looks absolutely phenomenal and is said to be entirely original. If you missed your chance at this very rare 911 last time, then here you have another shot at it.
Turbo-look Carreras are becoming a regular occurrence around here. That’s good! These are some of our favorite of the classic 911s for their combination of 930 appearance, suspension, and braking, but in a little more refined and less high strung a package. They’re also pretty rare. We like rare.
We especially like rare 911s when they are looking their best and have spent a decent bit of time being driven by the owners who derive so much joy from them. Here all of these facets come together in this Venetian Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with Champagne interior. As I’ve noted with previous M491 Carrera posts, the later ’87-’89 model years represent a special subset of these cars given that they came with the G50 5-speed transmission and that there are fewer of them since the 930 was now back and available for the US market. For some wide-body top-down cruising, this 911 should provide just the thing you’re seeking.
Just beautiful. I can think of no other appropriate way to describe this Iris Blue Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t entirely original, nor is it an ultra-low-mileage garage queen. It’s just beautiful.
The version of Iris Blue Porsche gave us in the ’80s – note that it did change dramatically when the color came back in the ’90s – is one of those shades of blue that we’ve seen variants of throughout the 911’s history and it always captivates. It exists on the lighter side of the spectrum, which differentiates it from other great metallic blues like Gemini Blue and Minerva Blue, but it makes no sacrifices to its appearance. For those who are a fan of that lighter shade it makes for a very nice option. On a classic 911 it’s a crowd pleaser.
If you find yourself desiring a classic 911 from the ’80s you’re immediately presented with a few decisions. The first of which, while seemingly the most straightforward, can actually present the biggest quandary: which model do you get, the 911SC or the 3.2 Carrera? Both are great and their similarities in design and performance are such that either model should fulfill your desires. But let’s say you’re set on the 3.2 Carrera. You want the improved performance and slightly more refined feel. You still have one more decision to make: would you rather find one of the earlier models (1984-1986) utilizing the long-standing 915 5-speed transmission or a later model (1987-1989) with the newer G50 5-speed transmission? It seems a minor detail, but the transmissions do make a difference. Most drivers find the G50 to be the nicer shifting of the two and it is a more stout transmission to begin with, a point that certainly could make a difference 30 years from new. However, the G50 also is heavier and typically the prices for the later Carreras, in part because of that transmission, tend to be higher. If you’re thinking strictly about adding one to a collection the G50 probably is the one to get. For a driver? It’s not so straightforward.
Generally speaking, unless you’re very patient most of these decisions will be made for you since you’re typically best off by buying the best available option from these years. A well sorted 911SC is likely to bring you more joy and fewer headaches than a 3.2 Carrera with some issues. Sometimes, however, the options are such that you really can have your choice and, in fact, in our case here your choice really is distilled down almost completely to the different transmissions.
Here we have two Grand Prix White 3.2 Carrera Targas with pretty similar mileage, pretty similar asking prices, and seemingly very similar condition. Both also are located in the same general region of the country. The only real differences are the interior color and the model year. Let’s proceed in chronological order and begin with this 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in Miami, with Burgundy interior and 103,000 miles on it.
After seemingly going a while without seeing one it now appears Turbolook 911s are all coming out of the woodwork. I’ve posted a couple that I particularly liked, one of which specifically because it was a coupe as those still aren’t coming around very often. It is still the case that most of those we see are the earlier, and slightly less desirable, models with the 915 5-speed transmission. There are fewer of the later G50 transmission models with the ’89MY naturally leading the way in rarity.
But here we have one of those later models. It’s not a Coupe, but still has plenty of appeal in its own right: a paint-to-sample Marine Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with the M491 package and 81,713 miles on it.
We sometimes can be a bit hard on cars with very low mileage. Why buy any car – especially a performance car – to park it in a garage and treat it like a museum piece? Or some ornamental furniture? It seems wasteful. This 911 has suffered from no such stagnation. It has almost 250K miles on it. While that’s still not a ton of miles per year, it is a good bit more than most 911s we see. It’s been enjoyed. It has stories; drives bringing its owners excitement, and perhaps even some heartache whenever it was sold. It’s also damn good looking and sitting mostly in its original specification of Granite Green Metallic over a Grey-Green interior. All of this beauty is on auction with no reserve. We really can’t ask for too much more with any 911.
If you’ve been searching for a Turbolook (M491) Carrera Coupe, then take note. These have begun to come around for sale so rarely that we cannot pass them by regardless of condition. Thankfully this one appears to be in nice shape. This isn’t one of the extremely rare G50-equipped Coupes, but even the earlier models are uncommon enough and desirable enough that I’d expect a lot of interest.
For those unfamiliar, the M491 package gave buyers the option of fitting the 930 rear, suspension, braking, and front and rear spoilers to their standard 3.2 Carrera. Basically you got a 911 Turbo minus the engine. Hence the Turbolook moniker. During its early years on offer the 930 wasn’t available in the US market so the M491 was the closest you could get. Better handling, improved braking, and arguably better looks, but with a less high strung engine. You can see why these have remained very desirable still today.
I suppose it’s a testament to how much I like the classic 911 that I can spend nearly as much time looking over the details of a 911 like this one as I do with the various exotic, rare, and/or high performance 911s I also feature. As I’ve said before those high-dollar 911s are great and they’re great to look at and ponder, but when it really comes down to a 911 I might enjoy spending a lot of time with I invariably come back to the ’80s.
Whether you prefer the 911SC or the 3.2 Carrera largely is a matter of preference and in many cases can be a matter of availability. The two models share enough useful characteristics that a good one from either model is better than one that’s a little lackluster. There are certainly differences and for those who might want more certainty about its value the later G50-equipped models do make a little more sense. Otherwise, find the one you like! Perhaps this one: a Guards Red 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in Illinois, with Black interior and 47,903 miles on it.