1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2

The first time I ever saw a 964 Carrera was in 1992 when my mom took me to see Beethoven at our local two screen. Out of all the images that were burned into my brain from that movie, the bad guy’s black Carrera 2 is the one that I have always vividly remembered. It’s kind of weird that all these years later whenever I see a 964 I think of that movie when there are so many other things to associate the car with both in the racing world and in pop culture. The 964 should really be the most iconic 911 as it bridged the gap between the purist car that the 911 was and the consumer friendly machine it has become. However I think these cars remain under appreciated by most folks, dismissed as being the first step towards the softening of the 911. I’d be quick to point out to these naysayers that the 964 was in fact quite hardcore in its performance numbers despite the addition of creature comforts. This was truly the beginning of the journey towards the “have your cake and eat it too” Porsche we know and love today.

The 964 saw an increase in power, better ride and handling, improved safety features, more effective climate control system and an all wheel drive variant. I’m willing to bet that when it debuted many Porsche enthusiasts made a big fuss about the car going against everything Porsche stands for, much like we do today about, well just about anything Porsche does. With nearly 25 years of hindsight I think that even the grouchiest Luftgekuhlt lovers would have to admit, the 964 generation deserves a whole lot of respect. Take a good look at this example right here and I think you’ll agree that a Carrera 2 might just be the perfect classic 911.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche Carrera 2 Coupe

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1990 Audi V8 quattro

I have a fun ongoing exchange with our reader John; we send each other pretty much every V8 quattro that comes to the market in the U.S., usually accompanied by some brutally honest and laughable one-liner. Considering the number of V8 quattros imported – less than 4000 – and that they were both expensive and a DTM star, they would have been coveted like the rest of the Audi lineup. Yet, many have fallen into extreme disrepair or neglect, leaving precious few left running today and making good ones a rare find. For example, recently John sent me a pretty worn Pearlesant White ’93 model with the line: ” ‘cheap’ and haven’t seen it before, but that’s about it”. I responded that I’d done the “cheap” V8 route before, and that were I to do it again I would have been better off spending three times as much to get a maintained example. The V8 is truly a car that could bankrupt you trying to restore a poor one to original condition. However, if you find a reasonable example that’s well priced, is it a better proposition?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi V8 quattro on eBay

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1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed

Up through 1995, Audi really liked to do things differently. Since then, they have perhaps become a bit more mainstream – but there are plenty of examples of their unconventional engineering before then. It was even a bit of a joke, with some enthusiasts lovingly (or not so much) using the Audi name for the acronym “Always Unusual Designs Incorporated”. One of my favorite unusual Audi stories, though, must by the development of the Audi V8 race car. Audi looked at what Mercedes-Benz and BMW did in the DTM and said “Sure, we can do that. But, we’ll use our full sized luxury-oriented car”. Then, to add insult to injury, they left the wood trim in the race cars as a reminder that this was their top-tier car. And, of course, you’d assume it would lose to the self-proclaimed most successful race car ever made, the E30 M3. But, it didn’t. It won the championship in both 1990 and 1991. Ever since then, I’ve had a bit of a love affair with the Audi V8 quattro, if for no other reason than it was not the normal choice. Rare to see even when new and quite expensive, nearly all of the 3,868 imported were automatics – a new and important development for bringing Audi to a larger market. But for 72 of those cars, the experience was quite different:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday Super Trio: Three Generations of Supercharged 911s

Oh, how I do love the comparos! Today I’ve worked up a third tuner comparison, because frankly this interesting trio was just a bit too good to pass up – as were the other BMWs! But unlike the factory sourced Dinan and Alpina modded cars from earlier, this comparison focuses on some unusual Porsches. Supercharging isn’t the typical choice for the flat-6, but the bolt-on horsepower results are undeniable, bringing the normal flat-6 quickly up to Turbo levels of power. I have three generations compiled here, all popular in their own right but for different reasons. Which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 on eBay

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10K Friday Family Truckster Edition

I got to laughing the other day during a National Lampoon marathon on television when the memorable “Family Truckster” came onto the screen. The inclusion of that heavily ornamented and modified car in the movie was truly a stroke of genius, but once again a sad reminder that many of the wagons that previously were available to us are gone, replaced by crossovers, “GT”s, or SUV/SAV vehicles. Of course, because of this you don’t have to go back very far in time to find great deals on the last generation of premium 5-doors. Today, with that in mind, I’ve rounded up a set of all-wheel drive sporty wagons to consider – which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate 4Matic on eBay

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10K Friday: A44ordable Audis – 5000CS quattro Avant v. 5000S quattro v. V8 quattro v. 100 quattro

The Type 44 Audi was an impressive advance for German automobiles, a huge leap forward for Audi in a new marketplace – but also nearly the cause of its demise. It was an aerodynamic, futuristic sedan when both BMW and Mercedes-Benz seemed to be producing cars stuck in the 1970s. It was the blueprint for most modern luxury sedans from not only German companies, but many of the advances were copied by the Japanese, Italians and Americans for their large sedans. Yet, by 1990 Audi nearly pulled out of the American market thanks to some creative journalism from 60 Minutes, who in their effort to prove Audi was at fault for some unintended acceleration cases nearly killed off the company entirely. In part as a result of their efforts, it’s become quite rare to find clean examples of them today – but it’s also because they were such good, long-lived and solidly built machines that few have lower miles today. While I recent featured a few 20V turbocharged examples in the 20V Turbo comparison, today we’ll look at a few of the lesser appreciated examples, starting with a clean 5000CS quattro Avant in Canada:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 5000CS Quattro Avant on Hemmings

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Fan Favorites: 1990 Audi Coupe, 1991 Audi V8 3.6 quattro 5-speed and 1995 Audi S6 Avant

Audi fans are an interesting bunch. To be fair, I think that most devoted followers of a specific brand in any circumstance are an interesting bunch, but knowing the Audi folks a bit I’m closer to the understanding. What I find interesting is that there’s such a schism between the model fans and who they attract. Each has a devoted following, and each of those groups is a microcosm in and of itself. Take my model group, for example – the Type 85. In that model group, there are the three major notables: the 4000 quattro, the Coupe GT, and of course the Quattro. Then within each of those subsets, there are further fan specializations; 84 4000S quattro versus the 85-87; early GT versus 85-87 and then the “87.5” crew; and of course each one of the model years of the Quattro has its followers. As with the GT, Audi fans have come to naming half model years to differentiate the upgrades; 87.5 GTs received a revised engine and brakes along with some other minor details, but then there are “95.5” S6s and “2001.5” S4s; heck, there are even “2005.5” S4s. Fans become semi-obsessed with differentiating each of the subset models and what makes them special. Today, though, seeing any of these cars in great shape is special to me – and these three each have their special fan base. Thanks to our reader John, here’s a roundup of three fan favorites that are sure to make some smile:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on craigslist

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Hidden Pearls Double Take: 1991 Audi V8 3.6 quattro 5-speed and 1994 V8 4.2 quattro

Like the closest counterparts, the BMW M3/M5 and the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 16v/500E, the Audi V8 quattro has long enjoyed a cult following. Unlike those other cars, though, finding a decent V8 quattro these days is quite tough. First, not many were imported – a few thousand may sound like a lot, but it’s less than the total number of E30 M3s imported, for example, by a long shot. By the time they got to their last production year, only a few hundred of the super-sedans were imported. Second, because they’re complicated, older cars that lost a lot of their value in the 1990s, many fell into states of disrepair. Over its short life, the Audi V8 underwent numerous changes; from the introductory options of automatic or manual, the 3.6 liter quad-cam all-aluminum V8 pumped a respectable 240 horsepower but by the end of the run the automatic-only 4.2 liter displacement bump resulted in nearly 280 horsepower. Sure, that’s small potatoes today, but outside of the limited Sport Quattro, these were the most powerful production Audis made before 1995. Today we’ll take a look at two of the more desirable models for different reasons – a 3.6 5-speed and a late 4.2 model, both Pearlesant White with Grey Connolly leather

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 3.6 quattro 5-speed on Craigslist

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1992 Audi V8 quattro 6-Speed

Fans of the Audi V8, rejoice! I know there are a few more than just me out there and we always love seeing a clean example of one of the best bits of Audi engineering in history. Sure, there are more significant Audi models, but the V8 certainly deserves to be amongst the top 5. Many view it as an overly complicated, underpowered car – and indeed, in 3.6 automatic form as it was originally received in the U.S., the V8 felt a bit flat. But let’s not forget that Audi reinvigorated what was already an aging chassis to make it feel remarkably fresh. They brought for the first time an automatic gearbox to all-wheel drive, opening an entirely new market share for Audi and making a real contender in the large executive market. But for motorsport fans, the real meat of the Audi V8 meal was the sporting potential of the manual models. It’s often overlooked, but the V8 was a remarkable performer, especially in manual 4.2 version. Today’s example doesn’t have that magical setup, but even in less powerful 3.6 form the car was plenty potent when tied to a 6-speed manual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi V8 quattro 6-speed on mobile.de

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Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 “RS”

So you want a classic 1960s/1970s Porsche 911. Well, it’s not a great time to jump on the bandwagon. We’ve watched prices on these early 911s jump to unprecedented levels – values on models such as the 1973 Carrera RS have tripled in the past year, where now Hagerty Insurance values a top condition example at $800,000. So, sufficed to say you won’t be getting one anytime soon; and even if you could afford it, then what? Would you feel comfortable taking your million dollar Porsche for a stroll with all those Camry “drivers” more intent on the latest recipe on NPR than signaling to change the three lanes over the to exit they just missed? Don’t worry, they’ll back up to take it. So, what’s an enthusiast to do? Well, many have been inspired by the model of Singer; backdating modern cars to look like older and more valuable examples. As a side bonus, you get improved performance and luxuries that the early cars just didn’t have – items that honestly make the drive more enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I saw a Singer-inspired car at Lime Rock Park that just looked awesome – an updated RS that was dependable and, more importantly, a car that could be driven and enjoyed on a reasonable budget. Today, there’s a similar example for sale on Ebay:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 “RS” on eBay

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