A few weeks ago I looked at the Porsche GT3 Touring that was partially launched by Porsche to curb the crazy prices of the 911R on the secondary market. It helped a little, but what really happened is that GT3 Touring prices are still selling for over MSRP and even if they still were in production, your local Porsche dealer wouldn’t give you an allocation unless you were a preferred customer. What a ”preferred customer” is varies dealer by dealer, but basically you get into that club by buying a 918 when they were new or spending lots of money at a dealer by buying lot cars, spending on service, showing up at events and generally being a good customer without raising any stink. If all that failed and you still are looking to get your kicks from something just a little more special, Porsche came up with the 911 Carrera T.
The “T” designation was certainly nothing new, having been launched as a base 6-cylinder model back in the 1960s. The new Carrera T moved more upscale, slotting between the base Carerra and the Carerra S as the lightweight purist option and is basically a mash-up of parts from most of the 911 range. It uses the 370-hp twin-turbocharged flat-six from the base Carerra, adaptive suspension from the GTS, a lowered suspension, thinner glass for the rear window and rear side windows borrowed from the GT3/GT2RS, sport exhaust and the 7-speed manual with PDK as an option. You can load up this car with some other fancy options like those nice $5,200 sport seats, carbon ceramic brakes and rear-wheel steering, but most buyers are signing up for this car because of its slightly-less weight and reasonable price tag compared the rest of the 911 range. The Carrera T is as raw as you are going to get in a 991 without spending at least $175,000 for a GT3 and the good news is, you can actually buy one for sticker.
Porsche has never been one to shy away from offering a special edition of any of their cars, and that goes double for the 911. It seems as though virtually every few months some new, ultra-limited variant of the GT3, GT2 or Turbo comes splashing into the news feeds and headlines of every German car enthusiast. But occasionally, Porsche does have something important to commemorate, and when it came to 2014 they had a particularly impressive opportunity.
2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, a car so entrenched in the ethos of sporting automobiles that it’s the mechanical equivalent of the Queen of England. Sure, the 911 hasn’t always been the best, brightest or fastest – but, it’s seemingly always been there and often it has been the superlative. So to celebrate 50 years of production, Porsche introduced a very beautiful and pure example of the 911, devoid of the flash and spoilers that often catch headlines.
Subtle was the key to the 911 50th. It was rear-drive, yet had the wide body from the Carrera 4S. It was lowered 10mm like the GTS, and had different black/chrome accents both front and rear. It wore a variation on the theme of the 2010 Sport Classic’s Fuchs-inspired wheels, here with a machined with black accent finish. Inside a choice of special houndstooth or tartan on the seats, with original 901-inspired gauges and the choice between the excellent PDK dual-clutch 7-speed or a 7-speed manual. Porsche’s Powerkit bumped power up to 430 for good measure, and the outside was draped in Graphite Gray Metallic or the even more gorgeous Geyser Grey Metallic seen here. It made for one stunning package:
I love crazy interiors. Give me a crazy interior, even an ugly interior, over a sea of beige and tan any day. I’d rather look at some color than a vast display of nothingness and take the heat online as well as in real life. Today’s a car, a 1999 Porsche 911 up for bid in San Diego, has one of the craziest, and probably ugliest, interiors I’ve seen in some time. This first-year 996 has the standard Arctic Silver exterior but inside, Jade Green and faux Burl Wood as far as the eye can see. It’s garish, it’s gaudy, it doesn’t match anything and even worse, there is a strange-looking slot with a knob sticking straight up where the normally 6-speed manual transmission should be. Yes, that means this car is also an automatic. So this is a first-year automatic 996, with a 166,000 miles and an interior that even the Porsche factory was probably shaking their heads at. Is this possibly the least-desirable 911 … ever?
As they had with the 964 Turbo, Porsche continued the ultra-exclusive Turbo S package on the actually new 993 Turbo. With 430 horsepower pumped through two turbos to all four wheels, these were not as outrageous as the GT2, but plenty fast and luxurious to make up for it. Big yellow Brembos, a revised aerokit and flank vents that were a nod to the prior generation all helped to distinguish these cars. And with only 345 produced originally, from the get-go these were big dollar collectables. Of course, Porsche made a splash recently when it made a special brand-new one-off 993 Turbo S, ultimately selling it for a touch over $3,100,000.
So I’ll introduce this post by saying that this car is not one of the original Turbo S models. However, if anything, it’s a bit more interesting and even more exclusive. This car started life as a normal 993 Turbo, but was sent through the Porsche Special Wishes/Exclusive department (production coincided with rebranding of the Special Wishes Department to Porsche Exclusive) and given the bulk of the Turbo S details with a few GT2 bits thrown in for good measure. Further, it was then draped in a Paint To Sample color, Ocean Blue Metallic. The main difference between this car and a S is the rear spoiler and badges, which remained standard 993 Turbo items. In many ways, this car is the spiritual successor to the 911 Turbo S 3.6 ‘Package’ I just looked at, and it’s equally exclusive at a claimed one of two produced:
The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Otherwise known as the car that crushed every 911R speculators hopes and dreams. This was no mistake either. 911 boss August Achleitner came out and said that the GT3 Touring Package was created partially in response of secondary market 911R prices going insane the second they were announced. Of course there are some differences between the R and the Touring because Porsche didn’t want to anger all 991R owners to complete madness. The R has a magnesium roof along with carbon fiber fenders and hood to save weight while the Touring has the normal metal. The Touring also has a 9,000 rpm redline, slightly up from 8,600 in the R. The rest? Pretty much the same. Production numbers weren’t limited on the Touring and the number still isn’t final since they are just wrapping up final production on the GT and Speedster 991 chassis before going full swing in 992 production. What I would like to know is what has happened to the 911R market now that these cars are out in the wild and what about the market the GT3 Touring themselves? Well, lets just say people have entirely too much money.
As I discussed in the ’91 911 Turbo post, while Porsche claimed that a fair amount (85%!) of the “new” Turbo was “new”, in reality it was an evolution of the ’89 Turbo wrapped in a smoother package. However, as our reader Howard pointed out in the comments, one very important change outside of the look was the suspension, which moved away from
wooden carts the antiquated torsion bar setup to ‘modern’ coil springs. Coupled with the new limited-slip differential, anti-lock brakes and more sophisticated engine management (hence, smoother power delivery), the ’91 Turbo was a lot more livable in day-to-day situations.
Of course, that meant that it was possible to introduce even more power. Since the ’91 Turbo was a replacement for the defunct 965/969 V8 project, it made sense that Porsche hadn’t developed a new Turbo motor for the initial 964 Turbo launch. But for 1993, Porsche took the 964’s 3.6 liter and mated it with the turbocharger from the 3.3. The result was, of course, the Turbo 3.6. The extra displacement meant power was up 40 to 360 and torque 52 to 384 lb.ft, while both numbers were achieved lower in the rev range. To show off this new-found power, Porsche installed some fantastic Speedline-made Cup wheels and discrete “3.6” badging after the Turbo script. Despite the relative undercover looks, these are sought cars.
Today’s car is listed as one of the 288 Turbo 3.6s imported in ’94, and with a scant 6,350 miles on the odometer you know the price will be high. How high?
Welcome back to Wednesday Wheel Roundup. Today, I wanted to check out a few sets of wheels that differ quite a lot in size and taste. First up are a set of 19” Mercedes-Benz Monoblock wheels. They are a 19×8.5 and 19x.9.5 that let you run some really wide tires if that is the look you are going for. These are seen as the ultimate wheels for the W140 or the R129. Next are another set of 19″ wheels but this time from Brabus, followed by a hard-to-find set of BMW Style 38s. These 3-spokes are now back in style thanks to the resurgence of everything 80s and 90s now. Speaking of, Carter tracked down a few sets of DP Motorsports wheels following up on yesterday’s DP935. Carter also threw in one of his favorite 911 wheel designs – the Speedlines from the 993 Targa. The last two sets are great options for the cars who want to upgrade from their stock 14″ wheels into a 15” set, but keep the OEM look. A very clean set of ATS wheels that look identical to the factory 14” Bundts open up an entirely new world of tire choices and if you want to keep your hubcaps, a set of 15″ steelies with the ultra-rare 15″ hubcaps that were on the W100 600 and some ambulances in Europe.
As the Turbo era died off in the early 90s and nearly everyone abandoned forced induction thanks to newer, more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards, Porsche’s ‘Gott verdammt, ve continue to do things the same vill!‘ attitude extended to boost. Instead of backing away from their somewhat flawed design, Porsche doubled down and launched a ‘brand new’ Turbo model of the 911 for 1991. I say ‘brand new’ because while the body looked modern and the interior updated, in reality this was the same old-school Porsche 911 Turbo underneath. It was still rear-drive only, still a single turbocharger with a ton of lag, and still capable of ripping your face off. Still displacing 3.3 liters, revisions to the intake, exhaust and ECU left the flat-6 churning 315 horsepower and 333 lb.ft of torque, the 964-era Turbo hit 60 in under 5 seconds if you threw caution to the wind and was within a breath of 170 flat-out. Outside, the 964’s smooth bumper covers replaced the impact-era units and 17″ Cup 1 wheels filled the flares, but squint and not much looked different from 15 years prior. Yet sure enough, newfangled technologies had crept in: anti-lock brakes, airbags, power steering *gasp!* In many ways, though modern and certainly capable of hanging with the best cars of the day if not exceeding their performance, they felt a bit like a dinosaur unabashedly sticking its middle claw up towards progress and the future. It’s that attitude, reputation and look that today continues to drive the desirability of this model in the used market:
This will be my last regular post here at GCFSB so I wanted to go out with a personal favorite: a 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport. I won’t say that the 3.2 Carrera CS is the best 911 ever made, but for reasons of history and its particular quality it is my favorite. I grew up in the ’80s so the 3.2 Carrera and 911SC always have held a special place in my heart. As the classic 911 design would give way to the more modern 964 the Carrera CS served as a great way to send off these fantastic machines, which had played such an important role in solidifying the 911’s place at the top of the Porsche lineup.
The Club Sport followed typical protocol for producing a performance-oriented variant: the engine was blueprinted and rev limit raised, the gearbox was modified to provide closer ratios, the suspension was retuned for a more track focus, and unnecessary weight was removed. The CS wasn’t as stripped out as a 964 Leichtbau, but most creature comforts were gone and total weight savings was around 50 kilograms. Only 340 were made.
I have featured the Club Sport a few times over the years, ranging from ultra-rare original examples to modified track cars and in each case they were a treat to behold. I figured we could look at one final example, and it just might be my favorite of those I have come across.
I post this mainly out of curiosity because that’s pretty much what this 911 is: a curiosity. This is a 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. It’s located in California, has an Arctic Silver Metallic exterior over a Sand Beige interior and has 77,243 miles on it. Nice car!
The current owner decided he wanted a little more out of his Cabriolet and has attempted in some regard to replicate both the appearance and performance of the 911 GT3. As I’m sure you are aware the GT3 does not exist as a Cabriolet. I don’t imagine it ever will, nor do I imagine there is much desire for such a machine. But car enthusiasts being what they are, they tend to crave more performance even when the performance already is pretty good or even when they’ve chosen the model with somewhat compromised performance because the roof has been cut off. And I guess that’s how we got to where this 911 is now.
I will say it does look great. The GT3 front always has looked better than that of the standard 911 and here juxtaposed with the Cabriolet rear it’s a pretty attractive design. It’s party in the front, business in the back. It’s a reverse mullet. Personally I’d actually be satisfied with the alterations to its appearance, but this owner didn’t want to stop there and put in a bit of effort to improve its overall performance. I doubt it’s up to GT3 levels, especially given that I’m sure this Cabriolet still weighs a good bit more than a GT3 (according to Excellence a Carrera S Cabriolet weighs around 250 lbs more than a GT3), but performance should be elevated nonetheless. As I said, it’s kind of a curiosity. I don’t know that I’d ever think to do this to a 911 Cabriolet, but it’s not a bad idea.