In April, 2017, a very rusty, non-running and incomplete 1962 VW Bus appeared on eBay and caused quite a stir. When the bidding ended, the sale number was $20,100 – all for a chassis number. Why so expensive? Because it was a ‘Samba’, in this case a 23 Window version. If the Golf Limited is the most highly prized of modern VWs, the 23 Window shares nearly universal appeal and, consequently, value. You see, unlike the super Golf, the Sambas most definitely aren’t unknown to the rest of the world, and for the last few years they’ve been trading for numbers that make their air-cooled brethren from Stuttgart jealous. They’re so unobtainable, in fact, that I generally ignore them. But when I saw today’s pristine example come across my search criteria, I had to take a closer look because of the outrageous asking price:
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.
A Tahoe Blue Metallic 964 is a color I used to never see come up for sale and then suddenly it seemed common. Of course, by common I mean that I have come across and posted three different examples over the past 14 months so they aren’t really that common, but given that none seemed to exist before that you get the idea. Of the three I have posted two have been Turbos and one was a C4 Cabriolet. Were I looking for a 964 those really aren’t the models I’d be looking for. What I’d be looking for is the one we see here: a Carrera 2 Coupe. So for me that makes this one the best of the bunch.
When speaking of regular 911s, i.e. not the various limited-production variants Porsche has released, the Targa always has been my favorite model and among the Targas the 964 is the one I like best. With the Targa, I like the slightly different profile the roll hoop provides and really like the versatility of the Targa top. The 964 gives us a little more modern performance and refinement relative to the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera that preceded it and it looks just a little bit better. The problem is we very rarely see them. There aren’t a ton of 964 Targas out there and many of those I do come across really don’t seem to be in great condition. Alas.
This one appears to be an exception: a Grand Prix White 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa with what the seller has listed as a Cream leather interior (perhaps Linen?) and 130,935 miles on it. We aren’t provided any details, but it looks in really nice condition given the mileage. It’s pretty pricey. That isn’t surprising with 964 Targas, especially the Carrera 2, but this one is pushing things a little bit. Nonetheless it’s still great to take a look at one of these.
Slate Grey, the preferred color of the famous Steve McQueen. This isn’t one of McQueen’s cars, but those who restored it seem to have had McQueen in mind when choosing how to proceed with their work. This is a 1973 Porsche 911E Targa painted in that wonderful Slate Grey, located in New York, with Tan interior showing a nice set of sport seats and a reported 54,100 miles on it. It has been fully restored and as it sits now looks quite good!
As the seller has noted, the 911E was positioned in between the entry-level 911T and the sportier 911S. It utilized a similar mechanically fuel-injected engine as the 911S, though with fewer horses (160 hp). Hydro-pneumatic struts replaced the torsion bars up front providing a smoother ride than the standard suspension available on the T. The E thus served as the luxury version relative to the more sporty 911S. Values, of course, tend to follow suit with the E slotting in between the other two models. However, the gap from the E to the S is far more significant than between the T and E.
Update 1/7/19: This Silver Anniversary 911 Coupe has dropped from $64,500 ask in 2018 to $59,500 today.
It feels like it’s been a good while since I’ve come across a nice one of these. This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Silver Anniversary Edition, which Porsche released as part of the sendoff to the 3.2 Carrera and as a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of 911 production. They were fairly limited production with only 500 total produced (300 Coupes and 200 Cabriolets). There was a time when I’d see these for sale somewhat frequently, but those days are long gone. This particular one looks exceptional.
The Silver Anniversary Edition was available in two exterior colors: Silver Metallic, which we see here, and Satin Black Metallic. Wheels were painted to match the exterior color, but the interior colors were the same. Of the two colors Silver Metallic was much more common with 240 of the 300 Coupes produced in silver. So this one isn’t quite as rare as it could be, but still very rare nonetheless.
The rarest of the rare. Of all of the various 911 models, the 964 pretty much leads the pack when it comes to the ultra-rare. I joke occasionally about the myriad configurations of modern 911s, which I think at this point has resulted in around 22 different model variants from which buyers can choose. There’s pretty much a variant to suit every possible need (though still no rear drive Targa, come on!). While we couldn’t really call the 964 similar it does seem to be the model where Porsche really began to see just how many different ways it could offer their flagship car. The other significant difference is that none of the current 911 models really is all that rare. There are a couple special editions that were produced in very low numbers, but those aren’t too much more than unique option packages producing cosmetic differences. Even the Turbo S Exclusive is limited to 500 and while that’s not a lot of cars it’s nothing compared to the car we have here.
This is a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Leichtbau. According to Canepa, the sellers of this particular example, there were 22 total produced. I’ve seen that number listed elsewhere as only 20, but perhaps there were one or two additional special requests, which kind of sounds like what occurred with the one here. Like a lot of Porsche’s most extreme performance models the Carrera 4 Leichtbau wasn’t for sale in the US market. You’d almost never have a change to buy one. Here is one such chance.
I find myself very captivated by this color. This is a Metallic Green 1971 Porsche 911T Coupe, located in California, with Black leatherette interior and 55,592 miles on it. It is said to have been freshly restored and certainly looks it.
But back to this color that has so drawn my attention. Metallic Green is both pretty descriptive though also, relative to many other Porsche colors, completely generic. I usually am somewhat ambivalent to metallic greens in general. They’re fine colors, but they don’t tend to wow me the way some of Porsche’s non-metallic greens are capable of doing. Dark metallic greens – along with dark metallic blues – especially fit that profile. I like them and I understand their appeal, but usually am left thinking, “That’s nice.” This is very different and I suspect there is some effect of the lighting and photography at play. Perhaps this is as dead gorgeous as this color can get and given that it’s outdoors you may never replicate the look. But I love it.
This particular color only was available from 1970-1971. There may be other similar greens in the Porsche catalog. It reminds me quite a bit of Kermit, the 1979 911SC that was painted Scirocco Viper Green. Perhaps this was the precursor to that color. As I see it here this Metallic Green possesses just the right balance. It finds a sweet spot between light and dark with the metallic sparkle amplifying everything and holding it together. I’m sure I’ve come across it previously, but if I did it didn’t look this good.
Here we have another 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S. The final climax of the air-cooled 911 and quite rare. This one is not a ridiculously low-mileage garage queen like the last Turbo S I featured. While it’s hard to call any twenty-year-old 911 reasonably priced at almost $300K that’s pretty much exactly what we have with this one. Of course, there are reasons for that reasonableness. In this case, a touch over 80K miles and an engine rebuild account for the discount. Even so, is it worth it? It’s still around $100K more expensive than a low-mileage non-S 993TT and you likely could buy 2 of those if you allowed for comparable mileage and condition. Such is the cost of rarity.
I like a certain degree of completeness so why not go ahead and bookend things? This Black 1977 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera resides at the other end of the 930 spectrum from the 1989 930 I featured on Monday. It isn’t from the first year of 930 production so this isn’t the perfect comparison, but since it is from one of the first two years when the 930 utilized a 3.0 liter turbocharged engine without an intercooler it still provides a glimpse into the model’s early days.
Looking at them both you could easily mistake one for the other. Their dimensions are the same even if the ’89 has gained a couple hundred pounds so you won’t notice much there. The most obvious difference is the rear spoiler. Porsche modified the 930’s spoiler in ’78 so as to accommodate the new intercooler that would feed air into the larger 3.3 liter engine. It has much more pronounced wings, which has garnered it the name tea tray compared with the whale tail of the 3.0 liter models. The fog lights too are different as they became integrated into the front bumper. We notice the same difference when comparing the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera.
While the outside is quite similar, the differences in the interior are much more apparent and show the evolutionary changes of the 911 in general over this time. We find a similar evolutionary development under the skin. Naturally power increased and with it came larger 4-piston ventilated disc brakes. The 930 now could stop as well as it could go. And, of course, in 1989 Porsche fitted the 930 with the G50 5-speed transmission, the biggest change these cars had seen since their displacement increase in 1978.