Motorsports Monday: Porsche 911 Twin Turbo Cup Conversion

I’ve certainly been a big fan of the Porsche 911 Cup; today, it strikes me as not only one of the best deals going in racing Porsches, but perhaps the best all-around deal in the Motorsports world. The success of the 996 and 997 Cup chassis has to come close to the E30 M3 as one of the most raced and most winning German designs in history. They were so successful that they built a lot of them, making them today slightly devalued in the world of track cars. We’ve even seen full-blood, turn key factory race 911s up for auction below $50,000; simply staggering when you consider the original purchase price. Of course, also staggering are the running costs of the Cup cars; 40 hour engines are the max, and Porsche Motorsports recommends transmission refreshes as 20 hours. The costs add up; rebuilding your 996 or 997 Cup running gear will cost you between $15,000 and $30,000 – presuming nothing big is broken. Okay, so the purchase price is only the tip of the iceberg. But what if you took some of the aspects of the Cup design and incorporated them into the even faster and cheaper to run Turbo model?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Porsche 911 Twin Turbo Cup Conversion on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2005 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

The fall from grace of the 996 has resulted in some stunning deals on pretty incredible cars. They’re not without their problems; the 996 isn’t the most attractive Porsche produced and there are known engine issues to combat. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive track weapon with and impressive amount of speed, it’s pretty hard to best the 996 package. While you can get a very nice example of a GT3 – Porsche’s then pinnacle of dual-purpose street and track package – for around $50,000 and drive it to the track, if you’re willing to spend just a bit more you can look at leaping into another level of performance with the “Cup” car. Stripped down and stiffened up, these factory racers are simply stunning with their speed and were cutting edge less than a decade ago, yet today you can find an excellent example like this 2005 model for less than $80,000 – only a third of what a new one would cost you.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on eBay

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1992 Porsche 968 with 32,000 Miles

Our lineup has recently been bolstered by contributing author Pablo, a wealth of information on all things front-engined, water-cooled Porsches. One of the models he really touts as the best development of this setup is the 968, and it’s easy to see why. With near perfect balance, great looks, daily-driver practicality and a very flexible engine, the 968 was a package that could actually be enjoyed on both road and track. Unlike their rear-engined counterparts from the same time period, values have not yet taken off in a frenzy; this means that you can get one of the best packages out of the box from Porsche for a relative steal. But the 968 is still a Porsche, and as Pablo has outlined as the miles creep up on 968s the potential repairs to the engine can get quite expensive. Therefore, while it’s tempting to jump into a $10,000 car with some miles on the clock, that price could easily be doubled quickly in maintenance that was deferred due to expense by the previous owners. Perhaps, then, the answer is the best, low mileage example you can find:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Porsche 968 on eBay

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1987 Porsche 944 Turbo

Everyone wants a perfect car, let’s be honest. But I often feel that I could accept a reasonable amount of flaws to have a car that I felt completely comfortable driving. Make that car a classic Porsche, and you’d still be talking big bucks, right? Well, not so fast – if you look around, you can still get some remarkable deals on 944 Turbos, one of the best driving cars from the 1980s. Present that car in the rare shade of Nautic Blue with tan leather, and you’ve got one heck of an understated looker with performance to back up the badge. Would you drive it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

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Motorsport Mondays: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Rothmans Cup

Last week, I wrote up a 944 Rothmans Cup car, a model that introduced the idea of a factory-backed, one marque race series as an opener for larger races. In truth, this was no new concept; the unused M1 race cars got turned into the “Procar” series in the late 1970s/early 1980s and run with F1 drivers before races, as well as prior forays by Porsche in the IROC series. But the 944 Rothmans Cup was an effort that any gentleman driver could partake in, and that made it a bit more special. While the racing was close for sure and generated plenty of great action, the lightweight 944s really weren’t particularly fast in the grand scheme of things. Having launched a new Turbo model of the 944 in 1985, Porsche nearly immediately started development of the Cup version of the 951. With sealed motors pushing a bit more power that stock thanks to some revised engine mapping, catalyst-free exhaust and a revised magnesium intake, the real gains came in further use of exotic materials to lighten the cars. While the regular 944 was a bit lighter, the Turbo Cup went the next step; lightened suspension, magnesium wheels, stripped interior and plastic pieces. Undercoating was never installed on these cars and as a result of many small changes, the 944 Turbo Cup weighed in some 400 lbs less than the roadgoing version. Even with a modest power increase, this made for one potent and very special race car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Rothmans Cup on Race-Cars.com

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1994 Porsche 968

For a long time now, we’ve been banging on about how the 924/944/968 were the best deal in classic German motoring. For sure, these models offer solid build quality, great looks, reasonable practicality and more affordable repairs. Couple these traits with one of the best-handling chassis Porsche has made and you’ve got instant success, right? Well, not so fast. In thinking about writing up this car, I remember back to the early 1990s when the Japanese upped their game and suddenly the 944/968 wasn’t the natural choice. They were, in fact, quite expensive and relatively underpowered compared to their cutting-edge rivals. How does the 968 stack up against the FD RX-7 Twin Turbo, the Z32 300ZX Twin-Turbo, the Mk. IV Supra Turbo and the C4 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Porsche 968 on eBay

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1995 Audi RS2 Avant

In the high performance, exclusive world of Audi’s RS models, most enthusiasts believe they never got it quite as right as they did with the original model. Sure, the RS4s, RS6s, RS5s and TTRSs are impressive, fast and luxurious. They’ll all decimate the roads on the way to your destination, with little regard for supposedly faster marque’s badges. But there was something that was extra special and just a bit more magical about the original RS2; the first of the super wagons, the splashes of red and RS blue were like a poison dart frog – a warning to the rest of the big boys that this little wagon meant business. Packed with a special 311 horsepower Porsche-messaged version of the venerable 20 valve turbocharged inline-5, the RS2 was very special indeed. Power made it to the ground through all four wheels mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with Brembo brakes and Porsche wheels; the small chassis Audi could break 5 seconds in a 0-60 sprint and was good for over 160 m.p.h. making it one of the fastest road cars in the 1990s. About 3,000 of these cars were made, making them not quite as rare as one would expect given how infrequently we see them for sale – but there’s a stunning low mile example today on VW Vortex:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi RS2 Avant on VW Vortex

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Motorsport Mondays Triple Take: Three 44 Turbos

Long before the E36 even debuted, the Porsche 944 was deeply entrenched in the track scene. From weekend warrior autocrosses to full out Le Mans endurance racing, the 944 touched all aspects of motorsports, and in many cases won. While the roots were in a economy sports car, the 944 Turbo took well to supercar slaying – massive flares hiding brakes borrowed from its brethren and boosted performance from the all-Porsche turbocharged 2.5 inline-4. With near perfect weight distribution, these Turbos were relatively easy to drive and accepted high levels of modifications well. Into the 1990s, the continued to be favorites at track events – and today, even nearly 30 years later, they’re still potent packages capable of winning club races. Today I have three different takes on the 944 Turbo; modified but still streetable track event car, stripped and turned up club racer, and a collectable bit of Porsche racing history with a Turbo Cup car in original configuration. Which is your flavor?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

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1989 Porsche 944S2

Pining over visions of just-out-of-budget E30 M3s? I recently covered a low mileage 1988 944 Turbo S, a phenomenal alternative to the E30 that’s – if anything – better built, more capable and faster. In my mind, thought the iconic M3 screams boy racer meets Park Avenue, the 944 – especially in Turbo/S2 guise – looks just as much the part. They’re also quite a bit cheaper right now, but likely not for long – Turbo values have steadily been on the rise, especially for good examples. And while there are plenty of enthusiasts who have daily driven 944 Turbos, you have to admit that they’re the best part of 30 year old technology that you’ll have to sink some money into. For everyday driving, a better option for most people would be to look at the slightly less complicated and only slightly less powerful twin-cam version of the 944; the magnificent 944S2:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944S2 on eBay

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Motorsport Monday: 1998 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Factory Race Car

While copying factory cars such as earlier’s RSR Tribute has become a popular pastime for Porsche race enthusiasts, the reality is that those cars have a semi-limited market because they’re not authentic. However, about 16 or so years ago buying real factory race cars became a lot easier as Porsche began to officially sell the then new 996 GT3 Cup version of the venerable 911. With an upgraded 3.6 race motor, full cage and race suspension, air jacks and center-lock BBS wheels, this was as close to the big leagues as you could get from the factory. Additionally, Porsche continued to run a single marque race series, call the Supercup, that is had run with previous generations of race 911s. The Supercup was a feeder series for more popular forms of endurance racing and still is, but the car has remained the same; outside it looks a lot like the 911s you can drop down to the showroom to buy; underneath, it’s pure race car. As with previous generations, every few years there are upgrades that effectively render the older cars obsolete and they become much easier to purchase; today’s 1998 is an example of just such a car. Though they may not be as fast as the current generation, usually these cars are still quite competitive in club racing and are considerably more affordable than new options. Additionally, factory race Porsches, especially ones with significant racing history, have proven to be a good investment long term. If you can gamble on the right one and stomach the high running costs, you’ll have an impressive and capable machine that will probably come out the other side worth more than you paid:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on Ebay

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