Motorsports Monday: 2009 Porsche Cayman S Interseries

Porsche history has always been intrinsically linked with racing since before they were even a company. From Mercedes-Benz to Auto Union and later Cisitalia, Porsche offered world-beating designs prior to establishment of its own independent racing heritage. Since the 1950s, they’ve never looked back, and every successive generation has their own legends that were born. For my father, it was the 908 and 917, while I grew up with the turbocharged whistle of the 956 and 962 dominating race tracks. To capitalize on this nostalgia, coupled with more gentleman drivers heading to the track every weekend than there ever have been, Porsche’s lineup has increasingly focused on track-biased cars. But that hasn’t stopped some from going a few steps further, and Napelton Porsche launched an interesting idea just before the turn of the decade.

Why not create a race series of equal cars, slap historic liveries on them, and hit the track? The Interseries was just that, with door to door action pitting the iconic color combinations of Porsche history at the hands of mere mortals. From the Salzburg 917 that first took Porsche to the Le Mans title to the unmistakable Rothmans colors, each of these cars wore a bit of what made the marque a legend for so many people. Everyone has their favorite design, so this series offered Porschephiles a veritable cornucopia of visual pleasure. Today, one of these cars has come up for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Porsche Cayman S Interseries on eBay

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Theseus’ Flat-six: 1974 Porsche 911S

The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.

The best part of 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plutarch questioned at what point an object began to lose its “originality”. You’ve heard the story many times, probably as the hyperbolic ‘Washington’s Axe’ parable. But though it’s been two millennia since Athenian thought led the world, the question remains applicable today.

Take this Porsche 911S, for example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Porsche 911S on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1971 Porsche 911E

Valuing a Porsche 911E isn’t really that hard, in the grand scheme. The middle child of the 911 lineup, a quick check of Hagerty’s valuation tool has the average value around $78,000 right now, with a high of $144,000 and a low of $52,500 for a “fair” example. While the 911 market has flattened or cooled slightly, they’re still quite valuable cars. Valuing historic race cars can be more difficult, but as vintage racing is currently in vogue right now, they’re many times more expensive than their road-going counterparts if they are properly sorted factory cars. Figures close to a million dollars aren’t unheard of for the right racer. But the most difficult to value are the non-original, modified racers run by privateers. Sometimes they have a very interesting history, such as this ’71 E does:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Porsche 911E on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1987 Porsche 930 Coupe

Modified cars from the 1980s enjoy are and interesting exercise in dichotomy. Take AMG, for example – add the flares, wide wheels, hunkered down suspension and turned up engine to a W126 and the asking price increases from a standard model by a factor of ten. What is strange about the AMG model, though, is that enthusiasts of the Affalterbach company accept licensed installers as proper original builds. Such is not the case when it comes to tuners like Alpina, Hartge and Ruf; generally speaking, in those cases the only “true” original examples came from the manufacturer’s facilities in Germany. In these cases, examples that are properly sorted and original can be worth double, triple or even quadruple what an identically modified car from a licensed installer in the U.S. would be worth. On top of that, AMG continues to be a bit of an aberration in the tuner realm since most other period modified examples of Porsches, BMWs, and Audis are worth less than a pristine stock example. It’s a bit of a head scratcher, since generally speaking, companies such as Alpina and Ruf put out equally good looking products when compared to AMG, and properly modified were just as luxurious and just as fast. Nevertheless, a tastefully modified example like this period Ruf-modified 1987 Porsche 930 just doesn’t seem to draw the same attention as a AMG 560SEC Widebody 6.0 would, for example. Let’s take a look at what a reported $75,000 in mods got you in the late 1980s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 930 on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1986 Porsche 930

It’s hard to fathom any Porsche 930 as “reasonably priced” these days, but after the $500,000 SLS AMG GT3 from earlier this 1986 Porsche 930 seems positively a cheap way to consider track time. What interests me about this car is something the seller mentions in the listing; this is an original Turbo, and still retains the original motor casing and transmission to prove it. Rob’s recent modified 1984 911 “Turbo” model and Nate’s odd M30 turbo M5 from yesterday prove that turbocharged motors popping up in unexpected packages isn’t particularly uncommon, but original 930s rarely turn up in race car form:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 930 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo

There was performance revolution that occurred rather quietly in the mid 2000s. You could argue that it was more evolutionary than revolutionary, but giant leaps in performance were seemingly the norm with every single release of a new model. The Audi S8 had 360 horsepower, and that was a lot – until the M5 had 400. Then the S8 had 450, and the M5 countered with 500 – and Mercedes-Benz was right there, too, with its supercharged V8s. These were power figures normally associated with supercars only a generation before. Heck, by the mid 2000s even the lowly Golf GTi had equivalent power to weight ratios with Porsche 911s from the 1980s. Speaking of Porsches, they had gone absolutely bonkers with their power levels. The last 930 had roughly 330 horsepower – still considered quite a lot in the late 80s – and weighed roughly 3,000 lbs. Sure, the subsequent generations got heavier and more complex as they bathed their occupants in every increasing levels of luxury. But then, the power increased too. By the time we got to the 3.6 Turbo S, power was 380. The 993 added a turbo for quicker spool up and went to even heavier all-wheel drive, yet with 400-450 horsepower, they were anything but slow. Power didn’t change much with the 996 at 410-450 horsepower depending on tune, but delivery was refined even more and they were even faster than the previous generation. The 997 kicked it up another notch, now with 470 to over 500 horsepower on tap – the best part of double the original 930, yet with daily driver tractability, modern convenience and all-wheel drive comfort and security. The 911 Turbo was no longer a widow-maker, but a precise surgical instrument of speed wrapped in a velvet glove with a sugary sweet coating for ease of use.

Another interesting trend was that through its transformation, all of the sudden people really started to appreciate the older cars more. The more complicated the 911 became – and it must in the market, you could argue – the more that people longed for the early days. That was especially true when it came to the changeover to the 996. The softening of the once impenetrable 911 Turbo fortress defenses to allow mere mortals to approach the limits of the car pushed many way; it didn’t help that the 996 wasn’t the prettiest thing to come out of Stuttgart, either. That meant that values started dropping and today these 911 Turbos are nothing short of a miraculous deal. For about the same money as a loaded Camry costs you can get into a thoroughbred rocketship. But if it were my money, I’d eye the successor to the 996; for a slight increase in purchase price, you get better performance, more features and most importantly a better looking exterior:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Ruf BTR3 Cabriolet

I have to admit, I really don’t get fast convertibles. You could argue that the top down lets you hear the roar of the exhaust, I suppose. Or you could suggest that the faster the acceleration and higher the top speed, the more alive you feel as the wind rushes through your hair. It’s not that I don’t think certain fast convertibles aren’t attractive, mind you, or appealing in their own way. And some modern convertibles are downright amazing in their ability to channel the blowing atmosphere away from you. But in all honesty, once you’re above highway speeds, the expensive radio and million plus horsepower are lost upon me, obscured in a veil of churning oxygen, nitrogen, and other trace elements. Perhaps I’m in the minority and it could have to do with the not-always awesome New England weather, but I’d prefer a sunroof coupe in most applications – with some notable vintage exceptions like pre-War cars and Pagoda SLs. Of course, I suppose if you argued that you weren’t going to break the speed limit (okay, but not by much…) or head to the track, then the convertible arrangement offers you plenty of speed in for your driving pleasure and the thrill of the open-air experience. Want to know what it felt like to be the Red Baron, for example? This Ruf BTR3 Cabriolet could sure help:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Ruf BTR3 Cabriolet on Hemmings

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Tuner Tuesday: 1991 Porsche 911 Targa Rauh-Welt Begriff

As Rob said in his recent 964 Carrera 4 Widebody post, the flared variants of the middle generation 911 can be polarizing. Even more polarizing are the extra-widebody Nakai-san Rauh-Welt Begriff creations. That Akira Nakai is an artist is unquestioned, but whether his creations are genius or blasphemous depend on your definition of art I would suppose. Nakai takes the stock 911 and turns it up to 11, with custom molded, hand crafted flares and widening the lines of the 911 to outrageous proportions. Fitted with giant wheels, lowered suspensions and custom front and rear bumpers, they are the embodiment of the Japanese tuning scene but with a decidedly European feel. Indeed, you don’t need to look far into Porsche’s own developments to find the inspiration for these models from Stuttgart’s own work. Indeed, many of Nakai’s works look a lot like the 964 Turbo S Le Mans racer and later 993 GT2 race car, with their giant gold BBS wheels, huge spoiler, vents and wide flares. Personally, I think that Nakai does an exceptional job mimicking the best of the 911 race car design whilst simultaneously introducing his own style. That becomes more obvious when you see a non-Coupe RWB such as today’s Targa model – I believe the first open-air RWB I’ve seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 911 Targa RWB on Cats Exotics

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Motorsports Monday: 1979 Porsche 911

A friend of mine and I were sitting around recently, musing over what kind of 911 we’d own if we had the money. The genesis of this was his Porsche 911 ownership; he had a ’85 911 cabriolet, and while he enjoyed the car it was a bit….well, basic in terms of creature comforts and ride quality compared to his current M3. There’s some charm in that, but having driven both I’d agree that the M3 is the better day-to-day car in nearly every way. But both of us agree that, money no object, the idea behind the Singer 911s is pretty compelling; take a more modern 911 and give it the classic look, but keep most of the modern amenities plus the modern powertrain, brakes and handling. It’s become quite a popular recipe, and with classic 911 values seemingly on an endlessly rising trajectory it’s quite viable to restore or resto-mod a 911 into a dream ride and make your money back, if not then some. Today’s example is pretty interesting and unique, though – I believe it’s the first time I’ve seen someone take a 930 chassis and turn it into a “regular” 911. Backdating the late ’70s look to the early 1970s and adding in some of the iconic IROC bits, the builders took modern Fuchs replicas and a built up 3.8 naturally aspirated motor and created one pretty awesome package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911 on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 1969 Porsche 911S

Well before the market on classic air-cooled 911s exploded, they were often used as intended – hard. If the 911’s natural habitat was the race track, enthusiasts outside of the factory efforts were happy to oblige as voluntary park rangers, taking streetable examples and turning them into race cars. While in international competition the FIA was the governing body, in the U.S. one very popular racing body many turned to was the Sports Car Club of America – still very active today. In stark contrast to earlier’s RSR tribute, then, and well before values were on the rise, an enterprising racer took today’s 1969 911S and turned it into a race car. Raced extensively in SCCA as early as 1980, this is one unique 911S:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Porsche 911S on eBay

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