Motorsports Monday: 1978 Porsche 928

There’s a strange part of me that loves the idea of turning up to the track in something no one is expecting to see turn fast laps. It’s part of what drove me to continuously develop my Audi GT into a track car, and most of what I love about racers like the Audi V8 quattro and 850 Estate Super Touring. But certainly, when it comes to Porsches everyone expects them to appear on the circuit, right? Well, in the case of the 928, it’s somewhat rare to see them hit the track. Big, heavy and complicated grand tourers, they’re more at home hitting top speed on the Frankfurt-Darmstadt Autobahn then slithering through La Source. Yet some, including Porsche themselves, took the big GT racing – from Le Mans to Daytona, the 928 saw competitive action around the globe even if it never was quite as celebrated as its rear engine brethren. Today it’s just as rare to find a track prepared 928 for sale, but an early example has surfaced on eBay:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Porsche 928 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

I recently read an article on Hagerty’s site which indicated that they were expecting values on some of the German performance cars from the 1980s to continue to increase in value. Certainly, we’ve seen this first hand from the explosion of values in the 911 and M3 market through the continuing appreciation of models like the M5, M6, Quattro and GTi. In the middle of all of those vehicles lies the no longer secret 944 Turbo. Faster than most of the equivalent competition yet comfortable, relatively easy to maintain and economical, the 944 Turbo has long been considered a massive value on the used market. For about 1/3 of the investment even a average Quattro or M3, you get the best performance, a still fairly modern looking interior and classic lines outside. But days of affordability in the 951 market appear to be numbered, as Hagerty has recorded sharply increasing values in the Turbo lineup. While condition 3 and 4 cars – the most common – have been slowly increasing, there’s been a Alp-esque rise to the best examples. Condition 2 cars now peak at around $18,000 – about double what they were 3 years ago. Move to the best condition examples, and you’re looking at a projected market price in excess of $30,000. That’s for the early cars, too – keep in mind, if you move to the later “S” or 1989 models, add a few thousand to the value right off the bat. But not everyone needs a show car, and the 944 Turbo remains a fantastic value as a classic driver if you look for an unmolested and clean example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on Cleveland Craigslist

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Honorable Mention Roundup

The “Honorable Mention” post from last week seemed to be a popular choice, so I’m back this week with another selection of cars we didn’t get a chance to get to. We’ve got one from each major manufacturer this time around which makes for an interesting and diverse group. Which is the one that deserved a better look this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro 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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Porsche 924 Roundup

The Porsche 924 represents some of the best aspects of automobile enthusiasts, while simultaneously embodying two distinct and very different decades. From the 1970s comes the upright, modernist and simple dashboard, but while it nods to the decade that bore it, the exterior is immediately identifiable as the 1980s signature silhouette with a low-slung, long hood, pronounced bumpers and flip-up headlights. Quite a few cars in the late 1970s and 1980s attempted to mimic the design of the 924, including the notable RX-7 and you could even argue the 280/300ZX. You can even see influence of the groundbreaking 924 design in the Miata of the late 1980s as well as such modern GT cars at the AMG GT-S. For enthusiasts, though, it was the near perfect weight distribution, the torquey inline-4, the manual gearbox and the all-important Porsche badge of engineering and build quality that led to the 924 being a hit. It didn’t hurt that it was the most affordable Porsche, either, and arguably still is so today. I’ve rounded up a group of 3 distinct and neat 924S models from late in the run to see which offers the most bang for your buck:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 924S “GT” on eBay

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1987 Porsche 924S with 3,700 Miles

Earlier this month, I wrote up a 1988 944 Turbo S in Silver Rose with a scant 7,000 miles covered since new. As with all Porsches, the “S” models have enjoyed a long history of being…well, “Super”. But it took a fair amount of discipline, vision and means to buy an example new and project that it was going to be a collector in the future; especially considering that in 1988 the market on collector Porsches was very, very different. It has only been very recently that watercooled examples have started to appreciate, and even then not all examples have trended upwards. Even with that Turbo model, factoring in inflation the seller would actually be losing money having held onto and not driven that example more than 250 miles a year. How about something more strange – a car that isn’t really considered a collector by many? A great example is today’s 924S – long forlorn by the Porsche community, a greater appreciation for them is only now growing. So what would you pay for an example that has only covered a even more outrageous 125 miles each year since new?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 924S on eBay

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1988 Porsche 944 Turbo

It may sound strange, but this is – I believe – the first non-S, non-Cup 1988 944 Turbo we’ve written up on this blog. While that may not sound outrageous, the 944 Turbo is a staple of these pages and considering the thousands of cars we’ve written up – virtually with every production year covered – it’s a bit strange to me. But as with 1987, 1988 was a year of change for the 944 Turbo; while the standard model carried over the ABS and airbag changes from the previous model, there were no major changes (the DME chip was changed from 24 to 28 pin; that’s about it). However, the big change was the half year introduction of the “S” model; standard M030 suspension and upgraded power were the highlights. While the power increase wasn’t huge at only 30, the limited run status, additional power, cool Silver Rose colors and upgraded suspension mean that it’s the model that we often concentrate on. Of course, that means we overlook the standard Turbo, and that’s a shame – because like the ’86 and ’87 cars, they were still great performance values and offered significant forced induction street credentials. It was, after all, a Porsche Turbo you were cruising in; select Guards Red from the color pallet and you’d have completed the Yuppie dream coupe recipe:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

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Poor Man’s Dilemma: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo v. 1988 Porsche 924S

As we’ve charted the demise of the 996’s residual value, it may no longer be accurate to say that the Porsche 924 is the best value for your money if you just want a Porsche crest. But with the rising prices of 911s, 944 Turbos and 928s, if you want a Porsche from the 1980s, there’s simply no contest – 924s represent the gateway into Stuttgart’s finest without obliterating your retirement fund. In fact, many nice Porsche 924s can be had for a song – even though we’ve also recently seen the elite 924 Carreras push well into 6-figure territory. As a lover of the Audi Coupe GT, which share a shocking amount of parts with it’s much more highly sought bulging brother Quattro but not the value, I can identify with the plight of the 924 enthusiast. Indeed, I consider the 924 to be a great design and love both the early, simple cars from the 1970s for the clean purity of purpose right through the upgraded 924Ss, one of which resides in my family and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in, under and around. So it should come as no surprise, being a fan of the underdogs, that I ponder 924 ownership on a semi-regular basis. The question is, which 924 do I like more – the early, vented turbo models that were the homologation of much of Porsche’s racing technology, or the “real Porsche” 924S, replete with the underpinnings of the 944? I’ve found two pretty comparable models, so let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Ruf BTR Slantnose

One of the great things about this blog is that we keep a pretty good inventory of rare cars written up, so that when one looks familiar we can go back and check it out. This doesn’t always work, as occasionally we forget that we’ve written one up, such as the S6 Avant I managed to write up twice. However, both of today’s tuner cars appeared on these pages before in one form or another, and I managed to track both down. Later we’ll look at an Alpina B11 3.5 that was seen here five years ago, but with 332 made it was still a bit surprising that the same one popped up for sale. When it came to today’s Ruf BTR Slantnose – one of only five made – I was sure we’d seen it before, and I was somewhat right…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Ruf BTR Slantnose on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo

It is not hugely surprising that the RWB 993 was a bit polarizing; understandable given the now near cult-status of the 993 and the extreme crafting of the body. Today I have a different modified 993 to look at; this time, instead of a Carrera 2 we’re looking at a 911 Turbo that has been externally modified to look like a Ruf but it’s no poser with a claimed 659 rear wheel horsepower. Is this sacrilegious too, or are the modifications just right here?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo on eBay

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