Whenever I see very rare cars come up for sale more frequently I naturally become curious about what’s going on with the market. I mentioned a while back that I’ve felt like I’m seeing more M491 Turbo-look Carreras coming up for sale than in the past. For many of those cars it isn’t necessarily too surprising since the early years of the package’s availability saw quite a few of them produced. But the later G50-equipped examples are another matter. Even more rare are the final-year examples and it is those that I’m suddenly seeing for sale more frequently. Why? I don’t know.
Prior to this year I had seen only a couple for sale with the coupes almost impossible the find. Those coupes remain elusive, but following on the heels of the M491 Carrera Cabriolet I posted two weeks ago here we have another. This time the exterior is Grand Prix White rather than Black and there is added rarity as it was one of the even fewer that selected the M470 spoiler delete option.
This is a car I feel I have to bring more attention, but I’ll admit I find the ad quite strange. Not strange in the sense that I think something fishy is going on, but in the sense that this isn’t really the best way to get maximum dollar for your car. It should sell fast though and maybe that’s the point.
This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with the M491 Turbo-look package. If you’ve been following along lately you’ll know that these are rare. Very rare. Once the 930 returned to the U.S. market in 1986 sales of the Turbo-look package went down rather quickly. That makes decent sense. We also must add to this that Porsche debuted its new G50 5-speed transmission for the 911 in 1987, thus making the last three model years of the 3.2 Carrera a little more special on today’s markets. By the time we get to the final model year in 1989 the number of M491-equipped 911s had become quite low. Granted, of the three available models, the Cabriolet was produced in the greatest numbers so this one isn’t as rare as these 911s get. Nonetheless, there only were 24 of them. Oh and it’s up for auction without reserve. Rare indeed.
I’m always interested in finding M491-equipped Carreras. They’re very cool cars that are pretty rare and tend to be sought out by both collectors and drivers. That tends to make them a little more expensive than your standard Carrera, but their fans find the extra cost worthwhile. When priced correctly (usually in the 60Ks and 70Ks) they can sell pretty quickly. Above that requires certain additional levels of rarity, typically PTS or one of the very rare G50 models from the last couple production years.
One thing I don’t see too often is modified examples and that brings me to the one we see here: a Guards Red 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Tennessee, with 90,754 miles on it and, of course, that all important Turbo-look package. It looks very good and I really like the ducktail spoiler as a replacement for the Turbo’s tea tray. It’s a little more subtle, but still provides a more aggressive look. Other than some pop-out rear windows (love them!) hearkening back to the early 911s, the rest of the modifications are under the skin, but should enhance most areas of this Carrera’s performance. Where will they leave this already pretty desirable model?
I have featured a lot of rare 911s over the years, but I have never featured one of these. I’m not even sure I have seen one for sale. This is just about as rare as they come. I have featured examples that are more rare due to paint-to-sample or other custom options and I guess the reason this 911 is rare is for similar reasons. The model itself, the 3.2 Carrera, is not especially rare, but an ’89 Carrera equipped with the M491 Turbo-look package is a rare thing indeed.
Production of the Turbo-look package gradually waned as the ’80s wore on and once the 930 had returned to U.S. shores. Somewhat strangely those who still opted for the package tended to select it on the Carrera Cabriolet rather than the Coupe or Targa. :shrug: Determining accurate production numbers has been difficult; a long-circulated letter from PCNA themselves has been shown to be very inaccurate. Perseverance pays off and the best numbers now show there were 15 M491 Coupes produced in 1989. That’s not very many.
But what really makes this example rare isn’t just the M491 Turbo-look package. It is the other even more rare M470 front and rear spoiler delete package. Of the 15 M491 Coupes produced in 1989 only 5 also had the M470 package. There were only 2 Targas equipped as such so this isn’t the rarest, but 1 of 5 will have to suffice. It’s stunning!
Last weekend I posted a 911SC Turbo-look Coupe that was of interest to me almost entirely for how it might compare with the car we see here: a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe equipped with the M491 package. The 911SC was a non-factory conversion performed by one of its early owners utilizing the body, suspension and braking from an ’88 930. In effect, it recreated the M491 package for the 911SC. There are a whole host of factors to be considered with that car, but ultimately it represented a potential opportunity at getting into a Turbo-look 911 for less cost. While I thought the price was a bit too high, it appears it has sold so I guess someone saw the value to be had.
With significant mileage differences between them this M491 Carrera doesn’t make for a direct comparison with the SC, but the price increase is easily apparent. For some, however, that non-factory Turbo-look never really would have been under consideration. It is the real thing they’re after. Here we have the real thing. It’s one of the earlier models when quite a few more were built so it’ll be less expensive than a later G50-equipped Coupe. It’s said to be well documented and in its current condition it looks great!
This is starting to get a little bit silly. As I mentioned in my most recent feature of a Turbolook Carrera Cabriolet, we’ve seen a decent number of these 911s, also known by their M491 option code, come up for sale recently. I wasn’t really looking to post more of them. But then three all popped up for sale within a few days of one another and there are a lot of similarities among them. I still wasn’t entirely sure about posting them, but honestly two of them are so interesting and unique that I simply could not pass them by. Given how similar they all are it made the most sense to bring them all together into a single post.
One piece of good fortune: among these three cars we have a representative of each Carrera model so regardless of which model M491 you’re looking for we’ve got you covered! The similarities: All three of these Carreras are in exceptionally good condition and sit with very low mileage. All are from the earlier side of 3.2 Carrera production, meaning they have the 915 5-speed transmission. Two are for sale from the sale seller, presumably as part of the same collection, and come with a few questions, but have crazy unique interiors. All three have very high prices; high enough that when I first came across the Coupe we’ll see below I thought the seller had misidentified a 930. And I still thought the price was too high!
Anyway, on to the cars. I’ll show them all before any discussion and in ascending order by price:
Turbo-look Carreras are becoming a regular occurrence around here. That’s good! These are some of our favorite of the classic 911s for their combination of 930 appearance, suspension, and braking, but in a little more refined and less high strung a package. They’re also pretty rare. We like rare.
We especially like rare 911s when they are looking their best and have spent a decent bit of time being driven by the owners who derive so much joy from them. Here all of these facets come together in this Venetian Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with Champagne interior. As I’ve noted with previous M491 Carrera posts, the later ’87-’89 model years represent a special subset of these cars given that they came with the G50 5-speed transmission and that there are fewer of them since the 930 was now back and available for the US market. For some wide-body top-down cruising, this 911 should provide just the thing you’re seeking.
After seemingly going a while without seeing one it now appears Turbolook 911s are all coming out of the woodwork. I’ve posted a couple that I particularly liked, one of which specifically because it was a coupe as those still aren’t coming around very often. It is still the case that most of those we see are the earlier, and slightly less desirable, models with the 915 5-speed transmission. There are fewer of the later G50 transmission models with the ’89MY naturally leading the way in rarity.
But here we have one of those later models. It’s not a Coupe, but still has plenty of appeal in its own right: a paint-to-sample Marine Blue Metallic 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with the M491 package and 81,713 miles on it.
If you’ve been searching for a Turbolook (M491) Carrera Coupe, then take note. These have begun to come around for sale so rarely that we cannot pass them by regardless of condition. Thankfully this one appears to be in nice shape. This isn’t one of the extremely rare G50-equipped Coupes, but even the earlier models are uncommon enough and desirable enough that I’d expect a lot of interest.
For those unfamiliar, the M491 package gave buyers the option of fitting the 930 rear, suspension, braking, and front and rear spoilers to their standard 3.2 Carrera. Basically you got a 911 Turbo minus the engine. Hence the Turbolook moniker. During its early years on offer the 930 wasn’t available in the US market so the M491 was the closest you could get. Better handling, improved braking, and arguably better looks, but with a less high strung engine. You can see why these have remained very desirable still today.
Among Porsche option packages there aren’t many that draw more attention than the M491 package (along with the associated M470 spoiler delete) available for the 3.2 Carrera. Commonly dubbed the Turbo-look, the M491 Carreras were exactly that: a 3.2 Carrera with braking, suspension, and rear body from the 930, but no turbocharged 3.3 liter engine. For some this was a very desirable package as it gave the look and improved handling and braking of the Turbo, but without the higher maintenance (and higher cost) engine. Of course, some simply saw them as fake Turbos and in a way the original purpose was as a way to placate the market during the years the 930 was not available in the US. Once the 930 became available again in 1986 M491 numbers shifted and dwindled. Cabriolets became the most popular and by the time we reach the final model year the Targa and Coupe had become exceedingly rare. This being an option package numbers aren’t always easy to pin down as the VIN tells us nothing more than that it is a Carrera, but we see them very, very, rarely.
That means when we do come across one we must snap to attention. Here we have one of those very rare G50-equipped M491 Carreras: a Coral Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in California, with Mahogany leather interior and 43,354 miles on it. If you’ve been looking for a M491 Targa with the G50 transmission you’ll find yourself with few opportunities.