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The rage in the 1980s was cutting the roof off of perfectly good cars, from the S-Class Mercedes-Benz to the E24 BMW. Not escaping this fate were sports cars as well, with Treser making a convertible Quattro. Carelli Designs gave it a go, as well – they were commissioned to create a run of convertible 928s between 1980 and 1981, one of which I looked at a few years ago:
Jiffy-Top: 1981 Porsche 928 Carelli C928
A total of 8 cars were produced by Carelli Designs in Costa Mesa, California, but the project never progressed past the initial design phase. Carelli actually put a lot of effort into making the cars work well as convertibles, and they cost a staggering $80,000 in 1981. Today’s car, though, doesn’t appear to be one of them. Instead, this car is claimed to be one that was developed following Al Holbert’s pre-production speed run in a 928 S4. Holbert took a mostly stock 928 to an impressive 171 mph, which Porsche claimed made it the world’s fastest catalyst-equipped car. According to the selling dealer of the car we’re looking at today, this convertible was specially-ordered to commemorate that achievement – maybe.
I’m not much of a Corvette fan. Outside of the original ZR1 and some interesting classics (I’m a big fan of the flawed-but-beautiful ’63 Coupe), most just aren’t very interesting to me. However, take the same formula and drop it into a German car, and I take notice. Is this fair? Probably not. Nevertheless, the ‘German Corvette’ – the 928 – has always intrigued me.
I’m not alone, as the market star of early 928s is rising and the GTS models are still breaking records. So what better way to go than to split the middle? The S4 is just that – enough updates to have fun without the budget-breaking buzz of the last-of-the-run GTS. Sure, you give up some horsepower. But it’s not like the S4 is exactly slow – the 32-valve V8 cranks out 316 horsepower, if you’re counting – and here it’s hooked to a 5-speed manual and a limited-slip differential, as well. You also got the updated looks of the later cars, and the Baltic Blue paintwork shows those curves well. Slip inside and you’ll find Linen leather in the luxurious cabin. What’s not to love?