I was scrolling through the Excellence Magazine classifieds and it seemed mostly typical. A lot doesn’t stand out and there was a lot that I had seen previously. I started to notice that there were a number of interesting cars available from Bologna, Italy. That seemed a little random. The cars were nice, but for the most part they weren’t really standing out to me given the high prices being asked. And suddenly I saw this one and stopped dead.
Ok, so the high price hasn’t changed, but I’d bet it’s near impossible to look through a list of Porsches and not take especial notice of this 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe. The color is listed as paint-to-sample Gelb Orange – meaning yellow-orange or perhaps amber orange. As far as I know it isn’t one of Porsche’s official offerings. I have never seen nor heard of it. It’s not quite Signal Orange nor Signal Yellow. The orange hue is a bit deeper than we see with Signal Yellow, but not quite as pronounced as Signal Orange. It sits almost squarely between the two.
Signal Yellow is my favorite Porsche color. It looks amazing on just about any 911 from any period. While it’s not fair to judge based off of a single car, I might actually like this one better.
I’m back with another “Which would you buy?” scenario, but this one is quite a bit different from the twin S6s I took a peek at over the weekend. Today I’m looking at two very different 80s icons – the GTI and the Porsche 944. In their own right, both were also 80s film stars – the Porsche 944 in John Hughes Sixteen Candles, while the A1 Volkswagen appeared topless in nearly every other movie – most notably, ‘The Coreys’ License to Drive. Today’s subjects are higher performance, driver-oriented examples, and like last time both fall into driver-quality examples. Yet while the performance and original sticker prices of these cars is quite far apart, today in the market they’re not only within reach of budget-minded enthusiasts, but also they’re in direct competition with each other. So which would you score?
Let’s really get into some value here. Here we have a Midnight Blue Metallic 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in Chicago, with Sand Beige leather interior and a 6-speed manual transmission. It’s been driven a bit, to the tune of 133,948 miles, which accounts for the pretty low price: $23,995. For a Carrera S!
We usually look to the 996 when thinking purely about performance value, but the 997 has offered the same perks in a better all-around package. Gone are the droopy headlights and somewhat wavy lines. The interior, while still not awesome, is much improved. And from a performance perspective everything has taken an evolutionary step forward. In the case of the Carrera S that means you’re getting 355 hp from the 3.8 liter flat-6. That’s 35 hp more than you could get from the 996. Larger brake discs front and rear along with PASM as standard helped fill out the package. And unlike the 996, where the S only was available as the Carrera 4, this one sends its power only to the rear wheels. For pure value this might be as good as it gets.
The rarest of the rare. Of all of the various 911 models, the 964 pretty much leads the pack when it comes to the ultra-rare. I joke occasionally about the myriad configurations of modern 911s, which I think at this point has resulted in around 22 different model variants from which buyers can choose. There’s pretty much a variant to suit every possible need (though still no rear drive Targa, come on!). While we couldn’t really call the 964 similar it does seem to be the model where Porsche really began to see just how many different ways it could offer their flagship car. The other significant difference is that none of the current 911 models really is all that rare. There are a couple special editions that were produced in very low numbers, but those aren’t too much more than unique option packages producing cosmetic differences. Even the Turbo S Exclusive is limited to 500 and while that’s not a lot of cars it’s nothing compared to the car we have here.
This is a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Leichtbau. According to Canepa, the sellers of this particular example, there were 22 total produced. I’ve seen that number listed elsewhere as only 20, but perhaps there were one or two additional special requests, which kind of sounds like what occurred with the one here. Like a lot of Porsche’s most extreme performance models the Carrera 4 Leichtbau wasn’t for sale in the US market. You’d almost never have a change to buy one. Here is one such chance.
I find myself very captivated by this color. This is a Metallic Green 1971 Porsche 911T Coupe, located in California, with Black leatherette interior and 55,592 miles on it. It is said to have been freshly restored and certainly looks it.
But back to this color that has so drawn my attention. Metallic Green is both pretty descriptive though also, relative to many other Porsche colors, completely generic. I usually am somewhat ambivalent to metallic greens in general. They’re fine colors, but they don’t tend to wow me the way some of Porsche’s non-metallic greens are capable of doing. Dark metallic greens – along with dark metallic blues – especially fit that profile. I like them and I understand their appeal, but usually am left thinking, “That’s nice.” This is very different and I suspect there is some effect of the lighting and photography at play. Perhaps this is as dead gorgeous as this color can get and given that it’s outdoors you may never replicate the look. But I love it.
This particular color only was available from 1970-1971. There may be other similar greens in the Porsche catalog. It reminds me quite a bit of Kermit, the 1979 911SC that was painted Scirocco Viper Green. Perhaps this was the precursor to that color. As I see it here this Metallic Green possesses just the right balance. It finds a sweet spot between light and dark with the metallic sparkle amplifying everything and holding it together. I’m sure I’ve come across it previously, but if I did it didn’t look this good.
Here we have another 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S. The final climax of the air-cooled 911 and quite rare. This one is not a ridiculously low-mileage garage queen like the last Turbo S I featured. While it’s hard to call any twenty-year-old 911 reasonably priced at almost $300K that’s pretty much exactly what we have with this one. Of course, there are reasons for that reasonableness. In this case, a touch over 80K miles and an engine rebuild account for the discount. Even so, is it worth it? It’s still around $100K more expensive than a low-mileage non-S 993TT and you likely could buy 2 of those if you allowed for comparable mileage and condition. Such is the cost of rarity.
I like a certain degree of completeness so why not go ahead and bookend things? This Black 1977 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera resides at the other end of the 930 spectrum from the 1989 930 I featured on Monday. It isn’t from the first year of 930 production so this isn’t the perfect comparison, but since it is from one of the first two years when the 930 utilized a 3.0 liter turbocharged engine without an intercooler it still provides a glimpse into the model’s early days.
Looking at them both you could easily mistake one for the other. Their dimensions are the same even if the ’89 has gained a couple hundred pounds so you won’t notice much there. The most obvious difference is the rear spoiler. Porsche modified the 930’s spoiler in ’78 so as to accommodate the new intercooler that would feed air into the larger 3.3 liter engine. It has much more pronounced wings, which has garnered it the name tea tray compared with the whale tail of the 3.0 liter models. The fog lights too are different as they became integrated into the front bumper. We notice the same difference when comparing the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera.
While the outside is quite similar, the differences in the interior are much more apparent and show the evolutionary changes of the 911 in general over this time. We find a similar evolutionary development under the skin. Naturally power increased and with it came larger 4-piston ventilated disc brakes. The 930 now could stop as well as it could go. And, of course, in 1989 Porsche fitted the 930 with the G50 5-speed transmission, the biggest change these cars had seen since their displacement increase in 1978.
How do we explain the 930? It’s appeal seems both undeniable, but also uncertain. It’s raw and powerful and appeals to all of our childish sensibilities. It’s kind of a Hot Wheels car come to life. In some cases you might really think that’s what has happened. But we’re grown now and not everyone wants a car with a massive spoiler and bulging rear fenders. All of that power requires your full attention in a world where paying attention has become a novelty. But there are times when I look at one – and I’m sure some of you do as well – and can’t think of why I might want something else.
Here we have a triple black 1989 Porsche 930 Coupe with 80,457 miles on it. This comes from the final year of 930 production, a significant point for those in search of one of these turbos since it was the only year Porsche equipped them with a 5-speed manual transmission rather than the previously utilized 4-speed manual.
The major problem with yesterday’s 924 is as I noted the number of other 924s that are out there. So while the $2,000 asking price for a rare bit of Porsche history sounds like a steal on paper, when it comes to the 924 it is a completely different scenario.
Take today’s 1981 924 Turbo, for example. Like yesterday’s, its a survivor rather than a show piece. Also like the M471-equipped ’80, this ’81 931 sports the upgraded brakes, suspension, forged 15″ wheels, mudflaps and rear spoiler. Unlike yesterday’s car, though, this one has some serious advantages. First off, it’s a Turbo, and while the M471 924 is much more rare to find, the forced-induction model is substantially more desirable and valuable right now. Second, this one is in better shape than the Diamond Silver Metallic example. And, of course, it’s got an automatic advantage of being in running and driving condition. So how much extra does this all cost you? A lot less than you’d think:
You don’t have to cast a very wide net to get a needy Porsche 924. Heck, you don’t need to cast a wide net to get a pristine 924, either! That fact alone makes the requisition of a 924 in need of restoration not only financially irresponsible, but downright ludicrous. But there are reasons which sometimes defy common sense and logic.
Now, if you wanted to grab a tired 924 that would be special, there are plenty to choose from. A few years ago there was a ’88 Special Edition near me for a song. I still regret not going to check it out. But any late 924S offers a budget sports car with a special badge, and the 944 crossover parts mean it’s easy to keep them going. Moving to the early chassis, there are of course Turbo models that are popular, but also a plethora of special editions – the Sebring, the Martini and the Limited Edition being the most notable here.
Today’s car is none of those models. But if anything it’s much more rare, and that’s why it’s worth a closer look. That’s because this car has the very rare M471 Sport Group Package. While often associated with the Turbo, it was also available but seldom chosen on the naturally aspirated model. The M471 package came with 5-bolt hubs, Turbo 4-wheel disc brakes, 15″ ATS mesh wheels, Koni sport shocks, Euro Turbo 23/14mm sway bars, and the Turbo rear spoiler. Early models also came with a special “S” decal on the hood. With only a claimed 100 imported, it’s one of the most rare configurations of the 924: