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Collector Car News

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    Artcurial brings a strong assortment of European sports cars to their Paris sale on June 22. Leading the charge are a 1991 Ferrari F40 (Artcurial estimate: $1m–$1.25m), a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring ($785k–$1m) and a 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series II coupe ($450k–$550k). View all the Paris consignments here. Read More
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3.2 Carreras are heirloom-quality cars and are capable of lasting almost indefinitely, with little trouble along the way



1986 porsche 911 carrera supersport cabriolet


The 3.2 Carrera is revered as the ultimate development of the original 911 that first appeared in 1963, before being replaced by the more complicated 964 series.

These final cars were the most flexible and usable of Butzi Porsche's original design. The all-alloy flat-6 engine, which had been fuel injected since 1971, received a final stretch to 3,164 cc, giving a torquey 231 hp, enough to propel the lithe and slippery coupe to over 150 mph, with 0-60 mph coming up in 5.6 seconds.

Cars built from September 1986 onward received the more user-friendly G50 gearbox, but all 3.2 Carreras feature galvanized bodies, which together with Porsche's legendary build quality, ensures that these classics are long-lasting. Indeed, such is the integrity and durability of the basic structure that a whole legion of 3.2s have been turned into retro replicas by various companies.

This U.K.-supplied convertible is factory-fitted with the optional wide body, part of the Supersport package that includes the stiffer suspension and larger, 917-derived brakes from the Turbo model. It was first registered on June 13, 1986.

Finished in white with blue leather upholstery, it is described by the vendor as being in good condition with regard to its engine, 5-speed manual gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, bodywork, and paintwork. He also says: "There are no rattles or bumps, the paintwork is almost completely original, no oxidation on alloy wheels, no leaks, and the electric windows and mirrors work well. A sure-fire classic."

Only a reported 75 of these cars were built in right-hand-drive form and, as the last "proper" 911 gathers newfound appreciation, this car represents an opportunity to acquire the rarest variant of all-the wide-bodied convertible with optional power top. It's sold with driver's manual, "loads of invoices," and service book, its 15 stamps confirming the mileage of 49,000.

{analysis}{auto}1422{/auto} This car sold for $32,967, including buyer's premium, at H&H's auction in Buxton, Derbyshire, England, on December 9, 2009.

The Carrera Supersport was what one got when one checked the box on the Porsche option sheet marked M491. Better known in the U.S. as the Turbo-look, the option was introduced in 1984 and sold reasonably well here during the dark years when the actual Turbo wasn't available. The option cost a staggering $18,000 and gave the poseur-buyer the wider front and rear fender flares of the Turbo, front and rear spoilers, and bigger brakes.

The last of the "proper" 911s



Although as hyperbole-laden as most auction descriptions tend to be, in this case the catalog noted several points that make the 3.2-liter cars what many people believe (myself included) to be the last of the "proper" 911s.

With the introduction of the Carrera in 1984, Porsche had solved nearly every issue that had plagued the 911 since its introduction in 1964. Improved oil-fed chain tensioners and the world's first real engine management system, the Bosch Motronic unit, were added to the fully galvanized body shell introduced in 1976 (galvanized front fenders waited until mid-year 1981).

The Getrag G50 gearbox (which this car lacks) replaced the somewhat recalcitrant 915 box in 1987. Only ineffective air conditioning remained to be addressed. 3.2 Carreras are heirloom-quality cars that are capable of lasting almost indefinitely, and they give little trouble along the way.

The M491 option is undeniably desirable to some and until the 930 market woke up recently, Turbo-look cars often traded within spitting distance of actual Turbos. While this curious situation has changed, this car brought justifiably strong money.

There are several reasons: If you live in the U.K., Japan, Australia, or any other RHD market and simply must have a wide-body, normally aspirated car, your options are limited-assuming the catalog's accuracy on this point-to 74 other specimens, hopefully none of which sport the same lurid blue interior.

49,000 miles is nothing on one of these



If there haven't been any protracted lay-ups in the car's past, the 49,000 miles are a plus. For a car capable of doing 250,000 miles between rebuilds, it's no miles at all. Finally, it's a cabriolet. And while a sunroof coupe is superior in every way, when it comes to the fun factor, the open car always wins.

When the gavel fell, the buyer paid a roughly $10,000 premium for the M491 option. Given the original cost of the option, it's not unreasonable. I'd almost be tempted to call it well bought and would, had it been a G50 car with a navy interior. The bright blue seats, dash, and door panels are particularly jarring with the lovely navy top and will likely be an impediment at sale time for the new owner, but I bet that won't be anytime soon. So let's call it fairly bought, especially if the new owner happens to be color blind. {/analysis}

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