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911 Turbo Cabriolet 3.3 (930) – 300 ch [1987]

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dp Motorsport’s 1988 Turbo Cabriolet

ge is cruel to modified cars. While numerous car designs have stood the test of time, even improved over the years, whatever was in vogue on the custom car scene of the period typically becomes old hat or even laughable a few years later. Fifties and Sixties hot rods are notable ‘aged well’ exceptions, but when we consider some of the garish colours, huge plastic bodykits and neon lights that have adorned modified cars over the past 20 or 30 years, it’s hard to believe anyone, anywhere, actually once thought it was a good idea.

But not all modified cars are the same. What defines a successful aftermarket design or custom job is of course very subjective, and one can still find attractiveness or at least retro appeal in modified cars of any era: just look at anything designed by Zagato over the years. Then there is the reputation and history of the person or company performing said custom work. A 17-year-old Billy Benefits tacking a plastic rear wing on his Fiesta can’t really be compared to the likes of Ruf or Brabus, but fundamentally they do the same thing: modify the factory original according to their personal preference.

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Which brings us on to this dp Motorsport 911. Flatnose you say. Or maybe Slopenose, Slantnose, or Flachbau. Whatever you wish to call classic 911s without their traditional and instantly recognisable headlight humps, the look has always been a controversial one polarising opinion within the Porsche community. Yet it’s a body style that Porsche embraced for a number of its road-going 930 Turbos in the Eighties, but only after Ekkehard Zimmermann and his Design + Plastic (dp) company in Germany showed the way with its endurance racing 935-inspired DP935 offerings.

This example, a 1988 DP935 Turbo Cabriolet, is a rare beast indeed. A shameless embodiment of the Eighties with its bulbous flanks, giant rear wing and numerous louvres, it is certainly a style statement of its era. Pretty? No. But is it desirable for someone who remembers the Flatnose shape from Eighties Porsche showrooms; 935s dominating at the racetrack and even that atrociously watchable Michael Crawford Condorman film? Hell yes. And for certain aficionados – this car’s owner Justin Singer for one – it is among the most desirable Porsches money can buy.

“I’m in love with them,” the 40 year old from South Beach says. “They’re truly timeless, and in my opinion mine is one of the most beautiful Porsches in the world. I’ve craved a dp since I was a teenager, and when I’d visit my grandparents in Florida I’d stop in at the exotic car dealerships and see quite a few Slantnoses and dp Porsches, but I couldn’t afford their price at the time.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Germany’s dp Motorsport and its modified road cars, you may be more au fait with the part the Cologne-based specialist played in the racing arena. Ekkehard Zimmermann had built up years of quality design work on numerous vehicles before scoring the contract to design and build bodies for VW-powered formula cars in the early-Seventies.

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On the side he also produced aftermarket body parts for Porsche Carreras, soon attracting interest from Kremer Racing Cologne. In 1975 Zimmermann and dp produced the aerodynamic body for Kremer’s K1 endurance GT prototype, with the relationship reaching a high point a few years later when a dp-bodied Porsche 935 Kremer K3 won the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours.

dp Motorsport doesn’t have a bad CV then, so it’s certainly no back street stick-on body kit manufacturer. Such quality comes at a price of course, and these DP935 offerings with customised bodies, fettled suspension and enhanced engines were the reserve of the super-wealthy enthusiast when new. “Mine is their DP935 II US version,” Justin says. “In 1988 the purchase price of the base Turbo Cabriolet from Porsche was $85,060 (USD), and after the full dp conversion it was priced at $116,367. This car’s original owner also spent another $30,000 or so after purchase modifying it.”

The first owner must have been doing rather well for himself back in 1988 then, duly handing over his dollars to Fred Opert Racing in New Jersey (one of the few authorised dp Motorsport importers) for a US-spec droptop 930 Turbo. This car will have left the Porsche factory and gone directly to dp Motorsport for its costly conversion, before setting sail for the East Coast of America for its new owner to modify it further.

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Flatnose experts may well be asking a question right now. Porsche had been selling its own factory Turbo Flatnose models (also known as the 930S) since 1987 in the United States, with a premium of around $30,000 over the standard 930. Why didn’t the owner just buy one of these instead? It was an official Porsche product, fully warranted and available at his local showroom for practically the same money as the DP935.

Justin says to those in the know the dp was by far the better car, and more exclusive than even the low number of Flatnoses created by Porsche. “The biggest difference when looking at a dp next to a stock Slantnose is the workmanship,” he says. “The Slantnose is just a standard 911 with a few bolted-on parts aside from the new Slantnose fenders, but the dp is one seamless body all the way around. There is no real comparison between the two in my mind, and Porsche only offered the Slantnose as an option after they saw dp had carved out a market for it.”

Happily, we can see Justin’s DP935 today as it must have looked in 1988. It is in flawless order, helped no doubt by the criminally low mileage of 17,000, working out at an average of just 700 miles per year over the course of its life. Its original keeper kept hold of it for 14 years, driving it sparingly it seems, before selling it to a pilot who was ordered by his wife to keep it at his private aeroplane hangar and not at home. “It was so fast she was scared of it,” Justin says, “and the pilot realised he had to sell it as he could only drive it by getting over to his hangar.”

Having been fascinated by tuned Porsches for years, namely the DP935s, Gemballas, Rufs, Kremers and Koenigs, Justin snapped up the low-mileage dp rarity in 2004 having waited years for the right car to come on the market. As scarce as DP935s are, this one held additional fascination as most examples were destined for track use and built on coupe bodies, not Turbo Cabriolets as here.

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“It’s the cream of the crop in my opinion; a museum piece that I cherish,” Justin says. “Adding to its rarity is its Venetian blue metallic paint; it’s a Porsche colour but repainted by dp. It’s the only metallic painted car I know of converted by dp, with all the others being flat reds, blacks, whites and silvers mainly.”

Justin’s enthusiasm for his DP935 is infectious, and understandable considering his passion for them from a young age. To those who witnessed the glorious 935s in their prime, dominating endurance racing, the idea of the same company who built the 1979 Le Mans-winning body for Kremer’s K3 selling road-going versions must have been irresistible to some. Especially as you could bring any 911 – SC, Carrera, Turbo, Targa or Convertible – for modification to dp for the Flatnose 935 treatment.

For your Deutschmarks the car would be given its 935-esque fibre glass body comprising the air dammed front spoiler; rear bumper; front body panels with flared arches, grilles and pop-up lights; rear body panels with flared arches and brake ventilation louvres; chunky dp Motorsport-embossed door sills; and an engine cover lid with huge integrated whaletail. As this body kit had its origins on the successful Kremer racers, you can assume the aerodynamic properties won’t be half bad either.

Justin explains that the US-spec dp Motorsport cars didn’t feature the European front spoiler with integrated headlights, turn signals and glass covers more akin to the 935 racers, while his car was also specified with Porsche’s original Flatnose bonnet. “Each car was made uniquely to its original owner’s request, so that’s why I’m without the dp hood,” Justin says. “I’d love one, though, so am looking out for a dp version all the time.”

From the dp workshop owners were also given a heavy duty oil cooler in the front of the car, a racier suspension kit with antiroll bars and a much wider footprint courtesy of 15-inch wheels in nine-inch width fore and colossal 13-inch width aft. A dp Motorsport centre console added a more bespoke touch to the interior, while buyers could option different leathers and velours for the cabin; uprated stereo equipment and a host of performance modifications for the engine. In other words, enthusiastic owners could easily drop a lot of cash on their dp Flatnose.

Back in 1988, when times were good, this Turbo Cabriolet’s first owner certainly dug deep. With the options he selected in Cologne and then the modifications immediately carried out in the United States this DP935 was and still is a formidable weapon. The 3.3-litre was tuned to around 450bhp with the help of a custom-built KKK K27 11.11 turbo, with Justin reporting very little lag thanks to its quick spooling nature. Higher performance cams from an SC were fitted, a competition exhaust system and manifold found their place, and on lifting the engine cover you’ll see the large black dp Motorsport intercooler.

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The modifying of a modified car continued further with coilover suspension using Bilstein RSR shocks and 928S4 front brake calipers. The owner certainly knew what he wanted, and as you’d well assume, it’s something of an animal to drive. With an LSD fitted and new (for the 1989 model year) five-speed G50/50 gearbox with hydraulic clutch in place, it’s something of a shame so few miles have been enjoyed in this Flatnose droptop funster.

In small doses seems to suffice for the car’s current owner, but the old magic is patently still there when it comes out to play on dry days. “Every time I get behind the wheel I’m short of breath and my hands shake,” Justin explains. “I do get scared to drive it, and being a Cabrio it doesn’t see the track. I’ve been known to scare the crap out of friends on the highway, though.”

Occupants are treated to a bit of Eighties flavour in the cabin, too. There’s dp Motorsport embossing for the leather steering wheel and floor mats, custom dp gauges with a boost meter, and the two-tone silver-grey and blue leather seats with piping are period perfect. Justin has also added a few individual touches of his own during his eight years of ownership, including a substantial stereo install by Autowerks in Northbrook, Illinois (where the car is often on display), while the current wheels are custom colour-coded Lindsey P3 17-inch wheels in slightly less dramatic 8.5-inch and 11.5-inch widths using original Porsche Fuchs as donors.

To see this DP935 from the rear, however, shows how aggressively fat the be-muscled rarity is. In fact, park it beside any normal classic Porsche 911 and the standard car, as timelessly beautiful as it is, looks a bit dull next to dp Motorsport’s effort. It gets you all a bit nostalgic for the Eighties, funny as that may sound.

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There are some substantial asking prices out there for genuine Porsche factory Flatnoses and DP935s, indicating there’s a strong enthusiast market for such rarities of the Porsche world. “There’s the stock camp who think anything other than the original Slantnose by Porsche is a bastard,” Justin explains. “But I know the dp has clear value over Porsche’s Flatnose as they really started the design for road-going 911s. What I have here I think is far superior to any stock Flatnose.”

There’s passion in Justin’s words and, regardless of what the mixed reception may be in the Porsche community towards the DP935 or Flatnoses in general, he knows he’s got one hell of a toy on his hands. Stylistically, some think the 935 shape should have stayed off the road cars and been left on the racers, but only the coldest of hearts couldn’t see some appeal to these unusual 911s that have achieved a cult following. And with this Turbo Cabriolet example, modified by dp and others in a ‘money’s no object’ manner, it is an ultimate expression of outrageous yet pleasing Eighties excess that now feels like a lifetime ago.

*the dp Motorpsorts DP935 can be found in issue 87 of Total 911. To purchase your copy, visit Imagine Shop: https://www.imagineshop.co.uk/magazines/total911.html

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930 Cabriolet: a good stop gap before the 991 Turbo?

You currently can’t buy a brand new 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Okay, that’s not quite true. You can, of course; the 997 Turbo remains on sale in both standard and Turbo S guise. But it isn’t the latest 991 911, and is thus, despite being factory fresh and still flowing out of Zuffenhausen, an ‘old model’ Porsche. With prices starting at £118,125, that’s a big price to swallow for some.

How about, then, a ‘new old’ Porsche for more than half the price? One with more heritage, greater links with the past and an unenviable provenance? One that will guarantee you own one of the most admiration-worthy and head-turning 911s in the country? Thanks to Monks Heath Motor Company of Macclesfield, you can, as in its showroom sits one of the most remarkable Porsche 911 Turbos in the country.

930 Cabriolet: a good stop gap before the 991 Turbo?

It is a 1989-registered 930 Cabriolet which, as original 911 fans will know only too well, makes it very rare indeed. This was the run-out year for the 930 in anticipation of the mighty 964 Turbo. 911 Turbos have always lagged behind the derivative they’re based upon, and the situation today is no different to 23 years ago.

A 1989 model year car, it has covered just over 43,000 miles, which means that with a sticker price of £49,995 you’ll be paying around £1.15 per mile. That’s one way of looking at it (do the sums for other collectable cars, and you’ll see, in one sense, that it’s decent value), but another is that it costs, what, £10,000 more than the average price? £20,000? No doubt, this is serious money. But then, this is a serious car.

930 Cabriolet: a good stop gap before the 991 Turbo?

 

The best 930 Cabriolet in
the UK?

Monks Heath describes it as “probably the best example on the market,” which is quite a claim until you look at it. This car’s condition is as close to faultless as you can imagine, which you’d expect for a £50,000 price tag. This is why you’ll want it, and why it can quite convincingly claim to be a ‘new old’ 911 Turbo comparable to buying a brand new 997. It’s almost as factory fresh, feels as tight, and is to all intents a car that looks just like it did when it really was new.

The gorgeous colour is metallic Baltic blue, with a nicely matched dark blue hood. The carpets are matched, too, in Marine blue, offsetting the linen leather. No wonder it’s been so well cherished. It is also completely standard; nothing has been added, altered, taken away or changed. It is a piece of history, fully preserved.

930 Cabriolet: a good stop gap before the 991 Turbo?

The 16-inch Fuchs wheels, wearing 205-section tyres at the front and the famously beefy 245/45-section rubber at the rear, are immaculate. These liquorice-section rear tyres were made standard for the 1986 930 model year, and thus are worn by all 930 Cabriolets. Not many wear them as well as this, though. Overall, it is an amazing sight. Viewing it in the Monks Heath showroom takes you back to how the original buyer must have felt all those years ago.

Porsche main dealer Follett Porsche of London delivered the car on 4 January 1989. That’s quite a way of starting the new working year; we can only imagine the owner’s excitement over the Christmas break at what was awaiting him in the New Year – and, perhaps, frustration that he couldn’t take delivery before? The fact it was built late in 1988 maybe suggests the reason why: there simply wasn’t the time to get the car ready.

 

Rare now, rare then

The 930 itself is a rare car, of course. From 1978-1989, 14,476 were built – less than 15,000 cars over an 11-year period. By modern Porsche standards, that’s not a lot of cars at all. And the Cabriolet is, of course, even more rare. It was introduced in February 1987, remaining on sale (and, with the Targa, outliving the original Coupe) until July 1989. Less than 3,000 were built over the three-year period, with the vast majority of them going to the US and Canada. It’s suggested that less than 650 cars were actually sent to Europe.

In 1988, 242 Cabriolets were produced for Europe, compared to 677 Coupes and a meagre 136 Targas. That shows what a find this model is: one of 242 1988-build cars across the whole of Europe. Research would show how many still remain, but you can bet it isn’t 242.

Monks Heath backs this up. It’s one of 50 UK cars, it says, further research indicating that there are fewer than this still on UK roads. 930s are becoming cherished cars now, used less and less as age and historical relevance start to factor heavily on owners’ minds. 930 Cabriolets are even thinner on the ground, both worldwide and particularly in England.

This, then, is a rare opportunity indeed: the chance to buy an immaculate and fully verified 930 Cabriolet from an independent dealer, with the full support of a mechanical warranty and a multitude of reassuring checks. It does indeed provide something of the peace of mind you get with a new 911, only with a whole extra slice of historical relevance thrown in, too. Interesting opportunity, no?

 

Well stocked as standard

It even has a decent standard of equipment to ease the shock of the transition from a more modern 911. Porsche model year changes ensured the 930 had a reasonably bountiful kit level by contemporary standards in 1989. Fitted to this car was leather trim, air con, 16-inch Fuchs alloys, electric windows, central locking and a CD player. Oh, and 1989 cars also come with side impact protection.

Over the years, the car’s original alarm and immobiliser, which were fitted as standard equipment in the 1989 model year, have long since been replaced by a Clifford immobiliser system. Its original Blaupunkt stereo has also been replaced by a better, more modern Pioneer system.

The Blaupunkt stereo was actually accompanied by an optional amplifier, which presumably gave it the extra oomph necessary to be heard during topless driving. The seats were also upgraded, with electric height adjustment and hip-hugging sports design. Another benefit for roof-down motoring was the fact that the original owner also chose to have them heated.

930 Cabriolet: a good stop gap before the 991 Turbo?

Was the original owner a little vain, choosing to have the top screen tinted to reduce the need to squint in the sun? We can only surmise.

A key feature of the 1989 model year, which this model benefits from, is a five-speed gearbox. This was long a bone of contention with the 930 Turbo, whose ample torque was too much for the sweet-shifting G50 gearbox – until, it seems, 1989. Thanks to a reinforced clutch and differential casing, plus a bigger crown wheel and pinion, it was fitted to the 930 Turbo in readiness for application in the 964. Driveability improved considerably as a result, which is why these are the choice 930s to buy. Instead of third and fourth gear being overdrives, fourth and fifth were overdrive, with all gears more tightly packed. Sure, the torque of a turbo means wringing it out for high revs isn’t as necessary as for normally aspirated cars, but the extra vibrancy of the five-speed car is still welcome.

Using the G50 gearbox meant a hydraulic clutch is fitted to this car, too, another welcome driving aid and one particularly valued by the easygoing nature many convertible owners demand from their cars. Posing is less cool if your left leg is shaking through the effort of crawling at low speed.

High speed was what the 930 was built for, though, and the reason the original owner bought it. 300bhp isn’t a patch on the 997’s 500bhp, of course. There is a weight advantage, but it’s not as great as you’d think; this car weighs 1,335kg, compared to the 997’s 1,645kg. We’re used to
half-ton differences between classic cars and new machinery – this looks positively slim by comparison.

Performance figures tell the full story, with a base 997 six-speed manual taking 3.8 seconds for the 62mph dash, spearing on to 194mph all-out. The 930? It reached 62mph in 5.4 seconds, and blasted on to a 161mph top speed. Not quite 997-level, but impressive for a soft-top Porsche – and remember, this was so much more compact than the 997, so the effect was surely magnified.

 

But what about the
running costs?

Of course, you may worry that in buying an older car, you’re buying a model that is in need of ongoing expense. At least with a brand new car you have the security of knowing everything that’s consumable won’t have been consumed, and thus will leave you bill-free for at least a year. Well, fret not. A good slice of ownership security is provided by this 930, too, as the previous owners have spent so much on it over the years.

930 Cabriolet: a good stop gap before the 991 Turbo?

Bills show that this year alone, £11,500 has been spent on it. More than 20 per cent of the price of the car has been lavished in cosmetically and mechanically maintaining it, bringing it up to the gleaming, near-factory-fresh condition you see here. If that isn’t reassurance, I don’t know what is.

Or maybe I do: it was serviced by AFN in 1992 (after just 2,780 miles!), Hendon Way in 1995, AFN in 1997, AFN in 2001, Tognola in 2003 and 2007 and Charles Ivey in 2011. Stacked within these stamps is a load of receipts showing other work that has been carried out. The pit stops are perhaps not as clockwork-like as modern computer-scheduled servicing demands, but the reassurance provided by the service history certainly gives ample reassurance as to its provenance.

Tot up the value of all the receipts and adjust that figure for inflation, and you have a total that far outweighs even the cost of a new 997. Buy this car, and you’re buying something with a lot of history that’s had a lot of money spent on it, and whose value is fully justified if you factor in the amount that has been paid out to keep it in this condition. For the original owners it marks a poor return, but they’ve clearly loved this 930 Cabrio enough to justify it. For the used buyer, it represents a bit of a steal: they’ve forked out to freeze it in history so you don’t have to.

You also get finance options from the dealer, plus a choice of warranty schemes, and they’ll even deliver it if you can’t get up there to collect it yourself – all the sort of facilities you expect of a dealer when buying a new car. See, switching to a used car needn’t be that hard after all!

 

New old or used but as new old?

The more you look at it, the more intriguing it is. The situation is one that has occurred thanks to Porsche model cycles, and means that potential
911 enthusiasts hankering after some blown-wind-in-the-hair entertainment may have to pause before committing to a brand new purchase.
Some may even be holding off entirely until the 991 Turbo arrives, but still yearn to get into something different.

Here’s a potential solution: an as-new 911 Turbo for more than half the price that will provide them with a rare, unique and hassle-free ‘new car’ experience. Certainly enough, until the 991 Turbo arrives – and who knows what the value of a quarter-Century 930 Cabriolet that has been frozen in time could be.

The question is – if you’re lucky enough to be in the position to make this decision – which will be more special: a brand-new 997 Cabrio or this 930 Cabrio plus £70,000 in the bank? Or, to throw in another curveball, and if you could find an extra £10,000 or haggle hard, this 930 Cabriolet plus a 991 Carrera Cabrio? It is certainly immaculate enough to warrant consideration…

*This article was published in Total 911 issue 93. To purchase a copy, visit the ImagineShop online bookstore, or visit GreatDigitalMags.com to download a digital copy.

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Diaporama : Porsche et le Turbo… Une histoire d’amour !

 


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