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Vous êtes ici : PassionPorsche > Sur route > Modèles de série > 911 [depuis 1964] > 911 993 [1994 à 1998] > 911 Carrera Cabriolet 3.6 - 272 ch [1994 à 1995]

911 Carrera Cabriolet 3.6 – 272 ch [1994 à 1995]

Porsche 993 C2S Cabriolet: one of a kind

It’s a dull, grey day, but the ‘Indischrot’ paint shines and sparkles as if this 20-year-old 911 rolled off the assembly line yesterday. This is one of the most beautiful 993s I have ever seen, and it’s also one of the most unique.

The 911 connoisseur in you will immediately recognise those extra wide, voluptuous hips, and knows that for the 993 generation these belong to a Turbo as well as the Turbo-look Carrera S and 4S. However, none of these were ever produced as convertibles – yet the car right here in front of me is, unmistakably, topless. There’s something very special about this 993, which comes from the Porsche factory as one of the last ever air-cooled 911s.

Let us go back in time. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Porsche led a more difficult existence than today. Production capacity was limited, so choices had to be made. One of these was that the 993 Cabriolet – introduced in 1994 – remained reserved for the regular Carrera, breaking with a tradition started by the 3.2 Carrera Cabriolet with M491 ‘Turbo look’, and continued with the aptly named 964 Turbo-look Cabriolet. The 993’s wide-bodied cars would all get a Coupé body. 

Of course, there are always those within the Porsche customer fraternity who don’t like to settle for what Porsche calls factory specification. One of those people at the time was the Munich distributor Kaspar Haberl who, in 1995, knocked on the door at Porsche and asked whether it was possible to make a Turbo convertible. He was referred to Exclusive, the department that at the time actually delivered exclusive customisation in small numbers.

Think of the street version of the 935 for TAG founder Mansour Ojjeh (1983) and the special series of seven 959s built for a sheikh in 1989 – at a time when regular production had already stopped. In those years Porsche could make good use of every extra penny, so at an additional price of 112,000 Deutsche marks compared to the Carrera Cabriolet, and for a minimum order of ten vehicles, Haberl’s wish could be granted.

A precedent had been set, and so after that it was almost inevitable: when the Carrera S was introduced in 1997, with the widebody of the Turbo, again there came a request for a roofless version. For VIP client Harald Otto Karrenberg, it seemed to be a perfect gift to himself to celebrate Porsche’s 50th anniversary, but at first the response was negative. However, when the Porsche dealer from Beverly Hills came with a similar request not long afterwards, Exclusive changed its mind.

Porsche sent five special Umbau kits to California and, after that, Karrenberg also got his fervently desired Carrera 2S Cabriolet. It would be the only one actually built in Zuffenhausen, and the only one with European specifications.

The Karrenberg family cherished their special 993 for 20 years until it was eventually auctioned off by Sotheby’s in 2018. That’s how the wide-bodied C2S ended up in the Dutch village of Burgerveen, at the dealer of exclusive cars Real Art on Wheels. And here I am with its keys in my hand. This is going to be a special day.

The regular 993 Carrera Cabriolet has a total build number of 7,730 units worldwide. Low mileage examples already go for well above 100,000 Euros. The estimated value of this one-off however is between 350,000 and 400,000. Nevertheless, with the solemn promise that I will not do anything crazy, I may take it for a spin. Here goes.

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Porsche 911 Cabriolets: G-series v 964 v 993

Yorkshire dry-stone walls have a very useful application that was never intended by the original builders several centuries ago. In addition to providing the unique signature style that is the Yorkshire landscape while also containing livestock over the centuries, they also make a superb surface to echo back the bark of an air-cooled 911 engine. Combine that with the final days of a long, hot summer and a trio of Cabriolet 911s – all with the hoods folded as they truly should be – and we have the perfect recipe for a great day’s driving and a chance to investigate the appeal of the open-top 911 experience. Will we enjoy a day in the sunshine, or will the bumpy Yorkshire lanes highlight the compromise of 911 body stiffness?

Heading out of the market town of Malton, I’m at the rear of the convoy in the 993 Cabriolet. The air is filled with the bass burble of air-cooled exhaust tones at low RPM, the whiff of that unique 911 aroma of hot oil and burned hydrocarbons from the two cars ahead spilling over into the interior, the sun providing a warmth on my face that is still pleasant so late in the summer. Good times.

Turning left down some of our favourite B-roads, the sunshine dapples the tree-lined road ahead… it’s time to increase the pace. We’re staying away from the vast, open moorland of the North Yorkshire Moors today, instead staying on the lower ground of the Vale of York and the twisting, turning B-roads that keep hands and feet busy as the road snakes between those ancient dry-stone walls. The three cars span an eight-year period of 911 evolution, from the torsion bars and impact bumpers of 1989, through the transformation of 1990 with power assistance and coil springs, to the final development of the air-cooled Porsche 911 in the 993.

Without a doubt everyone will have a personal favourite. Indeed, as we gather the cars together for photographs, the debate commences even before photographer Alistair has rigged his first flash head. The most visually arresting is the 1989 Super Sport in Guards red. For me this car is the epitome of that period of Porsche sales. The hedonistic period when excess was encouraged and every businessman and city trader in the City of London had to have a giant Motorola brick phone, expensive Italian shoes and matching briefcase, plus a Guards red Porsche 911. For the full-on effect it had to be the Turbo body, Fuchs alloys and the whaletail spoiler. And if you really wished to be publicly on display through the city streets, then the Cabriolet ensured that you shared your cellphone conversation with everyone around you as you discussed the day’s share trading at the traffic lights.

So how does the drive compare almost 30 years later? We hand over the keys to the 993 that we arrived in and swap to the cream seats of the Super Sport. Instantly I’m missing the powered steering as we shuffle back and forth to leave the photo location, the non-standard steering wheel not helping with its smaller diameter, though once rolling along the country lanes it’s much less of an issue. The road is initially bumpy, and several things become apparent. Firstly there is indeed that flex and shake from around the windscreen area that I recall from previous drives. Secondly, despite there only being a few years between the registration dates, the 1989 car does feel as though it’s from a much older generation of Porsche.

That’s not to say it’s a bad car – far from it. And as the road smooths out and widens we’re able to enjoy the bark of the 3.2 engine and use the echo board of Yorkshire’s dry-stone walls to enjoy some rather delightful pops and crackles on the downshifts. Through the avenue of trees we return to our location, and I swap into the black 964.

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