• You are here:
  • Home »
  • Archive: December, 2016

Archive Monthly Archives: December 2016

My old English Porsche 911 Supersport (Widebody) SSE Cabriolet

So I found my old Porsche website I did around sixteen years ago… Lots of waffle about Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera and especially my old 1988 911 SSE (the famous Porsche 911 Supersport). Much loved and very regrettably sold when I left England…

My old Porsche website on CIX in the days of html websites and page counters

Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Supersport (aka – Turbo Look)

If you want to drive to work (even on the wettest, coldest, darkest and most miserable mornings) with a huge stupid grin plastered across your face then this is the car for you.

Most people ask “Porsche Supersport… I don’t think I’ve heard of that one?” Well, quite simply the Carrera SSE (Supersport) is the 911 Turbo without the Turbo!

This was a special order, Porsche option number M491, and was introduced for the 1984 model Carrera and ran through till 1989. The only description offered against this option code is a handbook reference to ‘Turbo Look’. It’s registered as a 911 Carrera but more commonly referred to as a Supersport (or a Turbo Look or even a Wide Body) to distinguish it from the standard Carrera.

Confused? Well, lets try and clear it up then…..

Features of the M491 Supersport (Turbo-look) Option

  • Turbo body (flared wheel arches front and rear)
  • Turbo rear spoiler (the whale-tail)
  • Turbo wheels (245/45VR16 tyres on 9J x 16 rims at the back, 205/55VR16 tyres on 7J x 16 rims in front)
  • Turbo brakes – 4 pot callipers with 285mm & 290mm cross-drilled discs
  • Turbo suspension
  • Porsche describe it as the “turbo-look” which is the only reference to it in the Driver’s Manual.

Other options are the same as the 3.2 Carrera.

Porsche, There is NO substitute.

Porsches! You just can’t touch them. The Internet is filled with websites discussing their merits. Young boys shout “Nice car mate” as they drive past. Young men eye them enviously. Old men moan about a lost youth. Enthusiasts spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at them, polishing them, preening them and reading about them. But, ultimately you can only experience Porsche by driving them.

If you want to experience real life racing car excitement and yet still maintain reliability, practicality, and have a car that you can drive to the supermarket to get your groceries (granted – you will probably get there quicker than most) then Porsche is the only way to go.

This 911 is my 4th Porsche, and certainly wont be my last. So far I have been lucky enough to owned:

Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet

My first Porsche was a 944 S2. It drove superbly, had great styling and had more ‘seat-of-the-pants’ torque than anything I had ever driven before. But, sadly, as time went by a number of problems crept up. One week it would be the brakes juddering, then the wind screen wipers would pack up, then the headlights stopped flipping up, then the battery ran flat (in a day!) because of a short in the alarm system, then a pinking problem turned out to be the EMS (Engine Management System) a *cough* sturdy amount of money to replace. Just when I had it all running nicely, the annual service turned up warped front  wishbones! The threat of the required overdraft meant that my porker just had to go.

So, I went on the trail of a nice, reliable, cheap, sporty, Japanese number. Unfortunately, at that time I didn’t realise that I was infected with a very common strain of Porscheitis. This particular virus causes irrational urges to look in Porsche showrooms, scouring of the car mags checking the second-hand Porsche prices and of course wandering off to every Porsche site on the Net (just to browse – honest!).

Needless to say, three months later, dozens of flower bouquets for the wife and a very hefty bank loan later I took possession of a…

Porsche 968 Cabriolet

The 968 was a fantastic car. Very similar car to the 944 with very small improvements in lots of different areas. The 968 was the replacement for the 944. The 944 had evolved slowly during it’s 10+ year life span with the final model, the 944 S2 being discontinued in 1992. Then came the 968 which was itself replaced by the Boxster in 1997. The 968 was the last of the 4 cylinder liquid cooled Porsches and, in my opinion, the very best.

The 968’s 3.0 litre 16v engine delivers 240 horsepower, making it the world’s most powerful normally aspirated 4 cylinder. This power, up from 208 in the 944S2, arrived partly from VarioCam which uses a camshaft chain drive with an adjustable tensioner to retard intake valve actuation up to 7.5 degrees. This results in lower exhaust emissions, more horsepower, and better torque. The 968 is an attractive blend of both Porsche marques. It still has the overall look of the 944, but I personally think it looks more like a cross between the 944, 928 and the 993 bodied 911. The body styling changes are fairly minor and include a marginally longer (a whole inch) body with (believe it or not) creates a much sleeker smoother finish, rearranged air-intakes, 993/928-style popup headlamps, a restyled backend including American style neutral density tail lights with red lenses, and the 968 lettering embossed into the boot.

Deciding to swap the 968 for the 911 was a very difficult decision. The 968 was such a great car, but I needed to see what all the fuss about 911’s was. So. this lead me to…

Porsche 911 Supersport Cabriolet

My first Porsche 911. This car was a beautiful Black 911 Supersport Cabriolet with grey leather interior. Mileage was quite high at 110k, but overall the car was in good condition. I enjoyed this car for a total of eight days. Yes, you read correctly – 8 days before some thieving scumbag stole it!

Gutted! Doesn’t even come close to describing how I felt. But after four long months of legal wrangling with the insurance company, eventually they paid up and I was back on the 911 trail. Even Eight days is enough to hook you on these magnificent cars.

So, after much searching I came across favorite Car – license plate OFS1Y.

Porsche 911 Supersport Cabriolet (OFS1Y)

What can I say about the 911?

… Classic lines, aggressive road presence, unblemished black body work, flared wheel arches, huge whale tail, growling engine, sports suspension, 17 inch cup alloy wheels, sports steering wheel,  10 speaker CD sound system thing (that I rarely listen to, preferring the raucous exhaust tone instead) and electric bits where all the electric bits should be: In short, it’s loaded.

OFS1Y is a Black 1989 Carrera Supersport Cabriolet, red leather interior with red carpets and black floor mats, 17″ cups, lowered Koni Shocks. 

Every morning, slipping behind the wheel brings a smile to my face. Hearing the starter motor cough and the engine growling into life turns the smile into a grin and then there is first, second, third… The only time the grins fades is when you arrive at your destination.

Having a Porsche is less practical than a 7 seater family car, its slightly thirstier and servicing is more expensive. But you should accept these limitations just to enjoy the Porsche Experience, the GRIN factor, more than makes up for any perceived limitations associated with these marvellous cars.

If you are thinking of taking the plunge into the heady world of Porsche ownership: Think long and hard, because once you’ve got the bug, there is No going back…….

 

The very saucy Porsche 911 3.2 SUPERSPORT Carrera!

So I found my old Porsche website I did around sixteen years ago… Lots of waffle about Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera and especially my old 1988 911 SSE. Much loved and very regrettably sold when I left England…

My old Porsche website on CIX in the days of html websites and page counters

The Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Supersport

…sometimes referred to as the Carrera SSE, or Carrera Turbo Look, or even Carrera Wide body. These should not be confused with the Carrera SE – Sport Equipment. This is different option based on the standard Carrera body shape.

Features of the M491 SuperSport Option
Turbo body (flared wheel arches front and rear)Turbo rear spoiler (the whale-tail)

Turbo wheels (245/45VR16 tyres on 9J x 16 rims at the back, 205/55VR16 tyres on 7J x 16 rims in front)

Turbo brakes – 4 pot callipers with 285mm & 290mm cross-drilled discs

Turbo suspension

Porsche describe it as the “turbo-look” which is the only reference to it in the Driver’s Manual. 

What about performance? 

No difference from the standard 3.2 Carrera. Remember the engine is the same, only the styling and brakes / suspension set-up differ. On the other hand, the SSE option adds a little weight and the flared arches (probably) increase wind resistance so I imagine that the absolute performance of a SuperSport is slightly down from the standard bodied 3.2 Carrera. But we may only be talking in the region of a tenth of a second in the 0-60 range. And of course, my viewpoint is that the improved suspension and braking more than make up for the loss of straight line acceleration. Anyway, 5.6 seconds is plenty fast enough for me.

How rare is it?

Here in the UK, SuperSport are very tricky to find. When I was hunting for mine, I generally found that in magazines advertising Porsches for sale there were maybe two or three SSE’s for every 50 Carreras. This is a real rough estimate but would suggest that something like 5% of Carreras sold between 1984-98 wore the M491 option.

Porsche Cars Great Britain do not maintain any record of options included in cars sold during this period, so may be we will never know! The Porsche Club of Great Britain did have a 911 SSE register at one stage but this (sadly) died out… I can only assume through lack of members?

Beginning with the 1984 models the turbo look was also made available for both the Targa and Cabriolet in addition to the Coupe.

  • E series (1984 model) Coupe only, ROW only
  • F series (1985 model) Coupe, Cabriolet, Targa, Exported to all countries
  • G series (1986) same as F series
  • H series same as G series
  • J series same as G series, production stopped September 1989.

The turbo look was also made available without front and rear spoilers.

Back in the Eighties the M491 option added about £11,000 to the £30,000 price of the standard 3.2 Carrera so total cost could be £41,000, whilst a 911 Turbo was around £46,000. Thinking about these figures a customer must have been extremely positive about wanting the turbo body without the turbo engine. He would be paying nearly the same price for it AND suffer a degradation in performance.

Then again, my personal view point is that I love the styling of the Turbo but am not really concerned with the Turbo itself. Having heard a number of stories regarding the 911 Turbo (930), it seems to me a truly awesome machine but with a definite sting in the tail. Something for daily driving? I’m not sure.. ask me next year! 😎

I would guess that when buying a used Supersport today around £2-4,000 of this price differential over an equivalent 3.2 Carrera still survives.

The 3.2 Carreras range from a low of about £10,000 to a high for the 1989 models of about £30,000 the coupes and targas tend to stay in the same price range while Cabriolets will add about £2,000 more than the coupes and the turbo look will usually add from £2,000 to £5,000 to the Carrera price.

So, what is so great about the Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera?

So I found this old Porsche website I did around 2000. Hard to believe its sixteen years ago… Lots of waffle about Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera and decided to repost it just in case its of interest?

My old Porsche website on CIX in the days of html websites and page counters

 

Engine Enhancements Engine Management Enhancements
The engine size was increased to 3,164 cc by using the longer stroke 74.4 mm crankshaft from the 3.3 turbo and the 95 mm bore pistons the 911 SC had used.The compression ratio was raised from 9.8:1 to 10.3:1 giving a maximum power 231 DIN horsepower at 5900 rpm.

The torque was 209 lb/ft at 4200 rpm.

The chain tensioner problem that had plagued earlier models of the 911 was finally solved by going to a pressure fed design.

 

The Motronic engine management system created a more efficient engine.Linked to sensors monitoring air flow, engine temperature and atmospheric pressure. It adjust engine timing and fuel usage dependent on the most efficient setting programmed into it.

This causes better fuel consumption, smoother idle, broader power-band, controlled carburetion, a rev limit set to 6520 rpm, less exhaust pollution…

Body Enhancements Interior Enhancements
The brakes were improved on the Carrera to cope with its increased performance potential. All round rotor thickness was increased to 24 mm (from 20.5 mm) to improve the cooling of the brakes. The rear calliper diameter increased from 38 mm to 42 mm for additional friction, and therefore, improved braking. A pressure regulator was added to the rear brake circuit to prevent the rear wheels from locking. Pad wear indicators were also added to monitor brake pad wear.Porsche also offered the turbo look body, which they called the 911 Carrera with 930 Performance Body/Chassis option. 930 is the Porsche designation for the 911 Turbo. So this new type of Carrera had turbo body work, suspension, brakes and larger turbo wheels and tires. The front wheels and tires were 7 x 16 with 205/55 VR 16 while the rear were 8 x 16 with 226/50 VR 16 The in-car heater was improved by adding two extra blowers in the heating ducts of the passenger compartments. The extra blowers have three speeds and greatly improved the air circulation. All of the air outlet vents in the instrument panel are an all new larger design greatly improving the operation of the air conditioner.

 

Porsche also introduced their short shifter in 1985. There reason for shortening the shift travel was to avoid having the shift lever scrape the seat going into second gear when the car had sport seats. They shortened the shift travel by about 10% by moving the pivot point up by 4 mm. Starting with the 1985 model Porsche also using Boge GZ double-tube gas pressure shock absorbers as an option to the Bilstein single tube gas pressure shock absorbers as an option on the Turbo Look cars. The oil cooler was changed to a finned radiator type cooler. To provide extra airflow the opening in the front bumper was increased in size. This change was to provide a reduction of about 20~ C while driving at full load. Some Porsche customers had experienced engine failures when driving at full speed on the autobahns. Electrically operated central door locks were also added in 1984. The telescopic fender mounted antenna was replace with an active radio antenna which was mounted in the windshield.

The 1986 911 Carreras now had Boge double tube low pressure gas shock absorbers as standard equipment. The front sway bar diameter was increased from 20.0 mm to 22.0 mm. The rear torsion bars were increased in diameter from 24.1 mm to 25.0 mm. The rear sway bar was also increased in size from 18.0 mm to 21.0 mm. The 911 Turbo Look models had different size tires and rims on the rear wheels. The rim size was changed from 8J x 16 with a 10.3 mm offset with 225/50 VR 16 tires to 9J x 16 with a 15 mm rim offset with 245/45 VR 16 tires. The Cabriolet now had an optional electrically operated

Cabriolet top. 1986 was the first year that the Turbo fenders, with their fender flares, were made one piece for the front and rear instead of welded on flares as they had been previously.

The 1987 Carrera had a completely new five speed transmission, Type Code G 50, which utilized Borge Warner synchronizers for smoother shifting and improved durability. The clutch was increased from 225 mm in diameter to 240 mm to cope with the increased power of the larger 3.2 litre engine. The new larger clutch was also now activated by a hydraulic master and slave cylinder. The rear torsion bar tube has a bent centre section to provide additional clearance for the transmission. The additional clearance is required for the new clutch disc with larger rubber damper centre section. The 1987 911 Carrera and 911 Turbo had new headlights that are optically standard for R.o.W. and USA. 911 Carreras equipped with a catalytic converters had an additional electric blower mounted on the oil cooler in the right front wheel housing to prevent excessive oil temperatures. The fan is controlled by a temperature switch which is mounted in the top of the oil cooler. This switch turns on the fan when the oil temperature reaches 118~ C (244~ F). The power curves for the US version of the engine were upgraded to 217 DIN horsepower at 5900 rpm. and peak torque to 195 lb/ft at 4800 rpm.

Porsche also decided to put better brake system on the Carrera 3.2 : it received 282x24mm front and 290x24mm discs rear (instead of 282×20.5mm and 290x20mm). Pistons of the rear brake callipers increased to 42mm (as front ones) and to prevent wheel locking under big braking (which is very frequent with same pistons’ size front and rear), a pressure regulator get added to the rear brake circuit. Finally, the servo brake diameter reached 8 inches, as on the 911 turbo.
For the first year of the model, the chassis hasn’t been improved. The wheels and tyres size were similar to those of the 911 SC (185/70 VR 15 on 6J15 front and 215/60 VR 15 on 8J15 rear). Modifications will come in 1986 when Porsche equipped the Carrera 3.2 with Bodge twin tube gas shock absorbers. The front sway bar diameter raised from 20mm to 22mm and the rear ones from 18mm to 21mm. As an end, rear torsion bars now have a 25mm diameter instead of 24.1mm.

Possibly one of the most noticeable *driving* aspects of the 3.2 Carrera is because Porsche decided to produce a new transmission : the type G50 gearbox. This gearbox use modern Borg-Warner synchronizers for better shifting. The diameter of the clutch is enlarged from 225 mm to 240 mm and the command now use hydraulic mechanism more than previous cable one. As a result, the effort produced to operate clutch are less important and the shifting operation is more comfortable to execute.

The look of the Carrera 3.2 is very similar to the previous 911 SC and few details can make the difference : rear logo on the engine lid, integrated fog lights in the front spoiler, new ‘dial’ wheels and since 1987, the integration of rear fog lights into the rear headlights strip lead to the modification of the Porsche logo. Previously black and big, it gets to the colour of the red rear strip. But compared to the 911 SC, the car was more powerful and the behavior was improved. Moreover, the Carrera 3.2 is a more luxurious car with a new ventilation system, new seats and interior modifications.

A potted Porsche 911 History – 1956 to 1999

So I found this old Porsche website I did around 2000. Hard to believe its sixteen years ago… Lots of waffle about Porsche 911 History and decided to repost it just in case its of interest?

My old Porsche website on CIx in the days of html websites and page counters

1956 The first studies of the 911 began. There were a lot of prototypes but they were really ugly and the back of the car was the part that have demanded the most of work.

1963 On September, Porsche presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show his new car, originally called 901.

1964 The 911 was available with 2.0L engine. 130hp give the car better performances than earlier 356s.

1966 Introduction of the 911S. The engine was optimised to develop 160hp. The structure was also reinforced. The car was featuring new alloy Fuchs rims, a part of the Porsche legend. Targa model is now available.

1967 A true 911 sports was introduced with the introduction of the 110hp 911T. So there were Touring, Normal and Sport model. The 911 T was made for road touring, not for race circuits.

1968 First radical evolution, all 911s now have a longer wheelbase, now 2,271mm.A new transmission appeared on all models. Called Sportomatic, an Automatic with a gear stick but no clutch pedal.

1969 The 911L is now called 911E. E & S models received fuel injectiongaining 10hp each.

1970 First evolution for the engine, now a 2.2L. The 911 T produces 125hp, the 911 E 155hp and the S 180hp.

1972 A new 2.4L engine is fitted to all cars. 911 T (130hp) 911 E (165hp) 911 S (190hp). Oil tanks on these models is fitted in the rear right body panel. It will be retired with next models. All cars have now a new transmission type 915 with 4 speeds.

1973 Porsche introduced one of the most wonderful 911 : the Carrera RS 2.7 to homologate the 911 in GT series. Generating 210hp, the car is available in 3 versions : Touring, Light and Competition (RSR 2.8).The 915 gearbox is available with 5 speeds.

1974 Because of American safety restrictions, the 911 is equipped with new higher and bigger bumpers. More flared wings and 2.7L engine with K-Jetronic injection : the 911 is really transformed visually. The T model doesn’t exists anymore, it is relaced by the 911 giving 150hp. The 911S is now at 175hp and the Carrera features the engine of the Carrera RS. The Carrera RS 3.0 is available with 230hp

1975 The 911 series is left unchanged. But this model year is marked by the appearance of arguably porsche’s most famous vehicle. The 911 Turbo (930) is introduced. The fantastic engine producing  260hp. At this time, the most powerful and fast car Porsche has built for road usage. The reinforced 930 transmission has 4 speeds.

1976 The S model is retired. Standard 911 now gives 165hp. Introduction of the 200hp Carrera 3.0. This is another milestone year in Porsche history since bodies are now galvanized, against rust that was a major problem in the previous years.

1977 This year was the last of the 911 2.7, 165hp and of the 911 Turbo 3.0. Carrera 3.0 still available.

1978 Porsche (foolishly) decided to cease production of the 911s. To gently phase out the 911 they  proposed the 911 SC (Super Carrera). The first 3.0L model developed 180hp. The Turbo received a 3.3L engine and an intercooler. As a result, 300hp and more sensations than on previous model. Of course suspensions, wheels, brakes, body, transmission are adapted to the huge power. Last year of the Sportomatic gearbox.

1979 The 911 SC 3.0 has now 188hp.

1981 The end is near for Porsche’s 911.But, the public continue to order 911’s in ever increasing numbers! So, death of the 911 is delayed and the last SC model receives 204hp and a study for a Cabriolet is launched.

1983 After a prototype presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the 911 Cabriolet is now available

1984 Customers are too attached to the 911 to leave her here. So Porsche decided to continue production and development for at least another  13 years. The new model called Carrera 3.2 has 231hp and that’s the first Porsche to have Motronic electronic injection. This new Carrera is also available with the Supersport option.

1987 Carrera 3.2 includes a new transmission called G50 – smoother more efficient 5 speed box. Clutch is now hydraulic.

1988 To end the carrier of this wonderful car, Porsche proposed the Speedster. Turbo models are now available with Cabriolet and Targa bodies and five-speed G50 transmission

1989 A new 911 appeared with the 964. New look with integrated front and rear bumpers, new 16″ Speedline rims, 3.6L engine giving 250hp. The car was 4WD and it was named Carrera 4. Old models were still available. A Carrera 3.2 CS (for Club Sport) was available with reduced weight and firmer suspension.

1990 The Carrera 2, wilder than Carrera 4 but the progress realized by Porsche engineers compared to a 3.2 is enormous : better handling, braking, response but moreover better comfort, ventilation and so on. A new automatic transmission called Tiptronic was available on propulsion models. Another milestone change is the introduction of the Tiptronic gearbox, making it possible to shift a gear using two buttons on the flywheel. There were no Turbo model this year.

1991 Porsche introduced new turbocharged model called 965. With a 3.3L engine, the car has 320hp and is heavier than previous 930. As a result, it isn’t as fast but is easy ands more comfortable to drive. Huge flared wings, new 17″ Cup rims, rear whale tail, you can’t miss it !

1992 The 964 Carrera RS 3.6 is available. Lighter, more powerful, this car came directly from competition. If the engine only has 10hp more, the lightweight and the savage behaviour really made the difference. The weight of the RS, 381hp in the turbocharged 3.3 engine combine to give you some challenging times.

1993 A new 965 arrived with a 3.6 engine that time. 360hp, beautiful rims and 285kph. To end the 964/965 series, there were a lot of anniversary models : Carrera 4 with Turbo body, Speedster with narrow or large Turbo body, 911 exemplars of a Carrera 2 with all options and 911 script on the rear. On September, Porsche announced the new model called 993. Very beautiful with more fluid lines, new rims, new interior and a totally new rear suspension that have very improved handling qualities of the 911. The 3.6 engine now produces 272hp.

1994 The 993 Carrera 4 and of the Cabriolet.

1995 The 993 Turbo. With twin turbo 408hp engine and 4WD, that’s the most powerful and the better handling 911 ever built. There are improvements everywhere, that’s a little miracle of technology and comfort.
The Carrera 4 is made available with Turbo’s body and chassis. That’s the Carrera 4S. In my opinion the most beautiful Porsche to date.  There’s also the 993 Carrera RS 3.8 featuring the bigger normally aspired engine on a 911. 300hp for only 1,290kg, dynamite performance with limited comfort. Vario-cam is now fitted to all models giving 13hp more to reach 285hp.

1997 The Carrera S with Turbo’s body and wheels. The car is announced with RS engine and traction control for a little extra. Porsche also propose the Turbo S with 424hp, all options as the ultimate Porsche 911 of the century.

1997 The new 911 is available with heavy modifications : elements of the Boxster and water cooled 3.4L engine giving 300hp. Maybe the best handling 911 ever made.

1998 The 996 Cabriolet. Serial hard top and all the qualities of the 996. New 996 Carrera 4, the most sophisticated and secure 911 in history. Revolutionary PSM system for enhanced handling on wet surfaces. Available with six-speed manual transmission or five-speed Tiptronic for the first time due to the new disposition of the front differential system. Coupe or Cabriolet.

1999… uhm dunno yet

2000… 996 Turbo. Oh dear! I *really* need one of these….