Tribute bands may not always look like their honorees, but they usually do a good job of at least sounding like them. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '81 Porsche 930 is outwardly a tribute to the legendary 959, but does its price think it's the real deal?
Prince may have wanted us to party like it's 1999, but yesterday you wanted to rock the house like it was a 1993 Festiva. That hopped up high roof came away with a party hardy 81% Nice Price win, as well as the first modicum of honor a Festiva has earned in a long time. Next up, making an Aspire aspirational!
But before we attempt that, let's check out this 1981 Porsche 930 that someone has dressed up in 959 duds. You all remember the 959 don't you? It was the Stuttgart maker's entry into the WRC's toe dip into insanity that was Group B. The short-lived rally class gave rise to some of the greatest and most desirable cars of the modern era. Many of them - cars like the Ford RS200, Lancia 037, and Audi Quattro S1 - seem to be followed by a chorus of angels wherever they go and probably never have to buy their own drinks.
The 959 came out of Gruppe B but also served as a technological think tank for Porsche's future engineering. The car featured the company's Porsche-Steuer Kupplung all wheel drive system, an engine with water-cooled heads, and active aerodynamics to provide at the time what was claimed to be the fastest production road car on the planet. The motivating force behind this achievement was a race-developed twin-turbo 2,847-cc edition of the horizontally opposed six. The four-valve engine pumped 444-bhp into the 959's ring-wing'd butt, and through a 5-speed plus off-road gear transaxle. Complicated electronics controlled the high strung motor's output, the torque split between front and rear wheels and even the ride height, dropping the car at speed for improved aerodynamics.
This 930 has none of that. Well, it does have the wing in the back, and the ad says the intercooler has been moved to the fender from just below the engine lid. M'kay. There's no all wheel drive here, the wide track backs having to do all the work, and the only way you'd likely be able to lower this Tribute at speed would be to let the air out of its tires. Also, the number of turbos in back? One. One stinkin' turbo, how's that for a kick in the squirrels?
Thing of it is, that single turbo is connected to a 3.3-litre edition of Porsche's venerable six, and that engine was good for about 300 ponies back in the day, enough to make the twitchy handling of the already ass-biased car act like it had ingested a dose of bath salts and was trying to eat your face off. You get only four forward gears in an early 930, but with the kind of power the ngine makes all over the rev range, you'd be hard pressed to find need of even all those.
The seller says that this is a Texas car - for whatever that's worth - and that the donor car was rust-free when surgery took place. The car now has 45K on the clock and sports a two-tone black and grey interior. Gold BBS basketweaves may have been an appropriate choice if the car had remained in its 930 guise, but dressed up as the modo high tech 959 they look a little too old school. Of course wheels are an easy switcheroo. It should be noted that the ad claims the car to be a 1981 930, but Porsche pulled the Turbo from the US market in ‘80 in response to tightening emissions regulations. That discrepancy is a bit of a nut scratcher, but probably not a deal killer.
There were only a couple hundred real 959s ever built, and despite the ones Bill Gates and Paul Allen let the Customs Service store for them for a bunch of years, plus the Canepa conversions, they're as elusive here in the US as men who admit to reading Fifty Shades of Grey. This one will give you the visual punch as it looks to be a fairly faithful reproduction of Porsche's tour de force. It's also most likely give you an actual punch in the kidneys as the base 930 was a monster in its own right. The 959 may have been a few notches up the performance bedpost - and added controllability - but driving an early Turbo is like being Slim Pickens riding the nuke.
A tribute is a gift given in a show of respect and veneration. Calling this tarted up 930 a tribute doesn't demonstrate concurrence with Webster's definition, but it does mean somebody can enjoy some semblance of 959-ness without having to break the bank to do so. The seller of this Nein-Five-Nein is asking $28,000 to take over its stewardship - and I don't think he'd entertain accepting that in equally tributary monetary units- say Monopoly money.
So, considering what this Porsche is, and what it isn't, what do you say to its $28,000 asking price? Is that something that might make this an excellent poor-man's Porsche? Or, is that too much real cash to pay for a faux car?
H/T to gmcdlux for the hookup!
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