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1991 Porsche 944 Turbo Cabriolet
Lot No.: 332
Registration: TBO 944P
Chassis Number: WP0ZZZ95ZMN130427
Engine Number: 47M01117 / M44 / 52
Number of cylinders: 4
Year of Manufacture: 1991
Estimate (£): 25,000 - 30,000
(+buyer’s premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
Following the international success of their nimble 924, Porsche designed an all-alloy, 2.5-litre inline-four for their new 944 which they planned to introduce in 1982. Their talented engineers were able to produce a very smooth running four-cylinder engine by utilising two counter-rotating balance shafts running at twice engine speed. These carry eccentric weights which produce inertial forces that balance out the unbalanced secondary forces, resulting in a four-cylinder engine that feels as smooth as a six.
Cosmetically, the 944's bodywork was revised with wider wheel arches (similar to that of the 924 Carrera GT), a fresh interior and upgrades to the braking and suspension systems. With greater visual presence and the performance to match, better handling, stopping power and more creature comforts, the 944 was a natural step forward.
A 'turbo' version of the 944 was always on the cards, and the forced induction boosted the 2.5-litre engine by a healthy 60bhp, necessitating an upgraded clutch and gearbox. The chassis was further developed and thicker anti-roll bars and four-pot brake callipers were fitted to deal with the significantly increased performance. Externally, a smoother nose panel and a larger rear spoiler distinguished it from its lesser siblings.
In February 1991, (the final year of 944 production), Porsche released the 944 Turbo Cabriolet which combined the Turbo S' 250bhp engine with the strengthened cabriolet body built by the ASC-American Sunroof Company at Weinsberg. Porsche initially announced that 600 would be made, but ultimately 625 were built, with just 100 examples produced in right-hand drive for the UK, Japanese, Australian and South African markets. This then is a very rare and capable model, with a 0-62 mph time of under 6 seconds, and was produced for just one year, with only 32 examples believed to still reside in the UK.
Presented here is a UK-supplied, right-hand drive, 944 Turbo Cabriolet supplied new by AFN Porsche, London on the 31st January 1992. Finished in the classic Porsche colour combination of Guards Red with a Black leather interior and black carpets throughout, this car is in superb condition and has today covered just 50,319 miles. It was serviced by Porsche Centres (AFN, Dick Lovett, Merlin) from 2,338 miles to 44,240 miles, and latterly by marque specialist Jaz Porsche. It comes with an original and fully stamped-up Porsche Service Book plus numerous invoices for maintenance plus MoT data which helps verify the indicated mileage. Indeed, this car has been used sparingly during the last 17 years, having covered just 9,462 miles during this period! Now being sold from part of an enthusiast’s collection, this car has recently benefited from some recommissioning, having been freshly painted and fully serviced (including cam-belt).
This fabulous, open-top, Porsche has obviously been well-maintained and presents, both mechanically and cosmetically, really well. Small but important details like factory stickers still in situ, an original sales brochure, two sets of keys, a complete book pack, a Porsche inflation kit, and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity help support its dutiful ownership. This is a simply a lovely example of one of the rarest and most sought-after Porsche models from the 1990s. It was recently selected to feature in 'Ultimate Porsche' magazine.
The 944, the 968 and even the 928 are seeing their values rise in the wake of the '911 explosion'. Front-engined Porsches are having the renaissance they richly deserve, and this great example, whilst being competitively guided, opens the door into a very exclusive club.