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Introduced in 1984 and possibly the ultimate version of the 3.2 Carrera was the ‘Option M491-Turbo-look’ or ‘Supersport’ as it later became known in the UK. Initially, Option M491 was only available on a Coupe and had to be ordered through the ‘Special Wishes’ program, but was later extended to include the Targa and Cabriolet in 1985, before becoming an official model available from dealers in 1986. From 1987 onwards these dramatic versions were officially known as SSE (Supersport Equipment), and the cars in this final three-year run-up until 1989 were fitted with the more user-friendly G50 Getrag gearbox and a hydraulic clutch.
'M491' was not just a sop to the excesses of the 1980's, with flared arches evoking the appearance of some dramatic Porsche models from the past, but was a popular option offering the 'macho' good looks of the Turbo without the mechanical complexities. However, it was not cheap adding over £10,000 to the cost of a standard variant by the end of the model’s life in 1989, possibly explaining the relatively small build numbers. The SSE spec also included a limited-slip differential, the stiffer suspension and superior braking system from the 930 Turbo, a wrap-around deep chin-spoiler, the famous ‘tea-tray’ rear spoiler, and wider Fuchs alloy wheels. The rarity of Supersport models is undeniable, especially in right-hand drive, but official figures are hard to come by as technically the 'Turbo-look' option was, just that, an option and not a Type so records do not exist but a respected source quotes that just 651 M491 cars (including all Coupes, Targas and Cabriolets) were manufactured between 1984 and 1989 with only 75 of those being in C16 UK-spec with 39 of those being Cabriolets.
This lovely Supersport Cabriolet is a C16, UK, right-hand drive car (1 of 39) and was supplied to its first owner by Lancaster Porsche during January 1988. It’s finished in the classic eighties Porsche colour of Guards Red but the interior is unusual having been selected from the factory ‘Special Wishes Program’. It looks fabulous in Linen leather and features a black leather dash top, leather knee rolls, leather to the door panels, armrests and rear seats, full leather front seats piped in red with eight-way electric adjustment all topped off with a Special Wishes gold-embellished gear lever knob. To differentiate the car a little further it was dealer-fitted with the front air dam and side-skirts from the 930 SE.
In addition to the Supersport’s standard features, which include the manual G50 gearbox, Fuchs alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, power steering, air conditioning, CD Player, central locking, electric windows, lumbar support and an alarm this car was further optioned with (490) sound system - high fidelity package with eight speakers, (494) Amplifier, (330) Blaupunkt Toronto SQR 46cassette-radio and (975) Luggage compartment velour carpet.
It benefits from a comprehensive maintenance record supporting the indicated mileage of 73,806 which includes a documented engine refresh carried out by Porsche Cambridge in 2010 at 67,542 miles. The car has covered a little over 6,000 miles in the last nine years and has recently been serviced (73,714-less than 100 miles ago) and the MOT is valid until August 2020. It will be accompanied by its original tool roll, aluminium spare wheel (correct for a Supersport), a second key, the Certificate of Authenticity, handbooks, service book and the history file.
As one of only thirty-nine, UK Supersport Cabriolets are rare, however, with its SE aerodynamics and the bespoke Special Wishes interior, this lovely 911 is undoubtedly unique.