Back in the early ’90s, Porsche was like that mate who’s brilliant at everything but somehow always skint. They were churning out top-notch cars, sure, but their price tags were as steep as a Yorkshire hill, and the way they were putting them together was about as efficient as a chocolate teapot.
Take the 944 S2 Cabriolet, for example. Motorweek’s John Davis had a good nose around this one back in 1990. The way they made it was bonkers. It started off as a coupe, then got shipped off to some specialist outfit in Germany – American Specialty Cars, no less – where they’d chop the top off and beef up the structure. Then, back to Porsche it went to get all the mechanical bits and bobs and the plush interior fitted. But wait, there’s more! It then had to go back to the specialists to have the fabric roof stuck on. Talk about faff!
This back-and-forth lark meant the 944 S2 Cabriolet was a whopping $6,700 pricier than the coupe. And with all that to-ing and fro-ing, Porsche’s profit margins must have been thinner than a supermodel’s waistline.
Something had to give. So, in ’92, Porsche, in a bit of a pickle, roped in some boffins from Toyota – those wizards of efficiency – to help tidy up their act. Not long after, along came the Boxster, a bit of a bargain to build, and it pretty much pulled Porsche out of the mire. Then they hit the jackpot with the 996 911 and the Cayenne SUV. Now, Porsche’s raking in about $17,000 profit per car, making everyone else green with envy.
The 1991 944 S2 Cabriolet? It’s a bit of a museum piece, really. A cracking car, no doubt, but a throwback to the days when Porsche was making fabulous motors that nearly cost them the farm.
The Porsche we’re looking at is a rather special specimen from the S2 series. Picture this: it’s February 1990, and out rolls this Porsche, drenched in what they call Velvet Red Metallic LM3U, a rather fetching shade if I might say. Inside, it’s sporting a Multicolor Red interior – a bit of a nod to the special model Porsche 944 Turbo S. And get this, according to the chaps at Porsche, there are only two of these beauties in this particular combo. Quite exclusive, then.
Now, the current custodian of this fine machine has been rather busy, and not to mention, generous with their wallet. Over the past 15 years, they’ve splashed out upwards of €40,000 on it. A hefty chunk of that, a cool €12,000, went into tarting up the interior alone.
But it’s not just about the upholstery. This S2 has been given the royal treatment with top-notch parts from the Transaxle series. It’s got 3-piece BBS rims pinched from the 996 GT3 – quite the looker, those. 7.5Jx18 ET50 at the front and 9Jx18 ET52 at the rear, in case you’re taking notes. From the Porsche 968, it’s borrowed a few bits and bobs: exterior mirrors, door handles, windscreen wiper, a front spoiler lip, a strut brace, and control arms complete with brake cooling. The suspension setup is a bit of a mix-and-match – 968 Turbo at the front and 944 Turbo S at the rear. And for a bit of auditory pleasure, there’s a muffler from the 944 Turbo.
As of the 14th of August 2021, it’s even got a new transaxle drive shaft. Maintenance? Oh, it’s been pampered like a prize poodle, with every service interval meticulously adhered to.
The soft top and rear window are in tip-top shape, and the windscreen, a mere toddler at 3 years old, is pristine. It also comes with a wind deflector, a tarpaulin, and a bag, because, why not? In the world of Porsches, this one’s a bit of a rare gem.
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