The Porsche 911 could well be called the quintessential cult car. Conceived 60 years ago, the 911 began development as the 901, though Porsche was forced to change its name when Peugeot, who claimed rights to a “0” in the middle of any three-digit model name, objected to the designation. And so, Porsche upped the ante by 10 and the 911 was born. It soon became the most beloved Porsche of all time.
The 911 exists in more iterations than any other Porsche, and with enthusiasts spanning the globe, probably has more fans than any single model of car ever made. Whether one is attracted to the bare-bones early 911 or the most recent GT3 depends on one’s driving mission and aesthetic sensibilities, yet in the middle of all that 911 history lies the sweet spot for some collectors, a slice of heaven called the 993.
Made from 1994 to 1998, the 993 Series is considered by many Porschephiles to be the most refined and beautiful of all 911s, a topic of some debate for those attracted to the curvaceous front fenders of the original model. The 993 signaled a triumphant finale for the air-and-oil-cooled version of the car. Time, as they say, marches on, with tightening emissions restrictions, fuel economy, and noise and safety regulations spelling the end. In 1999, the 993 passed the torch to the next 911, the water-cooled 996 series. Those cars improved on their predecessors’ power and performance capabilities, but it was the pure spirit of air-cooled cars like the 993 that continues to win the hearts of 911 lovers today.
While North America got some interesting 993 model variants, including the ultra-rare Turbo S, it’s the Turbo, made in 1996 and 1997 (both years share identical specs), that’s the one within grasp of committed collectors. That car offers superb performance from a 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine that develops 408 hp at 5,750 rpm, and 398 ft lbs of torque at 4,500 rpm.
Back when it debuted, real sports cars had six-speed manual transmissions. How times have changed. It weighs about 3,300 pounds, which is anorexic by current standards, and with all-wheel drive, it moves from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, while its top speed is rated at 180 mph. Although its performance specs are not blistering numbers today, the 993-series 911 Turbo was one of the most capable—surely most civilized and fun to drive—sports cars of its time.
Barrett-Jackson brings this 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo to its upcoming auction in Palm Beach, Fla., held at the South Florida Fairgrounds from April 13 through 15. This featured lot will cross the block on Saturday, April 15, and is being offered at no reserve. That fact alone is likely to cause quite a stir among serious bidders, especially considering its rare factory paint color of stunning Speed Yellow, complemented by a gray leather interior detailed with yellow stitching. According to the consignor, this vehicle is in its original condition and has lived in the Southwest all of its life.
Click here for more photos of the 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo offered through Barrett-Jackson.