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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 Coupé and had to be ordered through the "Special Wishes" program (presumably a bit like sending a note to Father Christmas up your chimney), before becoming an official model available from dealers in 1986.
'M491' was not just a sop to the excesses of the 1980s however, with flared arches evoking the appearance of some dramatic Porsche models from the past but it was the aficionados option, offering the undeniable good looks of the Turbo without the mechanical complexities (and often turbo-charged bills) that came with it. That said, 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, which possibly explains the relatively small build numbers. The Supersport 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 (arguably substantial enough for an entire tea party, let alone a tray), and wider Fuchs alloys - all, you will note being clear 'driver focused' additions. The car was powered by Porsche’s legendary 3.2-litre flat six-cylinder engine, which produced 231bhp and 284Nm of torque, giving a top speed of 152mph and zero to 60mph in under six seconds.
The rarity of Supersport models is undeniable, especially in right-hand drive but official figures are hard to come by. A respected source quotes that just 651 C16 (UK-supplied) M491 cars (including all Coupés, Targas and Cabriolets) were manufactured between 1984 and 1989, and the official ‘Turbo-Look’ online register features just 19 1986 Supersport Cabriolets, of which 7 are in ‘our’ car’s eye catching grand prix white - so whichever way you look at it, any new owner is going to be joining a highly exclusive club.
C198 BYV was first registered by Charles Follett Porsche on 15th May 1986 before being supplied to its lucky first owner, a Mr D Phillips of Eaton Place in London later that month. The Porsche Certificate of Authenticity that comes with the car confirms that it was supplied with the following optional extras: Recoil bumpers, Blaupunkt Toronto radio cassette, central locking, forged alloy wheels, sports seats with electric height adjustment, power operated hood and sport equipment.
From this date forward the car has been blessed with virtually continuous documentation which now details its life over the last 34 years. It comes with not one but two rigorously complied and very substantial folders of paperwork featuring a stack of invoices dating back to 1989 (and which must include virtually every penny spent this century), 21 MOTs, numerous V5's and its original handbook and fully stamped service book. This last crucial piece of the jigsaw puzzle confirms that the car has been extremely well looked after by a variety of Porsche specialists over the years (see photo gallery).
The current owner purchased the car in May 2014 from respected Porsche dealers Williams Crawford. He immediately shipped it to his place of work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bringing the car back home with him when he returned to the UK a few years ago. During its holiday out East the car was subjected to its customary life of luxury, with work also including the fitment of an air conditioning unit.
C198 BYV has been used carefully and sparingly over these last 6 years, with not much more than 1,000 miles having been added to the odometer during this time. The car is now showing a mileage of 91,000, which equates to an average of approximately 2,600 p.a. over its lifetime.
When purchased from Williams Crawford the car came with a short 'to do' list, all of which has recently been attended to including a new indicator stalk and new pulley cable system and locking motor for the electric roof. Other recent maintenance work is documented in the service record folder, the most significant job being the dreaded kidney bowls. Any 911 owner will know that these problem areas eventually need work no matter how much cotton wool you smother your car with, and if that work is to be done properly then it isn't going to be cheap. A bill on file from November 2019 for £7,000 from Golding Barn Garage is a testament to this and the quality and extent of their endeavours is highlighted in the photo gallery. The car comes with an additional thumb drive featuring a fuller set of repair work pictures.
As our extensive photo gallery will attest, the car now looks extremely smart both inside and out. The grand prix white bodywork is in nigh on flawless condition, the only blemish we could find being a few small paint chips at the right-hand edge of the boot lid (see pics in gallery).
All the rubber seals are in very good condition, the glasswear is free from cracks, scratches or misting, and the deep Fuch alloys remain in tremendous condition having been refurbished back in 2006. All four wheels are shod with Continental Contisport tyres (205s at the front, 245s at the rear) which have a decent amount of wear left in them.
The hood is relatively new and looks immaculate, operating smoothly on its recently refurbished electric mechanism. Unusually for a Supersport Cabrio, it is also entirely waterproof - even (we understand) proving itself impervious to the best efforts of the Malaysian monsoon season.
Everything is as you would expect under the bonnet (unless you're expecting to find an engine) and it's good - if not especially surprising with this example - to see the original tool kit and jack still in situ.
Inside, the original full leather interior has acquired a lovely patina as can be seen in the photos, with just the traditional slight wear to the side bolster on the driver's seat. Attending to this, and perhaps investing in a fresh set of carpets (which are no longer perhaps in their first flush of youth), would render the interior of the car as smart as the exterior for a relatively small outlay - whilst providing a very satisfying 'upgrade' for any potential new owner.
On our inspection day the car started cleanly, displaying very strong oil pressure (2 bar at idle when warm and up above 4 when on the move), with no wisps of smoke, rattles or other unwelcome sounds from the engine, just that totally unique flat 6 soundtrack as magnified by the stainless-steel exhaust system. The car moves through the gears cleanly, the brakes bring it to a rapid, straight and true stop, and all the electrics function as they should. In short, there are no issues whatsoever here that would get in the way of a long summer of pure enjoyment.
In summary then, if you’re in the market for a Supersport then you will struggle to find a better example at this sort of money. A few pounds spent tidying cosmetics here and there would make an already extremely smart example perfect, and with the best Supersports currently being marketed at about the £95k level, this car represents a fantastic opportunity to buy a rock solid example at not much more than half that figure to 'use and improve' - or simply just to use.
Summer is coming (along with Armageddon it seems), so the roads will be empty at least!