While Porsche has long yanked the reins on the mid-engine Cayman preventing it from outshining the halo 911, an aftermarket turbo on today’s Nice Price or No Dice 987 might level the playing field. Let’s see what it costs to pay to play.
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With Volkswagen’s new I.D. Buzz generating a lot of buzz (sorry about that), it’s a wonder that there hasn’t been more noise made about electrifying older, more traditional busses like the 1989 Vanagon Wolfsburg Weekender we looked at yesterday. Maybe that’s because a lot of older VW Vans have a strong fanbase, and those fans might look down on such a major modification. That fanbase has driven prices up on all editions, although our T3’s $12,500 asking proved a little too far up to our liking. That resulted in an overwhelming 80 percent No Dice loss.
Do you want to know another model that seems to have built a cult-like following? That is, of course, Porsche’s beloved 911, a model that even Porsche itself can’t seem to quit. With nearly 60 years under its belt, the 911 has become not only Porsche’s halo car but its most iconic with its immediately identifiable shape being just as ingrained a brand ambassador as its crest-like badge. It’s not surprising then for Porsche to have gone to lengths to protect its top dog not only from outside pretenders to the throne but from internal usurpers as well by denying those lesser models the tools needed to eclipse the 911’s performance and thus knock it from its pedestal.
Once they leave the next, howver, anything is fair game and today’s 2006 Porsche Cayman S (987) goes an aftermarket route in theattempt to outdo its bigger, bolder 911 sibling. Knock, knock.
Being an incredibly well-balanced and stiff mid-engine coupe, the Cayman has long had a leg up on the 911 when it comes to handling aptitude. However, seeking to protect the 911’s place as alpha dog in the Porsche pack, the company had long denied the Cayman the horsepower to allow it to fulfill its full potential. That changed two years ago with the arrival of the GT4 RS 4.0, a 493 horsepower hammer that finally allows the Cayman off its leash.
The downside to the GT4 RS is its $160K starting price, which for many, is a non-starter. What if we could get a good percentage of the fun and capabilities of the GT4 RS for about a fifth of the price? That’s just what this Guard’s Red over black leather and Alcantara 987 seeks to do by way of its TPC Racing turbo kit appended to its already capable and engaging 3.4-liter all-alloy flat-six.
According to the seller, that boosts horsepower from a stock 291 to a claimed 400+. Matched with that is the Cayman’s already excellent Getrag 466 six-speed manual. The ad claims the car to have but a mere 59,000 miles under its belt, but doesn’t say how many of those were done under pressure from the add-on turbo.
The rest of the car is stated to be in excellent condition, a claim borne out in the pictures. There are no obvious imperfections in the paint or curb rash on the Dynamic Racing 20-inch alloys. Those, by the way, wear Michelin Pilot tires, however, the one shown in a close up pic in the ad appears to have a date code of 0511 which means they might be long overdue for retirement.
Another notable issue is the emissions control situation. The car does still wear cats, although the seller laudably does note in the ad that they are low-restriction units that do not meet California compliance standards. That will make registering the car in California (where, according to the plates, it presently is titled) a bear. That’s the likely reason it wears 2021 tags which could serve as evidence as to when the turbo kit was installed.
For anyone outside of CARB’s control, registration would likely be less of an issue. A clear title will help, but we still have to deal with the car’s $34,999 price. As we’ve already discussed, that’s way shy of a new 718 GT4 RS, or even the lesser but still extremely rewarding GTS 4.0. Do this car’s issues — age, iffy emissions, turbo strain on the engine — all conspire to make that $34,999 a poor roll of the dice? Or, do the mods finally cash the check the rest of the car has long promised?
San Francisco Bay Area, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
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