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M491 info needed

Old 03-18-2011, 10:21 PM
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justice911
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Default M491 info needed

We are in the process of purchasing an 88 911 that's being advertised as an m491 factory wide body. I want the car and I called PCNA and they said they don't have it documented as a m491. How can I tell if it's a factory wide body or conversion? I thought that I read it should have it on some label. What problems might arise with a conversion vs a factory wide body?
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:38 PM
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The easiest way to verify a real M491 (besides the Turbo fenders) is to look at the rear brake calipers. If they are mounted toward the rear of the car and have raised "PORSCHE" lettering on them, they are the 930 brakes that come on the M491. The front brakes have the same lettering as well and there will be cross-drilled brake rotors front and rear present as well.

However, the 930 brakes alone are not the only difference and it is possible, though unlikely due to cost, that a 930 brake conversion is present. But it is possible.

Under the hood, there was originally a sticker near the latch on the underside of the lid that lists the VIN, paint and trim codes and the option codes. Look for code "491"...that is your verification. There will not be an "M", BTW.

If the sticker is missing as it often is, a copy of the same tag is inside the factory service manual that is (hopefully) in the maroon packet containing the owner's manual and warranty info.

The VIN will not verify the car is a M491 as it was a (very expensive ) option package that included the 930 Turbo body, chassis and brakes, but a standard 3.2 Carrera engine. (edit: see Norbert's post below - he has researched the actual M491 VIN's in the Porsche archives. He is the M491 guru)

Some M491's were built without front & rear spoilers. That option code is M470.

I previously owned one and it was a fabulous car.

Problems with a conversion? Making sure it was done correctly as there are some really poorly done ones out there. Avoid fiberglass fenders/rear flares at all costs! But the main problem is knowing that the resale value will always be significantly less than an equivalent real M491. And usually (but not always) less than a totally stock version of the car the conversion was done on. There are far more buyers for M491's then even the very best of the conversion cars.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by jackb911; 03-19-2011 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:15 AM
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send VIN to [email protected] or check for yourself here : TL-Register VIN-CHECK

if it is the targa on ebay ... - NO factory TURBO-LOOK

Best

Norbert
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:04 PM
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I can tell you also that the targa on eBay which claims to be a factory m491 car is NOT
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:58 PM
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Thanks for all the great information. I have asked the seller for a photo of the options sticker in the trunk.

Which car on ebay and how can you tell? Is it this one you say is not?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:17 AM
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I meant to also ask... if this is the one you say is not can I ask why it's not? What to look for, etc. I am having the car I am looking at inspected Monday.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:48 AM
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I am looking at the shot of the wheel and the brake caliper inside is standard Carrere brake not the turbo brake. On another note the paint work on that car is brutal. Not just that they chose to paint the targa bar red but the gaps around the panels look poor in the photos, shutter to think what that filler is under the targa bar in the photo labeled "passenger door".

130k mile non m491 wide body conversion with sloppy paint work and mystery filler jammed under the leading lower edge of the targa bar, missing the 7&9 x 16 wheels all for 32 grand? Wow … I would look elsewhere. Looks like a mid teens car tops, and that’s if the mechanicals are decent
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:20 AM
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Can you tell me what gaps on which panels and what makes them stick out to you?

The owner said he's ordered a COA and he's going to photograph the sticker on the car and the manual.

Mid-teens seems low to me compared to other cars I have seen... would it being a conversion lower the price below a regular targa?
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:05 AM
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car wears no turbo suspensions and no turbo brakes - NO M491 - its a conversion - no matter what a possible COA may say!

i would go for the real thing ...
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:57 PM
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Itís a conversion we wonít be seeing a legit COA. On Price itís an 88 130k miles targa with crappy paint work, cheap wheels and a wide body conversion of unknown origin. Those are not full power seats and they're not heated. So we have a seller who is lying about the car being a factory turbo look, lying about the options (okay maybe he does not really know). Personally I would not even waste the money on a PPI especially since your profile says northern Cali and that car is in Florida. Itís a mid teens car from a questionable seller who thinks itís worth a whole lot more then it is and its 3000 plus miles from you. Why would you bother?
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:59 AM
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seller is willing to learn : " 1988 911 Targa Turbo look or Wide Body with whale tail. This is a very rare 911...What makes this car even more rare is the Turbo Look body Conversion, which consisted of basically a 930 Turbo with the standard 3.2 liter Carrera engine. "

sounds a bit different and 14000 $ less ...
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:24 PM
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According to PET (which is online w/Porsche and typically accurate), the only options listed on the car are:

M395 - Light alloy wheels
M454 - Cruise control

This thing was a very base model from the factory. Never an M491
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:53 PM
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I was misinformed on the car I appreciate everyone's input on the matter as well as justice911 for being a well informed buyer as my dad was not when he purchased the car.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:41 PM
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Sorry to hear your dad got burned on this.

Perhaps the best course is to drive it and enjoy the car.
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:44 PM
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Sorry to hear that... the paint work on the under side of the hood is a bit scary too
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