Weekly Hidden Treasure: 1988 Porsche 911 Cabrio Flatnose

Car Culture / Comments

Yes, it's smashed. But never let a crisis go to waste.

The Porsche 911 is famous for many reasons, among them its unique design. The rear-engined sports car, despite the classic body having been gone for over 20 years now, still maintains a flat-six engine and those distinctive round front headlights. Aside from the brief "teardrop" shapes, Porsche has been remarkably consistent on this specific design feature for decades. However, there were a few years when the German automaker tried something new following a customer request.

The "Flachbau," meaning Flat Nose or Slant Nose, debuted in 1986 during the 930 generation. Only 948 examples were made. But why ditch those round headlights in the first place? Well, that initial customer request came from none other than Tag Heuer co-owner Mansour Ojjeh.

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He requested Porsche build him a street-legal version of the 935 race car, which featured a flat hood for better aerodynamics. It was an interesting request and because he had the money, Porsche didn't refuse. The one-off result was a 930 911 fitted with fabricated 935 body panels. The suspension and brakes (housed in BBS wheels) also came from the 935, while power came from the 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six from the 934 race car. Not surprisingly, the vehicle caught the attention of other enthusiasts. Porsche quickly took notice of this and smelled money.

The result is the aforementioned 948 units, each of which costing significantly more than a regular 930 911. How much more? Around 60 percent.

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Porsche felt it could back that up as each car was handcrafted due to the remodeling of the fenders. Both coupe and cabriolet body styles were made (591 units of the latter) and all found buyers who were more than willing to pay up. The flattened hood, like that of the race car, greatly improved the road-going version's aerodynamics and acceleration. European customers were also treated to a performance kit. Needless to say, every surviving Flatnose is special and continues to increase in value.

And then there's this troubling example currently up for sale on eBay.

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eBay

This 1988 930 Turbo Cabrio is an all-original factory car that suffered a terrible wreck back in the 1990s. It has never been repaired. Why not? The car was not insured at the time of the crash, therefore all repairs would have had to be done out of pocket. And because of this, the car sat in its current sad state. The good news is that its title and CarFax report are both clean, there's only 18,609 miles on its odometer, and it can be fully repaired.

While it won't be cheap, whoever is willing to tackle the timely and labor-intensive project, will be very nicely rewarded in the end.

Recent 930 Flatnose sales have been in the mid-$300,000 range and this example, whose VIN number can be verified, has a $90,000 asking price. Brave bidders only. It's impossible to know just how much the restoration will cost, but if it's managed and done properly, then there's definitely money to be made here.

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eBay

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