Porsche 993 C2S Cabriolet: one of a kind

It’s a dull, grey day, but the ‘Indischrot’ paint shines and sparkles as if this 20-year-old 911 rolled off the assembly line yesterday. This is one of the most beautiful 993s I have ever seen, and it’s also one of the most unique.

The 911 connoisseur in you will immediately recognise those extra wide, voluptuous hips, and knows that for the 993 generation these belong to a Turbo as well as the Turbo-look Carrera S and 4S. However, none of these were ever produced as convertibles – yet the car right here in front of me is, unmistakably, topless. There’s something very special about this 993, which comes from the Porsche factory as one of the last ever air-cooled 911s.

Let us go back in time. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Porsche led a more difficult existence than today. Production capacity was limited, so choices had to be made. One of these was that the 993 Cabriolet – introduced in 1994 – remained reserved for the regular Carrera, breaking with a tradition started by the 3.2 Carrera Cabriolet with M491 ‘Turbo look’, and continued with the aptly named 964 Turbo-look Cabriolet. The 993’s wide-bodied cars would all get a Coupé body. 

Of course, there are always those within the Porsche customer fraternity who don’t like to settle for what Porsche calls factory specification. One of those people at the time was the Munich distributor Kaspar Haberl who, in 1995, knocked on the door at Porsche and asked whether it was possible to make a Turbo convertible. He was referred to Exclusive, the department that at the time actually delivered exclusive customisation in small numbers.

Think of the street version of the 935 for TAG founder Mansour Ojjeh (1983) and the special series of seven 959s built for a sheikh in 1989 – at a time when regular production had already stopped. In those years Porsche could make good use of every extra penny, so at an additional price of 112,000 Deutsche marks compared to the Carrera Cabriolet, and for a minimum order of ten vehicles, Haberl’s wish could be granted.

A precedent had been set, and so after that it was almost inevitable: when the Carrera S was introduced in 1997, with the widebody of the Turbo, again there came a request for a roofless version. For VIP client Harald Otto Karrenberg, it seemed to be a perfect gift to himself to celebrate Porsche’s 50th anniversary, but at first the response was negative. However, when the Porsche dealer from Beverly Hills came with a similar request not long afterwards, Exclusive changed its mind.

Porsche sent five special Umbau kits to California and, after that, Karrenberg also got his fervently desired Carrera 2S Cabriolet. It would be the only one actually built in Zuffenhausen, and the only one with European specifications.

The Karrenberg family cherished their special 993 for 20 years until it was eventually auctioned off by Sotheby’s in 2018. That’s how the wide-bodied C2S ended up in the Dutch village of Burgerveen, at the dealer of exclusive cars Real Art on Wheels. And here I am with its keys in my hand. This is going to be a special day.

The regular 993 Carrera Cabriolet has a total build number of 7,730 units worldwide. Low mileage examples already go for well above 100,000 Euros. The estimated value of this one-off however is between 350,000 and 400,000. Nevertheless, with the solemn promise that I will not do anything crazy, I may take it for a spin. Here goes.

For our full exposé on this extremely rare 993 Carrera S Cabriolet, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 189 in shops now or get it delivered to your door via here. You can also download a digital copy with high definition bonus galleries to any Apple or Android device.

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