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Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994)

Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Classic and Performance Car
Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) It’s said that every car enthusiast should own a Porsche 911 at some point in their lives, but if you’ve never driven one you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Drive one though, and the chances are you’ll instantly be hooked. You’ll realise that many of those stories of tail-happy handling are hype – but despite this, that rear-mounted engine is what makes the 911 unique to drive.

The sound, the rearward weight bias, the shove from the back rather than the pull from the front, the delicious steering – these are all things that the 911’s rivals can’t match. While it’s true that the earliest 911s could be quite a handful, by the time the 964 was launched in 1989, Porsche’s evergreen sportscar had been in production for more than a quarter of a century. As a result it had been honed to become something truly fabulous.

Which one to buy?

This was the first 911 with rear- or four-wheel drive options. The latter gives extra security in hard driving or adverse conditions, but enthusiast drivers will find it robs the car of something when pressing on. It’ll still oversteer if provoked, but compared with two-wheel drive 911s, it can feel less responsive.

The four-wheel drive has a torque split in normal driving conditions of 31:69, biased towards the rear. However, in slippery conditions this can become 100 per cent to the front or the rear, depending on where the grip is. Buy a Carrera 4 and there’s no automatic option, but there is with the Carrera 2. The Tiptronic automatic transmission was popular with buyers of the 964 when new; we’d take a manual every time, but you might prefer the two-pedal option. There were also coupé, cabriolet and Targas to choose between – again, whichever suits you best is down to personal preference.

We’d gravitate towards the Turbo as it’s ferociously quick and will prove to be a sound investment. But running costs can be high and if driven hard, reliability can take a beating. If you want something more hard-core – or an investment – seek out an RS model. Of the 2364 RS cars made, just 47 came to the UK while there were only 50 or so Tourings, 129 RS 3.8s and 20 or so Lightweights. And they’re all extremely valuable...

Performance and spec

Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6
Engine 3600cc, turbo flat-six
Power 380bhp @ 5750rpm
Torque 384lb ft @ 5000rpm
Top speed 174mph
0-60mph 4.8sec
Consumption 22mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual

Common problems

• Poorly repaired crash damage is a strong possibility, so get an HPI check and also look carefully for evidence of rippled inner wings or outer panels that don’t line up very well.

• As far as the engine is concerned, it’s oil leaks that you need to check for the most closely. Start by see if there’s oil leaking from the cylinder base. Instead of a gasket here, the two metal faces mate to each other but they distort over time and repairs are very costly – post-1991 cars are less likely to be affected, but they’re not immune. It doesn’t help that there’s an undertray, which spoils the view – but don’t just buy and assume that everything will be OK.

• Check the pipework that carries lubricant from the oil tank (in the rear wheelarch) to the engine via a thermostat. There’s a mixture of rigid and flexible pipes and where the two join, corrosion is common. Remove the undertray and everything will be clear to see. Any sign of leaks mean there’s lots of work required to remove everything and replace it.

• The gearbox and diffs are very strong, so just listen out for rumbling or whining – both of which are unlikely. The clutch is more of a weak spot though, as it isn’t adjustable. It should be smooth and not too heavy; if it is, assume a new clutch will be needed soon.

• There’s a dual-mass flywheel designed to improve refinement, but it can break up on cars that have covered a high mileage or which have been driven in stop/start traffic a lot. Listen for clonks at low revs; there was a redesigned flywheel from 1993, which can be fitted to earlier cars to improve reliability. The RS didn’t get this dual-mass flywheel, although Touring editions did.

• The brakes are incredibly powerful, but the alloy callipers react with the steel-backed pads, potentially leading to severe binding. Fixing things means stripping everything down and in extreme cases it can mean replacing pads and callipers.

• While the rear suspension is reliable, issues up front are to be expected. The aluminium lower wishbones pivot on rubber bushes and the front ones perish and separate from their outer sleeve. The result is vague handling, but unless the bushes have been replaced recently, assume new ones will be needed before long.

Model history

1989: The 964 arrives in Carrera 4 coupé form; it’s Porsche’s first volume-production four-wheel drive car. A Speedster is also introduced; 800 are built.
1990: The Carrera 2 is launched. It’s 70kg lighter than the Carrera 4, and substantially quicker too. Standard kit includes ABS and power steering. The 964 Turbo also arrives, with a 320bhp 3.3-litre engine.
1991: The 964 RS appears, with the air-con, electric seats and windows, power steering, central locking and rear seats all ditched. There’s also thinner glass, an aluminium bonnet, composite Recaro seatsuprated brakes plus 17-inch magnesium alloy wheels. The bodyshell is also seam-welded for extra strength while the engine is boosted to 260bhp. There’s a Touring option too, which keeps most of the luxuries and retains the more powerful engine.
1992: The 964 RSR features a stripped-out interior while there’s a welded in roll cage as standard. The 300bhp Carrera 4 Lightweight was built for the track and features aluminium panels, Plexiglass side windows and a glassfibre engine cover. The Turbo S has a 376bhp 3.3-litre engine.
1993: The 3.6-litre Turbo replaces the 3.3-litre car, with 360bhp. It’s built for just one year, with just 1,437 made.
1994: The run-out Turbo S 3.6 has 380bhp; just 90 are made. Another Speedster arrives, in standard or Clubsport forms; 936 are made.

Key clubs and websites

• www.911uk.com
• www.tipec.net
• www.porscheclubgb.com
• http://porscheownersclub.org.uk
• www.porscheclubuk.com
• www.pca.org
• www.porscheclubus.com

Summary and prices

Prices of good 964s have moved significantly in the last few years. Carrera 2 models carry a premium over the four-wheel drive models, especially those with a manual gearbox. £10,000 will buy you a project, while £17,500-£24,000 is enough to pick up a decent runner. £33,000 is about top money for a great example, but dealers will probably ask a lot more for perfect cars. The rather special 964 Carrera RS can be picked up for between £80,000-£180,000 depending on specification and condition.

Words: Richard Dredge
Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994) Porsche 964 buying guide (1989-1994)
Last updated: 7th Aug 2015
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Porsche 964
39500 159995 GBP
  • Porsche - 964 3.6 Carrera 2 Cabriolet - 1991

    €54,601 - €70,981.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €54,601 - €70,981.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    Online Auction
    €54,601 - €70,981.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €54,601 - €70,981.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    Catawiki Auctions
  • 1994 Porsche 964 Widebody

    $139,500(£0) $139,500(£0)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1994 Porsche 964 C4 Widebody Coupe in Black with Tan leather seats. 25,948 miles with clean Carfax. Perfect body with fantastic original paint. The rear wheel arches have typically got a light rash which the plastic stone guards haven't completely protected against (see photos). Interior is fantastic, Alpine CD is the only deviation from stock. Drivers seats shows minimal wear. Uncracked dash, door panels, carpets and roof liner are all mint. mechanically superb. 2000 miles ago in 2015 it has a check/service/repair and new tires at a cost of $6,900 - $1750 of which was for a factory distributor. Quite a few service records come with the car, its service book is logged to 15k miles. Comes with books, window sticker, tools, keys, air pump, jack and records. With only 250 of these made worldwide there are rare in any condition. I cant imagine there are more than a handful this original and immaculate order. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California. Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665 t

    For sale
    $139,500(£0) $139,500(£0)
  • 1990 Porsche 964 C2 Cabriolet

    $39,500(£0) $39,500(£0)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer the 1990 Porsche 964 Cabriolet in Linen Grey with light Grey interior and Dark Blue soft top. 1 owner from new with 83,478 miles, clean Carfax. Mechanically excellent and a delight to drive. Just checked and serviced by us and less than 4k miles ago it had over $10k spent on a full engine reseal that involved disassembly, replacement of all common wear items and reassembly, plus fuel pump, soft top cables, etc. Very good body with good paint. All stickers in place including option code sticker under the hood. Nice interior with un-cracked dash, good door panels and great original light color seats that do show wear more than darker ones - nothing bad just patina. Windows, seats and top work well. Comes with its books - service book has option code sticker and is stamped to 39k miles., Copious records from new to present day, its soft top boot, jack and tools. This is a much better car than is typical for a slightly higher mile 964. Great value and a very user friendly classic Porsche to own or collect. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California. Visit Chequered Flag Internationa

    For sale
    $39,500(£0) $39,500(£0)
  • 1993 Porsche 964 C4 Coupe

    $61,500(£0) $61,500(£0)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1993 Porsche 964 C4 Coupe in Grand Prix White with Tan interior. 110,645 miles. Clean Carfax with two owners and 25 services indicated. Fantastic body with superb original paint, (paint meter 2.5-5 thou/mil all round). Very good interior with un-cracked dash, soft un re-dyed seats, great roof liner, carpets and door panels. The stereo is the only deviation from stock. Mechanically superb. A good car well service anyway but one we gave the full treatment to:- oil & filter, air & fuel filters, spark plugs, checked suspension, brakes, hoses & tires. Valve adjustment & gaskets replaced, replace alternator and fan hub. A/C service replacing condenser & fan. Replaced front lower control arm bushings. Oil switch housing gasket. Replaced engine insulation pad. Replaced F & R brakes hoses. New camshaft seal, gasket & timing chain housing gaskets. Timing chain tensioner gasket, intermediate shaft gasket. Replace brake & clutch fluid, replace transmission fluid, replace oil return tubes. Our cost was $4,000 for labor and $2,700 for parts. This was a good car with typical 964 minor & generally acceptable issues that we took to a very high l

    For sale
    $61,500(£0) $61,500(£0)
  • Porsche 964 Carrera RS

    £159,995 £159,995

    The 3.6-litre air-cooled flat six idles up to temperature without fuss and sounds magnificent. As with the rest of the 911, the engine bay is entirely corrosion-free. All components remain in excellent fettle and present with a smart finish. The engine was replaced in Japan with a genuine RS unit earlier in the car's life, and it is understood that Porsche carried out this work. The car is complete with a great service history with the records at close mileage intervals.

    • Year: 1992
    • Mileage: 26185 mi
    For sale
    £159,995 £159,995
  • 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4


    Philip Raby Porsche Porsche Sales and Service This 1990 Porsche 964 Carrera 4, finished in eye-catching Linen Silver Metallic, is a truly wonderful car. It has had over £20,000 spent on it during the last four years and that is reflected in the way that the Porsche drives and looks. The engine was fully rebuilt by Precision Porsche at a cost of £13,000, with extensive new parts including camshafts,timing chains, and 993 cylinder-head studs. A new clutch and flywheel were fitted at this time. The suspension has been rebuilt with Bilstein B6 dampers, Porsche Orange springs, Powerflex bushes, new top mounts and an uprated 20mm rear anti-roll-bar. All of which makes the car handle superbly – precisely and confidently, with none of the understeer often associated with the 964 Carrera 4. The brakes have been fitted with BF Goodrich braided hoses. The car retains its original Porsche Design90 wheels which have just had four brand-new Continental tyres fitted. Inside, the leather seats have been retrimmed to a high standard to what is believed to be the original specification; Linen with black inserts. An eye-catching combination and the cockpit retains that wonderful smell of fresh leathe

    • Year: 1990
    For sale
  • Porsche 964

    £79,995 £79,995

    *SIMILAR QUALITY CARS ALWAYS REQUIRED* SOLD Thinking of selling? Our proven commission sale or SOR (Sale or Return) program is a great way to utilise and access our professional services and facilities while still maximising the return from your vehicle with minimal hassle, stress and time, If you’d like to take advantage of this then please get in touch for further information. Alternatively If you’d like to move your vehicle on quickly and efficiently with minimal delay then we can make an offer on an outright purchase basis with payment and collection arranged soon after. An outstanding Porsche 964 Carrera 2 Cabriolet with just 16,827 miles and one owner. EQUIPMENT Thermo plastic front and rear body panels, smooth underbody floor panels, bonded windscreen, impact absorbing bumpers, hot zinc-dipped galvanised body, door intrusion bars, electrically operated hood, retractable spoiler, electric front seats, folding rear seats, remote central locking, adjustable headlamps, heated door mirrors and washer jets, 6-speaker sound system, analogue clock, automatic heating control, Blaupunkt Bremen SQR46 stereo. Factory options; Sports seats, piping to seats, top tinted windscreen. Dealer accessories; Porsche indented velour floor mats. EXTERIOR The unmistakably iconic lines of the classic 964 body are instantly familiar, and this exceptional example is finished in the foremost colour for desirability, Guards Red (Code L80K). Having covered a remarkable 16,827 miles with just one extraordinarily fastidious owner from new, the deep mirror shine to the factory original paint finish is impeccable and the car is well known to the Concours Team at PCGB (Porsche Club Great Britain). All trim sections are as new and the cabriolet hood in Black, (Code V9), with clear plastic screen is perfect both in condition and operation, with not a clip or catch out of place. The supplying Porsche Main Dealer number plates and tax disc holder remain fitted, and factory stickers are still affixed to the glass. The wheel tubs and underside are exactly as you would expect for a cherished low mileage car, one which has been strictly preserved and kept true to the original Porsche design. Without doubt one of the best remaining examples of this iconic thoroughbred. INTERIOR Being largely hand assembled, the Porsche 964 model has a quality feel with meticulous attention to detail, and this ultra-low mileage example upholds that notion perfectly. This 964 Cabriolet is trimmed in original Black Leather, (Code LT), and sports seats with red piping were chosen from the factory options list. The anatomically correct front seats show absolutely no wear or colour fade, and the piping is fully intact. Genuine Porsche indented velour floor mats protect the perfect black carpeting, and all other trim sections and quality plastics are as new. Large backlit dials all function correctly and the original working Blaupunkt Bremen SQR46 stereo remains fitted. The front luggage compartment is pristine with an unused tool kit, jack, brace and electric tyre compressor. The important correct factory code sticker, as duplicated in the Guarantee and Maintenance booklet, is attached to the bonnet lid. A truly amazing interior, reminiscent of a 1990 Porsche showroom. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION The powerful heart of this 911 Carrera is the famous air cooled, horizontally opposed rear mounted 3.6 litre 250bhp ‘boxer’ engine renown for bullet proof reliability and thrilling performance. Offering a flexible 310Nm of torque, enough to sprint to 62.5mph in 5.7seconds and a top speed of 162mph. To drive a low mileage Porsche 964, one which has been serviced at a Porsche main dealer every year without fail is an unforgettable experience. The desirable 5-speed manual gearbox is reassuringly solid and positive. Absolute Porsche perfection. WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES Pressure cast light alloy ‘Cup Design’ wheels were specified as an option by the one and only keeper in 1993 at a cost of £2552.34. All four wheels are perfect and are shod in correct 205/50 ZR17 front and 225/40 ZR17 rear Pirelli P Zero Rosso tyres with masses of tread remaining. The anti-lock braking system is allied to large internally ventilated discs that provide remarkable stopping power. Correct and pristine black callipers with the Porsche inscription are clearly visible through the wide spoke apertures. HISTORY FILE Registered new on the 1st August 1990 by Monarch Porsche of Warwick, the history file and credentials to this exceptional example are simply unsurpassable. One fanatical owner from new, 16,827 documented miles and servicing carried out at Porsche Main Dealers every year without a single exception. Mr Maurice Gale ordered the vehicle to his exact specification in October 1989 and joined a ten month waiting list, before eventually taking delivery at Porsche’s Champagne Breakfast and Grand Driveaway day at The Westgate Arms Hotel Warwick, where handover took place. Both the order form and sales invoice for £52,696, along with even the invitation letter to Mr Gale for the new car handover event have been kept in the history. There are two service books containing no less than 26 stamped entries, the original having run out of space. The most recent entry being in 2016 at 16,548 miles, the service history along with every MOT certificate from the first enables the mileage to be fully tracked. A huge and beautifully presented folder of invoices from new are painstakingly filed chronologically, and even include the owner’s personal log of maintenance as well as every single tax disc from new to when they discontinued! Further incredible elements to the history file are product recall notices and event invitation letters from Porsche to Mr Gale, something generally reserved only for highly valued repeat customers. The original sales brochure and valet kit gifted to Mr Gale upon new car handover remains unopened and complete in the luggage area! All handbooks, radio guide with code and point of sale literature are held in the black leather wallet, along with spare keys with remotes, original tags and fobs. Mr and Mrs Gale’s fanatical mentality towards their pride and joy is second to none, and entirely deserved is a rosette awarded at Chateau Impney by two PCGB Concours officials for ‘an example of an exceptionally well kept Porsche’. MOT March 2018, HPI Clear. To see a video of this car please click on the link below: https://youtu.be/z7d5EEdkStE To see a full set of photographs of this car please click on the link below: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTEWg1n 'Like us' or 'Follow us' for exciting new cars coming soon at KGF Classic Cars: http://www.facebook.com/KGFClassiccars https://twitter.com/KGFClassicCars

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 16827 mi
    • Engine size: 3.2
    For sale
    £79,995 £79,995