1989 was a pretty important year for Porsche. It served as both beginning and end. As the final production year of the 3.2 Carrera (and the 930) it marked the end of the classic 911. With that end came a new beginning with the almost entirely newly designed 964. Its looks still showed a clear relationship with the 911s that preceded it, but it was reportedly 85% new and its rounder lines were a clear evolution of the design. Its underpinnings were decidedly more modern and refined as well. It was an important year.
Porsche had done something a little strange though. When it debuted the 964 it chose to be doubly bold by making the model release an entirely new model altogether: the Carrera 4. So for all intents and purposes 1990 was the year things really got rolling. The Carrera 2, possessing the traditional rear-drive 911 layout, finally made its debut in Coupe, Targa, and Cabriolet form. Unless you really have a desire for all-wheel drive in a 911, or would like to use your Porsche for winter duty, the Carrera 2 probably is the 964 you should be seeking. The Turbo is great as well, though much more expensive.
So here’s a nice example from an early model year: a Forest Green Metallic 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe, located in Miami, with Tan interior and 101,162 miles on it.
Here we have a Polar Silver Metallic 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in Oregon, with Black interior and 73,940 miles on it. We don’t see the 964 Turbo come around for sale all that frequently, at least not compared with its longer lived predecessor the 930, but for whatever reason I’ve been seeing some nicer ones pop up for sale lately, one of which appears to have sold quite a bit more quickly than I’d have expected. There are a few up on eBay right now, including the very pretty and gradually becoming less expensive Coral Red Metallic example I posted a year ago, but I chose this one for a couple of reasons.
First, I think Polar Silver looks fantastic on the 964 in general and especially the 964 Turbo. Silver isn’t typically a color I prefer on most cars, but Polar Silver is an excellent variant of the color and it just works on the 964. I don’t know why, it just does. I also like that this one has a few modifications that should make it just that extra bit more fun to drive. Obviously, how much appeal that work has will vary by buyer, but fun is fun and more power generally is more fun. So why not?
Yesterday I wrote up a 911SC priced at top market (perhaps even above top market) and I will stick with that general theme here simply as an exploration of where some of these high priced cars are selling. That 911SC probably shouldn’t have been priced as high as it was given its overall condition and mileage. It’s a nice car, just not top market.
However, this Guards Red 1992 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa is befitting of that sort of price. The question simply is just how high the market has reached because the asking price here is quite a bit above the standard 964 pricing we typically see. That’s not unheard of for the 964 Targa because they’re pretty rare and from my experience the vast majority really don’t seem to be in great shape and have much higher miles. If we remove those issues do we have a six-figure car? Here is where we might find out.
I’ve featured the 911 Speedster quite a bit over the years. Enough so that these days they usually only catch my eye when there’s something pretty unique about them. While I like them a lot, and love the original 356 Speedster, there’s a degree to which they all blend together and are more or less the same: Black, White, or Red with very low miles and seemingly pristine condition. There’s little more to say than, “Here’s another 911 Speedster for sale.”
The version produced for the 964 is itself a little more unique. It’s narrow body reminds us much more of the original 356 compared with the Turbo-bodied 3.2 Carrera-based 911 Speedster. The color palette also appears to be more diverse, though that may be anecdotal rather than based on actual production. There are still plenty of Red, White, and Black.
This one shines through those colors like a beacon beckoning you to drive it. And driven it has been! Here we have a Speed Yellow 1994 Porsche 911 Speedster, located in St. Louis, with factory painted sport seats and 81,516 miles on it. 81K miles may not seem like much for a car that’s nearly 25 years old, but for the Speedster, a 911 always coveted by collectors, it’s a good chunk of mileage.
It’s generally safe to say that we all like RUF. Their full builds can be spectacular both in appearance and performance, but almost any RUF to wear the badge, or simply share the name, possesses upgrades that make them very desirable. We very rarely see any related to the 964 so when we do come across one it’s always worthwhile to pause and take a closer look.
This is a 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet that was sent off to RUF for a “full” CR4 conversion perhaps around the year 2000. Like many conversions what exactly is meant by “full” might be a matter of debate, but in this case the engine does appear to have been blueprinted by RUF with horsepower now at 330. That engine likely represents what buyers will care most about. From the documentation it looks like the owners of this car purchased it from RUF in May 2000, but it’s not clear when that means the conversion itself actually occurred. Maybe there is other documentation to support that. It then was imported into the U.S. where it has resided ever since.
This Black on Black 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo has been for sale for a few months and I suppose the question is whether it still should be? With the air-cooled market not really blowing anyone’s doors off these days it perhaps is not surprising that no one has taken the plunge with this one. You can find an early 964 Turbo in the low $100Ks. Were this one priced there it obviously no longer would be for sale. Were it priced higher – like the $150K Grand Prix White example I featured not long ago – then I’d suspect it to have little chance of selling. As it stands now, this asking price splits the difference, which given the fairly low mileage is understandable and not at all unreasonable. Is this a sign that the market for these Turbos might be struggling even more? Or is simply a little more patience required?
I don’t know the answer to that right now, but this is a nice example and while not the most exciting color combination it is definitely one that should have broad appeal.
Rubystone Red (Sternrubin) might be the most love/hate of the well known Porsche colors. I imagine there are colors within Porsche’s extensive catalog that have been less liked overall, but those colors disappear rarely to be asked for again. Rubystone, while we don’t see it very often, does still come around as a PTS option on modern 911s, especially on the limited production high performance models like the GT3 RS and 911 R. And when it does it looks just as stunning as it did upon its debut. A lot of buyers might not like it, but whatever its qualities, on cars that deserve a bold attention-grabbing color it’s a color that performs exactly that function.
Of course, it was on just such a model that it debuted: the 964 Carrera RS. We did not get the Carrera RS in the US market, but rather had to settle for the more tame RS America. With the passing of time it is now legal to import the true Carrera RS and we’ve seen quite a few over the past year or so. Here we have another one, fully restored and looking nearly immaculate, in that eye-popping color of Rubystone Red.
I am going to return here to a long time favorite of mine: a Slate Grey Metallic 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe with only 23,863 miles on it. Here the Slate Grey Metallic exterior, which is the part of this 964 I most strongly prefer, is contrasted with a Linen interior. I’m not sure I’ve come across a similar example. Most have had Burgundy interiors. If I’m honest, I prefer the Burgundy, but there is something about the brightness conveyed by this Linen interior and I can see how it would be appealing. And unlike many of the Linen interiors we see on either a Cabriolet or a Targa this Coupe should be a little easier to keep clean since it is more insulated from the elements. Both exterior and interior look in nice shape and I think this looks like a nice early 964.
The other day I was discussing the appeal of the Porsche 930. Let’s now jump to its successor, the different but also similar 964 Turbo. The 930 appeals for its general lack of smoothness. Its lines are a series of angles balanced by wide curves with the 911’s distinctive round forward pointing headlights leading the way. The 964 carried on that tradition, even if it was an almost entirely new design. The engine too was a refined version of the 930’s 3.3 liter flat-six mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. There would be engine changes in its final production years, but in ’91 and ’92 there was certainly a lot of familiarity to be found under that new skin.
This has placed those turbos in a somewhat odd space. They are surely desirable, but I’m not sure we give them nearly the consideration we do with the 930. The same is true when we compare the early 964 Turbo with the later 3.6 liter models. Their relative appeal is understandable: the increased performance and relative rarity of the 3.6 models makes them increasingly desirable. The desire for the 993TT – the last of the air-cooled Turbos – remains higher still. So what do we do with these less frequently recognized Turbos? I guess we might as well take a look at one:
This 911 might make for an interesting test case. We’ve featured the 911 RS America a number of times throughout the years. It’s a car I like quite a bit. However, the consistent issue with almost any RS America is pricing relative to a standard 964 Carrera 2. While the RS America is indeed a lightened, more performance-oriented, version of the Carrera 2 the general sentiment has long been that the additional performance has not been worth the premium these cars have commanded in recent years. Like many of the rarer air-cooled 911 models, RS America prices elevated quite a bit and even if they aren’t as high as they once were they remain significant.
These days the actual full-blooded Carrera RS is available to import. On the one hand, given that the car the RS America aspires to be now is available we might see RS America prices take a turn downward. Why pay six figures for the pretender when you can get the real thing? On the other hand, prices for a Carrera RS are still significantly higher than for a RS America. Might this then keep RS America prices fairly strong? While not a true RS, they’re still marginally better than a Carrera 2 and you save quite a bit of money. I don’t know, but I’m interested to see how things play out.
But what about a RS America that tries to exist in a middle ground? That brings us to the example here. Being made available by Don Ahearn at Porsport, this RS America has been upgraded with factory RS parts to help align it more closely with the Carrera RS. It still isn’t to full RS specifications, but it’s closer. Might it have enough additional allure to support its higher price?