How I Almost Bought a 964 Carrera 2

It’s been a week now since I made up my mind not buy this car and it’s still hanging around my neck like a brutal hangover. Check out this solid looking 1990 Porsche Carrera 2 for sale that I just listed on GermanCarsForSaleBlog:

When I saw this car and made contact with the seller, I had that feeling that I’ve had before when I’ve spotted ‘the one’. The same feeling I had when I bought the M3 for instance. The right mileage, history, maintenance and upgrades. You know, a great example being passed from one enthusiast to another. But alas, there will be another someday…

Here’s a preview of the online resource guide I’ll be putting together for prospective 964 buyers:

Porsche 964 Known Issues

  • The early 964 motors leak oil, and potentially lots of it. Many consider it not a matter of how much, but how soon it will be severe. Later 93 models have a correction to the motor to solve this issue.
  • The flywheel is also notorious for failure in the 75-100k mile range. Again, the later models address this issue and can easily be retrofitted.

Porsche 964 Online Resources

  • 6SpeedOnline – A growing community with a lot of vendor support. And where I spotted the classified ad for the car featured in this post.
  • Pelican Parts Forums – This is THE online gathering place for Porsche enthusiasts. There is a dedicated 964 discussion area and also a fantastic classifieds area.
  • John’s Porsche 964 Web – While the site is very 1999ish, the content and membership is very robust. There is a ton of first hand experience, advice, reviews, and picture on this site. A must read for the Porsche 964 buyer.
  • JW’s Porsche 964 Site – Another first hand account enthusiast site that has excellent data on actual ownership costs, magazine reviews, and links.

Why This 964 With 130k miles Looks Attractive to Me

  • This car has reported full receipts. On German sports cars this is a very good first indicator of previous owners who cared for the car. And it’s not cheap, which will help provide state of mind in knowing there isn’t thousands needed in immediate expenses.
  • This car has a rebuilt motor and was built to include all the 964 upgrades to make the engine as reliable as possible.
  • Because this car is a must own someday car for me, I have to include that I’m also attracted to this car because it was the high school fantasy dream car for me. I even assembled this (recently reissued) Fujumi model of the Porsche 964 Carrera 2 at 17 or 18 years old, in you guessed it, black on black.
  • I even like the upgrades of the tasteful H&R springs, chip, strut bar and sport exhaust. All upgrades I’d probably choose to make myself, that are already in place!

I consulted my close friend and Porsche specialist, Paul at Sports Car Shop, about my analysis and gut feeling concerning the approachability and value of this car. It went like this:

[22:07] Dan: it’s got mileage and isn’t perfect. While it will live in the garage, it won’t be the end of the world if it stay in the driveway for a week or two. True or False
[22:07] Paul: True, Porsches are “real” cars, not just garage queens that fall apart at the first sign of moisture.
[22:07] Paul: Next?
[22:08] Dan: A Carrera 2 with good maintenance and 130k miles is a good deal at 18.5k. True or False
[22:09] Paul: True, Maintenance is key but the Carrara motor is a direct descendent of the venerable 3.0 SC engine, a bullet-proof high-mileage motor if taken care of.
[22:11] Paul: uh oh, this looks like a long one, I’m getting a beer
[22:12] Dan: Even though this motor is not numbers matching, having been rebuilt with the right corrections (barrel/case seals, vented distributor, flywheel upgrade) and having only 25k miles on the drivetrain, is likely an inevitible expense with early 964’s. Isn’t it valuable to a driver to know that this car is good for at least another 75k miles even if upgrades weren’t performed. True or False. And how much does a cheap to dealership range cost to rebuild a 964 motor anyway?
[22:12] Dan: Yes, beer me too!
[22:15] Dan: mmm, Grolsch, good call!
[22:17] Paul: True, an engine rebuilt to stock specs should have a life expectancy of at least 100k miles. A rebuild is not cheap and almost out of the question if a specialty shop or dealership performs the repairs, somewhere in the $10-20K range. A quick freshen-up without new pistons or head work is a bit chaper, but in the end a used engine is the only “budget” solution. I still am curious why this car
[22:17] Paul: needed an engine so early in it’s life?
[22:18] Dan: the email states excessive oil leaks, which is inline with what I’ve read in terms of buyer’s guides for the 964
[22:18] Dan: (Link: http://www.porsche964.nl/reviews/964-2003.php)http://www.porsche964.nl/reviews/964-2003.php
[22:19] Paul: Then a reseal, not a rebuild is what’s in order. I’ve seen and repaired a number of these with leaks from the valve and timing chain covers, rear main seals, and front seals.
[22:19] Dan: sounds like I need to call the guys who rebuilt the engine ahead of time to inquire
[22:20] Dan: according to the email, the dudes who rebuilt the engine are reputable, but I should do my own homework
[22:21] Paul: agreed, call and ask those exact questions, ‘what was rebuilt, what was replaced, and why?”
[22:21] Dan: what are acceptable answers and what are not?
[22:23] Paul: I suspect that the car had an extensive engine-out service to repair the oil leakage (a 993 we did recently with some upgrades but no rebuild ran $13,000). but was not “rebuilt. The owner may have misunderstood because of the magnitude of the work and the cost involved.
[22:24] Paul: or, he got a great deal and you could too!
[22:25] Dan: well even with that caveaot in place, I still tend to think as an infatuated buyer that the expensive upgrades have been performed (if documented) and it could still be a deal and even an appreciating car. Especially black on black
[22:26] Dan: And personally, I love the design 90 wheels and I’m glad they’re part of the picture
[22:26] Paul: there is no doubt that whatever has been done to it in the past if it’s a clean, well-running car it’s worth the asking price.
[22:26] Dan: and in the end, this is my point
[22:27] Dan: especially if the right mods were in fact made, from what I’ve read, that’s the only stuff to bitch about on this platform.
[22:27] Paul: As an investment you could always recoup your money
[22:29] Paul: the 964 is underappreciated, the cool classic style of a 911 with the modern grunt of the 993 engine, what’s not to love?

So anyway, I will regrettably be passing on this car. But if you’re in the PNW and in the market for a 964, you should go check this car out!

Disclaimer: I have not seen this car in person nor has Paul. While I presume a visual inspection will reveal detailed documentation of service history and the overall quality of this car, I can only assume the buyer be educated or employ a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) before buying to be sure.

dc

One thought on “How I Almost Bought a 964 Carrera 2”

Comments are closed.