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1988 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera- Fully Restored!

1988 Porsche 3.2 G50 Carrera Coupe- Fully Restored!

Every so often I run across a Porsche that falls so outside the realm of typical that I am left momentarily speechless. This car is one of those rare occasions…

If you didnt get to buy a “new” 1988 Carrera 27 years ago, here is your chance… This particular Carrera has just 800 break-in miles on a complete restoration done to an UNBELEIVABLE standard. Only the most neurotic of Porsche fanatics would go the through the time consuming and expensive process of taking an already nice car and literally rebuilding it from the ground up, this “IS” that car. Here is the story:

Several years ago a local PCA member went through a painstaking restoration on a 964 Carrera 4. The results were nothing short of spectacular and he enjoyed the process so much that he decided to take what he had learned and apply it to one more air-cooled 911. He decided that he wanted to tackle a 3.2 Carrera coupe fitted with the G50 transmission, so he only considered the 1987-1989 cars. He also was very particular that he only wanted a car finished in the rare shade of Marine Blue and that the car had to be heavily optioned from the factory.

Obviously he had a VERY specific list, so the biggest challenge was finding a suitable car. Most people would have started with a very rough car to cut their initial investment. Not this enthusiast! He wanted a solid, no excuses car to start with and was willing to pay for it. He found this car being sold by a well known Porsche seller in the Midwest and it was represented as an excellent, all original example, with a full history from new and all original body panels. Here is how the car was optioned from the factory:

  • Marine Blue Metallic Exterior
  • Linen Full leather Beltline
  • Steering wheel w/ raised hub
  • Blaupunkt Radio Charleston
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Shorter Gear shift lever
  • Heavy duty windshield cleaning
  • Sport Seats
  • Forged Alloy Wheels
  • Automatic Heat Control
  • Rear wiper
  • Cruise Control
  • Spoilers Front and Rear
  • Sport Shock Absorbers
  • HiFi Sound
  • Alarm System
  • Sunroof

When the car arrived it was quickly assessed as being an honest, original example but certainly not as perfect as the owner wanted. It was time to embark on the big “project”. Having recently completed another restoration he had learned who his key players would be. He only wanted to work with the best of the best.

Mechanical Restoration:

The car was taken to Cantrell Motorsports (http://cantrellmotorsport.com) and the team of Colin Cantrell and Brandon Higbee started the VERY detailed process of rebuilding just about every mechanical system on the car. It was very important that not just everything be mechanically top tier, but that aesthetically every inch of this car must be better than new. Every last nut and bolt was re-CAD Plated, every piece of engine sheet metal was refinished and even the fan shroud was a custom fit piece in RSR mustard yellow. Here is what was done:

  • Complete Split Case engine rebuild- too many parts to list but suffice it to say EVERYTHING was done. Please feel free to request a copy of the build invoice and photos.
  • New OEM Clutch kit
  • New Dansk Heat Exchangers and sport muffler
  • All new fuel lines, oil lines (engine and to cooler), all new engine bay stickers, gaskets, trim, fittings, etc. Has to be seen to be believed!
  • All new wiring-OEM engine Fuel injection harnesses
  • Suspension- All new shocks (Bilstein HD), all new bushings, new torsion bars (21+28mm hollow), Rennline front strut brace, turbo tie rods, corner balance and align.
  • 4 New Zuffenhaus 17x8 front and 17x9 rear wheels with new Michelin Pliot Sports.
  • All new brakes, rotors, pads, lines, fluid and sensors. Refinish calipers
  • All gauges rebuilt

Exterior Restoration:

The car was in what appeared to be excellent original condition, but wasn’t perfect so it was taken to Queen City Auto Rebuild in Redmond Washington. Queen City is the only Authorized Porsche bodyshop in the PNW. They have an impeccable reputation for quality. Here is what was done:

  • Car completely disassembled to the bare shell.
  • Car taken completely down to bare metal.
  • Repairs were done to any area that was less than perfect. It appeared great to start with but once the paint was removed they found several areas that could be improved.
  • Two coats of primer block sanded finer with each coat
  • Application of 3 coats of OEM Marine blue followed by several coats of clear
  • Reassembly with all new gaskets, trim, fasterners, etc. etc.

Interior Restoration:

Now that the mechanics were as new and the body simply gleamed, it was time for an interior that would rise to the occasion. The owner selected the craftsman at All City Convertibles including the team of John Herold and Matt Gibson. Here the decision was made to deviate from the original Linen interior and go with the optional Can-Can Red Full leather. Here is what was done:

  • New Headliner
  • New dash
  • Restored seats, door panels, rear panels and console in Can-Can Red Leather
  • Wrap dash, lower dash, door pockets edges, door tops, B Pillars, E-brake hande  etc in black stitched leather
  • New Black Silverknit Carpet
  • New Berber Floormats
  • OEM Rear Seat Delete recovered to match
  • New OEM 930S Steering wheel
  • Too many more items to name, essentially EVERYTHING in the interior is new

Since the restoration was finished (~September 2014) that car has travelled just 800 miles. It has just received its first oil change and valve adjust and is sorted and ready to go. It has been shown several times since the restoration was completed and has taken 1st place in every event, including most recently the PNWR PCA Porsche Grand Display at Carillon Point.

The most impressive thing about this car is simply the attention to detail. Everywhere you look you will see evidence that the owner got all the small items right. So often I will see restored cars where the paint is shiny but lots of the small items show wear or don’t look correctly finished or attended to. On this car every item is just so, truly a tremendous achievement.

If you are looking for the best of the best and want a turnkey car, this is it. This car could not be duplicated for anywhere near the asking price. If you are considering this car please do reach out as I have literally hundreds of photos of the restoration, a beautiful hard cover book detailing the journey and a 3 ring binder of the full documentation of the car.

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