1989.5 Porsche 964 Carrera 4
Being a Porsche New car dealer sure has it privileges… Press rewind to April 4th 1989 and if you were one of the lucky 230 US Porsche dealers you were flown to Stuttgart to pick up a brand new Guards Red over Black 964 Carrera 4. This new Carrera 4 was not just any new 911, but the first RADICALLY updated of the original air-cooled 911. In fact Porsche claimed that 85% of the car was changed for 1989.5!
These lucky dealers were treated in high style and over 200 of these new 964’s were sent out on a 1,200 mile drive along Germany’s “Romantic Road” dubbed “VentureTour” by Porsche. At the start of their drive they gathered in this iconic photo…
At the completion of their tour these cars were shipped back to the US and dealers were to use this car as the dealer demonstrator to take orders for the new car.
Why do I tell you this? Because this car is actually one of the 230 cars and not only that, it was the car owned by the gentlemen whose hair brained scheme is was to bring this event together, Richard Ford, then Vice President, Sales and Operations for Porsche Cars North America. He later went on to become the COO retiring in 2004. You can imagine him leading the tour of his US dealers in this exact car….
Fast forward to 2017 and the world has suddenly gone 964 CRAZY! I worked at the Porsche dealer when we were selling 964’s, so I have always had a soft spot for them. However I certainly remember a time when somehow they were viewed with less fervor than today! It’s as if people suddenly realized that you get the iconic 911 shape including the gorgeous upright front fender, coupled with a dual plug 3.6 liter motor, modern coil over type suspension and functional AC. So while it is true to the 911 heritage, it was a huge step forward, what a car!
This particular example is a wonderful example of the breed. Nice enough to draw a front row spot at your local cars and coffee and yet with enough patina that a hastily thrown together 1,000-mile weekend drive isn’t out of the question. I met this cars owner at last years 8998FEST and this car performed as Porsche intended on our 700+ mile, 2-day, all out drive!
The body and paint are gorgeous with matching VIN tags on every panel, verifying that every piece is as it came from the factory. It has had paint touch ups here and there over the years, but that means its paint belies its years and miles. It does have the common 964/993 issue of windshield base corrosion on the passenger corner of the windshield. This would best be repaired during the next windshield replacement.
My favorite feature of the exterior is the set of 18” RH 3.6 Turbo Speedline replica wheels. This are simply the best looking wheel on a 964 and simply “right” since Porsche featured these on the 3.6 Turbo cars. The wheels are shod in almost new Michelin Pilot Super Sports, it’s ready to go. The recent owner also replaced the US springs with H&R ROW springs so the ride height would be “just so” over the RH wheels.
The interior is likewise beautiful. The best part is that EVERYTHING seems to work as intended, from the HVAC, cruise control, all the power functions, etc. The head unit is the only deviation from stock.
Mechanically the car is a great driver, it runs, stops, shifts and turns as a good 964 should. It’s tight, doesn’t rattle and will cause your smirk to turn to a full ear to ear as the tach swings past 5k. The best part of this car is that ~12k miles ago the car received a full top end rebuild by none other that John Walker of John Walker’s Workshop. The early 964’s didn’t come with head gaskets and as such were prone to leaks. John tore the motor down to the case (didn’t split case) and machined the heads to accept head gaskets. He reassembled the motor including new rings, valve guides and all new gaskets. A new clutch and a full major service was performed at that time. This makes this car a great buy vs. many of the 964’s who haven’t had any major work performed.
The car comes complete with the following items:
- All the original books, manuals and case. Including the VIN stamped service book showing it was part of the initial dealer launch and European delivery.
- Complete and beautiful tool kit
- Correct Euro tire inflator and safety triangle.
- 3 ring binder of service history from 1997 to current.
If you want a 964 coupe to drive, hurry on this one!