1989 Porsche 964 Carrera 4-Diamond Blue over Silk Grey, fully restored, bare metal repaint, full mechanical overhaul, truly the best of the best in EVERY regard!
Porsche owners come in all types, but my favorite type has that rare combination of vision, passion, commitment and the sheer intestinal fortitude to tackle the demands of a truly world class restoration and then loses interest when said project is done. Unlike restorations done as a quick flip or to a price point, these “passion projects” done to a standard not a budget can represent some of the most amazing Porsche’s extant. This 964 is just one such example.
Get comfortable; grab a favorite beverage, as this story will take some time to unfold…
In 2012 a local Porsche fanatic was looking for his next project and not just any 964 would do. He had his heart set on an early example, as he loved the historical importance of the 1989.5 Carrera 4 models. He also wanted a rare color; in particular he wanted Diamond Blue Metallic. After hunting high and low he found his car, it was a 2-owner, all original example, from the desert SW (CA and NM), with a complete history from new to current and all of its VIN matched body panels. (I included photos of the car pre-restoration at the bottom of the gallery) In fact it was a nice enough car that 99% of Porsche people would have NEVER restored it, BUT as you are starting to learn this enthusiast doesn’t understand compromise…
He knew what he wanted and he set to work to achieve it. His first stop was Cantrell Motorsports (www.cantrellmotorsport.com) where they did a complete mechanical disassembly of the car. It was decided that a complete tear down and rebuild of every system was warranted. Here is what was done:
- Complete split case engine rebuild including updating the head to the later style with head gaskets. Literally every piece, gasket, bearing, etc. was replaced. The parts list is 2 pages long.
- Complete Transmission and differential rebuild
- New clutch, correct single mass flywheel (89 964 part only)
- Full suspension overhaul: Bilstein HD, H&R Springs, every suspension bushing in the car, etc… The car now sits just “right”
- There is so much more, suffice it to say if it’s a mechanical part on this car it has been replaced, rebuilt, adjusted, corrected, etc..
While the mechanicals were being sorted he wanted to refinish the paint. The car was 100% straight with no accident damage (see before pictures and note all the panels still retain their original VIN tags) so again not wanting to compromise he entrusted Queen City Auto Rebuild (http://queencityautorebuild.com/porsche/) who is one of just a handful of Porsche Certified body shops in the country. Here is what he had done:
- The car was completely chemically stripped by hand so as to not damage the metal with more aggressive methods, he also wanted to preserve the original paint in the jams, trunk and engine compartment.
- The car was then carefully re-primed, block sanded to perfection and then painted in OEM Diamond Blue Metallic.
- Once the paint had cured the car was reassembled and nearly every gasket, piece of trim, lens, etc. was replaced. All the expensive items literally were sourced as new including an OEM windshield, OEM rear lenses ($$$), H5 headlights, sunroof gasket and on and on….
- Now that the car was literally new, he wanted to add a little something extra so he sourced an original set of 964 fitment RUF Speedline wheels and had Queen City color match the centers in Diamond Blue. A genuine RUF front spoiler and European bumperette fillers complete the subtle but effective exterior.
- To keep the car perfect yet drivable he enlisted Metropolitan Detail (metropolitandetail.com) to cover the entire front end in XPEL paint protection film, no seams! Drive without worry!
Now the exterior was looking better than new, he turned his attention to the interior. He enlisted the help of All City Convertibles (https://www.allcityconvertible.com) who is the local PCA fanatic’s interior shop of choice. The car was originally delivered with special full leather Silk Grey, which was no longer available (NLA) from Porsche, but he would not be deterred. He found out he could still get NOS complete hides from RUF, so he sourced 3 complete hides from RUF ($$$) so he could make the interior just right… Here is what was done:
- Complete recover of every inch of the original Silk Grey leather including the seats, door panels, grab handles, center console, etc.…Stunning!
- Complete black silver knit carpet kit.
- An OEM RS America rear seat kit was fitted in place of the original rear seats.
- New headliner
- Gauges restored
- NOS Silk Grey RUF shifter and RUF steering wheel
After almost 2 years of hard work the car was complete and the owner set about showing off his creation. As many of you know I have a passion for Concours and I hate to admit, this is one of the VERY few cars that has beat me at a show. In 2014 I showed my RS America against this car and LOST… I was humbled to say the least, as this car was simply a showstopper!
After winning at several events the owner was ready to move onto the next project (I have sold this car as well: https://cvluxurycars.com/1988-porsche-911-3-2-carrera-fully-restored/) and I sold this car to a wonderful and longtime client of mine. Luckily this owner is equally fanatical and in his almost 4 years of ownership he drove the car ~1,500 miles and continued to improve it, including:
- Installing a new Porsche Classic Radio and all new speakers behind the factory grilles
- Overhaul of the AC system including replacing the evaporator core ($$). Blows ice cold!
- Careful and regular service
Now one could assume that the car is beautiful (it is!) but in my experience there are 2 items often lacking with restorations and both are critical! What are they? First off are they SORTED, meaning does every system on the car actually work the way it is supposed to reliably? Many times when a car has been completely disassembled they are never quite right! Those who have owned restored cars know EXACTLY what I am talking about…. This car is RIGHT! Secondly, many restored cars don’t drive well. This car is AMAZING to drive; it is tight, strong and makes all the right noises. It has covered just over 3,000 miles (82k total chassis miles) since completion, just enough to know the bugs are all worked out and it is ready to be enjoyed.
I have had many people ask what it costs to restore a car like this, but I was always taught it’s not polite to talk money, politics or religion SO… Suffice it to say this was NOT a money making proposition but instead was a reflection of a passionate pursuit of a goal. If you become this cars owners you will be handed the complete history of the car, so feel free to add it all up, BUT true car enthusiasts know that is verboten… It incurs the wrath of the car gods….
So now the big question is, does this 964 make sense for you? You and I both know an honest, driver quality, 82k mile 1989 Carrera 4 coupe, with a complete history, no accident damage, in a desirable color combination is a ~$60k car in today’s market. Most of those still need quite a few updates due to age and inherent 964 design issues, you couldn’t tackle just the mechanicals for the difference in price, let alone do the interior and a complete concours quality paint restoration. So, do you want the best of the best and are willing to pay upfront to get it, fully knowing you are buying it at a significant discount vs. what it would cost to have it done? Or do you want a more typical driver and want to chip away at its needs over time? There is no wrong answer, but for me THIS IS the 964 I would want in my garage…