PORSCHE’S 964 C4 almost qualified as heresy when first introduced. Like the later introduction of liquid-cooling for the engine, the idea of four-wheel-drive had some of the cognoscenti in a flap.
All-paw-drive was something those oddballs over at Audi did, not the stout burghers at Stuttgart.
It had to be admitted, though, that while a talented driver on the right track might do better with the lighter and more conventional C2, for most mortals all-wheel-drive was the way to go. It’s more forgiving and wins hands down (regardless of who is at the wheel) when the surface gets slippery.
At the same time this car did much to diminish the brand’s reputation for handling that switched suddenly from benign to tail-happy. This generation represented a major make-over for the 911 series and, as one contemporary road test put it, “The beauty of four-wheel drive is that its dynamics tend to pay off at all speeds, whatever the conditions.”
Chassis niceties such as power steering and ABS were introduced for this generation.
You may have noticed that air-cooled Porsche prices have been climbing, but the sticker shock doesn’t seem to have slowed anyone down at this stage. Our own Andy Enright reckons this series hits a sweet spot with its combo of much-improved handling and old school styling.
Russell Cox over at the Healey Factory, which has this car for sale, says it’s got a lot of what people are looking for, including the highly-prized full set of books that proves local delivery from new.
“It’s what everyone’s looking for in a Porsche, except most people want a coupe rather than a convertible and the price reflects that,” he says.
“Generally the market for the air-cooled 911 is very strong worldwide. People are paying higher prices than they were 18 months ago.”
This example has the 3.6 litre motor, which has a reputation for having plenty of low and mid-range urge and claims 247 horses at 6100rpm.
It’s a five-speed manual and is original except for the later teardrop external mirrors.
Porsche enjoys a strong reputation for reliability, something echoed by Cox who happily explains he’s owned a 911 for 23 years and sees no reason to part with it.
THE 964 was introduced late 1989 amidst a severe world recession.
It represented a major technical upgrade for the 911 series and was built in several variants to 1993.
Two turbo versions were offered from 1990 to 1994.
ENGINE air-cooled fuel-injected 3.6lt boxer 6 MAX POWER 184kW @6100rpm MAX TORQUE 309Nm @4800rpm TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual WEIGHT 1470kg 0-100KM/H (COUPE) 5.1sec TOP SPEED (COUPE) 250km/h PRICE $88,000 WHERE healeyfactory.com.au