Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.
I count myself as a big fan of all of Porsche's front-engined efforts from the 1970s through the 1990s, like the 928 or the 944. I think all of those cars look great and were (mostly) valiant attempts at trying something different from the brand's traditional rear-engine setup.
Out of all those cars, few are as rare as this 968 cabriolet I ran into not far from my neighborhood just south of the Capitol. Normally, I like to go much older than this for my "Found Around" features, but it was just too cool — and rare — to pass up.
The 968 Registry website says that between 1991 and 1995, only 1,944 968 drop-tops were sold in the U.S., although one book they cite claims it was 2,248. Either way, there aren't too many of these things running around, so bumping into one felt like finding a unicorn. Except in Porsche form. A Porsche-corn, if you will.
The 968 was the final evolution of the line that began in the mid-70s with the 924, a car that Porsche won from Volkswagen in a high-stakes poker game. (That's more or less what happened, I think.) By the early 1990s, it had been heavily reworked into the 968 and was powered by a 3.0-liter inline four cylinder good for a healthy 240 horsepower. When was the last time you heard of a four-banger that big? So awesome.
Outside, it looks like a 924 that's been thoroughly updated with some of the styling cues from the modern Porsches of that era, including the range-topping 928 and the contemporary 911. My weird predilection for 80s cars makes me like the 944 a little better, but this one is attractive too. It's still an eye-catching coupe today.
The one I found, a six-speed manual version, appeared to be in decent shape, save for the loss of some bodywork near the passenger door. D.C.'s a rough town to own a car in, I tells ya. Still, I have to say that I'm a fan of this 968. I'd buy one.
What do you think of the 968?