It’s okay to be last if you can also be best and today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 968 both the last and arguably one of the best of Porsche’s original front-engine four-cylinder line. Let’s see if this one’s price puts it first on your list.
There are two primary types of private party car sellers out there. The first is the sort that takes blurry pics of their messy, un-washed car and uses “lol” in their ads a lot. The second is the kind of person who cleans their car and then takes plenty of well-lit pictures of it that frame the car’s most appealing aspects in the best light. Guess which one of those is going get more buyer interest in the long run?
Last Friday’s 2007 Mercedes Benz ML 320 CDI was one of the latter, presented as it was with a fresh detailing and with enough shots around and in it that you could really get a feel for what the car was like. Few of you actually liked the Benz seeing as it represented a fairly standard crossover, a class of car that’s all kinds of mundane and not all that interesting. That didn’t stop you from finding some appeal in its $8,200 asking, however, and in the end, the Benz brought home a narrow but laudable 58 percent Nice Price win.
Crossovers like that Mercedes are what people are buying these days—or at least were buying before the corona kicked in. The shift to tall wagons has been a boon for car manufacturers like Porsche since their market contenders have generated so much revenue that it’s allowed the company’s core business of sports car building to flourish.
That wasn’t always the case and for a long time, all Porsche could afford was incremental updates to existing platforms rather than major paradigm shifts. That lead to the company producing derivations of their original water-cooled four-cylinder platform all the way from 1976 through 1995. It’s safe to say that with each evolutionary change, those cars got better.
This 1995 Porsche 968 Cabriolet is the final evolution of that platform. These cars began in ignominious fashion as a contract-designed Audi coupé sporting an engine from a van. In its final 968 form, it sports the largest displacement four-cylinder engine of any production Porsche in history.
That naturally-aspirated 3-litre four offered up a factory-claimed 236 horsepower and sizable 225 lb-ft of torque. Compare that to the original 924’s 95 horse/113 lb-ft wheezer and you can see why this last iteration is arguably better.
Other 968 updates include 928-style pop-up headlamps which are the stripper’s boobies to the 924 and 944’s high-neckline covered units. The rear-end also received a redesign for the 968, featuring a molded bumper that wrapped up to surround the model-specific taillamps and embossed PORSCHE name.
Most everything else here, save for some minor details, is much like it was on the preceding 944. That includes the two-seat interior and ASC-crafted convertible top and associated body modifications.
This 968 may be one of the last of its line, but with only 1,156 sold in 1995, it’s a fairly rare bird as well. Separate from all that, it presents as a pretty nice bit of kit.
The bodywork, in black wrapped around a set of chrome-plated factory alloys, appears to be in excellent shape with no major peppering of the nose nor any evident curbing on those bright and shiny wheels.
The cloth convertible top also looks to be ready to rock and features a clear plastic rear window. You might feel a little claustrophobic in the car with that top-up as while the rear window is appreciably capacious, the rest of the top is speedster-small and fairly cosseting.
A light-colored interior helps make it feel a bit less oppressive, and here that’s in great shape too. The woodwork is a bit odd for a Porsche of this era—after all, it’s not a Jaaaaag—but at least it looks to be in serviceable condition.
The odometer reads a mere 45,000 miles and the ad claims no accidents in the time during which those have been racking up. There has been some maintenance done, including the replacement of the power steering pump and timing belt, as well as a full-car detail just this year.
The title is clean and the seller describes the car’s overall condition as a Mr Burns worthy “excellent.”
That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of a last-in-line car, but the 968 can handle that. The question right now is whether we can all handle this 968’s $20,000 price.
What do you think, is this Cabriolet worth that as it sits? Or, is this a last car with a price that would definitely not make it your first choice?
H/T to Jason Holt for the hookup!
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By the way—happy 4/20 to all you canabisseurs out there!