For $5,999, Porsche Nine Sixty What?

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Following the effeminate 924 and the etherial 944, the epoch-ending 968 seems to have become the forgotten Porsche. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Cabriolet might just jog some memories, but will its price make you say fuggedaboutit?


Rumor has it that when questioned as to the absence of a true entry-level Porsche, a company executive made the claim that such a car did exist, it was called a used Porsche. Despite that seeming asshattery response, the Stuttgart car maker has for years offered a lower-priced, and equitably lower-performance model, some of which have carved out their own place in the pantheon of preferred Porsches.

Today's car perhaps has not.

The 968 was introduced in 1992, and even though it represented a departure stylistically from is predecessor, the 944S, there was no hiding the fact that the basic 968 body was little more than an evolution of the original 924, a car that debuted all the way back in 1975. Sure, the earlier cars' pop-up lights were replaced with 928-aping frog-pods, but that styling meme dated back to the seventies as well. The 968 also subdued the 944s aggressive fender flares for a smoother, more organic look, which, while offering a fresher appearance, served to make the car less iconic and even more so, less memorable. And, as it was followed by the rabidly welcomed Boxster, this end-of-the-road for Porsche's dalliance with a front-engine, rear-drive entry-level cars was for the time, over.

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But for four years in the early nineties the 968 ruled the other side of the tracks at Porsche dealerships. It was made available as a coupe, a bodystyle that dated back to the original 924, as well as a somewhat awkwardly realized soft-top. That convertible version, which debuted late in the 944's life, added a different dimension to the car, that of wind in your hair and potentially bird crap on your center console. This '93 968 Cabriolet provides both those opportunities, although you'd likely want to protect it from the latter as its black and tan interior currently looks to be in pretty good shape.

Image for article titled For $5,999, Porsche Nine Sixty What?

One of the changes that took place in the metamorphosis from 944 to 968 was under the hood, where the later cars' gained Porsche's VarioCam variable valve timing, and a sizable bump in displacement. The four pots powering this car in total displace 2,990-ccs, and individually maintain a bore that is greater than 4-inches across. That's a hole you could deliver a baby through. In fact, the 968 engine was one of the biggest 4-bangers this side of a pickup truck that modern money could have bought.

Image for article titled For $5,999, Porsche Nine Sixty What?

That 3-litre four was good for 236-bhp at the time, and put the power to the pavement through either a newly-designed 6-speed gearbox, or Porsche's Tiptronic automatic. Luckily, this black beauty has three pedals and the stick. It also has the Brembo brakes and aluminum suspension pieces that made the 968 stop and corner with authority. Of course this particular car has 164K on its clock so it may not be quite as authoritative as when it left the factory. That's a whole lot of miles on what is essentially a fairly complex automobile, something that should check the option box for potential future investment for any buyer. Other issues on this car are a top that is so rumpled it looks like an uncircumcised Shar Pei, and a basic lack of information provided in the dealer ad. That means you can't tell if it possesses any major negatives like burning more oil than an Iraqi retreater, reeking of cat pee, or suffering from an evil gypsy curse. The 90 days same as cash offer does mitigate that mystery somewhat, however.


Whether 90-days or today, the dealer's price for the car is an advertised $5,999, which is so far enough below KBB to make it pique anyone's curiosity. What do you think, is that a price that piques any part of you? Or, does that do nothing to overcome the fact that you would address it as Porsche who?

You decide!

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BoxerFanatic, troublesome iconoclast.

Would be NP, but it actually is CP..

Pro: for convertibles, 968 > 944 S2, IMHO. I love the 928-esque front end, plus it has a Variocam 3.0 Inline 4, driving a rear 6MT transaxle. The bodywork looks better than a 944, without the coupe roof.

If it were a coupe, though, I might switch that to 968 < 944. I don't like the saggy quarter windows compared to the 944 (like that they are flush glass, don't like the newer shape), and the flush tail treatment should have improved the tail panel, but actually made it worse, and lost the cool under-spoiler. I prefer the 944 coupe's unibody shell. One can re-fit the 968's front end onto the 944 shell, which I would do.


That makes any Porsche either a parts car, or a money pit the size of Vesuvius. Bad aftermarket wheels, the top is shredded... and any person who would let the exterior get so bad, also likely didn't keep up with the maintenance on the guts of the car.

GINORMOUS RED FLAG on that first picture, with the convertible top finishing coming apart.

If that is the worst of it's problems, and everything else is good... MAYBE NP... but you had better be damn sure that isn't a symptom of more widespread neglect.

If this were a pristine condition 968 cabrio, especially with a 6MT, it would be nice price even at twice this asking price, which would still be less than an early Boxster or Boxster S.

In ratty condition... this thing will bleed someone dry, monetarily, unless they happen to have a stash of parts for this car, and can go through the car thoroughly, and flip it easily with their own skills. I can't imagine that there are many people who are in that position. Porsche mechanic and bodywork labor costs would eat this car alive.