David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/24/17 1:20 p.m.

For the first quarter-century of its existence, the Porsche 911 simply evolved with a tweak here and an update there. Then came a gigantic update for 1989. All of that goodness must command a premium, right? Here’s the shocker: These are some of today’s best deals on an air-cooled 911.

Enthusiasts now refer to these 1989–’94 Porsches by their 964 internal chassis code, but technically they had new model designations: The all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4 arrived first in 1989, followed by the two-wheel-drive Carrera 2 the following year.

What was new with these 964s? Almost everything. From the outside, even a casual observer could pick out some of the big changes, like the smooth front and rear bumper covers as well as a rear spoiler that extended and retracted automatically.

The 964 also received new wheels, as Porsche replaced the classic five-spoke Fuchs with modern alloys that sported much less dish. Why the new look? Because behind those wheels lay an entirely new suspension, one that required less offset. After years of relying upon torsion bars front and rear, the 911 followed just about everyone else in the automotive world and moved to coil springs.

The modernizing continued inside. The pedals no longer sprouted from the floor, but hung beneath the dashboard as in most all other modern cars. Driver- and passenger-side airbags plus a full-length center console helped make this 911 feel less like a VW Beetle and more like its contemporaries. The new air conditioning worked better than its predecessors, too.

Then there were the performance upgrades: Anti-lock brakes came standard, while engine displacement grew from 3.2 liters to 3.6, boosting engine output from 214 horsepower to 247. The standard transmission was a five-speed stick, but Carrera 2 customers could also select the Tiptronic automatic.

The 964 ran through the 1994 model year, with the lineup eventually adding coupe, Targa and convertible models. Porsche also released some special performance variants, including 701 copies of their lightweight RS America. A few years ago these were a deal; today, well, budget at least six figures for an okay one.

The rest of the 964 lineup isn’t so dear, though. Hagerty says that $30,000 should buy you a good Carrera 2 coupe–an updated take on a timeless classic.

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Lugnut
Lugnut Dork
5/25/17 9:22 a.m.

I'm such a fan of the 964. I actually prefer it (styling-wise) to the 993. I think I'm one of nine people in the world with that opinion!

Mrs. Lugnut doesn't want to ride in cars without passenger airbags and I want a traditional, removable-roof Targa, so a 964 is my only option. But I can't believe how the cost of these cars has gone up! Five or six years ago, I passed on a nice white '94 C2 Targa because I didn't have the $18k handy to buy it. Now, you can't touch that car for less than $40k!

I love the silver roll hoop on this one.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
5/25/17 7:56 p.m.

Driving a 964 is the main reason i got a 996. Not because i didn't like the 964, but unlike it's owner i didn't happen to get in right before the market exploded. I ended up shopping 996s for the same money he'd spent on the 964.

In reality the 996 is a substantially better car for me, but it lacks a LOT of what made driving the 964 seem so special.

Ricky Spanish
Ricky Spanish Reader
5/26/17 11:05 a.m.

Prices on these are bonkers right now because all the stance-tards are snatching them up and ruining them with bags and notched frames.

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
5/26/17 11:27 a.m.

In reply to Ricky Spanish:

Reaaally????

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