RE: Porsche 911 (964): PH Carpool

RE: Porsche 911 (964): PH Carpool

Monday 22nd January

Porsche 911 (964): PH Carpool

When the purchase of a flat fell through, this PHer scratched his 911 itch!



Name: Benja Hedley
Car: Porsche 911 (964) Carrera 4
Owned since: 2011
Previously owned:
1972 MGB Roadster, 1979 MGB V8 Roadster (owned for 15 years, it's been tuned and it's a bit of a handful), 2000 Subaru Legacy GT-B. Motorbikes: 1988 Cagiva Elefant 125 (still), Honda VFR750 (still), 2009 Honda Fireblade, 2x Vespa GTS 300s (one stolen, one not so far).

Why I bought it:
"My uncle gave me a little die-cast, green 911 when I was about six years old, and that had me hooked. Back in 2011 I was running a great Subaru Legacy GT-B, which I'd bought for £1,700 and sold two years and 20,000 miles later for a £50 profit - just don't ask about the running costs. I still had that 911 itch to scratch though. I'd been trying to buy a flat and the seller gazumped me, so I ended up with some savings burning a hole in my bank account. My favourite 911 generation had always been the 964, which was deeply unfashionable and cheap at the time - I just liked the way it was still an original small-bodied 911 harking back to the 1960s, but was relatively modern underneath. And it had a pop-up spoiler. Who doesn't love pop-up spoilers?

"Given a choice I'd have loved a black one (after watching Bad Boys as a kid), and preferably a C4 as I do a bit of speed ski racing and I had dreams of driving it out to the Alps with skis on the roof a bit like the Bond Esprit. That's not going to happen now after a 110mph crash at the world champs in March and a broken neck! I'd been vaguely looking around and one day I came across a black 1990 964 C4 on eBay listed for £8,500 and it seemed too good to be true. It had a load of warning lights, a broken stereo, wheels from a Boxster and some other issues, but none were too serious. They must have scared off the other buyers because when bidding closed I got it for the £8,500 reserve. Admittedly I then had to plough a few grand in to fix the niggles, but I think I was pretty lucky.

"I completely agree with the purists that there's no doubt the two-wheel drive C2 is lighter and a better drive, but these were designed back in the 1980s before the days of stability control, so if you overcook it in a C2 you need a lot of skill and a dash of luck to avoid underwear changes. For me I can use more of the C4's performance more of the time (particularly on cow muck covered Suffolk lanes) without having to pick the roads with soft-looking ditches."


What I wish I'd known:
"I keep the car on the street in London, and one day I came down to find some little b*****ds had nicked the headlights, foglights and taillights overnight. For some reason Porsche decided to put the screws on the outside and apparently it used to be a pretty common theft. A full set of lights is about £2,000, so it must be a nice little money-maker for Stuttgart. I added security screws, though the same thing happened a year later and this time they managed to prize off the brake lights too. Now I've just drilled all the heads off the screws and put up a security camera and so far it's been fine. I just hope I don't get a blown bulb in the near future..."

Things I love:
"It's got a G-pipe which makes a great sound, though pushed it pretty close to the 102db limit at a track day - special dispensation for being rear-engined was needed to get me through. Despite some upgrades the performance is quick rather than rabid, but it will keep up well enough. It drives like a modern car with a bit more heft; it's relatively small compared to current 911s and always starts first time. 27 years on it still feels tough as old boots, the doors close with a reassuring clunk and it feels like it should last forever. It's even vaguely practical with four seats, a boot and sort of comfortable enough for long journeys. Living outside, it's a bit scruffy and has a patina - but classic cars should be driven, not kept hidden away."


Things I hate:
"Apart from the nickable headlights, it's a porky old beast at just under 1,500kg so she's not as agile as she could be. I've upgraded the front brakes and added braided hoses as they're a known weak point too. Also Porsche parts are (unsurprisingly) expensive, and she's got to that age where some of the 27 year-old original components are giving up the ghost. The driving position is a bit offset on RHD cars with the pedals in the centre of the car which can give a dull ache after a long journey. The air-con has also never worked, so I might just chuck it. I've been rear-ended twice in traffic (both times by black Range Rover Sports), though I can't blame that on the car. And in terms of 'first-world problems', air-cooled 911 prices have gone a bit nuts recently so there may come a point when I have to question how sensible it is to keep it on the street."

Costs:
"Ah yes... 964s do need top-end rebuilds once in a while (about every 80,000-100,000 miles). I made sure it had been done in the past before I bought it, but when I took it to our friendly family mechanic in Suffolk - the excellent Dom at DLF Classic Cars - and mentioned some smoke on start-up it all went a bit downhill. He found several head studs had sheared, all the tinware was rusted away and it needed a full top-end rebuild. Dom and his team did a brilliant job, but it cost a fair bit. A complete set of head studs, piston rings and tinware was heading to £5,000 in parts alone, and it had an unusual clutch (north of £1,000) which it made sense to change at the same time. Dom also fixed some rusty patches on the bodywork which were in need of doing. In the end including the 125 hours labour it took it ended up costing about one and a half times what I bought the car for. Runs like a peach now though, and should be good for another 80,000 miles on top of the 150,000 it's done already.

"In terms of typical running costs I budget about a grand a year to keep her going, but depreciation isn't a worry. Fuel economy is around 25mpg, whether I drive it like a vicar or a villain."


Where I've been:
"I've not made any special pilgrimages in it, but I did do a track day with my 66 year-old mum. Back in 2006 she wanted to do a skydive for her 60th birthday, but a double hip replacement ruled that out. So instead I sent her on a track day with her S2000. She loved that, so a few years later we did a track day together in the Porsche. It kept up with its modern siblings, though the transmission does tend to overheat a bit after sustained use and I managed to melt a tyre. A great craic, and one of the more unusual forms of spending a day out with your pensioner parent.

"I plan to head to the Nurburgring at some point, or perhaps a trip round northern Scotland, but it's just my daily driver at the moment for trips to B&Q, the tip and so on."

What next?
"It's a bit scruffy so it could do with a respray but mechanically it's now pretty strong. Dom reckons I need a few grand set aside to properly sort the bodywork at some point. With prices skyrocketing, the reality is if I sold it I might not ever be able to buy it back, so it's a keeper for now. That respray will happen at some point, I've just bought some proper Cup alloys and aero mirrors would be nice as well. The front suspension is also set a bit high, so perhaps a fast road set up would be good in future, but while I'm running about London its ability to happily straddle speed humps can't be overlooked. And now the engine's rebuilt I'm tempted by the bolt-on supercharger which adds 100-150hp and 50 per cent more torque. It would be nice to get 964 Turbo performance in a more subtle (and a lot cheaper) package. Lots to think about!

"In terms of another car, I've also been looking out for an RS2 for a while, but they've soared in price recently. Maybe a B7/8 Audi RS4 or 997 Turbo when they come down a bit more, but the ultimate dream one day is a Ruf Yellowbird."


Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at carpool@pistonheads.com!

 

 

Author
Discussion

Davey S2

Original Poster:

11,824 posts

186 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Great stuff.

Sadly the odays of finding any 964 for £8.5K are long gone cry

AQRS2

7 posts

28 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
What's you budget for an RS2?!!

Sbloxxy

89 posts

159 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Nice article. Like Benja, I bought a 'cheap' 964 - £8800 - though that was a few years ago before prices got silly. And like Benja, I ended up using it as a daily driver and throwing quite a few quid at it. However mine was left-hand drive and my wife wouldn't drive it so eventually I sold it, replacing it with a 986 Boxster S. The Boxster is a better car to be honest (though the 964 has more character) but financially it was one of the worst decisions I've ever made as I watched Boxster prices plummet while 964 prices have sky-rocketed.

Now I probably couldn't afford to buy another 964 though at least Boxster prices have bottomed out, not that I have any intention of selling.
My only advice to Benja is: Don't sell it - you'll regret it.

sinbaddio

1,122 posts

108 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Fantastic - love it!

Maldini35

1,709 posts

120 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Sbloxxy said:
Nice article. Like Benja, I bought a 'cheap' 964 - £8800 - though that was a few years ago before prices got silly. And like Benja, I ended up using it as a daily driver and throwing quite a few quid at it. However mine was left-hand drive and my wife wouldn't drive it so eventually I sold it, replacing it with a 986 Boxster S. The Boxster is a better car to be honest (though the 964 has more character) but financially it was one of the worst decisions I've ever made as I watched Boxster prices plummet while 964 prices have sky-rocketed.

Now I probably couldn't afford to buy another 964 though at least Boxster prices have bottomed out, not that I have any intention of selling.
My only advice to Benja is: Don't sell it - you'll regret it.
I did the same (964 to 986S).
I am similarly gutted.

My 964 was hands down the best car I ever owned. I used it to everyday - station car, supermarket trips, trackdays, school run, Le Mans. It was the perfect car.
I only sold mine as the engine started to smoke intermittently at around 90k miles and I couldn’t afford the rebuild at the time.
Can’t afford to buy another now.
Damn.



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2 GKC

417 posts

37 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Lovely.
Needs those wheels changing though

rtz62

1,456 posts

87 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Love these and I’ve promised myself one, but the following made me quote the shortest sentence in The Bible (And Jesus Wept);
“A complete set of head studs, piston rings and tinware was heading to £5,000 in parts alone..”
That hurts, and seeing as I haven’t got a decent kidney to sell it really makes me question if my desire to own one can overcome costs like this.
I guess buying from a specialist, with the right kind of warranty would mitigate the cost but then again the car would probably be more expensive than a private sale.
Excellent car, and I shall live my dream vicariously at the moment, so hope ownership goes smoothly for you 👍

Josco010

114 posts

124 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Sbloxxy said:
Nice article. Like Benja, I bought a 'cheap' 964 - £8800 - though that was a few years ago before prices got silly. And like Benja, I ended up using it as a daily driver and throwing quite a few quid at it. However mine was left-hand drive and my wife wouldn't drive it so eventually I sold it, replacing it with a 986 Boxster S. The Boxster is a better car to be honest (though the 964 has more character) but financially it was one of the worst decisions I've ever made as I watched Boxster prices plummet while 964 prices have sky-rocketed.

Now I probably couldn't afford to buy another 964 though at least Boxster prices have bottomed out, not that I have any intention of selling.
My only advice to Benja is: Don't sell it - you'll regret it.
Hi there, please never regret it, life is short and for living. Values of the cars are based on what people are willing to pay not because they are better cars. I bought my e34 m5 6speeder nurburgring spec with big brakes for same price i could have got a 993 c2 i also had my e30 m3 evo that i paid £11k for in 98, now they have all gone up in price, so what. What is more important is your experience with them. I sold my e30 m3 a year ago and i have no regrets, someone else will enjoy it, after all if i die its not going to heaven with me so enjoyed it now someone else is, thats the way it should be. I still have my e34 and now a 911.

Life is short and should be experienced to the full and we should not hold on to things that don't necessarily add value, sadly a lot of these air-cooled cars will live their dying days in garages and never experienced with owners hoping to be make a mint that is not necessarily there. Shame really.

So please be glad you had one enjoyed it and left it, no point for regrets. Memories are more important.

blade7

7,922 posts

148 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
I've never liked the 964, before the 996 started dropping their guts the 964 was the ginger stepchild 911.

Loyly

16,175 posts

91 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Nice article. A good read and a great car!

badgerracing

67 posts

161 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
2 GKC said:
Lovely.
Needs those wheels changing though
She's now on Cup 2s....

PistonBroker

1,484 posts

158 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
rtz62 said:
. . . seeing as I haven’t got a decent kidney to sell it really makes me question if my desire to own one can overcome costs like this.
Likewise :-(

I've wanted a 911 since I was knee-high to a grasshopper but, as I turned 17 in '95, the ultimate desire was a 993.

Then I was happy to settle for a 964.

Now it'll have to be a 996.

Really should have pushed myself to buy when these were cheap.

Thanks for the write-up OP. Great to see it being used.


DiscoColin

3,325 posts

146 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
If it is parked on the street, actually don't go putting the later aero mirrors on it. They have traditionally proven far more steal-able than the lights ever were by the usual vermin...

Also note that due to the spiralling prices and classic status - bolting a supercharger to it will probably actually end up reducing the value, so only do that if you really are sure that it is a keeper thumbup

Edited by DiscoColin on Monday 22 January 16:36

Slippydiff

9,532 posts

155 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
rtz62 said:
Love these and I’ve promised myself one, but the following made me quote the shortest sentence in The Bible (And Jesus Wept);
“A complete set of head studs, piston rings and tinware was heading to £5,000 in parts alone..”
That hurts, and seeing as I haven’t got a decent kidney to sell it really makes me question if my desire to own one can overcome costs like this.
I guess buying from a specialist, with the right kind of warranty would mitigate the cost but then again the car would probably be more expensive than a private sale.
Excellent car, and I shall live my dream vicariously at the moment, so hope ownership goes smoothly for you ??
The tinware would've been a large proportion of that. But unless the tinware is completely rotted, you could build up a slush fund to replace it (or buy secondhand, shotblast and powercoat it)
The other thing to remember is, unless the engine leaks like the Torrey Canyon or is misfiring/really down on power, you can just keep on driving them, as they can, and do "just keep going", broken head studs or not.




7zero

11 posts

29 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
fantastic story.. I will never excuse myself for not doing the same thing couple of years ago. Enjoy it!

givablondabone

2,546 posts

87 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Best PH carpool for a long time. Using the 964 as you have I have nothing but respect for you. There's something about the 964 shape that really appeals to me too. As mentioned probably because it looks relatively small and lithe compared to newer 911s. I hope you keep and enjoy it forever fella.

One other thing......Did I read that right? ONE HUNDRED AND TEN MILES AN HOUR CRASH! Skiing?!
yikesclapcensoredbeer

Jimbo

Edited by givablondabone on Monday 22 January 19:47

80sMatchbox

3,385 posts

108 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all

A lovely car, I wish I'd bought one years ago when they were wallet friendly priced.

When's your mum doing her PH Carpool? biggrin

treetops

1,102 posts

90 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Great car!!!

But it's standing OP something like £20k and might be worth £35k?

Paint might be another £5k.

The profit on these usnt always clear cut.


treetops

1,102 posts

90 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
Great car!!!

But it's standing OP something like £20k and might be worth £35k?

Paint might be another £5k.

The profit on these usnt always clear cut.


badgerracing

67 posts

161 months

Monday 22nd January
quotequote all
givablondabone said:
Best PH carpool for a long time. Using the 964 as you have I have nothing but respect for you. There's something about the 964 shape that really appeals to me too. As mentioned probably because it looks relatively small and lithe compared to newer 911s. I hope you keep and enjoy it forever fella.

One other thing......Did I read that right? ONE HUNDRED AND TEN MILES AN HOUR CRASH! Skiing?!
yikesclapcensoredbeer

Jimbo

Edited by givablondabone on Monday 22 January 19:47
Yup - 110mph. World Speed Ski champs in March 17. Broke my neck, arm and 2 ribs. Got a brilliant video of it, but I'm not allowed to share as it's not very pretty and my helmet came off before I hit the ground. Mostly all fixed now - just the arm is held together with titanium.