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Mart Fresh: Pristine four-cylinder Porsches or a nice flat six?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Photos by the sellers except where noted

A popular PCA member benefit is The Mart, the club’s classifieds section online and in each issue of Porsche Panorama. Mart Fresh is a bi-weekly column in which PCA media staff and guest contributors pick what they think are the "freshest" Porsches currently available, and then attempt to explain their reasoning. Only PCA members and Test Drive program participants have access to seller contact information. Always invest in a pre-purchase inspection for any Porsche you may consider, as seller descriptions and pictures don’t always tell the full story.


1994 Porsche 968 - $17,000

Sometime you buy based on condition.

I’ve never really thought about putting a 968 in my garage. But 968s have really started to come into a strong market. They are known as the best iteration of the front-engined four-cylinder models. Finding complete, well maintained, and sorted examples is becoming tougher. Just study the pictures the seller uploaded and you can tell that this car has been well loved. That engine bay is probably one of the cleanest I’ve seen. Add to that all the maintenance is up to date: recent belts, water pump, clutch, motor mounts, seals, transmission service, and no mechanical/operational issues. A $20,000 classic like this example won’t last long. First one to the seller’s door wins! — Vu Nguyen, Executive Director, Porsche Club of America

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2009 Porsche 911 Carrera S - $34,500

Hot on the heels of an article discussing the desirability and relative scarcity of 997.2 six-speed manual coupes comes this screaming deal. 2009-2010 911s of any stripe aren’t terribly common because of the global recession that was in full-swing. At any given time, there are generally less than ten for sale nationally. This one is priced to sell at as close to thirty grand as you’ll see any 997.2 coupe. The added bonus here? It’s an “S” with about 40 extra horses. Why the bargain price? In a single word, it’s the miles. At anything approaching 100,000 miles, buyers get thinner on the ground. Maintenance records are important at this point and you’ll certainly want to see plugs, coils, a water pump, and a clutch (and possibly some front suspension refreshing at this point). But if all or most of this has been done, you’re likely to have a fairly trouble-free car at a bargain price. Read what the forums have to say about soot and carbon deposits on DFI cars (it’s nowhere near as troublesome as bore-scoring and intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing issues), and get a PPI. If everything checks out, you could snag one of the best 911s ever, use it as a daily driver, and not lose a dime. — Rob Sass, Editor in Chief and Director of Content, Porsche Panorama and PCA.org

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1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 - $57,500

I just finished 2,300 miles in an open 1916 Hudson, so perhaps that is what is skewing my interest to this loaded up five-speed manual 1993 Carrera 4. I love the 964 Coupes more and more in general, although they do get more complicated from a DIY ownership aspect. But even as a non-Turbo, there is a lot of trickle down from the Porsche 959 here. It’s still too bad none of these had an option for that cool torque split gauge that replaced the clock, though. (Now there’s a modification no one knew they needed until now!) These are truly interesting, fast, and capable everyday sports cars. I love the green exterior and the care it has recently had as noted by the seller. I was, however, surprised by the lack of interior photos, so I would be asking the seller for those before I talked about a PPI or dove any deeper into seriously considering the car. But, summer or winter, the 964 had the climate controls figured out, and the stick shift and four wheel drive would get you in and out of almost any situation with max speed and efficiency. I’d love to know more about this one. — Brad Phillips, Business Development, Hagerty

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1988 Porsche 924S - $8,500

As I’ve waffled between what’s the best-value Porsche on the used-car market — early 986 Boxster or 944/924S — I’ve tended to lean towards the Boxster lately because, as the front-engined four-cylinder Porsches age, good ones and the parts needed to maintain them are getting harder to find and more expensive. That said, I stumbled across this relatively low-mile 1988 924S, which looks to be in great condition judging by the photos. The ’88 model, which is harder to find, got the slightly better high-compression inline four, good for 160 horsepower rather than the 150 hp of the previous 924S. This would be a great weekend car or street-stock class autocross machine, though I’d hesitate to perform any modifications on such a pristine example of a model that, in general, did not receive much TLC over the years. It’s sure to become even more of a unicorn as the years go by. I’d ask for pictures of the front end before committing to going to see it, and then be sure to get a pre-purchase inspection if the front end is straight. — Damon Lowney, Digital Media Coordinator, Porsche Club of America

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