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1989 Porsche (964) 911 C4 Coupe

1989 Porsche (964) 911 C4 Coupe

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Details

Price: SOLD

Mileage: 75,400 Miles

Engine: M64 3.6-Liter 6-Cylinder

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual

Owner: Same Owner since 1994

Exterior color: Guards Red

Interior: Black Leather

Additional features:

PDAS Locking Center Differential

16-Inch Design 90 Alloy Wheels

Continental Extreme Contact Tires

Blaupunkt Factory Stereo

Car Cover

Battery Tender

Clean Carfax

2-Owner Rust-Free Colorado Car

Background

1989 Porsche (964) 911 C4 Coupe exterior photo

The 964 (Porsche speak for the 1989 to 1994 generation 911) is the current sweet spot of 911 evolution and design. In just a few years it has gone from being under appreciated to coveted. It is the last of the classic 911s—the most contemporary classic, or as a friend of mine once said, the most advanced, least advanced 911. Why does this matter? Because in the 911 world, as technology and refinement have marched forward, less has become more. One look at the 964 and it shares a direct lineage to every 911 that preceded it. Get behind the wheel and the driving experience is nearly as pure as its predecessors, yet it is made civilized by a better suspension, power steering, and a climate control system that doesn’t require special training to operate. Yes one could argue that the earlier 3.2 Carrera’s impact bumpers are less diluted, and one could also that its 993 successor’s sleek and dramatic departure from the form was a good thing. And I would agree on both accounts, but there is just something special about the 964. I’m not alone in my opinion either, 964 values have skyrocketed in the last few years. The time to get one is now!

Summary

 exterior photo

This 1989 Carrera 4—the first all-wheel drive 911—has been used as a 911 should be, ripping up apexes in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I’m selling it on consignment for the estate of a fellow airline pilot who has taken his last flight. I’ve known this car for years and it is very dear to me. The relatives he is survived by have entrusted it to me with the task of finding a new owner who will enjoy and care for it as much as he did. He purchased it as the second owner from Stevenson Imports in the spring of 1995 with 36,000 miles. Since then it has always been driven regularly, but sparingly enough to have only logged 76,000 miles in the last twenty-six years. It bares some patina from use, but it is original and very presentable. It has always been serviced at Stevenson Imports or independent Porsche specialist Eisenbuds. The Carfax is clean, it is rust-free, and all maintenance records are organized in a three-ring binder. The original owners manuals and two keys are included with the sale.

Impressions

1989 Porsche (964) 911 C4 Coupe exterior photo

At rest the 964’s posture is graceful and elegant. Upright circular headlights and fenders frame a low-slung hood, elements that were smoothed out in the 993. Viewed in profile the 964’s form is near perfection. Open the door and you are greeted with that lovely air-cooled 911 smell—part fine leather, part air-cooled engine, and exclusively Porsche. Fire the M64 engine and its raspy flat six-cylinder idle is unmistakable. Roll the floor-hinged clutch pedal forward, slide the shift knob crisply into first and off you go into a motion picture that can only be viewed through the lens of a classic 911. Visibility is excellent, thanks to the upright windshield and small door pillars. The road ahead is framed between those distinctive front fenders, but your eyes need to be much farther down the road—this is a 911 after all. Wonderfully precise the steering, shifting, and suspension make you one with the car. The feedback you receive in return is delightfully honest—you can’t help but wonder how modern cars have gone so wrong. The Carrera 4 does understeer slightly if driven without adjustment for its 31% front / 69% rear split all-wheel drive, but one can get it sideways if desired—thanks in part to its communicative nature. The powered front wheels are an added bonus for Colorado’s dynamic weather, lest you get caught out while cresting a mountain pass. Get to your destination and you will wish you had forgotten something so you could log a little more seat time.

Exterior

1989 Porsche (964) 911 C4 Coupe exterior photo

Guards Red is one of the best hues to capture the form of the 964. The finish of this example is very good considering its age and mileage. There is no glaring clear coat failure and no rust anywhere. The paint does have some minor pitting along the leading edges; the worst is under the right front headlight (pictures are on our website if you are reading this elsewhere). All panels are original and all VIN tags are in place. The hood does appear to have been repainted at some point, but I have no record of why. In October of 2015, when being serviced, another vehicle rolled into the driver’s side rear fender. The damage was minimal, but it was repaired sparing no expense by Snyder Auto Works. The driver’s side door, rear fender, rear bumper, and rear deck lid were all blended in the process. I can provide a paint gauge report on request. The headlight lenses and indicator lenses are clear and crack-free; there is a small crack in driver’s side fog light lens. The front tow hook cover is also missing part of its circle (like a ¾ moon). All trim and blackwork are present and clean. The windshield has no cracks or significant pitting and the side and rear window glass are clean. The Design 90 Alloy wheels have no bends or glaring defects, although there is slight curb rash on the lips of two of them. The Continental Extreme Contact tires are worn evenly with good tread remaining.

Interior

 interior photo

The inside of this Carrera 4 is in excellent condition, a testament to how well-built 964s were. The carpets have no tears or stains, and have been protected by fitted floor mats. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The dashboard is crack-free and unblemished. The seat leather is soft with no tears or blown out stitching. All power seat functions work, the driver’s seat fore / aft motor has been recently replaced (a common issue). The rear seat fold-down backrests are present and form a shelf when folded flat. All gauges function correctly, the odometer works, and there are no burnt out bulbs or warning lights. The steering wheel and gearshift knob have no excessive wear. The factory Blaupunkt stereo and speakers sound great, although there is some crackling when you adjust the volume. The heat blows warm and the air condition blows cold. The power door locks and windows work, and the factory alarm indicator in the lock flashes when locked. The headliner does not sag and the sunroof operates on command.

Mechanical

 engine photo

This 964 has always benefited from excellent stewardship, including regular maintenance and oil changes. Last year, at 74,878 miles, it received a major service including new spark plugs, valve cover gaskets, air filter, oil change and filter, fuel filter, power steering fluid flush and filter, gear box oils, accessory belts, rear hood lifts, front brake pads and rotors, and a cam seal. Early 964’s were known to have some issues, but this example lacks most of them. 1989 model year Carrera 4’s did not have the problematic dual mass flywheel that 1990-1992 models did. The M64 3.6-liter engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strong to redline. The M64 got an aviation-like dual spark plug ignition system powered by dual distributors that allowed an 11.3:1 compression ratio. Early M64’s do suffer oil leaks and this example is no exception. It spots after spirited driving and will smoke lightly if idled for long periods do to drippage on the exhaust. I took it in to Eisenbuds in preparation for the sale to identify the sources. The oil flex line and oil return tubes have been replaced and are dry. The cylinder / crankcase seals, right cylinder head, valve covers and lower oil tank lines are all culprits—common 964 culprits. All of the leaks are tolerable and nothing is in need of immediate replacement as long as you can tolerate some drippage. The G64 gearbox shifts crisply and the clutch engagement is smooth. The PDAS engages on command. The brakes are firm and the suspension is compliant. There is no driveline or wheel bearing vibration. The front differential seals are wet. The rear spoiler raises automatically at 50 mph.

This 964 is a solid driver; it is just imperfect enough to be driven and enjoyed without guilt. It makes me smile every time I drive it. We would like to find a new owner who will continue to enjoy it and be a good steward of it for years to come.