1994 PORSCHE 968 SportView vehicle description
The 944 was a proper sports car. With near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution thanks to its front-engine, rear-transaxle layout, it garnered praise from press and owners alike - even if everyone agreed that the chassis was easily capable of handling more power.
Porsche, sensitive to criticism and with more than half-a-mind on the bottom line, introduced the Series 2 in 1989, fitting the normally aspirated cars with the 944 Turbo’s rounded nose, rear valance and braking system.
But the S2 was far more than a pretty face and new pert bum because the 944 finally got the power it deserved thanks to a 209bhp 16-valve, 3-litre engine. With 207lb/ft of torque on tap, its performance now matched its looks and handling: sixty miles-per-hour could now be reached in around six seconds and the top speed rose to a genuine 150mph: it was now Kylie, with Venus Williams’ legs and lungs.
And yet, enough is never enough and Porsche then transformed the 944 into the 968, an engineering sleight of hand that almost no-one realised had been undertaken with typical Porsche thoroughness; around 80% of its components were new compared to the outgoing 944 it was loosely based upon.
Built between 1992 and 1995, the 968 was offered as a coupe and a convertible, and with normally aspirated 3.0-litre engines that developed 237bhp.
Famously renowned as being the best handling car of its generation – and one of the best of any generation – the 968 model everyone wants is the Clubsport. Stripped of many of its luxury goodies like air-conditioning and electric windows, the Clubsport was a track-focused sportscar with lighter seats, a lower stance, and a wider track and tyres.
Hell, it even had a lighter wiring loom, an obsessive approach that saw the Clubsport’s final weight tip the scales at around 1,320kgs, or between 50kgs and 100kgs lighter than the standard car, depending on who you listen to.
No matter what the actual weight difference is, the Porsche 968 Clubsport is the ultimate incarnation and so fetches silly money on the rare occasions that one comes up.
Us Brits are a soft bunch. How so? Well, while we might lust after a Clubsport now, the reality is that back-in-the-day we shunned them as being too hardcore, too focussed, too pared down for our once-proud buttocks. We lamented their manual windows, lightweight seats, and fewer creature comforts. We had finally acknowledged that we were a lily-livered bunch too feeble to endure a car that lacked air-conditioning.
So, Porsche GB created the 968 Sport. Built on the same production line as the Clubsport and featuring exactly the same uprated chassis, the Sport had many of the items deleted from the Clubsport spec added back.
Just 306 of these cars were ever built and, weirdly, you could order your new Clubsport with many of these deleted items too, which makes the price differential between the Clubsport and Sport a nonsense; after all, they share the same run of chassis numbers and (in some cases) almost exactly the same specification.
Why, you are probably asking, would anyone pay a premium for a Clubsport over the better-equipped and identically handling Sport?
The only reason is snobbishness and the weird quirks of the classic car world we have all come to know and love. If we were spending our money – and we do buy an awful lot of classics between us – then we’d buy a Sport every single time and spend the money we save on track time and professional driver tuition.
We’d buy a car like this, in fact. In the care of the same owner for the past two years, this black example is utterly lovely and a joy to drive. With just under 120,000 miles on the clock, it is the second-to-last car to roll off the Clubsport/Sport production line.
With a fabulous service history, it shows that it has been maintained regardless of cost and is only being sold because the owner simply doesn’t use it as much as he thought he would. He also has sufficient faith in both his car and you lot to offer it on a no reserve basis, so it’ll sell from the very first bid.
Oh, and please don’t worry if you don’t like the look of the replacement wheels because the originals will come with the car.
On the Outside
The bodywork is in a very good condition, being free of dings, dents, ripples and other damage. The panel gaps are tight and even, and the doors open and close with the sort of Germanic authority that had made Teutonic engineering such a cliché.
Black is such an unforgiving colour, so the fact that this one presents so well is a testament to its condition. And black paintwork with silver alloy wheels and red brake calipers is a time-proven colour scheme, and one that suits the 968’s rakish-yet-muscular lines to perfection.
The sunroof operates as it should rising and falling easily. It seals tightly too, and is free of rust although there are a very few microblisters in the paint on the leading edge.
The aftermarket Veloce 3.6 18-inch alloy wheels, replicas of the ones used on the Porsche 964 Turbo, are in great shape and shod with matching 225/40 ZR18 Kumho tyres on the front, and 265/35 ZR18 Kumho tyres on the rear.
As we will never tyre of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres like this are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.
Oh, and as we mentioned earlier, the original 17-inch alloy wheels will be supplied with the car. They were refurbished in 2017 and fitted with new matching Goodyear tyres in the correct sizes, are in great shape and ready to be fitted should the new owner prize originality over extra grip.
The car also comes with a custom-fitted car cover.
On the Inside
The Sport front seats are in a great condition, being free of rips, tears and other damage. The driver’s seat wears a very, very light patina and a slight softening of the outer bolster but the passenger’s seat and the rudimentary rear seats are very good and belie the car’s mileage and age.
The three-spoke steering wheel - sans airbag, of course - is in great shape. The gearknob is slightly patinated but still very usable and in no way detracts from the way the cabin presents. The owner tells us that everything works as it should.
The door cards are good, as are the headlining and carpets. The sills have been adorned with ‘JCT600’ emblems but these should be easy to remove if you don’t fancy advertising Yorkshire and the Humberside’s premier Porsche dealer.
The boot is clean and tidy and home to the space-saver spare wheel. The luggage cover is present and correct, and while the metalwork is all solid, there is a small area of peeling carpet in there (and to the right of the driver’s footwell) that we can see the new owner will want to remedy.
The owner suggests that one of the few jobs he never got round to was fitting a replacement boot carpet. We think he might be being a bit OCD here, but please do contact us and make an appointment to come and see the car for yourself and make your own mind up on the matter.
Other problems are limited to a fully woriking, but noisy windscreen wiper motor and a failed clock module. The former will need investigating but the latter can be simply and easily resolved by fitting the replacement unit that is supplied with the car, complete with fitting instructions.
The car has had a fair bit of work undertaken in the past couple of years including upgrading the front brakes to ‘Big Red’ specification calipers and 322mm discs taken from the Porsche 993 Turbo. The brake hoses have also been replaced with braided items, and a new brake master cylinder has been fitted.
The six-speed manual gearbox has been completely rebuilt with genuine Porsche parts too, and a Quaife ATB (Automatic Torque Biasing) limited slip rear differential has also been installed.
The suspension has been completely overhauled with the installation of adjustable Spax dampers, Porsche M030 castor blocks, M030-spec front and rear anti-roll bars, re-bushed using genuine Porsche 968 Clubsport parts, and new wishbones fitted.
The geometry has been set up to factory 968 Clubsport M030 settings by our favourite suspension experts, Center Gravity. That the owner went to the time and trouble of using Center Gravity to carry out the suspension work on his Sport speaks volumes about his determination to get his 968 handling as well as possible. As Tom, the owner, puts it: “I wouldn’t trust anyone else to work on any of my cars’ suspension.”
The engine had its camshafts changed at 86,000 miles in favour of JZ Machtech items and a VVT timing chain and pads. The belts, rollers, tensioners, waterpump, HT leads and coil were replaced at 95,000 miles.
The engine bay is clean and neat, but not obsessively so. The owner deliberately left it as it is in order to show off the lack of oil leaks; if you wanted to show the car then a weekend spent detailing should see it back into almost showroom condition, while everyone else can just get on and enjoy driving what might be the best handling car we’ll offer this autumn.
As for the way it drives, our head honcho has driven it and spluttered the following: “it’s a bloody good drive”, “clearly never been in the hands of the wrong person”, and “whoever buys this is buying the right car from the right bloke”. And no, he’s not mellowing, it’s just that this is an exceptionally good example of the breed.
Problems are limited to an offside rear brake caliper that is binding very slightly. Still, taking it off and fettling it would be a lovely job for a winter evening in a warm garage.
The underside of the car is clean and tidy, but one of the plastic undertrays has been very slightly damaged. Most of us would ignore it, but we mention it for the 1% of you out there who will want to replace it and budget accordingly. Testament to the level of quality of this particular example is that this is as bad as the criticisms are!
The online MOT history shows nothing of concern whatsoever and confirms the car’s mileage. The car comes with a number of expired MOT certificates plus a sheaf of invoices and bills to confirm the work that has been done to it, along with a stamped service history booklet. The right money has been spent on the right areas - this car is a good'un.
The MOT certificate itself expires in September 2020.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained to the very highest standard.
What We Think
With the prices of a good Clubsport having risen to ridiculous levels, the smart money is now going on the equally good 968 Sport. With exactly the same chassis, and having been given the same chassis numbers and built on the same production line, the 968 Sport offers everything the Clubsport does, plus a little bit more comfort and refinement. After all, we are British, and we deserve it. Apparently.
It’ll be a lot cheaper than a Clubsport, too; we think this beautifully fettled example, which is being sold by one of the nicest chaps we’ve had the pleasure of dealing with (and, in our experience the very best cars invariably come from the nicest people) will sell for between £14,000 and £19,000, or between £5,000 and £10,000 less than an equivalent Clubsport.
That makes it a real bargain in anyone’s books, and the cherry on the cake is the owner has agreed to offer it on a no reserve basis, which means it’ll sell from the very first bid.
So, why not pop in a cheeky bid and see what happens? After all, the very worst result is that you’ll own the finest handling car of the 1990s at a bargain basement price!
Viewing is always encouraged, and this car can be seen here at The Market HQ in Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car, AnyVan for transporting it, and Footman James for classic car insurance.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings of any auction, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles we have for sale. While we use our trade experience to assess every car that comes through our hands (and between us we have bought hundreds of classic cars over the years for our personal use…) we are fallible, and our assessment of a car may contrast with that you might form yourself.
This is why we offer a far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange a professional inspection on their behalf of, each vehicle prior to bidding than any traditional car auction, and we will never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this by coming to see it in person.
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