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Jarod964 01-01-2019 08:57 PM

My '89 964 Story
Long time lurker but relatively new poster here - I thought I'd start a thread documenting the progress of my 964 ownership. I've owned the car for almost 5 months now, but I'll try to document this in chronological order of how the car came to be. A little background: the 964 has always been "the" car for me. It was my first truly memorable Porsche experience, the car that started this crazy obsession, and the car to which I attribute much of my success to this day. I still remember the first day I saw the car - I was about 12 or 13, and my Dad had taken me to a local Porsche shop on a Sunday while out for a drive. I took a look through the window into their showroom (they were closed, but the showroom lights were on), and there was a Guards Red 964 Carrera 4 coupe sitting front and centre. From that point forward I was totally fixated on this car. I went home and instantly started researching. I found sale listings in the AutoTrader magazine, figured out the average purchase price of the car, then broke that down into weekly savings goals, and figured that by the time I was 16 and got my driver's license, I could buy the 964. Sure enough, after a lot of working after school and a lot of saving, I found myself around the age of 16 ready to start my 964 search. I went online to pick out my new car, and to my surprise, the prices had doubled from when I last searched. Back to work. After a few more years of saving, and a few more years of market inflation that would constantly place me ever so slightly out of the market, I finally reached a point where I caught up and could comfortably enter the 964 market.
Something like this...

So now the real search begins. If anyone has been searching for a 964 in the last couple years, you'll realize how scarce these things are unless you are willing to substantially overpay. I couldn't find a single car listed for sale that wasn't either A: a basket case, B: significantly overpriced, or C: a Tiptronic/Cab (nothing against these cars, they just don't fit the 964 picture I had painted in my head). I decided to list a "WTB" ad on a few different sites, and after about a month I finally received a decent lead. A car collector in Quebec City (about 1000km from my home in Ontario) reached out and let me know he has a few 911s that he would consider parting with..."at the right price". After some back and fourth, he gave me a few details about his 1989 Carrera 4 - the right colour combo (guards red on black), the right body style (coupe), the right transmission, and the right paperwork. We chatted numbers, reached an agreement, and arranged for an inspection at his local Porsche dealership - the dealership called and told me to buy it, and before I knew it I found myself on a one-way flight to QC. The owner picked us up at the airport, and after a short tour of Quebec City, this is what we arrived to.
Guess he has a thing for red 964s just like me. The cabriolet was actually the display car at the 1990 Montreal Auto Show, for the release of the C2 & Cabriolet models. The owner saw it on stage and demanded he have that exact car.

After a quick look over, I handed him my cheque, loaded the luggage and hit the road. Next stop: downtown QC for lunch. What could be better than a red 964 traversing the picturesque streets of old Quebec on a Summer day? Well...turns out...a lot. We made our way into downtown on this 32 degree (C) August day (at least the AC blows cold, believe it or not) to explore, but as we got into traffic the car started acting erratically. The dash lit up like a Christmas tree, the idle became rough, then the car died. To make things even more exciting, we were near the top of a steep hill, in the middle of rush hour, on a Friday. A passerby saw we were having trouble and helped push the car up the hill & off the road - he was pushing he asked if the car was for sale...I responded he stopped pushing. Anyway, we got it off the road and started to check the car over. After popping the engine cover & looking over the obvious potential culprits, I made a startling realization of a problem at hand; I realized I have virtually no clue what I'm looking at, and next to no mechanical knowledge. So I took advantage of one skill I DO possess, which was retrieving my phone and calling the prev. owner. He was already out for the evening, but was nice enough to send over his neighbour to the rescue.
At least it was a pretty spot to break down...

After a jump start, it became clear the battery was not holding a charge. BUT, if I kept the revs over 3k RPM at all times, the car would stay alive - so that's what we did. We limped back to the prev. owners house and swapped batteries with the newer one in his other 964. The car fired up perfectly and seemed to be behaving normally, so we decided to hit the road. The feeling of relief when I realized it was just the battery, and not a more serious problem, was immense. The friendly neighbour took us around the corner to grab a bagel from his favourite local baker, then briskly escorted us out of the city and onto the highway.
Running like a champ now.

After about 20 mins of driving, I started to calm down from the afternoon's events. I got my seat into the perfect spot, connected my phone with some good music and settled in for the drive to Montreal. The car performed flawlessly for the duration of the 2.5hr drive to Montreal where we stopped for the night.
Ste-Catherine St. was a good place to unwind after a long day.

The next day consisted of another 700km or so to get home, which the 964 ate up like nobody's business. There is no better way to get to know a new car than by immediately taking it on a great road trip.
Home & enjoying some local roads.

Though some of you already know me, I guess it is worth mentioning that, at 20 years old, I am likely one of the younger 964 owners you'll find on here. But don't be too concerned - I am equally as, if not more meticulous than most typical air cooled purists on here, and this 964 will be living a very pampered life (though thoroughly enjoyed) as long as I am the caretaker. It took a lot of work to reach this point and I am very grateful for the opportunity to enjoy one of these cars. Lot's of fun trips in the calendar already with some fellow Porsche owners!

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:10 PM

Now for a bit more information on the details of my car. As mentioned, it's a 1989 Carrera 4 Coupe. 5-speed, guards red on black. I picked it up with just over 81k miles on the clock, and a fresh engine rebuild under it's belt. The car is virtually bone stock, with the only mods being an early 2000s Blaupunkt radio, a drilled RS-style airbox, 993 brakes, and twist wheels. I got very lucky and landed a great example of a well cared for 964.

After significant digging, this is what I know about the car's history to this point: this example was built in Stuttgart in March of 1989, and is serial number 324 of about 1117 964's built for the US market in 1989. Apparently, in 1989 as part of a promotional launch of the new 964, dealer principles were invited to each collect a Guards Red 964 at the factory in Germany, then participate in a rally across Europe called "VentureTour", as an opportunity to learn more about the all new 911 model. Following the tour, the famous guards red 964 group photo was taken of all participants, then the vehicles were shipped home to their respective dealerships to be used as demos/showroom display models. This car was one of the participants, and was shipped back to it's dealership in Dallas in October of '89.
I'm guessing mine is the red one.

The car didn't actually become registered with it's first owner until 1992 with about 6,000 miles. It stayed with it's first owner in the Dallas area until 2003 when it came to Canada. It's option list includes: California emissions/cat converter, Blaupunkt Reno SQR46, cruise control, amplifier, sunroof, and European delivery.

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:13 PM

Onto the modifications. My goal with the car is to retain a largely stock appearance - call it OEM+. Some Carrera RS inspiration, but nothing that will detract from the original charm of the car. I've started with ditching the twist wheels for a set of Cup 2's, and swapping the orange side markers for clear/euro lenses.
Cup 2s are good for now, but Cup 1s are the end goal.

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:17 PM

While awaiting some more goodies to make the car my own (namely Bilstein HD shocks + H&R lowering springs to give the proper RS stance), lots of time has been spent behind the wheel with fellow Porsche owners. We try to get out once a week for a 45 minute drive and a meal, in order to receive our recommended dose of Porsche chit chat.
Blocking traffic like a typical Porsche group
We like BMW's too
A visit to Cars N Coffee

911 jared 01-01-2019 09:19 PM

Nice! Great story. Enjoy your 964!
1989 964s aka the “people’s 959” haha.

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:22 PM

Originally Posted by 911 jared (Post 15535270)
Nice! Great story. Enjoy your 964!
1989 964s aka the “people’s 959” haha.

Jared, I follow your car on Instagram. You've got one of my favourite 964's...such a perfect build!!

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:29 PM

Next on the list was a set of Cup 1 wheels (again, working towards that Carrera RS look). I was lucky enough to find a set of real 964 RS America Cup 1s (sure enough, the day after I bought a set of replicas, hence the truckload of Cup1s). Refinished in the correct Porsche silver, tires mounted, and swapped onto the car. The stock monster truck stance is especially evident now.
Freshly refinished
...and installed

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:37 PM

After 4 months of back order from Bilstein, my shocks finally arrived. Off to my buddy's shop for installation. A group of 10 Porsche guys, a couple cases of beer and a couple large pizzas later - the 964 was lowered. Helps to have a group of friends who know what they're doing. After substantial research and chatting with other 964 owners, I decided the best suspension setup for my purposes would be Bilstein HD struts with H&R sport lowering springs. It cost less than $1600 USD for everything I needed, making it one of the less expensive options on the market, and had nothing but positive feedback from those who have done the same. The install was relatively straight forward, and I have lowered the adjustable shocks to 1 notch above the lowest setting.

The drive is night and day - handling is improved, ride is actually slightly softer on the highway, but slightly more firm when under load or during spirited driving (I'm assuming due to the progressive springs), and the stance is perfect. I ordered everything from Rick at - this was the only site I could find that actually offered all the components in one place, vs ordering from multiple sites.

You will notice I also purchased new bump stops and dust covers from the Porsche dealership before doing the install (was planning to update them while I was in there). I didn't realize the front shocks come with built in bump stops and dust boots, so I only ended up using the rears. The spacers and brake ducts will be touched on in the next post.
Much better.

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:39 PM

The car was promptly brought over to my local Porsche dealership for a Carrera RS spec alignment (with a slightly more aggressive toe to help with the AWD turn in).
No more monster truck ride height

Jarod964 01-01-2019 09:46 PM

Up next, a set of CultWerks brake ducts. A good friend decided to turn his 964 into an RWB, and the RWB kit comes with it's own brake ducts - this left him with a set of old brake ducts and nowhere to put them! About $100 at the paint shop to spray them Guards Red and they were ready to go. I prefer these ducts over the others because there is no exposed mounting screw - it's a much cleaner look, and install was a piece of cake. Removed bumper, drilled a couple small holes and mounted them right up (with the help of a couple articles here on Rennlist). I opted NOT to use these for actual brake cooling (primarily due to laziness and lack of track use), which can be done with some PVC piping. Instead they will provide a bit of extra air to the AC system and cooling system.
Perfect fit
They certainly make the front of the car look much more aggressive.

Jarod964 01-01-2019 10:09 PM

Another small but worthwhile mod added to the list - decided to replace the school bus style stock steering wheel (which unlike some, I do actually really like) with a smaller Momo Prototipo. This is less of an aesthetic mod and more for the feel of a smaller wheel, though I do like the way it turned out. I ordered the wheel in a kit that came with the 964 steering column adapter which is required - the Porsche horn button was purchased separately from Siera Madre online.
The stock wheel comes off very easily - just one nut.

After removing the stock wheel, I installed the Momo hub that came with my new wheel, carefully aligned the Prototipo and slid it on. The hardest part was making my horn work (though this was at no fault of Momo's). I put the wheel and horn button on, and for some reason the horn was not working. I assumed this was installation error and spend hours fiddling with the wheel and ground cable trying to make it work. Ultimately, it was just a bad horn relay in the frunk - completely unrelated, lol.
In action

I was pleasantly surprised with the improved feel of the steering after installing the wheel. The smaller diameter does a great job at simulating better on-centre steering and makes the front end of the car feel much more alive. Highly recommended!

Dingo 01-01-2019 10:23 PM

Really enjoyed reading this so far, look forward to more. The car looks great. Enjoy!

Jarod964 01-01-2019 10:25 PM

Originally Posted by Dingo (Post 15535416)
Really enjoyed reading this so far, look forward to more. The car looks great. Enjoy!

Thanks Dingo! Looks like you and I have similar taste in red 964s...

911 jared 01-01-2019 10:30 PM

Originally Posted by Jarod964 (Post 15535273)
Jared, I follow your car on Instagram. You've got one of my favourite 964's...such a perfect build!!

thank you! Just started following. Love what you’ve done with the car so far.

Marine Blue 01-01-2019 11:12 PM

Excellent story Jarod!

You have a beautiful example and all the right modifications!

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