This is the story of my 1991 C4 Porsche 964. How I found it, the work that was done (with parts listed), and the driving experience it has created for me and my family. Hope you enjoy. -L
The Porsche 964 was the car I had dreamed about ever since the movie BADBOYS released in 1995. Mike Lowry (Will Smiths character) drove around Miami solving crimes in his 3.6L 964 Turbo widebody (while his partner Marcus made a mess in his freshly detailed interior). I was absolutely hooked when I saw this. Game over. I had to have one. Today, air-cooled Porsches are quickly appreciating and specifically the 964’s and 964 Turbo’s. They are now considered “investment vehicles” and collectors are scooping them up for astronomical prices. Having said that…a widebody was not exactly within a detailers budget at the time, but a non-turbo was well within reach.
The Porsche 964 was first introduced in 1989 in an all-wheel-drive configuration, called the Carrera 4 (or C4 for short), whose drive-train was evolved from the fabled 959 program in the mid-80’s. Porsche said that around 85% of the parts in the C4 were new, with notable changes like a 3.6L engine, coil springs instead of torsion bars, ABS brakes, airbags, power steering, a retractable rear spoiler, and a new heating and air conditioning system that actually worked. Significant work was done on the body aerodynamics, and the 3.6L M64 engine was the first Porsche engine that was produced as a single engine for all worldwide markets, with 247 HP.
(Read the full article here.)
The Search Begins:
I began my 964 hunt in 2012, which consisted of searching on eBay nightly to monitor price fluctuations and browsing the local Porsche repair shops in my area for 964’s buried in forgotten parking lots. For over a year I encountered many interesting prospects, but nothing that felt right. (I don’t judge cars simply on price and condition. It’s important to me that it feel right. My gut has to send me good feelings with no red flags before I can seriously consider purchasing a car, new product, or even exploring potential business opportunities. Our gut is usually right, you just need your convince brain to follow your gut, which is not always easy and most of the time because it’s usually not the answer you wanted.)
Anyways…in April 2013, I found a car up for sale in Long Island, NY (about 45 mins from my home) that looked promising. However, in the back of my mind I was thinking about Hurricane Sandy which devastated Long Island a few months earlier in November 2012. All I remember seeing on the news was demolished homes in Long Island and flooded cars everywhere, so my optimism was fighting my practicality. For some reason, my gut told me to spend more time on this particular car.
The next morning I called the eBay listing phone number and spoke with the owner to get a feel for their demeanor and bluntly ask him if the car was flooded due to Hurricane Sandy. His answer was a resounding “NO”. After 20 mins on the phone, he explained his “Sandy experience”, which was similar to what I had seen in the news…not good. During the evacuations, he stuffed the Porsche full of his (and girlfriend) belongings and hoped his apartment would remain undamaged during the storm. Unfortunately, like most LI residents, his home was inhabitable after the storm. So, he decided to let his car go to another owner to free up some funds to rebuild, refurnish, and replace all of their destroyed property. At first, I had mixed feelings about this situation. I didn’t want to feel like I was taking advantage of someone in a tough spot. On the other hand, they needed to rebuild and my purchase could help them get back on their feet. Moral dilemma. He assured me he was “OK” with letting the 964 go to another owner. (But I knew there was some hesitation in his voice)
After a restless night, I asked him if he would allow me to do a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection) on the vehicle at a shop near me. He agreed and was kind enough to drive from LI to Westchester County.
This is the video of the entire PPI process filmed for Season 2 of Drive Clean. Ironically, we happened to be in the middle of filming the entire season when this serendipitous opportunity presented itself. So I took a chance and filmed the entire process.
After the PPI, it was obvious that this car was maintained properly, ran strong, and had no signs of water damage. However, as most 964 do, it needed some repairs. A slow oil leak on cylinder 1 and 6, power steering seal leak, and 2 of the 4 axel boots were destroyed. As most Porschephiles know, many 964 from 1989 to 1991 did not receive head gaskets from the factory, which later needed to be repaired under warranty. I assumed this was the cause of my leaky long block. So my options were to repair the 3.6L (which requires the engine to be pulled) for $5,000-8,000, or recreate the 3.8L RS motor I had dreamt about as a kid…but the cost would run more than double the basic repair. This was a tough call. The upside is that I would have a brand new engine with increase in power and reliability. The downside is that for an extra 50-65 wheel HP, I would be doing a considerable amount of work. The $ to HP increase ratio is not ideal. Despite all that, I wanted this car to special…so to hell with the ratio. Lets do it.
This is the video documenting the engine removal, disassemble, reassemble, and reinstallation of my new 3.8L engine.
Once the build was complete, Spencer Cox (founder of Speedsporttuning.net) put my car on the dyno to properly regulate the Air/Fuel mixture and retune the ECU (Wong Chip) specifically to this particular car.
There was no doubt that I loved my 964, but I wanted someone else to review it who wasn’t directly involved with the build process. So I asked Matt Farah if he would give it a go at Monticello Motor Club.
Below is a list of the notable upgrades to my 964. All installation was performed by Speedsporttuning.net
3.6L to 3.8L conversion with Nickies Pistons and Cylinders: LNengineering.com
EBS Racing Valve Springs with Titanium Retainers
993 Super Sport Racing Cams: Webcamshafts.com
Light Weight RS Flywheel and Clutch
FVD Brombacher Sound Edition Dual Exhaust: FVD.de
FVD Brake Duct Kit: FVD.de
FVD Front Spoiler: FVD.de
Sparco Evo II Seats: http://SparcoUSA.com
Sparco 5 Point Harness in red: http://SparcoUSA.com
DAS Roll Bar: DASsport.com (powder coated wrinkle black)
HVAC replaced for functional AC/Heat
RS America Sway Bars Front (24mm) and Rear (18mm)
993 Big Brake Kit: Vehiclecraft.com
PFC Brake Pads
JRZ RS PRO Adjustable Suspension: JRZsuspension.com
Brey-Krause Front Strut Tower Brace (carbon fiber): BKauto.com
Brey-Krause Fire Extinguisher Passenger Seat Floor Mount: BKauto.com
Wong Chip (spec to my particular 964): /911chips.com
MOMO Dished Steering Wheel: Stableenergies.com
Rothsport Steering Wheel Hub and Quick Disconnect: Stableenergies.com
Rennline Pedals and Track Mat: Stableenergies.com
Rennline Front Tow Hook and Go Pro Mount: http://Rennline.com
RS Door Card and Red RS Pull Tab
21mm Wheel Spacer front and Rear: ECSTuning.com
Fan and Valve Cover Powder Coated in Green: ProformanceIndustries.com
Cup I Wheels Refinished: ProformanceIndustries.com
Design 90’s Powder Coated Black: ProformanceIndustries.com
993 Aero Mirrors: Pelicanparts.com
Alcantara shifter boot: Coachtrim.com