More 964 thoughts

I was chatting to another 911 enthusiast yesterday and he said he fancies a 964, but has been put off by ‘experts’ telling him the cars are rubbish and are dull to drive.

This is silly – dangle a 964RS in front of the same experts and they’d go all weak at the knees.

Yet the RS is fundamentally the same car as the standard 964.

To get a 964 to handle sweetly, the first thing to do is lower the ride height (if it’s not already been done – many have). Get some decent progressive springs (I used Eibachs on mine) and you’ll retain a comfortable ride. Change the dampers at the same time, as there’s a far chance they’ll be past their sell-by date.

Now get the car’s geometry set-up properly by someone who knows about 964s. The usual thing is to use RS settings. You’ll now have a car that’ll be a peach to drive. Yes, a Carrera 2 is better from a handling point of view, but even a Carrera 4 can be coaxed into cornering nicely.

What about that troublesome engine? Well, the issues with 964 engines were sorted out very early on in the car’s life. Yes, you’ll find 964s out there with leaking and smoking engines, but that’s because of age and mileage rather than any inherent flaw in the design.

Because the 964 is relatively cheap to buy at the moment, many have fallen into the hands of people who can’t afford to have them maintained properly, so there are plenty of tired examples out there. Get a good one, though, and you’ll have a cracking 911, that combines classic looks with modern (ish) technology.

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Comments (2)

  • Im a little biased. My first experience with a Porsche 911 was with a 964. I use to be that typical Southern California Import Tuner Kid. I had gone through a bunch of hondas, acuras and mazdas with very aggressive mods like turbos and nitros. However, in 1997 I had the chance to drive my first Porsche. It was a 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera 2. It was amethyst in color and had the ‘tiptronic’ shifter. It belonged to my girlfriends’ mother. Boy, it was a long time ago. Gas in Southern California was averaging 99 cents per gallon! At first, when I walked up to the Amethyst Porsche 911 I wasn’t all too impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it was a “Porsche” and it was “expensive”! But, when I first sat in the car and gazed at the landscape of gauges and the dashboard; I was surprised and to be honest – confused! I wondered to myself: “..What? This is a Porsche? That’s it? I don’t see why this car is such a big deal!”. I suppose, being young and naive – I’ve always figured that expensive sport cars should have fancy “out of this world” dashboard and gauges! The interior was Spartan and no-nonsense! Very focused.

    I started the car up and went for a drive. On the local streets, it felt like any other car – a bit firm – but not painful. The car was responsive on the throttle and felt planted. I wasn’t impressed. So, I decided to take the car on the freeway and the on-ramp to the eastbound 10 freeway was approaching. As I entered and drove through the near-270-degree-slightly-uphill on-ramp the car was un-phased. It didn’t struggle and “rev” excitedly (unlike my 1996 “fixed-up” Acura Integra). The Porsche 911 just took the turn effortlessly. Then, something unexpected happened as I was merging into the first lane of the freeway. The 911 just zipped! I gently nudged the steering wheel and pressed the gas and the car just “went”. I started getting a strange feeling. The car felt a little firmer and I could really feel the little reflectors on the freeway as I changed lanes. I noticed that the rear spoiler had revealed itself from the engine rear bonnet. (I thought that was really cool!!!). Then, the car sort’a started talking to me as I negotiated my way through the fast lane. It kind’a told: “its ok, go a little faster – don’t worry”. The car was sure-footed and glided through gracefully as I passed the other cars. It didn’t feel ‘fast’. I wasn’t afraid to go a little more. Next thing I knew; I was going 120mph nearing the freeway interchange nearly 10 miles away from where I started. And that was just a few minutes of driving.

    I was sold! After that, I knew that this was a CAR! I then understood: “the joy of driving”!

  • Daniel Gannon

    The Car pictured above is my car! I have owned it for 1 year and love it.
    It is a beautiful example with only 49k miles on the clock and is completely original.