The real 965

You often hear people refer to the 964 Turbo as the ‘965’. This is wrong, that codename was used for an ill-fated project in the 1980s that was to have been sold as the 969 and would have been a high-tech successor to the orginal 911 Turbo. However, it was deemed too complicated and expensive, so the 964 Turbo was rushed out in its place.

Read the full story of this forgotten Porsche in the next issue of Total 911. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview.965 And, no, it’s not a 959!

Comments (8)

  • Spence

    OK, so what started off as a Youtube discussion is now bugging the hell out me! If Porsche didn’t use 965 for the 911 turbo, why do parts specific for the ‘964 Turbo’ have a 965 prefix just 901…, 911…, 930…?

    I have read the answer to this is there were some parts left over from the 969 project that found their way onto the ‘964 Turbo’. This can’t be correct, 965 stamped parts include the Turbo Cup Wheels, then a few years later they continued on using the 965 code on the 3.6 Turbo 3 piece wheels, the code is also found on all body parts including front fenders, lid, tail, rear guards, bumpers etc etc that in no way resemble the 969’s body. And just for the icing, 965 is even used on the WUR, don’t you think they would have dropped K-jet/CIS for this ‘high-tech’ twin turbo prototype.

    965 may have been the original code name for the 969 project but after it was dropped, Porsche used 965 for the ‘964 Turbo’ in it’s place. I believe it’s correct to refer to these cars as 965s as the part numbers do…

  • Interesting question. I agree that the parts can’t be ‘left over’ from the 969 project. However, I’ve not seen or heard anything to suggest the Porsche coded the 964 Turbo project as 965. Also, Porsche hasn’t ‘reused’ any other code numbers as far as I know.

    If I can find out more, I’ll let you know.


  • Spence

    Thanks for the reply Phil, I didn’t expect it so soon or really at all!

    I still just don’t understand how you (and many others) can say “However, I’ve not seen or heard anything to suggest the Porsche coded the 964 Turbo project as 965.” when the part numbers for this car begin with 965…

    Take care and thanks again for your time.


  • diverdan

    I,Ve had 965s all apart doown to the spot welds and “965” is stamped, printedn+r cast on virtually. Every part not common to the 964. Therefore it seems reasonable to refer to cars as such especially as the other project was never really brought to fruition.

  • Floyd

    I think it’s a little more complicated.
    In the short version, as far as I understand, it’s this way:

    The development of cars and the technology used takes years and sometimes ideas come to serial already developed ten years or even longer before. A lot of ideas from the 965 project came to life e.g. in the 993 Turbo (4WD, Bi-Turbo).

    The project 965 was born aside the 959, which was also some kind of ‘prototype’ (that only could be bought). It’s often said that the 965 should have been a more mass compatible supercar and was stopped 1988 because of the problems in motor development they didn’t seem to get solved as also because of the estimated price tag of DM 200.000. But the 959 costs 450.000 in 1986.

    The most important part of the project – the main part – was to develop a new motor. Not only for the 969 (the name the project 965 should bear in real life), but also as a replacement for the 930 motor. They played with 6 cyl., 8 cyl. water cooling etc. and always looked for the already existing 964 motor to get combined with in a ‘low’ performance way.

    When the project was killed at the very end of the year 1988, the 964 already started in production – without a Turbo in the pipeline. That’s why they hurried up to get the old 930 a little bit more powered and ‘catalystable’. It took them 1,5 years, until MJ91, to get finished.

    After that they proceeded to develop the Turbo on the 3,6 basis, so for me it’s obvious that this became (or still was) ‘motor project’ 965. That a lot of parts, especially from the 3.6 Turbo and Turbo S (X88), are bearing the 965 code is some kind of logical to differ from the ‘old’ 964 Turbo.

    I think, that’s why the 964 Turbo (3.6) is often referred as 965, which is not completely wrong, but also not really correct.

  • E. Raab

    The 959 was not just some prototype, but a very heavy investment by Porsche into the future of
    not only Porsche’s, but what they felt the automobile should become. The 911 seemed like a good basis
    for such projects as the 84-86 959 Paris-Dakar, 86-87 961 Le Mans variant.

    Each 959 was reported to have actually cost the factory in terms of manufacturing and development costs close to half a million dollars(ie, they lost money in the sales),but the technology derived reaped massive dividends down the road in terms of not only dollars,but better and safer cars for everyone.

    Ervin Raab

  • I ownd 1991 911 Turbo since 1994. I was talking to a total smart alec from(liar) Arkansas that is selling 1992 911 Turbo.He said his car is not 964 it’s 965 and a bunch of garbage about different body, and all these reinforcements.I contacted Porsche and they assured me that there never was a 965 911 Turbo built in 1992 model year.Now this bull crap guru either has the most unique car 911 Turbo in the world or he is totally out of his mind.In the last 40 years I have owned 8 different 911 Porsches.I am not an expert by any means but I do know quite a few things about them,especially between 1972 which was my first by my favorite is my 91 model.I was hoping to buy another one my only son as I don’t know how much longer the big guy upstairs will let me be round.I already bought him a 2007 Shelby GT 500.I figured if he wants to remenis his old mans European roots he needs couple of 911 Turbos to help him.
    If someone can shed some light on this matter it would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  • Roy Jaques

    I bought a 1992 porsche turbo that was the show car in Hong kong for the first release of cars sold there.
    The colour for this very unique car was lagoon green which looked like a pale blue in certain light conditions.
    The interior is a rich maroon clour, the rear wheel arches are very wide I believe to accept wider track suspension that it had. The car had never been enhanced or changed by any individual prior to my purchase.
    I bought it from a dealer who sold it to me as a 964. However when I sold it to a doctor who already had 3 porches he turned up with a small pocket book relating to every model of porsche made and where to find factory ID markings. After he paid for it he said now let us look at what you have here! by the way this was a factory RHD car. from instructions in his book which said to remove the lining in the front boot compartment on the drivers side ( as you are looking into the luggage compartment its on the left )and the model number will be stamped into the metal. To our amazement 965 was stamped into the metal covered by the original body paint. Fifty owners of porsches in our club all admired the car that looked more fantastic than any other 964 but we could never put our finger on it as to why it looked so stunning with its stunning whale tale and performance that blew everyone away. There really is a genuine 965. Roy Jaques you can contact me at the Spy museum Herberton Australia . By the way I have owned 135 exotic cars .