FEB 04th 2015

Porsche 964: Cooler and tougher than its younger adversaries?

I have a confession to make – I watched The Expendables and enjoyed it. If you haven’t seen the movie, Sylvester Stallone reunites a team of faded ’80s and ’90s action heroes who, despite their age, are actually a bit cooler and tougher than their younger, high-tech adversaries. No prizes for guessing the outcome, but is it weird that the film made me think about the Porsche 964?

The 964 was produced for around five years from the late ’80s. Like Sly and Arnie, in those days they sold well but, in more recent years, it has had a bit of a raw deal. Its successor, the 993, was the darling of many die hard Porsche afficionados and, if we are honest, we can all admit to knowing someone who has called the 964 ‘the poor man’s 911’. The good news is that the 964 has found more general favour with buyers over the last couple of years which has seen significant price increases. But why have they fallen back into favour?

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Russ Rosenthal at JZM Porsche sells 964s for prices into the many hundreds of thousands of pounds and will tell you that interest has increased dramatically in the last 18 months. He will tell you that the 964 is easy to live with in a way that previous 911s weren’t and that they are great to drive, everything works properly (including the air conditioning), that the demand for Turbo and RS variants has benefitted the common-or-garden varieties and that it is the last 911 that is true to the form of the original car. He will also point out that they have come of age and (conveniently for my feeble analogy) that the mean looking 964 3.6 Turbo featured in the 1995 action comedy Bad Boys.

Rather like Sly and his team of ageing commandos, the 964 has grown old disgracefully, looking better now than it did in middle age and its simplicity and analogue charms make it the last of a breed. It’s funny how cars (and action heroes) can re-find their mass appeal after many years, although in the case of the 964 high prices for other 911 variants have certainly helped. You can see a similar pattern with cars such as the Ferrari Testarossa and the Porsche 928, both of which managed to garner undeserved reputations for being lacking in the driving department but now both have enthusiastic followings. While you may be able to go out and buy a copy of Bad Boys for £2.99, decent 964s are now realistically £30,000 upwards and within striking distance of 993 prices – which is a far cry from values two years ago. Save your pennies though – Bad Boys was rubbish.

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