The auto industry model year (MY) runs from August 1 to 31 July, so a 1989 model could have been produced between 1 August 1988 and 31 July 1989.
1984 MY: Carrera 3.2 replaces 911SC with Coupé, Targa and Cabriolet body styles. Main difference is engine enlarged to 3164cc with Bosch L-Jetronic injection and ignition controlled by Digital Motor Electronics (DME). Max power is 231bhp. Special Wishes programme includes Turbo-Look Coupé.
1985 MY: New style slimmer front seat design, with option electrically adjusted height/recline and heating. Windscreen integrated radio aerial. Shorter gear shift travel. Special Wishes programme extended to include Turbo-Look Targa and Cabriolet (with stronger shells).
1986 MY: Bodyshell guarantee against rust perforation extended to 10 years. New dash panel with face level and side vents, better heat regulation. Seats lowered 20mm with longer front/back travel. Central locking standard. Turbo-Look becomes regular model (in UK known for one year only as ‘Carrera with Sport Equipment’).
1987 MY: Major upgrade to include G50 gearbox and hydraulic clutch operation. Rear fog and reverse lights integrated into rear reflective strip. Cabriolet receives powered roof. Turbo-Look now renamed ‘Carrera Supersport’. Sport option Carreras now known as ‘911 with Sport Equipment’.
1988 MY: Fuchs alloys (15-inch standard, 16-inch option) replace ‘telephone dial’ cast wheels. Passenger door mirror standard (was option). Carrera Club Sport introduced (stripped out Carrera with option code M637, believed 50 UK Coupés). Anniversary Carrera (250,000th 911, 25 years of 911), all Marine Blue metallic with same crushed leather interiors and ‘F.Porsche’ monogram on front headrests (believed 50 to UK – 30 Coupés, 10 Targas, 10 Cabriolets).
1989 MY: Flashing red diodes in lock buttons. 16-inch Fuchs standard. 911 Speedster (from March 1989), in UK also available in Slant-Nose style – with 63, all narrow bodies – to UK).
What’s it like?
This 911 will appeal if you want to enjoy a classic Porsche that is full of idiosyncrasies but lacking the rough edges of earlier models.
Its driving character is defined by organ stop pedals that emerge from the floor, a slightly offset driving position, no power steering and a brake pedal that requires a knack to stop sharply without locking the front wheels.
It is a triumph of development over design, with torsion bar suspension remarkably suited to today’s poor roads and fuel consumption that won’t leave change out of 25mpg. But there will be a point when you suddenly appreciate what this car is all about. It could be the air cooled flat-6 echoing off a wall as you pass or the thrill of actually accelerating through a corner to keep the rear end planted.
With a solid reputation for quality and reliability, this 911 will do what ever you want every day and all day, but reveals its thoroughbred performance in an instant.
The only major spec difference through the 3.2’s 6-year production was the change to the G50 gearbox for the 1987MY. The G50 has a more modern synchromesh and is identified by having reverse to the left and up. The earlier 915 gearbox uses the traditional Porsche synchromesh (and is in the same gearbox family as the 1960s race cars). The 915 requires a soft touch and for those who want it, is another source of classic driving enjoyment.
Which one should I get?
Once you’ve decided to go for a Carrera 3.2, the choice is simply down to budget – and that invariably is defined by the car’s condition. The most sought after models are the 1987-89 Coupés and Targas. The 1984-86 Coupés and Targas (with the 915 gearbox) come next. There was no automatic option for the 3.2. The Cabriolets are something of a niche model in the UK, although they do have a small but ardent following. Their limited rearwards visibility is a negative.
The wide body models were only mainstream from 1987 and even then were limited production. These cars had no unique Vehicle Identification Numbers and fakes can be found, so care is required (see below). It’s a fact that the wide body model appeal is largely all visual (accepting the stronger brakes and suspension), but the ‘narrow body’ cars drive just as well and are easier to squeeze into a small space.
The most desirable 3.2 is the Clubsport. This limited edition offers a sporting, stripped out 911 that despite an allegedly similar max power as the mainstream cars, offered the best driver’s street 911 of the 1980s. The UK cars were probably around 25kg lighter, the blueprinted and chipped engine is more responsive and it benefits from a shorter shift on the gearbox.
The main attraction of the 1988 MY Anniversary 911 is the special crushed leather interior and its lustrous blue metallic finish. The Speedster is another 3.2 special that is all about appearance. The roof is very lightweight, while the large fibreglass cover remains in place all the time, denying use of the rear seats. All these 3.2 specials carry significant premiums in the marketplace.
Being some 30 years old, all the cars will have covered significant mileages. Low mileage cars (say those with less than 70K miles, will carry a significant premium and their value as a usable classic should be considered. The best buys are those cars with over 100K, but which have received ongoing restorative work to maintain them in the top 10%.
If you are looking for a car that needs no work at all, expect prices that will surprise you. There are no bargains at the top end of the market, although beware of speculators whose cars are either simply over priced or not as good as they should be.
Take on a project car only if you are good in the garage and have the essential determination to see a potentially long and costly rebuild through.
Written by Peter Morgan
This beautiful LHD Grand Prix White Porsche Carrera is offered for sale as a Matching Numbers Car, accompanied with a Porsche Certificate of Originality. The car was completely re-spayed and a full cabin restoration was done in full Black Leather, with a brand new OEM Dashboard. This Carrera is in a good condition, drives well, stops well and is offered at bargain price.
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History of the 1984-1989 Porsche 911
The 3.2-liter 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera debuted hot on the heels of a very successful run of 911SC models, built from 1978 to 1983. The Carrera—priced at $32,000—shared most of its visual cues with its immediate predecessor, but benefitted from added power and performance, as well as other evolutionary updates.
The cars came as they had when the SC bowed out—in coupe, open Cabriolet, and the in-between Targa body styles. The chief upgrade in the Carrera was the larger 3.2-liter flat six engine, which looked much like that of the 3.0 it replaced but was built chiefly of all-new parts. One crucial change was an improved timing chain tensioner, which had been an issue on previous models. Also new was Bosch Motronic fuel injection, which replaced the K-Jetronic system of yore. The engine produced 200 horsepower and came mated to a Getrag five-speed manual transmission. This was enough to propel the Carrera from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.
Standard goodies included leather upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, a sunroof, and 15-inch alloys, while cruise control, 16-inch wheels, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo were popular options. For those who wanted to appear faster than they actually were, a Turbo Look appearance package was available on coupes, which provided the large whale tail and wider rear wheel-wells, but not the actual turbocharger.
Changes were few for 1985, though the Turbo Look package now carried over to Cabriolets and Targas. Big news came in 1986, when Porsche reintroduced the 911 Turbo (or 930, if you like) following a long absence. The cars cost $48,000, and it used its 282 hp to hair-raising effect. Minor changes crept into the standard Carrera, including lowered front seats to increase head room.
Power output increased in 1987, up to 214 hp, with an added bump in torque as well, from 185 to 195 ft-lb. The clutch was upgraded from mechanical to hydraulic operation, and the old Getrag five-speed was replaced with a much better Getrag G50 unit with improved synchromesh. The popular and somewhat controversial (among purists, anyhow) slant nose option was available on Turbos and Carreras alike, for more than $20,000 over the Turbo's MSRP.
Porsche celebrated the 250,000th 911 built in 1988 with a Commemorative Edition, which featured Diamond Blue Metallic paint with matching wheels and a silver-blue interior. A Club Sport option also came out for the coupes, which stripped the cars of many creature comforts, while adding upgraded suspension components, front and rear spoilers, sport seats, and a slightly revised engine. Only a handful were made.
Porsche also marked the model's silver birthday with a 25th Anniversary Special Edition in 1989 that was limited to just 500 examples -- 300 coupes and 200 Cabriolets. The cars were available in either Satin Black Metallic or Silver Metallic paint. Porsche re-imagined the venerable 911 further for 1989, and the look that had carried it for a decade got a smoothing over, in addition to a higher degree of technical sophistication. But not before the mid-1980s Carrera had played its evolutionary part in the 911 story.
1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Info
6-cyl. 3165cc/200hp Bosch Motronic FI
Curb Weight: 2615 lbs.
Vehicle Length: 168.9 in.
Wheel Base: 89.4 in.
1985 Porsche 911 Carrera 2dr Coupe Info
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