Leland-West Insurance

Classic Porsche: the 911 Carrera - 1984-1989

The Classic '80s.

In 1984 Porsche rolled out the replacement for the extremely popular Model 911SC. Emblazoned with the classic 'Carrera' designation which had not graced the paint of a Porsche since 1975, the new model had a lot to prove if it was going to live up to it's classic predecessor's reputation.

With a higher displacement and electronically controlled fuel and ignition, the 3.2 Carrera was both faster and more fuel efficient. The engine capacity was raised to 3164cc by employing the 95mm bore from the previous SC model along with the 74.4mm stroke of the 1978 Turbo 3.3's crankshaft. Higher domed pistons beefed up the compression ratio to 10.3:1 for cars on the European market, and 9.5:1 in cars destined for the shores of the United States. The American versions were pushing and impressive 207HP and the European market versions were pushing an even more impressive 231HP.

The Model 911 3.2 Carrera remained basically unchanged during it's 5 year production run with the exception of a new 5-speed gearbox, a hydraulically operated clutch and a thermostatically controlled fan to improve oil cooling, all implemented in 1987. There were some minor exterior modifications of fog lights, and a redesigned dash in 1986 that featured larger air conditioning vents.

The Model 911 3.2 Carrera was available in three basic models, the coupe, Targa and cabriolet. Porsche also produced 4 optional limited production versions. The first option was introduced in 1984 as the M491 which was called the 'Supersport' in the UK, and commonly referred to as the 'Turbo-look'. The M491 option closely resembled the Model 930 Turbo with it's exterior styling that included flared wheel arches and the classic rear spoiler. It also featured wider wheels, a stiffer suspension and the superior turbo braking system.

In 1985 a very exclusive 255HP version was produced in Italy for the European market called the model Carrera ST. The ST stands for 'Senza Turbo' which translates to 'without turbo'. Only ten of these cars were built, all ten were painted Grand Prix White and came with either red or blue 'telephone dial' style wheels. There was a 'Carrera ST' decal in either red or blue on each side of the car, a 'Carrera ST' logo on the duck tail and '3.2' on the back grill. Each car also came with a special engraved plate on the dash with it's unique serial number (490-499).

From August 1987 to September 1989 Porsche produced the model 911 Carrera Club Sport, or 911 Carrera CS. A total of 340 of these cars were built for both the US and European markets. They were built specifically for club racing and included a blueprinted engine with hollow intake valves, a higher rev limit, spartan interiors and zero power options - in an effort to save weight, of course. The Club Sports were ordered in a variety of different colors, some with decals and some without; however, all of them are identifiable by the letters "SP" stamped on the crankcase and cylinder head.

And finally, for the first 6 months of 1989, option M503, the model 911 Speedster was produced. It was a 2 seater, low-roof version of the Cabriolet, reminiscent of the model 356 Speedster of the 50's. A total of 2,104 of these were built between January and June. '89 Speedsters are highly sought-after classics whose value rose quickly after production ended.

When all was said and done the model 911 3.2 Carrera did not disappoint. It not only lived up to the standards set by the model 911SC that it replaced, it exceeded all expectations. Now a much sought-after classic car for Porsche enthusiasts, the model 911 3.2 Carrera was the last version of the original 911 series. The model 911's produced after 1989 all came with completely new exterior styling as well as new brake, suspension and electronic technology. You could say the 3.2 Carrera was a grand finale of sorts, but it was certainly not the end of the road for the 911.

Newer classic 911's like the 1980's Carreras have held their value well, but are still new enough some models may be considered by various valuation 'books' as merely being fully depreciated. Proper classic insurance with a thoughtful Agreed Value assigned to the vehicle will see to it that you don't get lumped into the category of old-and-tired when it comes time for your insurance company to value what should be considered a classic car.