Tom (or anyone else) - Since you are a 30+ year 911 owner, I'm sure you have a lot of useful comments about reliability, ownership cost and just plain experience. Any thoughts you have on the following questions would be greatly appreciated.
I'm looking for a 5-speed 1986 - 1989 911 non-convertible, preferably a Targa without the whale-tail. Does the whale-tail add anything that would cause me to reconsider? The look it adds seems somewhat ostentatious.
I see that you excluded 1986 from your list of 1987 - 1989 911's. Was there a particular reason for the exclusion?
Can you provide some basic information about the difference between the various models, Carrera, Targa, Cabriolet?
Are most 911's non-turbos? Is a turbo recommended over a non-turbo? If so, what are the reasons? I understand about turbo lag and know that it has been essentially eliminated in the latest 911 turbos by the use of two smaller turbos and other advanced technology.
When did driver and passenger airbags become standard?
Is there a particular model or year from 1986 - 1989 to avoid?
Do you recommend any other forums for my research? I've seen "Pelicanparts" forum mentioned, but have not looked there yet.
Many thanks, Alan.
1986 models have the old 915 cable shifted transmission. Only 1987 and later models have the G50 transmission with the hydraulic clutch. It provides an easier shifting mechanism, more like the typical transmission with typical spring loaded shift gates that guide you into the next gear.
Some people say they like the old 915s better, but it is an acquired taste, because you have to guide the shift lever all the way without any spring guiding you, like most modern shifters.
Turbos are more powerful than the standard Carreras, but around town they feel slower because you have to get the engines revved up over 3500-4000 rpm to get on boost.
Overall, you won't be sorry buying any 1984-on air cooled Porsche.