24th Jun 2004, 20:32

That was a beautiful and very comprehensive explanation...

27th Jul 2004, 02:49

That was very good explanation. If you live in an area with snow, you can somewhat practice at slow speeds doing over steers (under steer is easy and happens to me almost everyday:-).

With a RWD car, about halfway through the corner, give it lots of gas, you will feel the rear end whip out (don't panic) but turn the wheels the same direction as the back end is swinging (back end is swinging to the right, turn to the right, it should cancel and the car should go straight.) Feather off the throttle and try steering straight, if you did it correctly, you should be on your merry way. If you didn't do it right (rear wheels completely lose control) you will just spin out. Since you are on snow, at slow speed and (hopefully) not in a busy area, it shouldn't be a big deal. This happens VERY fast BTW (even at slow speeds.)

Indeed, this gets very fun if you can do it right.

BTW, recovering from over steer in snow is harder than on pavement (there is nearly no traction to begin with). So you tend to slip all over the place. However with dry pavement, the car will react instantly to everything you do. So DON'T over react. Very minute adjustments to the steering and throttle are usually needed. BTW this is just for front engine, RWD cars. A Porsche 911 is a different beast.

21st May 2005, 23:24

Sorry, but I don't think you get it.

I have had an unmodified 964 Anniversary (C4, wide body) since new (92) and have driven it every day. For thirteen years. It hasn't been all that amazingly reliable either: It has needed a new gearbox, heater, the aircon has had a few troubles, a fuel pump has gone wrong, the sunroof needed to be fixed and a few other niggles.

Compared to today's cars, its primitive. No computers, the interior is basic, the plastic door handles are annoying and the suspension shakes your fillings. And the noise, whilst great, can get tiring on long journeys.

Its 250 bhp is pitiful by today's standards. Its out powered by a new VW Golf!

But so what?

In my eyes, its one of the most gorgeous cars ever built. And it drives like a dream. The sound of the engine is enough to put a smile on your face in the morning and the writhing steering wheel makes sure to wake you up. There's nothing better, except perhaps a 993 but that doesn't look as nice.

I can buy any new car I want and have tried a few. SL55? Compared to the 911, it's like driving a truck. The 997? Good looking and mechanically superior. But doesn't drive as well and hasn't got that hand built quality. Can't think of many others that get even close. Perhaps the DB9.

Let me tell you: When I park it at the back lot of the Porsche center for its annual MOT, amongst perhaps one hundred others that are all newer, the senior engineer who looks after it gives one long sigh and confides that he wouldn't swap it for any of these either. Neither would I.

26th Jan 2006, 02:47

Every time I drive my 1990 911 (964) C2 through a fast bend I marvel at how well engineered a driving package it is. The steering is completely precise and reliable, the shift of balance, predictable and consistent, and the power delivery faultless. Whenever I start getting exuberant in this car, I just realise how little of its true potential I am able to extract even after 4 years of ownership. It just grows on you; and besides it looks like a real Porsche too.

3rd Aug 2007, 10:04

I bought a 1993 C2 convertible (964) last year with 63,000 miles on it. When I got the car I had the Porsche dealer inspected "pre-purchase inspection, $250). He didn't catch most of the problems, so I could have saved the 250.

He did say the car needed a new clutch. One year and 13,000 miles later I changed the clutch. Clutch kit, flywheel and a few other parts (including $720 for the electric motor of the top) ended up in a bill of $5,600. Half of it was spare parts. Spare parts are expensive. If you find a good shop you can find aftermarket parts - just see on eBay - which would have reduced my bill to about $3500.

The other expenses I had were to put back the car in good cosmetic conditions:

- Complete rear lights set - $1,000. These tend to fade and crack with age

- One front headlight ($160) and one fog light ($140)

- Set of 18" wheels ($900) plus tires (Continental ContiSportContact) $650

- one set of drilled front rotors with brake pads $300

- Two complete oil changes ($25 k&n filter and mobil one, $80)

- New amplifier for the stereo (the car already had a nice powerful stereo system, aftermarket) $300

- Interior light - $18

- New fuel/oil level and oil pressure/temperature gauges $300 (eBay)

- New top $1,200.

The car itself is very reliable. I was aware of all the cosmetic needs when I bought the car, so they were part of the negotiation, including the clutch.


The car is very fun to drive. I expected the car to be way more crazy than it is when it comes to oversteering. It is a short wheelbase car, so the reactions are more instantaneous than they are in a longer one, such a sedan (M5, M3 etc.). Try a BMW M coupe and you'll see how fast and suddenly that car can go into oversteer. The 964 (911 c2) has an incredible, grip in the rear, since there is all the weight of the engine and the tires are pretty wide. It takes a lot of energy to lose grip and when that happens, all that energy is loose and it goes into spinning the back outward. I started "practicing" in rain (next step after snow) and it is addictive (so you know what you're getting into).

What many here called "primitive" look of the interior is actually an advantage: as my father looked at it "less things that can break." In my opinion today's cars are full of electronic crap that might make it easier for the inexperienced to drive the car, but they add a ton of unnecessary weight (just compare the first M3s with the latest ones). I don't care about traction control, navigation system, redundant electronic controls etc. I could even live with a car with no instruments for that matter. When you have the main stuff under control, what else do you need?

I never get into giving my opinion about the chassis or the stiffness of the car: few drivers can get to the limit of the car and actually say "mmmmhh...if I only had a different torsion bar I could probably go faster..." I think there is plenty of room for a normal person to drive fast before hitting that limit, if ever. Obviously changing stuff will change the way the car drives and the feedback will be different.

One thing that I've never liked is the pedals. I am used to them now, but I consider them a defect; it is like driving a VW bug from the 60s. Beside that the car is amazing.

12th Aug 2009, 16:21

When Car and Driver tested a 1990 C2 they recorded a 13.3 second quarter mile at 105 mph. This - nearly two decades later - is still a rocket of a car. It is also a reasonable daily driver. I've put 65,000 miles on one, and it is my only car. That's track days, commuting, snow storms, vacations, errands and letting the girlfriend borrow it when her car is in the shop.

The major expenses are tires, oil changes, valve adjustments (the 993 uses hydraulic lifters and is maintenance free in this respect) and putting the occasional 'wrong' right. In an older car you have maintenance expense instead of depreciation expense, which is now essentially zero for these cars. If you don't have the cash for a yearly fuel pump replacement, valve adjustment, etc. you will find the car impossible to keep straight. I budget between $1,000 and $2,000 per 15,000 miles, and have found that a well looked after Porsche is much less expensive to run in total costs than most any 'modern' car you can name. Educate yourself on the ins and outs and how to find a good one, and you'll have a car you'll never want to get rid of...