Well, my 968s are still tucked away but the groundhog says spring will come soon so they’ll be out in just a few short weeks. Much is happening 968-wise. Last year was quite a year for the register. Thanks to the launch of the new website we picked up 66 new 968 register members! We now have a total of 378 968ers in the master distribution list. Not bad for a model that is so rare. The 968 continues to do well in the collector car market as we have seen a few nice examples regularly selling in the $20k range, In addition, the 968 has been mentioned in recent write-ups on up-and-coming collector cars. 968s are performing stronly in the auction circuit as well with recently seen examples sell at Mecum Kissimmee and on eBay. So, make sure your insurance accurately reflects the current value of your 968.
As for 968 public relations, if you aren’t busy on Saturday 5/21 please be sure to check out Minty’s TV debut with the Season 20/Episode 21 Porsche parade episode of My Classic Car, unless of course, we end up on the cutting room floor. We’ll have to see.
I had hoped to have a couple of technical articles for this issue as I was planning to get my cabriolet top replaced but as of now, I’m still waiting in line to have the job done. I also have had to replace my windshield which turned into a problem that I’ll share with you but only after the story is done so you’ll have to wait for that one too.
So start planning your 2016 and make sure you enjoy that 968. As always, if you have something you would like to share with the group just send it along and we’ll get it in a future newsletter.
Recently I received a registry application from Gary in WI. He has just taken ownership of a rare M030 968 which is filled with many factory options. As special as it is being a M030 car what makes it really special are the seats! They are configured with every possible seat option available. This includes:
Full leather seats – leather on the front and the backs, cost $2,256
Dual full power seats (code 437/438) – 8 way, cost $956
Dual heated seats (code 139/340) – cost: $628
Dual lumbar seats (code 513/586) – cost: $1,102
Perusing the North American 968 database of all 2,234 coupes Gary’s car is the only one produced with seats loaded with this many options. Looking at the 2,008 cabs, two of them had seats optioned out similar to Gary’s so you can see they are pretty rare and pretty special.
The scary part of the story was that they had been pulled out of the car and replaced by a racing seat. But the good news was that the previous owner kept them and they went to Gary when he purchased the car. Gary says they need some work but he’ll get them back in to shape shortly.
And before you write me and say “hey Jeff, what about sport seats?” you should know that only full leather and the heated seat option was available on sport seats. You could not get lumbar or full 8-way power on the sport seats. Still, if you have sport seats in your 968 keep an eye on them. They are trading for well over $2,000 in the used car parts market these days.
The Restoration of #8
Many of us have been 968 fans for years. We may have come from 944s but saw the 968 and knew we had to have one. We may have started our 968 ownership with a vehicle that became available near us but after having owned one for a while we started to form an understanding of what is out in the 968 marketplace. Maybe we saw a car in a specific color or with a specific option and we thought, “that’s the 968 I would love to own”. Well, the journey above is very similar to what long time 968er Ginger went through. She started with a 944 and then acquired her first 968, a beautiful midnight blue tiptronic example but then her dream 968 presented itself: an Amethyst coupe with a matching magneta interior (1 of 19 Amethyst coupes, 1 of 5 with the matching magenta interior). It was a 6 speed and nicely optioned with the limited slip differential and a full power driver’s seat. Ginger loved the color combo. But what made this car really special was its production numbers. The car held a VIN of NS820068, the 8th coupe produced for the North American market (remember, they start with #61) and assembled during the first month of 968 production, September 1991. Not only that, it was a rare option code 740 car. Option code 740 is the “show car preparation” option and only 10 coupes were equipped with it. Option code 740 car’s had special production line handling to ensure they looked even better than a standard example because they were often paraded in front of the press or Porsche management. Looking at the maintenance manual for Ginger’s 968 shows that all of the initial service work was done in Charleston SC, Porsche’s port for all 968 arrivals at the time. So, clearly this special 968 was making initial model impressions for the first few months of its life in the US.
Over the nineties the car had a number of owners including the most recent owner who Ginger purchased the car from. Unfortunately, the last owner let the car sit outside so it had deteriorated in condition by the time Ginger saw it but that said, she wanted the car. It was just what she wanted in a 968 and was clearly a special and historically significant example. She moved forward with the purchase and embarked on the restoration of this special 968.
Now, if you know 968s you know that they have some amazing interior options. Matter a fact, if you visit 968registry.org you would learn that there were 98 different interior options available on the 968 over the 4 years of production. Unfortunately, of all those great interior options only a couple have stood the test of time. You see, the sun has not been kind to many of the wilder colored interiors. The UV rays have wreaked havoc on many of them changing what was once a uniformed, colored interior into all kinds of colors, some not even remotely resembling the color they originally started as. One of the colors that suffered from this UV weakness is magenta and Ginger’s car was no exception.
Faced with that challenge Ginger has been on the hunt for replacement parts in the rare magenta color. She has had some luck scoring a beautiful new magenta club sport steering wheel and some carpet but items that you would think would be easier to find continue to be elusive such as floor mats! Ginger will continue the hunt as well as looking into restoring (dying) some of her existing parts.
Mechanically the car has been gone through and she reports it is running well. She observed the fun and performance increase when moving from a tiptronic to a manual and enjoys driving her new coupe. As for the original exterior, the original paint is there and in decent condition but not perfect. She is struggling with the age-old observation that “it is only original once” but confided in me that she will probably have it re-sprayed at some point because she wants the car to look great. Ginger enjoys showing her cars so #8 should look up to her standard.
So, I’m sure you will join me in wishing Ginger continued good luck with her restoration. When completed, her “dream” 968 should look fantastic and draw crowds that are even larger than it does now. And finally, if you come across a set of NOS magenta floor mats please contact her immediately!!! They could very well be the final piece of the complex puzzle that is the restoration of 968 coupe #8!
An interesting production side note for you: North American 968 coupes #1 through #6 were indeed produced however they never made it to the US. The factory reps probably wanted to keep them for Public relations purposes (or to have fun with them). The first 968 coupe to actually lay ground on US soil was #7. I know this from checking Carfax. There are no records found for #1-6. For the NA 968 cabs, only #1 and #2 were held back in Germany. #3 made it to the US.
2016 is shaping up to be another year of great events to attend with your 968. I implore you to get out there and get your 968 seen. You’ll find that many show attendees are fascinated with the 968 and you’ll be helping to get our rare model seen. If you are attending an event or running one let me know and I’ll help you to get the word out. Events I know of include:
- 2016 PCA Hershey swap 4/16, Hershey PA – A long-time favorite with the 968 crowd, this event offers a car show, car corral (cars for sale), and a huge swap meet. Vendors and attendees come from all around. Details can be found here: http://cpa-pca.org/swap/2016/index.html
- 2016 PCA Zone 1 Concours 5/13 – 5/15, Westbury Gardens LI NY – This PCA event always draws some nice cars from the tri-state area although last year was pretty weak. I’ve talked to Mike who owns Speed Yellow coupe #5 and doesn’t live to far from here so I will look to bring SY coupe #8 down and we’ll have two in attendance. That will be a site to see. And Ginger may bring out #8! Details can be found at: http://media.wix.com/ugd/218b95_0db8748116134468a9ab08ff1e406567.pdf
- 2016 PCA Parade 6/19 – 6/25, Jay Peak VT – There is nothing like a Porsche club parade and this event should be something to see. I hear the location is breathtaking and only a few minutes from the Canadian border so we should see a number of great Porsches from the great white north. I’ll be there for a couple of days. Details can be found at: http://2016parade.pca.org/index.html
- 2016 West Coast 968 Gathering 7/8 – 7/10, South Lake Tahoe CA – 968er Bob Frith is working to set up an event on the West coast. Details are listed below:
- Start making your plans! South Lake Tahoe, CA! July 8th -10th, 2016! Several of us are organizing a West Coast Gathering for next summer in South Lake Tahoe!
- This is a gathering for any and all 968 owners for the purpose of having a great weekend in a spectacular setting with your 968! This is not a commercial event, this is strictly for fun.
- Here are the particulars: Dates: Friday, July 8 through Sunday July 10, 2016. You can come earlier and stay later and get the group rates.
- The main hotel is the 968 Park Hotel. (what a cool name for a hotel) Check it out at: http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/lake-tahoe-hotels/968-park-hotel/ To book your room at the 968 Park Hotel, call the hotel at 530-544-0968 and mention the code “Porsche” to receive the exclusive discount rates. Make your reservations early, this is a small property, so book as soon as you can so you can be guaranteed a room. The rates won’t apply for the 4th of July weekend, however. They have offered us great rates.
- Next door is the Park Tahoe Inn that offers somewhat lower rates. Check it out at: http://www.parktahoeinn.com/ To book your room at the Park Tahoe Inn, call the hotel at 530-544-6000 and mention the code “Porsche” to receive the discount rates.
- This is not a PCA-sponsored event, rather it is a gathering of all 968 owners for the purpose of having a great weekend in a spectacular setting with your 968! For more information, contact Bob Frith at email@example.com
- Come join in the fun!
The new register website continues to perform well. If you haven’t visited you owe it to yourself to check it out. 968register.org.
PCA 968 Register Advocate http://968register.org/