The temperature is warm again so the 968s are out of hibernation and I’m looking forward to my first show of the season, the Parade (see the Parade article below). On top of that, my knee has healed up so I can shift again. Thank goodness. The summer should be a busy one as I’ll be getting the cars out for a few shows and finishing up a few small tasks on the Matador project. I still have that Connecticut inspection I have to get through but the car is running and driving well. Be sure to get your 968s out and show them off.
With this E-newsletter issue we have a few contributions by register members. First up is a technical article on rear hatch repair from RJ Wilmoth and second is an article on a 968 Club Sport buying experience from Arron Miller who is currently stationed over in Germany with his wife Minta. Thanks RJ and Arron for your contributions. And if you have something you would like to share with the register membership please feel free to write it up and send it to me for a future newsletter.
Who is going to Parade?
The 66th annual Porsche Parade is coming up soon. It will be held at Kalahari resort in Pocono Manor PA. from June 12th to June 18th. If you have been to a Porsche club Parade before you know what great events these are. A full week of nothing but Porsche related activities held at a great host location. Fortunately my health issues are behind me so I will be there and this will be my sixth Porsche Parade. I always drive my cars so this Parade is extra great because it is only 2 hours away from my home in CT. Compare that to our 14 hour drive to Savanah GA in 2011. A great time is always on tap.
There are a few 968ers going to the event. How about you? Even if you just stop by and say hello that is fine. The Concours is on Monday. I’ll be there with Minty in the historics Rennbow display. Maybe we can get the 968s together for a photo? Please reach out to me and let me know your plans. Rumor has it that there is a possibility that there might be a Mint Green 968 convention going on as well with every
North American Mint green 968 produced in attendance! (That would be 3 of them ) Now that would be quite a sight!
Me, an original 968 owner?:
The answer to the question is no. I have been a 968 fan since they came out but I never purchased one new. I became a 944 Turbo owner in 1993 and immediately fell in love with the 968s that were currently on the showroom floor but I would have to wait until 1996 before I actually took ownership of one. That said, I ALMOST bought one new.
As most know, although the 968s are great cars they were a sales disaster for Porsche. To be fair, they were born at the wrong time with a recession going on and they were very expensive due to the hand- built production processes that Porsche was using at the time. By the time their short four year production run had finished roughly 12,000 were produced for the entire global market. The all-new Boxster arrived a couple of years later with a base price less than the 968 and went on to be a huge success.
Back in the early nineties I was visiting the local dealerships and checking out the new 968. It was fantastic and I wanted one bad but I had a mortgage and two small children at the time and no matter how I did the math I couldn’t make it work. And then, to make matters worse, they went on sale.
It was late in 1995 and one of my local dealers, Porsche of Wallingford, received 6 brand new “leftover” 968 coupes: 3 red, 1 white,1 Oak green, and 1 Wimbledon green, and put them all on sale, $10,000 off sticker. They had some type of arrangement made with PCNA. The cars were fairly light-optioned with limited slip and partial leather and retail MSRPs in the low $40ks. As soon as I found out about the sale I made a beeline to the dealership to check them out. Of course, I had my eye on the Wimbledon coupe. What a color. But I still couldn’t make the numbers work based on my “current responsibilities”. All I could do was look and drool. Of course, the Wimbledon coupe was the first one to sell. Slowly but surely
the dealer sold each car over the next few months until only one car remained, the oak green coupe, and then the dealer took another $2000 off the MSRP! Ouch.
Back to the dealer I went. The car had a cashmere interior. I took it for a test drive and hoped my 944 Turbo had suddenly gone up in trade-in value but again, the same conclusion was found. I just couldn’t make it work. I walked away sadly. I would not be an original 968 owner after all but in the end, it was the SMART decision. Sure enough, the relatively new 968s depreciated very quickly and I found myself in a 25k mile 968 just a year later at another $10k off the price of the new car, and it was a cabriolet! And so the journey of used-968 ownership for me began.
It would have been cool to be an original 968 owner and I came close. We only have 2 or 3 original 968 owners as members of the register so they are rare here in 2022. And the other question I have to ask myself, would I have been strong enough to hold on to my Oak green 968 coupe, that I bought new, when presented with the opportunity to purchase that mint green 968 cabriolet? Hmm…
Note the two children leaning on the front of my “almost mine” brand new 968. They are two of my kids, Lauren and Greg, both now in their thirties.
Porsche 968 Rear wing/spoiler removal and repairs: Words and photos by RJ Wilmoth
“After finding his hatch rattling and the need to get measurements for a future window tint RJ tackled the repair below”
The disassembly steps are easy, just remove three pieces of trim and you are looking at the four 8mm nuts that hold the wing on. The problem is 25 + years of corrosion on the hardware. I always thought the side trim was aluminum, but all the trim and the wing are made from SMC (Sheet Molding Compound).
I’m going to describe this in “THREE EASY STEPS”, for those of us that don’t turn a wrench regularly. So, pictures and I’ll include some additional things you might want to do along the way. The photos were taken during reassembly, so the corrosion isn’t showing.
Before we get into it, I would suggest starting with some penetrating oil. I use Liquid Wrench, but WD40 is supposed to do the job. Something in a spray is better since you will be shooting up at the 14 split nuts that hold the side trim on. I laid some old towels over the rear fenders and carpet to catch the drips. While that was working, I started step 1.
Location of the various items described below, and tools needed or recommended
STEP 1. Remove the center trim strip under the rear wing.
– Four Allen bolts easily accessed with the hatch up – you also must unplug the leads for the center brake light. The piece pulls straight back. I chose to remove the light to clean the corrosion (it will be corroded). It’s just four Phillips screws and it’s easier to unplug the leads. The red lens pulls off straight towards you after removing the two visible screws, the other two are then visible.
– removing the center trim strip will expose the two screws/8mm nuts that along with the 14 split nuts hold the two side trim pieces on. This is the only reason to remove the center piece.
STEP 2. Loosen or remove the side trim.
You don’t need to entirely remove the side trim to get to the four screws & 8mm nuts that hold the wing on. First, remove the two screws/8mm nuts that you exposed by removing the center trim. Loosen and remove a couple of the split nuts (those cute round nuts on the underside of the hatch) on the side hatch trim close to the rear wing on either side of the car. I used the homemade tool with the center cut out of an existing screwdriver because I had access to one. Needle nose plyers, especially small Vice Grip needle nose, will work if the corrosion isn’t too bad.
-This will loosen up the trim in the vicinity of the spoiler enough so you can access the four screws/8mm nuts (2 per side) that secure the wing. The SMC is flexible enough to pull it out a few inches.
If you wish to remove the side trim completely (to fix some broken studs) the farther you go toward front, the more difficult it becomes as they are slightly counter sunk. That’s where the modified screwdriver comes in handy.
STEP 3. Remove the Wing.
Loosen the remaining four screws/8mm nuts and remove the wing. The rear two on my car were badly corroded. They came off, but the threads were ruined. I got the correct replacements at Auto Zone.
On reassembly I did the following,
1. I had removed the slide trim to repair broken studs. I mixed up some two-part epoxy and reglued the screw mounting studs on the trim strip that had come loose. I had six that were fully detached. Scrape off the old glue and sand both the metal stud and the SMC trim. Look carefully at the alignment. The holes on the window frame are slotted for some “wiggle room” front to back, but not up and down. I had to do a little filing on the top of one hole to get it back together. I had some clamps, but those large black “paper clips” should work.
The rubber at the top of the side pieces is difficult to keep in place while reinstalling. I used some 3M double sided tape to hold them in place. Check as you tighten the split nuts for slippage on the rubber.
2. I cleaned the corrosion on the center light mount with a wire brush and applied Dielectric Connector Protector.
3. Note that there should be rubber washers on each of the top of the four holes where the screws attach through the wing. Be sure those are there before reattaching the wing. Two of mine were crushed so I made some from a piece of old innertube. They don’t have to be pretty; you can’t see them.
4. An extra person is very helpful when reattaching the wing.
5. Just an observation on painted wings. If you are having yours painted body color and the car is a light color, it will show in the gap between the black side trim and the wing. Note in the pictures of my factory painted wing that they painted that area black. (it’s actually a vinyl sticker). A small thing, but I think it looks better.
Across the Atlantic – Finding, Buying, and Owning a 968 Club Sport: Words and photos by Aaron Miller
Wilkommen aus Stuttgart! As a longtime 968 owner and dedicated transaxle enthusiast recently transplanted to Stuttgart, Germany for a tour with the government, I had resolved to discover Porsche culture at the source. Part of that discovery process involved the elusive forbidden fruit of the “Not for USA” market of Porsche cars. Chief among them in my interest, the vaunted 968 Club Sport. To rattle off the specifications and statistics is to degrade the supreme machine Porsche unleashed on the Rest Of the World market from 1993 until the sub-model’s sunset in 1995. Porsche advertised a weight savings of 50kg, primarily through deleting all of the power equipment and using thinner sound deadening throughout the car. An equal sales point at the time, the Club Sport saved you approximately $10,000 compared to the cost of a “base” 968 coupe at the time. Adroitly, Porsche marketed the car as a “hardcore” driver-oriented variant but also looked at the Club Sport to boost sales by moving units. Unfortunately, the Club Sport was never imported to the U.S. and remained a staple of race tracks, hill climbs, and slalom competitions throughout Europe.
Many years ago I read an article in the Excellence magazine featuring a comparison between a Speed Yellow and Riviera Blue 968 Club Sports. From that moment I was smitten with the colors, the mystique, and the exclusivity. When I arrived in Stuttgart last July, I knew that I would buy a Club Sport to bring
home to the States. As I quickly discovered though, the variables at play would narrow my scope and leave me with few options. Speaking of options, a common misconception that I carried into my search was the mistaken belief that all of the Club Sports came equipped with the M030 “Sport Chassis” and M220 “Limited Slip Differential” options. Naturally, my ideal specification was the “most hardcore” variant, no power windows, fixed-back Recaro Pole Position seats, no sunroof, with M030 and M220. To add to the complexity of the search, word has gotten out in the U.S. about the legality to import a 968 Club Sport so I lost out on more than one car due to a “buyer in the U.S. has paid for this car, it will be exported soon.” Recent auctions on Bring A Trailer showed very solid performance with three 968 Club Sports selling above $70,000 and the Porsche Club of America lists the Club Sport as a “$100k car that isn’t there yet.” Powered by the economic bounce back of easing COVID restrictions, it was a crowded market of buyers looking for the “right” car. My electronic search consisted of daily checks on the three primary German car sales websites, AutoScout24.de, Mobile.de, and eBay Kleinanzeigen.
My search ultimately ended when I located a car 90 minutes from Stuttgart that checked all of the right blocks, and even added something I hadn’t considered a requirement. In the middle of January, on a dark and gray German winter day, a new listing popped up featuring a Club Sport in black. The seller prominently identified the M030 and M220 options and included the statement, “no track use known” which is an important consideration for these track-ready cars. I sent a message through the app identifying my interest and apologizing for my rudimentary German. I crossed my fingers and received a reply within a day which included a spreadsheet explaining the odometer readings and a six year old assessment of the condition of the car in question. A bit perplexed but thankful for the communication, I reaffirmed my interest and attempted to set up an appointment to see the car in person. I was greeted with silence which I attributed to a pending sale or a reticence to deal with an American. Dejected, I moved on without success but at the end of February, the car was still for sale. I had nothing to lose, so I sent the seller an updated message asking for an update. I received a reply, and the seller appeared to be more amenable to moving toward a sale. In the end, the seller was worried about the additional requirements to sell to an American and concerned his language skills weren’t up to the requirement. After arranging a visit to confirm the condition and getting thoroughly surprised by a 3” thick binder of
receipts going back 28 years, I was sold and so was that Club Sport. For reference, we agreed on a price in the low $40s given the current exchange rate but cars selling from dealers go in the $50k-$60k range.
Nothing in Germany happens quickly or without the proper paperwork, so it took until mid-April until the sale was completed. Fortunately, mid-April is exactly the time it starts to get to “driving” weather here! I immediately discovered what automotive journalists raved about in the mid-90s, this car is the finest handling transaxle car I’ve ever driven. Coupled with the very snug Recaro seats, there is no chance to be thrown around the cabin during hard cornering. Despite only having a decade of age over my new car, getting in and out of the car isn’t for the faint of heart! The easiest way to get in is to drop butt-first into the seat bottom and maneuver your feet in. Getting out is an equal challenge, requiring a 90 degree pivot in the seat while hanging your legs over the door sill and pushing yourself up using the seat and steering wheel. It isn’t fun, but once you’re in it’s surprisingly comfortable. The vintage novelty of crank windows is fun but as it turns out, even temperate Germany gets uncomfortably warm on long drives in a black car. Fortunately for us, our Club Sport had the “most important” option, Air Conditioning! And in typical transaxle fashion, it was inoperative when we bought the car but investigation yielded a failed pressure switch and then cool air once repaired. Arguably the coolest find, as I got to know our new car better, was the plethora of seemingly-factory performance parts. The seller included a front splitter with a 968 part number and under the hood was a strut bar and a notched fuel rail cover. I can’t confirm it yet, but I have my deep suspicion the performance parts are from the Porsche Motorsport catalog which explains why there are factory part numbers not reflected in Porsche’s PET catalog.
So what’s the verdict? Should you meet one of your heroes? Is it insane to spend average new car money on a 30 year old sports car? Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder but I feel like we got a great deal on the perfect transaxle. The condition coupled with the maintenance records made it clear it’s been owned by fanatics. About meeting your heroes, I’ve got no complaints and I enjoy every time the deceptively light door clicks closed before the next ride. If I had one unfulfilled desire, it would have been to find a similarly optioned Club Sport in my favorite hue of blue, the gorgeous Riviera Blue. But you can’t win them all, and I learned a long time ago it’s easier to like a color when you love the options and condition.
968 Myth busters! 968 CS side decal:
Since we are talking 968 Club Sports with this issue of the E-newsletter I figured I would share with you the debunking of a 968 myth. I’m sure you have seen a picture of a 968 Club Sport similar to the one below. I don’t know a lot about the CS variation as they weren’t sold in the North America but I have been learning more. One thing I was shocked to learn recently (thanks to a very knowledgeable UK 968er on Facebook) is that the door Club Sport decal you see below is not factory!
The first clue to that being the case is that you can’t find a listing for the decal in the Porsche PET parts catalog. The history behind the decal can be traced to Porsche of Great Britain. Porsche had just come out with the CS in 1993 in Europe. It was cheaper and received some great press due to the slightly less weight and improved handling dynamics. Porsche GB was happy about that but felt the car needed more differentiation, so they came up with the idea of having the side decal. Porsche Great Britain put it on a number of the press cars and those photos made it into the magazines. The decal looks great and the next thing you know, everyone wanted one on their CS so they added them but it wasn’t like that from the factory. Who would have guessed that? New CS owners Arron and Minta are still deciding whether or not they want to put one on their 968. What would you do?
FYI from Jeff, Porsche produced 1,743 Club Sport 968s between 1993 and 1995. 796 in 1993, 476 in 1994, 471 in 1995. The 968 CS has its own VIN series, 815###, so they are easy to authenticate. An interesting thing to note, Porsche did not produce a single “regular” 1995 968 coupe for the ROW (Rest of World) market, just the 471 Club Sports. Of course, North America got 259 1995 “regular” 968 coupes.
Be sure to visit the register website. 968register.org. Thanks to Adam for keeping the website going!
PCA 968 Register Advocate http://968register.org/
968 Registry window clings are available – Would you like an official PCA 968 register window cling sporting our smart looking logo? They are now available for $2 including postage. They are approximately 3” in height. If you would like one please contact me. If you’ve sold your 968 or would no longer like to receive this newsletter please contact me and I’ll take you off the distribution list. If you are looking for a 968 or know someone who is let me know as I am often contacted with 968s for sale. If you plan to change your email address in the future please contact me so I can update the distribution list. Issue: 2022 #2