So, you have a 1994 North American 968 and while attending a Porsche Club show you park next to another 1994 NA 968. The strange thing is that, while your car has the 944 style bucket seats the ‘94 968 next to you has the 993 style “comfort” bucket seats. A perusal of an original 1994 968 sales brochure shows a car with the 993 style “comfort” buckets so why does your ‘94 have the older 944 style? How could this be??? The answer:
Option code 718.
As we know, back in the early nineties when the 968s were being produced Porsche had very high hopes for them but it didn’t translate into sales. Because of this, production inventory backed up and Porsche came up with an innovative way to deal with it. They came up with option code 718 which allowed them to “reVIN” an “already produced” 968 into the upcoming model year so they could sell it as such.
So, how many times did they use option code 718?
There were 495 NA 968 cabriolets produced with option code 718 (of the 2,008, that’s 24.73%!):
- 189 – 1994 option code 718, running from VIN RS840061 – RS840249 (Produced between March 1993 and June of 1993)
- 306 – 1995 option code 718, running from VIN SS840061 – SS840366 (Produced between February 1994 and June of 1994)
There were 360 NA 968 coupes produced with option code 718 (of the 2,234, that’s 17.98%!):
- 161 – 1994 option code 718, running from VIN RS820061 – RS820221 (Produced between March 1993 and June of 1993)
- 199 – 1995 option code 718, running from VIN SS820061 – SS820259 (Produced between February 1994 and June of 1994)
An interesting note, not a single NA 1995 968 cab was a true 1995 (which would have been produced in the calendar model year of 1995 without the 718 code). Only 60 of the NA 1995 coupes were true 1995s (built after June of 1994).
The funny thing about the 718 cars is that they reflect the prior model year’s options and offerings. Take for example a 1994 968 painted in F9 Amethyst. This is a 92-93 standard metallic paint color offering but there are a few 1994 NA 968 coupes and cabs in that color out there. That is because they are 718 cars, originally 1993s built before July of 1993 reflecting MY 1993 offerings and features (such as the 944-style bucket seat scenario offered above). The only thing 1994 about them is the “R” in the VIN (R indicating 1994). Because of this, you will see me refer to 1994 968s as early and late models with early 94s having the option code 718 and late 94s not having it.
If your 968 doesn’t have option code 718 then it was truly manufactured in its model year.
I have seen at least one case where an option code 718 968 was registered as the wrong year car because someone looked at the build date on the door jamb sticker to determine the car’s model year and not the specific letter in the VIN (10th position, N=92, P=93, R=94, S=95). It should also be noted that slow sales impacted the early nineties 911 and 928 series and option code 718 was utilized for the same reason with these model lines as well.
See the “model year differences” section of the site for a more thorough list of differences between 718 and non-718 cars in a given model year.
The photo above shows a NA 968 Vehicle Information Sticker of a 718-optioned 968. Note the 718 option code. This 1995 968 coupe was produced in June of 1994.
Information provided by Jeff Coe, PCA 968 Registry, Credit accordingly