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1990 964 Carrera 4 Import (Pandora's Box)


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Hi guys,

After casual lurking/ searching for a couple of years, I bit the bullet last month and purchased an old 964 from a seller in the UK. I have been looking at prices last couple of years and they are nuts - I was resigned to the fact that I would need to find an example that needed a fair bit of work to keep the initial outlay of cost down - by purchasing a cheaper car would mean no/less LCT and the amount I saved in cost prior to import would be money that I have up my sleeves to pour into mechanical and body work of which the car is likely to need a fair bit of both.

Prices for cars that are apparently sorted are north of £70000 and even with these examples there are sure to be costly issues required.

The car is a 1990 C4 in slate grey which is one of the few colours that I was after and probably my favourite. Didn't want red. The car has had at least a top end rebuild some time in the past and I suspect is probably going to need a full rebuild. It has over 200K miles on it. Books look pretty complete. There is also some visible rust in the usual spots and I am sure in some of the not so usual spots.

The plan for the car is to keep it for good, sorting out what absolutely needs to be fixed now so that I can drive it and get used to it (haven't driven a manual in years and even when I did it was only an occasional thing having grown up and learnt on auto). I would like to do some of the work myself, and learn as much as I can which I am hopeful will be a great (albeit expensive) long term project.

I am working through @MFX 's amazing videos and have bought a few of the books. I have absolutely no mechanical experience but am going to have a crack at some of the things within reason.

Car is currently on a big container ship sailing past the coast of Sierra Leone from what I can see and probably won't hit our shores till late February, early March.

I will no doubt be asking plenty of questions of the forum as things go and I apologise in advance if questions are stupid. Here are some pics:




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1 hour ago, MARTY said:

Congratulations on the purchase your car looks great. They are great cars to own and I miss my old one,I’m sure you’ll love it when it turns up.


Thanks Marty - I am prepared for the worst! But the way I see it - I plan to keep it - will work on it over the next few years and will be something I can hopefully pass onto my boys (now 7 and 9!)

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28 minutes ago, Carrera28 said:

That is a beautiful car, you must be dying for it to arrive in Australia 😎

It certainly looks pretty good from afar and I think a good place to start given the crazy price that these things are asking and what I paid for it - like I said, there will be a fair bit of work involved but that is OK. Those big container ships certainly take their time - I just hope the container doesn't fall off!

Here is a pic of the ship as it headed past the Isle of Wight:


Next stop is Singapore

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Looks like a great project. I love 964s and 993's. After spending so much time in the old cars, they are a much more refined place to be while still having the old character. 

That does seem to sit oddly high at the front, although it could be it was parked on a weird bit of ground? Enjoy the project, as tinkering is half the fun ;)

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12 minutes ago, MFX said:

Looks like a great project. I love 964s and 993's. After spending so much time in the old cars, they are a much more refined place to be while still having the old character. 

That does seem to sit oddly high at the front, although it could be it was parked on a weird bit of ground? Enjoy the project, as tinkering is half the fun ;)

Thanks Jeff - I know what you are saying about how it sits at the front - it does look a little weird. I think suspension upgrade will be at the top of my list of things to look at.

One of the main reasons why I even thought it remotely possible, to get a car like this is because of your great videos! I plan to address some of the rust too.

I hope you don't mind if I pick your brain from time to time.

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12 minutes ago, tomo said:

A bit unusual as it has a late model engine cover latch hole, the early models are round. :)

Good pick - the car was a V5 write off back when these cars were worth nothing in the UK and so deemed unrepairable by the insurers. The car was then repaired through a Porsche Official Body Repairer. I suspect that there may have been some chopping and changing in that rear end - nothing that can't be sorted out with and hammer and dolly!

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Not sure if you know but you can track the ship via Vesselfinder for free - loses AIS tracking when not near ports but pretty good. Interesting how long they have to wait out side the ports they visit.  My 964 arrived at Port Kembla last week - going through the quarantine queue so not long now!

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  • 2 months later...

Car arrived in Sydney a few weeks ago - now currently with BW Auto - caught up with Bob today - looks like the car is going to need a bit of work to get it on the road which is not really surprising considering what I paid for it. Bob seems to think that the body is in pretty good nick overall, but there is some leaking oil and he doesn't like the look of the brakes or suspension. I really just want to be able to get it registered and as much as I like the idea of trying to do it myself, I have to be realistic - he plans to drop the engine and begin the likely costly process of getting it on the road! Will keep you posted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The wait is over, congrats….having tracked a ship myself recently, it felt like forever waiting for it to arrive!

The car looks like a great project, I love Slate Grey, for me the right spec was no neg, so UK it had to be.  There are some amazing Slate builds on the Rennlist BBS thread…


If it’s anything like mine the rebuild will be extensive….but I have zero regrets right now….the car is so sorted, literally drives like a new 964, I can’t stay out of it.  Club reg won’t last long, I’ve clocked up 3K miles in a month 🤣.

The thing that hurt my budget was the Oil Cooling System, that added up pretty fast, and was the one thing I hadn’t planned for, it was literally a full replacement front to back.

I still have lots to do, paint, interior, wheels, sound system…all in good time.  

I’m so happy it’s on the road in time for some warm days, and I can enjoy it with confidence….what took Nineauto 4 months would have been impossible for me, the rust was just too severe…it was beyond me.

Best of luck with it all, can’t wait to see how she turns out…if I can help at all please shout out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK, so an update. Car arrived in one piece and now with mechanic. As expected, several areas of rust and some oil around the place. Next steps - engine has been dropped and will be inspected but likely to be at least a top end rebuild (no surprises) - depending on the state of things, may end up pulling the whole thing apart and inspect the cylinders and pistons.

Body being sent across to body shop - given the scattered areas of rust and unknown quantity, will probably go the whole hog and sand blast the body, to assess how bad it is, rust repair etc...

Looks like we are going all in.

Interested in members thoughts on what sorts of modifications recommended given we could be starting essentially from ground up.

I have some new KW coilovers as a start.

Car is going to be mainly street and prefer to keep it C4 as roads around me are not the best and weather can be dodgy so not interested in C2 conversion.

If pistons/cylinders need to be replaced, would it be worth upgrading to 3.8?

Should I consider turbo-look/ wide body conversion particularly if panels need to be repaired/ replaced? Is anything major required to be changed to accomodate this?


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Jeez, how long is a piece of string? 

 Just my  take.

 There's so much you could do with a blank canvas, yet it all depends on what YOU wanma do mate. If you like the look of a wide body then do that if you have the facility to be able to. The engine, well...the world is your oyster there, and @Mike D'Silva would be my first point of call to discuss that idea and what it'll probably cost. 

 If it was me, first up I'd be concentrating on the drive train and suspension/brakes plan to make it go, stop and handle as best as I could, as that will take a decent wedge of cash to sort out properly.

 There's no rules as to what you want to do with these cars and ignore the haters ( you will get some if you modify the body), yet if you do plan to sell it in the future, a standard bodied car with minimal or reversible modifications would attract a wider audience.

 Just do what YOU want, not what others perceive to be the correct path to take with your car


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Whoa - steady on fellas! After some useful suggestions! 😂

LeeM - know what you are saying about the widebody conversion - am very much leaning towards keeping it narrow bodied but the factory wide body cars do look great IMO. Case in point:


I would only really consider it if I end up having to replace rusted out panels anyway. Not interested in an RWB or anything like that. Very much want to keep it  pretty original.

And if the engine needs to be taken apart/parts need replacing anyone done a 3.8 and is it worth it for what is going to be a street car


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I have a friend with a built 3.8 in a 993 street car. Same same but different - if you know what i mean?

Very very nice thing to drive. Well worth the extra $$ he paid IMHO.

As for the WB/RWB/NB thing it's all personal - and thats what i was getting at above. 

F*(K what anyone else thinks - do it for you and do it in your style. Its Yours!





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If it was me I would follow the 'GTS' path.  I would go through the car and improve everything by a couple of per cent.  The overall car will be more than the sum of its parts and be a considerable step up through small improvements in every part of the car.

Standard looking 964 is a nice looking car so it is just about up speccing everything and making it fettled and improved but not over the top.

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Yes, thanks guys,

This one is going to be a keeper (hopefully) as I know I am going to have to poor money into it and will not make it back,

I have an 8 and 9 yo boy (and 12 and 13yo girls) and would plan to have it passed down when I am old and decrepit (probably not too far off!)

Keep the suggestions coming!

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You want suggestions?

OK - here is my Bucket list for a 964........ 

Keep it Narrow
RS Front lip + Air Intakes + LED headlights + No Badges.
1/2 Cage in Contrasting colour
Big Brakes to match^^^^
Tear Drop Mirrors + Sunroof Delete

Different wheels (not BBS or Cup 2's) but something with LIP and stuffed right out to the edges of the guards. 18's to piss everyone off.
LOW... like proper low.
Did I MENTION LOW? And in all seriousness - probably Air Ride.... Yes i am that guy.

Plus all the suspension goodies with NO rose joints. 

3.8L (but i'd personally try and stuff a 3.6 TT motor and somehow have no wing.....)

Recaro Sportsters + RSD + Lightweight Carpet + Gauge faces to match the cage/brakes.
Contrasting Trim - if you were keeping the grey - a deep plum/burgundy with white/silver stitch.
I LOVE what Carbone are doing atm...... www.carbone.pl


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Having had a 964 c2 5 speed manual, They are a pretty good bit of Kit, But lack H/P . The pony,'s my 996 has around the 320 mark would be perfect  in the 964 and that 6th gear of the 993. You already have a set of KW's enjoy the build :)

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