Update: The rare 1992 Porsche 968 Coupe just sold for $164,400, basically new 911 Turbo money. This sets a new record for the 968 model on Bring a Trailer and is likely the most expensive such model ever auctioned, since the price is double what Hagerty says a mint condition model can cost.
Everybody knows that Porsche makes sports cars with engines at the rear, loosely speaking. However, 40 years ago, the model range looked almost completely different. Most likely, you know about the 924 and the 928. But have you ever seen the Porsche 968?
We think the Porsche 968 is the least known out of all the modern vintage sports car (from major manufacturers). Most people have never even seen a picture of this coupe, so this particular model will resemble a mix between the 944 and 928, with a splash of 959 supercar.
And in a way, that’s precisely what the Porsche 968 is, a 944 that’s been designed to look like its expensive cousins. So how did the ultra-profitable make of the Taycan EV and Cayenne ever decide to sell this odd sports car?
Well, you probably know that Porsche was struggling financially for a really long time. The 1980s were particularly rough for the Stuttgart automaker, and they attempted all sorts of things to stay afloat, including trying to replace the 911.
It’s often said that the Boxster was the vehicle that saved the company until Porsche could develop mass-market successes like the Panamera and Cayenne. However, the 968 is what kept them in business until all that could happen.
The car traces its roots to 1976 and the dawn of the Porsche transaxle era. Water-cooled engines at the front powered gearboxes in the rear, totally different from the 911 and sacrilege for Porsche fans. However, the entry-level 924 powered by the Audi 100 engine was super-cheap and thus quite popular.
The 944 that followed dominated the 1980s sports car scene, but sales tanked towards the end due to the global economy. Porsche didn’t have the necessary cash to develop an all-new sports car from the ground up.
968, the pinnacle of transaxle Porsches
After a concept showing in 1991, the Porsche 968 was produced between 1992 and 1995 as the entry-level model in their range. This was right before the dawn of the mid-engined Boxster, which debuted in 1997. And so, this was the Porsche you got if you couldn’t afford something nice. However, it wasn’t all bad.
Displacement had steadily grown over the decades since the 924, and this 968 model had a 3.0-liter displacement. When turbocharged, this was the most powerful four-cylinder engine in the world at the time. It was the last Porsche with a four-cylinder until the Macan in 2014 and the last front-engined vehicle until the Cayenne in 2003.
In total, nearly 400,000 transaxle Porsches were produced, but the 968 was the least popular. Total production was only about 12,776 units. What we have here is a 1992 model, and that doesn’t make it particularly reare. But only 1,440 units were shipped to the United States and Canada that year, and we bet few had this stunning Amethyst Metallic purple paint.
The color continues inside, where you’ve got purple carpets, a purple dash, and a steering wheel. According to the seller, the purple 968 could be the only example ever produced with light gray cloth upholstery featuring Porsche logos and accented by magenta trim, carpeting, and floor mats. It’s almost like they’ve never been used over the past 30 years.
The bidders on Bring a Trailer seem to agree that this is an amazing find. With two days to go before the auction ends, the price currently sits at a respectable $76,000, which is pretty uncommon for a transaxle Porsche. What’s interesting is that this normal model is selling for similar money to the yellow Club Sport versions, which are rarer. The fact that it’s a coupe and has a manual also increases the value.
The “normal” Porsche 968, available as a coupe and roadster, was powered by an expanded version of the 944’s 2.5-liter engine. This new 3.0-liter had a 104 mm bore and a 88 mm stroke, producing 236 hp and 225 lb-ft (305 Nm) of torque.