The 1992–95 Porsche 968 is finally getting some love
The 1992–95 Porsche 968 is enjoying a lengthy surprise-and-delight campaign that has gained significant momentum in the last couple of years. Better late than never, people.
The 968 is the pinnacle of Porsche’s long-running front-engine, water-cooled, four-cylinder series (successor to the 944 and prior 928) but Porsche engineers didn’t just make a few changes and call it good. They threw themselves into the project, ultimately replacing 80 percent of the 944’s mechanical components and creating a sports car that could stand on its own.
The 968’s surprise—serious performance and value—is also its delight.
“Most of the car’s fans will tell you that the 968 is seriously underrated, and they have a point,” says Hagerty Valuation Editor Andrew Newton. “They look great, they’re quite rare, they’re well engineered, and they’re pretty quick. Up until 2015–16, they were pretty cheap, too. Although they’ve been on the rise for a few years, they still cost the same or less than their V-8 928 cousins (depending on the model), and they’re more fun to drive.”
The 1992–95 Porsche 968 shares the front-engine/rear-transaxle layout of its predecessor, preserving its impressive—and trademark—50/50 weight distribution. In addition to its predictably responsive handling, the 968 received a 3.0-liter DOHC inline-four that produces 236 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission (a Tiptronic automatic was also available), the 968 accelerates from 0–60 of 6.1 seconds and offers a top speed of 156 mph. Turbo S models (305 hp) go from 0–60 in 4.9 seconds; top speed is 175 mph.
The 968’s styling, courtesy of original 924 designer Harm Lagaay, includes a 928-esque front end, unlike hidden pop-up headlamps of the 944. Inside is everything you’d expect from Porsche, as well as something you wouldn’t: room enough in the rear (when the rear seats are folded down) to transport a bicycle, camping gear, or the family dog—even if it’s an Alaskan Malamute.
And with a median #3-condition (Good) value of $17,550, it’s also affordable, even though it’s fairly rare. Only 4665 coupes and cabriolets came to the U.S. in four years.
Oddly enough, Newton says, “We’ve seen the other transaxle Porsches—like the 924s, 944s and 928s—at auction regularly, along with just about every other kind of Porsche. But the 968 has been curiously absent for the most part.”
That may change as 968 values rise. In fact, already on our radar is a 1995 model that’s set to cross the block at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction. We won’t be the only ones watching closely. The recent Hagerty Vehicle Rating confirms the 968 is growing hotter.
What is the Hagerty Vehicle rating? It’s a data-driven 0–100 scale that indicates what’s hot and what’s not. The HVR takes into account the number of vehicles insured and quoted through Hagerty, along with auction activity and private sales results. A 50-point rating indicates that a vehicle is keeping pace with the market overall. A rating above 50 indicates above-average appreciation; a vehicle with a rating below 50 is lagging. The HVR is not an indicator of future collectability.
The Porsche 968 has a current Hagerty Vehicle rating of 72, up from 68 the last time around. That puts it in a tie for 128th, placing it ahead of 1136 vehicles.
The biggest factors for the 968’s rise are its Hagerty Price Guide values and an increase in the number of insured vehicles and insurance quotes. HPG values have been consistently on the rise since late 2017; significant bumps include a 16-percent jump in average #2 (Excellent) values in September 2017, 37 percent in January 2018, and 13 percent in May 2018.
Contrary to the old adage that “the price goes up when the top goes down,” 968 coupes are more valuable than cabriolets, but that wasn’t always the case. Prior to the January 2018 HPG update, the cabriolet was worth about 20 percent more than a coupe, but with the update it flipped to the coupe being worth 7.5 percent more. The coupe is currently valued at a 22 percent premium, on average, compared to a cabriolet. From a drivability standpoint, that makes sense since the coupe is more rigid and handles better than the cabriolet.
As always, the very best examples bring the highest prices. A 968 in #1 (Concours) condition has an average value of $50,500, an 87 percent increase in two years.
After a bit of a rollercoaster ride on the insurance side, the number of 968s insured through Hagerty has increased 30 percent in three months. Quotes have also increased, particularly among Baby Boomers, and the gap has grown considerably. Boomers make up 61 percent of quotes over the last 12 months, up from 53 percent in September 2018. Gen Xers, on the other hand, are at 27 percent—down from 34 percent five months ago. Millennials make up just 4 percent of quotes, despite the 968 being a relatively inexpensive Porsche.
The highest paid for a 968 was $346,000 for a 1992 Turbo RS at Amelia Island in 2012, but that car had an international racing pedigree. A more “typical” 1994 Porsche 968 sold for $61,040 at Scottsdale last month, which is nearly $11K higher the car’s current #1 value.
All signs say the 968 is finally getting its due.