Porsche 968 Club Sport – test-drive. It’s one of the best- handling Porkers ever. Quentin Willson, Market Guru.
Just walking over to the Speed Yellow Club Sport poses an instant question – how can all this cost just sixteen grand? There’s road presence in spades and an enticing come-and-drive-me attitude. Inside it really does feel stripped-out with glassfibre-shelled Recaros, no rear seats and wind-up windows.
Crank up the 3.0-litre, 240bhp twin-cam (the most powerful naturally aspirated production four-pot of its day) and it sounds gruff and revvy. The six-speeder snicks crisply into first, and then comes the first revelation – the steering is so sharp and direct. The ride may be firm but there’s an old-fashioned mechanical feel to the way the Club Sport moves. The flow of information through the pedals, wheel and seat is constant and there’s a fine and delicate poise when you change direction. The brakes – four-piston aluminium calipers and vented discs – are great too, scrubbing off speed without drama. No wonder the Porsche 968 Club Sport was voted Best Handling Car of 1993 and Performance Car of the Year.
The chassis balance is delightful; and when I pass 2000rpm things start flashing past quickly enough to feel that the claimed six-second 0-60 sprint sounds perfectly possible. So too does that impressive top end of 160mph. This feels a properly quick Porsche.
And it’s so much livelier than the dated and soft Porsche 944 it replaced. Porsche was shedding customers in the early Nineties recession and the idea of shaving five grand and 100kg off the new 968 to widen its appeal worked a treat and reconnected the company with its roots and the enthusiasts who generated so much goodwill.
Removing all the luxury stuff and lightening everything from the alternator to the wiring loom singled the CS out as a road-registered racer and made it one of the best-handling Porkers ever. Even Porsche was surprised. Sadly, it didn’t realise the minor miracle it had created or market it aggressively enough – none went to the US – and only 1923 found owners in the short three-year production run. The head count in the UK was tiny – only 173 right-hand-drive Club Sports were sold. Which ticks the rarity box nicely.
However, finding a real minter will take time. Too many saw frenzied service on track days and so cosseted, low-mileage cars are unusual. Expect a sub-50k-miler with Porsche GB history to be about £20,000 and they’re already beginning to rise. How ironic that, while the CS was originally cheaper than the standard 968, prices can now be up to three times more. Originality is everything; modified cars aren’t worth as much and make sure you have the flowing Sport Club side graphics and standard 17-inch Carrera Cup alloys. The supply of fine, well-kept Club Sports is probably down to double figures now so rising demand and growing awareness could, over the next couple of years, tickle prices of the very best cars up to 40 grand. Sobering thought, that.
Those Who Know will tell you that the CS is tough. As long as you change the cambelt every 40,000 miles, check that the camchain isn’t rattling, drop the gearbox oil every two years and expect leaks from the power steering and water pumps, not much serious goes wrong. Engines can run to 200k if properly looked after and that galvanised body hasn’t started to rust yet.
The most important check is for signs of roll-cage mountings, fire extinguishers and performance mods. Ex-track cars will be baggy and face big bills in the future: paying £5000-£7000 more to land a top car will save more in the long run. CS buyers are fussy and will pay top money only for cars in sparkling condition and with full history. Get it right and you’ll be buying not just one of the best driving Porkers ever but a guaranteed investment. Just don’t leave it too long.
1994 Porsche 968 Club Sport
2990cc in-line four-cylinder, Variocam dohc, Bosch Motronic fuel injection
|Max power (DIN)
240bhp @ 6200rpm
|Max torque (DIN)
|225lb ft @ 4100rpm
Front: independent, MacPherson struts, cast alloy control arms, anti-roll bar
Rear: independent, semi- trailing arms, torsion bars, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
Rack and pinion, power-assisted
6x15in steels or plastic, 195/70 VR15s
Vented discs front and rear
Wheelbase 94.5 in (2,400 mm)
Length 170.1 in (4,321 mm)
Width 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
Height 50.2 in (1,275 mm)