- Porsche review
- Porsche 968 Club Sport
We takes a vacation down a somewhat muggy memory lane with a 1994 Porsche 968 Club Sport
“It’s not a mild exact car, by any means. It’s most likely the polar opposite to driving something such as a Lotus Elise, so you want to actually manhandle it. So, it’s almost a TVR with a completely different world of finesse: you are able to fling it in bends and it’s just beautifully neutral”
The above is a description from the driver’s seat of a Porsche 968 Club Sport, among Stuttgart’s more notable entry-level versions and successor into the great Porsche 944. From the early ’90s, because of another recession, gaudy overpriced sportscars were decidedly un-de rigeur, and firm in-fighting — plus a bit of terrible press — supposed Porsche discovered itself overlooking the doldrums. The then-new Porsche 968 was being slated to be ‘a bit dull’. But then in December 1992 a newer, more lightweight and decidedly more badass Porsche 968 — that the Club Sport — was wheeled into a baying public, which immediately consumed it up and took said sports coupe into its heart.
Unsurprisingly, some 22 years after it first hit on the tarmac, the Porsche 968’s stripped out, even more lively Club Sport counterpart remains among the most desirable of Porsche’s exclusive front-engined versions. Its heritage, its performance, and its pull as a ‘appropriate Porsche’ is hard to resist. Such proved the case for Marcus Siddons, well-spoken gent and owner of the 1994 Porsche 968 CS you see below and above. And which today, we’re here to shoot.
Unusually for this season, today is proving that the scorcher, crankandpiston.com photographer Arun and that I blinking heavily under our shades and finding solace in the shadows. The heat though doesn’t appear to possess dinted Marcus’ enthusiasm, and he’s more than pleased to dive to the whats, whys, and wherefores of the 968 Club Sport although I catch my breath again.
“I’d always yearned to have one since I was tiny, reading car magazines,” Marcus explains. “There have been quite a few in the UK but they had all been tracked to death. Then one day I had been looking for out the classifieds here, watched what I believed was mint Club Sport. Turned out it was. It’s a Japanese spec, so it lived in Tokyo. Then a chap here — who had a couple different Porsches I believe — had left it in a lock-up in Al Quoz for a couple of years, that’s where I discovered it. I purchased it and then on the place with a handshake.”
Stage one whole: that the 968 CS was Marcus’s pocket. Then came point two, the restoration. Despite the Porsche being mint…
“I am a total perfectionist with these items, so over the last two and a half years I’ve slowly ticked off every little job that was irritating me personally”, Marcus continues. “The final was our friends at Dentmaster who arrived and took a very small dint from the bonnet, which probably nobody would notice but that I understood was there.”
Therein lies an example of Marcus’ devotion to the ’94 968 CS. And that might only be the first step. Work on the interior comprised removing ‘some horrible cheap version of 3M screening onto the rear windscreen’ and substituting it. Small scratches in the paintwork have been eradicated, such as repainting the entire roof. Miniscule scuffs into the bodywork have received similar treatment. The largest was to include, notably the suspension.
“That was the major one, using the suspension refreshed. To be fair I deliberated for quite a few months before finally got it done by Alex Renner Motors. That was quite a frightening one, and by my standards that means expensive!”
The effort — and money — has been well worth it though, a beaming Marcus nods. Fresh outside the mill in 1994, the 1335kg Club Sport (down 50kg to a standard 968) boasted a front-engined three-litre twin-cam four-cylinder — that the strongest naturally aspirated unit at that time — which produced 240bhp. Said unit was mated into a six-speed guide transmission, rear-mounted at the interest of perfect(ish) fat distribution. Recaro bucket seats, dropped suspension and 17-inch wheels in the 911 finish the ‘phwoar’ variable. And all of this, quite remarkably, still looks new.
“What amazes me, and actually satisfies me around mid-90s Porsches, is that you could pick out any little component and it looks like it’s new. I had been considering the boot latches the other day and they look impeccable. It’s the same under the engine bay. I’ve experienced, owned and driven plenty of lovely cars before but I can not think of any where the parts have survived this well. Whilst a possession proposal, the 968 CS is a great prospect.”
A chance that, despite Marcus being a part of Porsche Club UAE, seldom hits the trail today: his first such occasion, only one week later purchase, finished at 1am at the Yas Marina Circuit with a broken clutch. In fact, so keen is Marcus to conserve his ’94 coupe that it’s new house is a lock-up in his native UK, under the watchful eye of his dad until this time Marcus himself yields.
“That really is an oft-used term, but that is actually a ‘automobile for lifetime’ and I’d like to think it’s going to be,” he clarifies. “It’s the type of car I’d adore my son to get in 25 years since — and, much over-used — I sincerely don’t think that they make them like that anymore.”
Certainly not. Beneath the beating sunshine we’ve all started to wilt, and also the Porsche 968 Club Sport has barely broken sweat. Nor should it. It’s badass, remember?
Porsche 968 Club Sport Photo gallery:
[Display as slideshow]
*ORIGINAL POST DATE: October 2013