I Chose To Trade My '84 930 Turbo for a '94 968 Cabriolet

I have been fortunate enough to have owned two Porsche vehicles in my life and loved both for reasons as varying as the models they were. Porsche loyalists who favor the legacy automaker's rear-engine models may disagree with which one I favored.
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My first was a 1984 930 Turbo that I purchased used back in 1989, only to trade it in for a new 1994 968 Cabriolet. The cars and purposes for owning the cars could not have been more different. The 930 was simply a 'chick magnet' for me and represented everything from youth to reckless abandoned. It served me well but was not the daily driver I needed as I aged and entered the real world. The 968 was just that; a step up in sophistication and luxury with the sensibility of a commuter car. In short, it was the only Porsche offering of a single family car, me being the only family member. The 930 served its purpose but was a bit one-dimensional and less timely.

The 930 was an absolute beast, raw in power and full of testosterone, evident even when parked alongside a curb; similar to the owner at the time. A scant, simple, and rather staid interior hid the creature within. My truly iconic 80's supercar was powered by a 3.3-liter turbocharged engine producing 282 HP (286 PS) and 287 lb-ft (389 Nm) of torque. A five-speed transmission guided the power to the rear wheels from 0-60 MPH (0-97 KPH) in 5.1 seconds, with a top speed of 260 KPH (162 MPH). With flared rear fenders and an ample spoiler, it arguably had the sexiest rear end in automotive history.

The 968 was my favorite by a long stretch and had a completely different look and feel. It had sex appeal and performance that Porsche owners have come to expect. Tucked between the production of the 944 and Boxster, the 968 only lasted from 1991 to 1995. A completely redesigned front end separated the 968 from its 944 predecessor, and an updated version of the 944 inline-four now displaced 3.0 liters and featured Porsche's new VarioCam variable valve timing system producing 237 hp and 225 lb-ft (305 Nm). The 6-speed manual transmission replaced the five-speed transmission found on manual 944 models.

What was so appealing about this car was its overall versatility. Despite the manual gearbox, the car maneuvered thru city traffic with little trouble, was an absolute pleasure on the highway, and especially impressive on the mountainous roads of Northern Arizona. The VarioCam motor accelerated with the ease and power of a nicely balanced front-engine car.

The 930 will never be forgotten for its sublime, intimidating, and aggressive look, a bulldog-like attitude. Sadly, the 968 will be faintly remembered as a 'go-between' in the Porsche lineage. Regardless, both models delivered in different ways and honored the legacy of an iconic carmaker. A line from Tom Cruise's 1983 film Risky Business comes to mind: "Porsche, there is no substitute."

From 1992 to 1995, Porsche would offer three models of the 968 in coupe and cabriolet. The 968 CS (Club Sport) was a lighter version of the 968 designed for track enthusiasts. The 968 Turbo S version offered the performance of 305 HP and a top speed of 282 KPH (175 MPH). The 968 Turbo RS came in two versions that were more powerful yet at 337 HP (341 PS) and 350 HP (355 PS).

Porsche ceased production of the 968 in 1995, selling less than 13,000 cars worldwide in a four-year span. This also brought an end to the company's popular front-engine bloodline that dated back over 20 years to the Porsche 924. The front-engine program remains the most successful line in Porsche history.
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