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When we came across this driver quality, Guards Red over Black Leather 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet here on Craigslist in Princeton, New Jersey earlier this week, we knew we wanted to feature it on Sportscar Saturday. The current caretaker for the past 23 years and second owner currently has his 911 listed for $34,995 which, based on the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool, is about $3,500 less than the #3 “Good” estimate of $38,500.
Porsche marked the 21st anniversary of its venerable 911 in 1984 with the launch of 3.2 Carrera designed to replace the SC. Save for a new dashboard design with larger air conditioning vents in 1986, The 3.2 Carrera is almost indistinguishable from the SC with the biggest clue being the fog lights were now integrated into the valance panel underneath the front bumper. The big news for the “new” Carrera was its heavily revised 3.2 liter flat-six air-cooled engine that in addition to an improved timing chain tensioner system, driving refinement and reliability through an upgrade of the fuel and ignition components to Bosch’s L-Jetronic with Motronics 2 DME (Digital Motor Electronics) system. Another big news for this generation 911 was the introduction of the full convertible model such as the example featured here. The 1988 model featured here also benefits from the more stout Getrag G50 five-speed manual combined with a bump in horsepower to 217 the year before. In the late eighties, emissions, noise, and safety regulations were starting to take their toll on the aging 911 design, so the 3.2 Carrera produced from 1984-1989 represents the last iteration of the original car.
The second owner for the past 23 years describes his 108K mile 911 as “near mint” that has “never had salt on the car” as it has been stored indoors every winter. The seller provides a number of details of the typical maintenance work completed and the mileage it was carried out. You can find all of that information in his post as well on a couple of items in his description. First, the seller claims his transmission was upgraded to the better Getrag G50 during a clutch replacement. We’re confused by that statement as our understanding is that all 911s started getting that transmission in 1987. Second, the first thing we would do is remove the performance chip and replace it with the factory original before we left his driveway as these can end up doing more harm than good. We would also confirm whether the second owner still has the original radio and wheels he replaced with the nice “Cup” style wheels he currently has on the car. Third, we’re disappointed he converted the convertible top to manual operation, so be sure to interview the seller to confirm whether that was due to cost or other reasons.
Those minor sticking points aside, this appears to be a nice driver-quality example in the popular 80s color combination. If a thorough pre-purchase inspection by a Porsche certified technician checks all the right boxes on this car, you’ll have a wonderful sports car in the classic Porsche style for years to come. Good luck with the purchase!
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