Preposterous Pricing: 1990 Porsche Carrera 4 Targa – SOLD!

by | Feb 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

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February 10, 2024, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “ClassiFIND” deleted their listing, so we can now call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Faded Targa folding top. Visible clear coat failure on the windshield header and rear bumper.  Faded hood paint.  A filthy oyster leather interior in need of a professional restoration. The original air bag equipped steering wheel replaced with a sport unit.  A silly wooden shifter knob that is completely mismatched with the rest of the car’s interior.  At best a Condition 3.5 example that can yours for the current asking price of $74,000.

Sadly, this is what the air cooled Porsche 911 world has become, particularly with 964 generation produced from 1989 to 1993.  It’s easy to forget with Porsche’s current success how close the company teetered with bankruptcy during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  An aging product line combined with a strong Deutsch Mark and a number of capable, less expensive Japanese high performance cars all conspired to bring Porsche’s to a tenth of what the company enjoyed just a decade earlier.  It’s also easy to forget how unloved the 964 generation 911 was when Porsche launched the car.

Sales were so bad that for the 1990 model year, Porsche reportedly made only 158 911 Carrera 4 Targas. This Dark Blue Over Oyster Leather 1990 Porsche Carrera 4 Targa for sale, last spotted on Craigslist in Palm Springs, California in January 2024, is one of those 158. With only 74,000 original miles, the seller notes their 964 is, “an excellent running car with lots of recent maintenance.” This may be an excellent running example, however as stated earlier, the noticeable cosmetics make this at best a car that somewhere between #4 “Fair” and #3 “Good” among knowledgeable enthusiasts.  With that knowledge in hand, here’s what condition-style pricing provided by the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool, the Collector Car Market Review, and the American Collector’s Insurance Value Scout Summary:

Checking the seller’s last $74,000 price against, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms seller’s ask may be at the lower end of this guide’s rolling twelve-month sales results, however the condition of the example offered is not commensurate with the asking price.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

The 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa is a timeless and iconic sports car that epitomizes the brand’s commitment to performance, precision engineering, and distinctive design. As the last model year of the 964 generation, this particular variant holds a special place in Porsche enthusiasts’ hearts, blending classic aesthetics with modern advancements.

One of the most striking features of the 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa is its instantly recognizable silhouette. The 911’s distinctive sloping roofline and sleek bodylines are complemented by the characteristic Targa bar, a stainless steel roll hoop that serves both as a safety feature and a design element. The Targa variant is renowned for its removable roof panel, providing drivers with the exhilarating experience of open-top motoring while maintaining the structural rigidity and safety standards of a coupe.

Under the rear hood, the 1990 Carrera 4 Targa houses a horizontally opposed, air-cooled 3.6-liter flat-six engine. This powerplant produces an impressive 247 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque, propelling the car from 0 to 60 mph in just over 5 seconds. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, allowing drivers to engage in the art of true sports car driving – shifting gears with precision and control.

The Carrera 4 designation signifies that this model features Porsche’s all-wheel-drive system, a technological marvel that enhances traction and stability. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system ensures that power is distributed seamlessly between the front and rear axles, optimizing performance and handling in various driving conditions. This feature not only enhances the 911’s performance but also provides a sense of confidence and control to the driver.

The chassis and suspension of the 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa are finely tuned to deliver a dynamic and responsive driving experience. The sophisticated independent suspension system, combined with anti-roll bars, provides sharp handling and nimble responsiveness. The steering is precise, offering a direct connection between the driver and the road. These attributes make the Carrera 4 Targa a joy to drive, whether navigating twisty mountain roads or cruising along the open highway.

The interior of the Carrera 4 Targa is a testament to Porsche’s commitment to driver-focused design and luxury. High-quality materials, attention to detail, and ergonomic placement of controls create an inviting and functional cockpit. The supportive and comfortable seats, upholstered in premium leather, offer an ideal balance of comfort and lateral support during spirited driving.

Technological features in the 1990 Carrera 4 Targa include a sophisticated climate control system, power windows, and a premium audio system. While these amenities add to the overall comfort, the emphasis remains on the driving experience. The iconic five-dial instrument cluster provides vital information at a glance, reinforcing the driver-centric nature of the Porsche 911.

In terms of aesthetics, the 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa exhibits timeless design elements that have become synonymous with the brand. The wide rear wheel arches, the signature round headlights, and the sculpted bodywork contribute to the car’s enduring appeal. The Targa roof, with its removable panel and wraparound rear window, not only enhances the visual allure but also underscores the model’s versatility.

The 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa stands as a testament to Porsche’s commitment to blending performance, style, and engineering excellence. Its distinctive Targa design, potent flat-six engine, all-wheel-drive capabilities, and finely tuned chassis make it a sought-after classic among automotive enthusiasts. Whether on the open road or parked as a showpiece, the 1990 Carrera 4 Targa continues to capture the hearts of those who appreciate the artistry and performance of a true sports car.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel features this 1989 test drive of the then new 1989 964 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe:

There’s a reason this author owns a Porsche Boxster and a 928, but not a 911: I simply do not like driving an air-cooled 911.  I prefer my car’s handling to be very balanced with no surprise snap oversteer to always be thinking about coming out of every turn.  I’m not knocking air cooled Porsche 911s; they are just not my cup of tea.  To be fair, I was much more into these cars when one could be had for the low $20s.  Seventy-four large for an example in need of new paint and an interior is simply too rich for my blood.

Yes, one could make the argument that a fresh quality paint job combined with a professional interior restoration might be worth the estimated $25K in today’s air cooled 911 market. Knowing the estimated cost to bring this 964 era 911 back to like new Concours condition might not be the great investment it once was just a couple of years ago. The air cooled Porsche 911 bubble has been going on for nearly ten years now, so its just a matter of time before it finally bursts.  There are simply way too many alternatives to spend your hard earned $74K on a classic sports car than this one. Unfortunately, I’ll likely be proven wrong again when it comes to the air cooled Porsche market.

If you are serious about buying this 911 Carrera 4 Targa, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their 964 Porsche featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Original Paint dark blue metallic with 74k Original Miles .
Excellent running car with lots of recent service , It not perfect the paint shows wear and would need paint in some areas.
The upholstery is original and would need deep cleaning with new carpets .
3.6Liter 5 Speed Manual , no rust no accidents.


Clean CA Title in hand .
Serious buyers only
Email only

Paint or Patina: What would you do with this 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Targa for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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