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From 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 to 1989 911 SC: why these are the 911s to buy now

From under-the-radar collector status to realistic daily-drive prospect, the G-Series is the air-cooled 911 of the moment. As it hits its 50th anniversary, Porsche authority. Steve Bennett tells us why.

Editor's comment
The 911s that make sense

When I was a pup – well, probably in my teens, which means my opinions were even more virulent yet even more unfounded – I didn’t much care for new Porsche 911s. You couldn’t blame me: I was born in 1968, so when I was most full of revolution and rebellion and looking for a system to smash, 911s were at their new-establishment peak, that thankfully brief window in the mid-80s when all the cliches were formed. Red-braces wearing yuppie a-holes going backwards into hedges in matching Guards Red impact-bumper 911s while swilling from a bottle of Pol was real (though perhaps rather less frequent than the tabloids made out). As was the 911’s guilt by association, sadly.

By the time I got into the classic car magazine game in the mid-90s, the big-bumper generation of Porsche was still unfashionable, all too often the cars were uncared for and poorly maintained daily drivers at the bottom of their value curve. They were what you bought if you couldn’t afford a ‘proper’ Porsche.

To those of us of a certain age, I guess they still are to a lesser degree, but to an only slightly younger generation of enthusiasts, the one that has also embraced all those 1970s shades of brown that still make my blood curdle – russet, sable, oatmeal et al – there seems to be no trace of that stigma. Of course, you suspect that they might change their minds the moment they have the wherewithal to test drive a 1968 S, but for now I am quite jealous that they can enjoy the later cars without all the social baggage that used to come with them, used to spoil them. That’s partially a comment on how quickly society and perceptions move on in the modern world, but mainly it’s testament to the longevity of a brilliant design.


Heck, the cars we are rightly celebrating this issue were in production so long that they easily outlived their own negative stereotypes in period. They emerged in 1974 and bowed out in 1989, they pretty much saw off their own succession plan when the front-engined cars came and went, and now they seem far more related to what came before than to what came after.

After all, with all the world’s 964s being hoovered up for restomods and 993s being sufficiently evolved to be an entirely different car, these G- (and on) Series 911s are suddenly looking extremely appealing in their own right rather than merely as an alternative to something you can’t afford. In the words of the wise Glen Waddington: ‘It’s the only “purebred” 911 that still exists in reasonable quantities and for almost sane money.’
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1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 964

In Dave Goodwin’s pursuit of Porsche perfection, this 1989 964 Carrera 2 has undergone serious transformation...

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1989 Volvo 245 GLT

Volvo has announced the death of its estate cars in the UK. Stephen Bayley laments that loss with the iconically evergreen 245 wagon.

Editor's comment
STEPHEN BAYLEY
‘I am passionate about architecture and cars. Each is a design exercise involving human habitation and personal desire. With its robust structure and comfy chairs, I'd be happy to call a Volvo estate “home”. Even if it is a suburban home!'
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280bhp 2.0 ST170 engined 1989 Ford Orion 1600i Ghia Turbo

Will anyone save the increasingly obscure Orion? Don’t worry, Michael Deary’s on the case, and he’s brought a load of boost with him…

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1989 Porsche 911 Turbo S 930

Total 911 drives a special 930 given the ’S’ treatment by Porsche Exclusive. Is this the ultimate impact-bumper Turbo?

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1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage X-Pack Coupe

Arriving in 1986, the X-Pack was the final and most powerful evolution of the V8 Vantage model, firmly cementing Aston Martin as a member of the exclusive supercar club. We look at the model’s history before driving a recently restored example.

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Imported from Japan 1989 BMW M3 E30

In the quest to create his dream E30, Ariel Jaskiewicz took influence from the East and inspiration from the past.

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770bhp reworked 1989 Volkswagen Golf Rallye Mk2 gets 4Motion 2.5T

What do you do if you love the visuals of the Golf Rallye but you long for the unique sound of a five cylinder turbo? German VW fanatic, Marc Herbrik appears to have the answer…

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1989 Vauxhall Astra GTE MkII 16v

The Eighties has never been more popular – take a look Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, which topped charts in eight countries 37 years after its release. Netflix’s Stranger Things TV series has thrust the Eighties aesthetic straight into the mainstream, with a younger audience warming to the fashions, music – and, of course, the cars.

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1989 BMW 318is Coupe E30

Australian Andrew Burke is no stranger to the world of top-level modified BMWs, but his latest (and maybe final) build is the most insane of the lot.

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1989 Porsche 944 S2

Owned by a trio of fanatical petrolheads, this glorious Guards Red 1989 Porsche 944 S2 not only serves to bring joy to its owners when they get behind the wheel, but also helps increase awareness for a rare life-limiting condition...

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200mph 838bhp 1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth

After 20 years at the top and a decade since its last feature, this high speed Ford Sierra Cosworth is still pushing boundaries thanks to a new lease of life...

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Incredible 238whp 1989 BMW M3 2.5 E30

With a 2.5-litre engine under the bonnet, a dazzling Cardinal red interior, and a selection of perfect visual enhancements, this epic E30 M3 is nothing short of a masterpiece.

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1989 Pontiac Stinger

Foreseeing the boom in soft-road and outdoorsy leisure vehicles, Pontiac unveiled the Stinger in the Eighties. It was a concept car that foretold many of the trends that were to come in the following decades…

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Prince of Wales standard-looking 1989 Aston Martin V8 Volante with a Vantage engine

When the then Prince of Wales ordered a standard-looking Aston Martin V8 Volante but with a Vantage engine, 22 customers ordered similar cars, creating a now mythical series. We track down a rare example to explain the history and significance of the V8 Volante PoW.

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