Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Peter Burgess

1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 4: the 911 gets expensive

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Peter BurgessMy Porsche 911 does what all old Porsches do, but especially if they are of the 964 (‘89-‘93) variety. They leak oil.

Driving along it really isn’t a problem, and when I covered a couple of thousand miles in France two summers ago I must have got 700 mile between top ups.

But standing still in the garage, it simply keeps on seeping out. So the plan was to try out Porsche’s new Classic Motor oil, aimed at older air-cooled cars. I have this hope, almost certainly misguided, that the new formulation will ease the drips.

My Porsche has been well away from the franchised network for fifteen years. I bought the 911 C4 coupe back in 1999 and JZ Machtech in Kings Langley have done a good job of keeping it in shape for a reasonable price.

But this time, what with the new oil and Porsche PR man Mike Orford joining in the fun, I had the oil change booked in at Porsche Hatfield. And while I was there, why not a 12,000 mile service? After all, the whole bill is just £540, cheap in the land of semi-exotic sports cars.

Included is the valuable Vehicle Health Check. I haven’t added it all up. I simply can’t. But I think it must be getting near £5k’s additional work, which is scary. The value of late air-cooled 911s may be drifting slowly upwards, but I’m not selling so it makes no real difference.

I had some tough decisions to make and I hope I made the right ones. £1,000 for a pair of front discs and pads seems, well, expensive so I have a plan B. JZ will do the same job for £625, with Porsche parts.

I have agreed to probably £1,000 worth of extra work, but need to find a solution to the stud that has snapped off in the cylinder head. It only supports an exhaust bracket. But £680 to replace the stud is a sticking point. Know anyone who can do that for a reasonable price?

Porsche dealers in the UK are pushing ahead with a ‘classic’ package to entice owners of older cars back into the workshops. They will get, I am sure, a very thorough job and their car will come out in fine fettle. There’s even a special labour rate for classics – £102 per hour.

If that makes you wince, well, new Porsche’s are charged £179 for an hour’s labour. When did that all happen?

The 911 is still in Porsche Hatfield, waiting for parts from Germany. I am in no rush. I am looking for someone to buy a grandchild.

Health check