Porsche 968CS Owner’s Update

I wish I had some new pictures, but I don’t, so this entry features some Porsche 968 ClubSports I picked up from the net, just to be different.

Last time I wrote about the car, I’d placed it up for sale. The decision was made reluctantly, but made nonetheless.

I’ve learned a few things since then. In no particular order:

Thing #1

One authority I spoke to reckons that my ClubSport must be one of the few (maybe the only) ClubSport sold in Australia without the much-revered MO30 upgrade. The MO30 upgrade is a suspension and braking kit. It includes thicker sway bars, different dampers and the brake kit off the Porsche 928 S4.

Porsche968CSWhiteNow, I have to say that I love the way this car drives, handles and stops. I think it’s fantastic and I can hardly believe that it can be better. Apparently, it can. Much better, according to everything I’ve heard.

Addendum – Ian Brade’s drawn my attention, via comments, to something I should have mentioned when I first wrote this article. The benefits of the MO30 upgrade are not just hearsay. The first 944 I drove when I was looking for my car, a 944 S2, had the MO30 upgrade and the handling and braking were absolutely amazing. This is a worthwhile upgrade.

I priced up the parts for the MO30 upgrade and the suspension alone will cost over $2,000. Thankfully the previous owner already upgraded the front dampers. I’ve got adjustable Koni coilovers up front. To complete the suspension upgrade, I would have to order new rear dampers and the thicker front and rear sway bars, as well as associated hardware to fit these parts.

I’ve also priced the brakes and let’s just say that I need more advice on this. The figure I came up with was scary. We’re talking sell-the-brumby-and-you-still-don’t-have-enough scary. I think there are some ways around that, though.

Thing #2

When I had the car in for service (for nearly 2 weeks!) I became quite ambivalent about it. I had the Alfa Sprint to drive, as well as the Brumby. I didn’t feel like I’d missed it that much and when I got the 968 back it didn’t feel like that much of ‘an event’.

IMG_0362Then Mrs Swade and I took the car on a road trip for a few days and I was reminded just how good this car is to drive. It’s outstanding – even without the tricked up suspension and brakes. Once again, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to buy it and enjoy it. Owning a car that’s designed with so much focus is not something I ever envisaged and I was a little foolish to treat it with disdain.

I’ve tried to drive it as much as possible since then and I’m enjoying it more and more.

——

Conclusion:

Of course, the natural conclusion to this is that I’ve removed the for sale advertisement. I’m going to keep this car and do everything I can to enjoy it more and more.

The MO30 suspension parts have been ordered and will be on their way to Australia soon. I plan to have the rear end lifted a little when they’re installed, to help with the driveway clearance issues. I don’t think an extra inch on the back will curb the car’s enthusiasm at all. In fact, with the improved rear suspension setup, I’m sure it’ll be even more eager.

I’m also on the lookout for some genuine 968CS seats. They’re as rare as rocking-horse poo but there has to be a pair out there somewhere. I’ve got time.

And eventually – after a lot of advice on what’s really needed – I hope to do the brake upgrade, too. I want to make this car the best it reasonably can be, without spending stratospherically stupid amounts of money. It’s no myth that a 968CS like mine is capable of keeping pace with some of the latest generation Porsche hardware (see below). I’d like to give my car that chance if I can – to make it the best 968 it can be, bearing in mind my budget.

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14 Comments

  1. Swade……you have finally come to your senses…..I hate to say “I told you so”, but I did tell you to get out and drive it, and I am glad you did.

    You have a great car there and it is well set up already and they are made to drive and enjoy.

    We did a video a couple of years ago for TRE and a 911 super light weight they had just done for a wealthy owner/collector…..this was a 1 year $100,000+ restoration. The car was driven maybe 20 miles since finished and and the TRE staff was very reluctant to drive it before they shipped it the the east coast of the USA. This wonderful was headed for a carpeted, air conditioned garage to be towed to shows occasionally. Very sad existence for a great example.

    Here is what I am talking about

    this is an exceptional very lightweight 911.

    I just hit the big 70 last weekend so I have vowed to drive my 1973 as much as possible. It is an old car but so delightful and it is made to be driven hard. I will NEVER sell it…..my kids will have to fight over it when I am gone!!

    1. ‘Come to his senses’ or taken leave of them? (with due respect to all, I’m defending the counter point of view)

      I bet there was a time, not so long ago, when Mr Swade had never heard of an MO30 upgrade. And along comes an aficionado who suggests, with the best of intentions, that the car is less than it could be. More-over, the listener is left feeling the car is less than it should be…

      I’m struggling to stay with this one to be honest. I’m someone who can be very bitten by enthusiasms myself, having spent hard-to-justify amounts on cycling (and cars) in the past. In retrospect I’ve come to realise that some of those decisions weren’t the wisest I could have made. Steven, you have said plainly how fantastic your 968CS is in its existing format and how much you already get out of it. You also mentioned your ambivalence towards it when it was temporarily out of sight…you shouldn’t feel guilty about that, maybe you should listen to that voice instead?

      This P-experience has already come at no small cost: changing tyres on and off for club days, the driveway saga – should he move house for his car? Exorbitant servicing costs with parts which are unreasonably hard to source and long in their delivery times. It is already a clear case of agony and ecstasy. I don’t think anyone who reads your blog has a moment of doubt about your level of commitment to motoring. I would put it out there that most would also realise this isn’t the last car you are ever going to own…why not just enjoy it as it is and let those upgrades become someone else’s struggle with their conscience?

      I realise the decisions are made and it’s a bit of a moot point at this stage but in 5 years time when you are driving down the channel in your 73 Fulvia HF, that goes up and down your drivewaywithout a thought, will it all still have been worth it?

      1. Fair points, Ian. And fairly made.

        I should have pointed out in the article, however, that I’ve driven an MO30 equipped car. It was the 944 S2 I drove before I bought my 968 and the handling and braking – especially the braking – were amazing. It’s not me looking at some candy and trying to find ways to spend some cash. These are genuine improvements that will not only enhance the vehicle, but enhance it’s value, too.

        I know from prior experience that if I drive the car more, I’ll get more attached to it. That may involve a move of house simply to make vehicles more accessible (but not only for that reason, there are a bunch of reasons why our house doesn’t suit our lifestyle any more).

        And yes, the parts issue….. I got another email from the supplier overnight telling me they’ll be an extra three weeks as they have to come from Germany. And they’ll cost 20% more as a result.

        I’m going to check with another supplier today.

        That HF will come one day. Hopefully I’ll have the daily choice between it, a 968 and maybe a 928 and Sonett as well 🙂 🙂 . One can dream.

  2. ” I didn’t feel like I’d missed it that much and when I got the 968 back it didn’t feel like that much of ‘an event.

    Then Mrs Swade and I took the car on a road trip for a few days and I was reminded just how good this car is to drive.”

    I know the feeling. I used to drive my S5 to work (only 3.3 miles/5.3km), but after it got “tagged” twice in our parking garage, and cost me USD$500.00 each time to get fixed, I now only drive it on weekends.

    I am “forced” to drive my ’90 900 SPG to work instead. 😉

    And after 5 days of not driving the S5, I am quickly reminded of just how much I love driving it. 🙂

    We are taking a 3 day, 500 mile/805km drive with it tomorrow…can’t wait!

  3. Having followed the saga, I’m pleased with where you’re at Swade. To play a mild Devils Advocate: I think still more focus (ie sell some of the other cars…) will bring you even more joy. Choices are nice but they also spoil us.

  4. in this months unique cars JB is taking a white cs for a test drive…

    1. Yes, funnily enough, I happened on that too – yesterday while in the post office.

  5. Many years ago my best friend’s uncle gave me a ride in his red 924. I didn’t care what model it was. It was a PORSCHE!! Period! It didn’t hurt being red either….
    It was supple, it was zippy, it growled when pushed and it had that smell.
    Keep the Car, enjoy it. Love it and smile. Think of the boy inside, think of all those who will never get to sit in one, drive or even touch one. Think of the rest of the automotive world who think that automotive excellence is driving an Astra in the wet. Sell the car and you will regret it for decades. Do the upgrades and get the car to where you want it to be, and drive the thing. A lot. Don’t treat it with kid gloves and don’t worry about odometer anxiety as it ages.

  6. Swade, where did you get the Goodyears fitted? Thinking about them for my 9-3. Thanks, saabill

  7. Thanks Swade, I have a brand new set of 18’s to fit and 460 Nm that needs some grip!

  8. Like the video, one circuit i would love to drive. My CS was fully rose jointed/bearings/solid metal bushing, 270bhp etc. If you drop me a mail i will share the spec and send you a few more photos.