Internally designated as the type-964, Porsche’s third-generation 911 was introduced in 1989 to replace its G-series car, which had been in production since 1974. While retaining the understated good looks of its predecessors—albeit updated for the 1990s—the 964 represented a significant technical step forward, not least as the first production Porsche offering both four-wheel drive twinned with Tiptronic transmission.
Powered by the all-new, air-cooled 3.6-litre type-M64 engine, the 964 boasted 250 horsepower and genuine 250 km/h-plus performance. Such pedigree necessitated an ingenious retractable rear spoiler to aid high speed stability, and the replacement of the G-series’ torsion bar suspension with a more modern coil-sprung system. Production commenced with the four-wheel-drive Carrera 4 and its two-wheel-drive Carrera 2 sibling followed in 1990.
Believed to be one of just 1,329 Carrera 4 Targas constructed, this five-speed manual version was finished in Grand Prix White with contrasting grey leather interior. Destined for the all-important US market, the car was delivered to its first owner on 24 July 1991 via Riverhead Porsche of Long Island, New York. Curiously, the accompanying Carfax report indicates a relatively active early life with just under 21,000 miles covered by the time of its first mandatory safety inspection in September 1998. However, its use appears to have reduced considerably thereafter. Indeed, by the time of its final US-based inspection in September 2011, the car had still only covered 30,305 miles; a remarkably low figure for a car that was then 20 years old.
In 2012, its first owner sold the car to a Hamburg-based collector who promptly embarked upon the necessary metric instrument cluster conversion for EU compliance purposes. In October of that year, a first European service was carried out. By 2014, the car had been acquired by its next owner in Erfurt, Germany, in whose custody it would remain for the next three years. During this time, it was serviced by Porsche Zentrum Erfurt; the most recent being in November 2015. The car was acquired by the vendor in December 2017 and its odometer reading at the time of cataloguing was 52,752 kilometres.
Surpassed in rarity only by the Carrera 2 Speedster and Carrera 4 Jubilee Coupé, the Carrera 4 Targa maintains a select position in the context of type-964 production. Unsurprisingly, it remains highly coveted as a result.