I replied on the www.911uk.com forum to this chap who asked some common questions;
“I have asked so many people and have been given so much advice, but the more I ask, the more confused I become.
Ideally I want a Targa so I can get some air when the sun’s out – some people say they leak like mad, some people say they’re OK.
Ideally I want the car that’s cheapest to run, but can I really live with the heater, steering, brakes etc on a 3.2 or should I go for a 964 and swallow the bills (not take the kids on holiday etc.)
Some people say don’t touch a 964 with a barge pole, some people say a good one is fine.
WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME TO BUY MY FIRST 911! (17-18k to spend)
A 964 or a 3.2 Targa? Which to buy,”
A. “It is a common dilemma that new 911 buyers face, and I have discussed and hopefully helped people with this question many times.
Fact. The 3.2 is low risk, very durable and relatively simple to maintain.
Fact. Targa were made by Porsche for 25 years and went through a few minor changes. Therefore a Targa roof does work well, if no one has b—ered with it.
Fact. The best fitting Targa roof will do nothing more than let in a dribble in some circumstances (otherwise Porsche would not have kept making it).
So if you want a Targa (3.2 or 964) go for it and simply make sure the fit of the roof is good (especially around the top of the quaterlights).
Driving a 3.2. Have you driven one and did you like it? If so go for one of these. In fact even if you were not sure, but could manage it, go for one of these. They grow on you, you learn how to operate it, get the best from it and its no worry.
Unless you are a clumsy, heavy handed (footed) over adventurous driver it will be fine. If your the next Damon Hill perhaps a newer 911….but most folk are normal and simply drive to work and run around for pleasure……………and it will do that admirably.
Sure the 964 has some additional comforts, abs, power steering but for a ‘chap’ these are not essential. Many of the people on this forum will be very happy with driving a 3.2.
Heater…..there is no reason that you cant have the heater in a 3.2 working as Porsche intended, and when they do work right , they produce plenty of hot air. Additionally, when they go wrong its not too bad, a simple and robust system.
Whereas the 964 has a computer controlled system, which is good, but if the ecu goes down (and they can with out warning) its an expensive and a miserable fix.
Lastly, you have sufficient budget to buy a really really good 3.2 Targa, you should be able to buy a lightly lovingly used example with few niggles and loads of pleasure left in it, depreciation is slight (usually a large part of the running costs) and plenty of people to look after it.
Finding a truly good 964 for this money is much harder, and way more risky. The chances of buying a half decent example and finding you spend a lot on it over the next 12months are relatively high.
So… the 3.2 is low risk, available in great condition for your money, buy, enjoy, trade up later. A good 3.2 will insulate you from most of the pitfalls of first time 911 ownership.
What to do next……..Go for it.” Adrian Crawford.