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While many air-cooled 911s are priced out of most enthusiasts’ reach, not all of them bear sky-high prices. Affordable vintage Porsches are out there; it’s just a matter of picking the ‘right’ model year and spec. Shopping amongst the ‘impact-bumper’ 911 models often reveals more than a few bargains. For example, this week’s Bring a Trailer bargain car: a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2.

The 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 is a more modern usable classic, Road & Track says

A white 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 driving on a desert racetrack
1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 | Porsche

In the mid-1980s, the Porsche 911 was in the middle of its ‘G-series’ incarnation, often called the ‘impact-bumper’ model due to its eponymous bumpers. And after its near death, the rear-engine sports car got a second lease on life courtesy of then-new CEO Peter Schutz. So, out went the 1978-1983 911 SC, and in came the 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2.

One of the 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2’s key features lies in the engine bay. Although it resembles the 911 SC’s 3.0-liter engine, the Carrera’s rear-mounted 3.2-liter flat-six has roughly 80% new parts. Among them is a more modern Bosch Motronic fuel injection system instead of the SC’s K-Jetronic system. And the 1984 911 Carrera 3.2 also features a stronger timing chain tensioner, rectifying “age-old 911 timing-chain tension and oiling issues,” Road & Track reports.

The larger engine also means the 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 is more powerful and faster than the SC. Instead of 172 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, the 1984 911 has 200 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. With the standard five-speed manual, it goes 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds, more than a second faster than the SC, Car and Driver says. Plus, the new fuel-injection system means the Carrera 3.2 is actually more efficient than the SC, despite its larger engine.

Besides the larger engine, the 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 also has more standard amenities than the SC, Hagerty notes. For example, leather upholstery, A/C, power windows, and a sunroof. And while the 930 Turbo was still missing from the US market, Carrera 3.2 buyers could spec a Turbo-look-alike body kit.

There’s one up for auction on Bring a Trailer

The front 3/4 view of a black 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 parked in an oceanside parking lot
1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 front 3/4 | Bring a Trailer

Despite its age, on modern tires a 1984-1989 911 Carrera 3.2 can still “trouble modern sports cars,” Classics World says. It’s arguably this model that started the 911’s “transition from sophisticated sports car to junior supercar,” Classic & Sports Car reports. Plus, while the 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 still has an old-school, mechanical feel, it’s more modern and easier to live with than the SC.

That’s roughly what the 1984 model listed on Bring a Trailer offers. Besides the 3.2-liter engine and previously-mentioned features, this Porsche 911 has a Blaupunkt stereo, Fuchs alloy wheels, cruise control, a ‘whaletail’ rear spoiler, and fog lights. It also has an M&K exhaust system and a short-shifter kit. Plus, it rides on lowered and corner-weighted suspension and bears four-wheel cross-drilled disc brakes.

The black dashboard and beige-leather front seats of a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2
1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 front interior | Bring a Trailer

To be sure, this 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 isn’t perfect. But apart from some scattered stone chips, it appears to be in solid shape. It also has less than 72,300 miles on the clock and comes with extensive service records. In addition, the seller recently replaced the battery, various engine hoses, tires, brake pads, rotors, calipers, as well as shocks and bushings. They also gave this 911 an alignment.

This 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 might be the bargain to buy before prices go up

As of this writing, this 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 is listed on BaT at $23,500 with three days left in the auction. Considering its condition, a G-series 911 like this could easily go for $10,000-$20,000 more, Hagerty says. And the average price on BaT hovers close to $50,000-$60,000.

However, while G-series cars are amongst the most affordable air-cooled 911s, they’re starting to appreciate in value. They’re also common bases for Safari 911 builds, in part because a 1984 model won the Paris-Dakar outright. Luckily, the 1984-1986 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 models are less desirable because they don’t have the easier-to-live-with G50 transmission.

Given that even an affordable classic Porsche 911 is still a vintage 911, maintenance costs are understandably a concern. But with regular maintenance, they’re fairly solid, and the Motronic system is easier to deal with and upgrade than the K-Jetronic one, C&SC says. And Porsche Classic offers spare parts for them. So, if you’re looking for a vintage 911 that can be daily-driven fairly easily, this 1984 car could be a bargain-priced way to do it.

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