If there’s a weak point in Coe’s mind, it’s the interior. “It goes all the way back to the 1985-and-a-half 944, but it’s a practical design and it works well.” He goes on to add his own unique insight into arcane Porsche trivia: “As you know, the 968 is one of the last of the custom-built, hand-built Porsches. As you know, a lot of the robotics replaced a lot of the hand-built craftsmanship — which is both good and bad.” But he says that the old-world craftsmanship offered 968 buyers a greater ability to customize their Porsches.
Unlike the earlier 944, which was built in Audi’s Neckarsulm plant, the 968 was built in Porsche’s Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen plant alongside 911s and 928 GTSs. “[Customers] had so much more ability to individualize if they chose to,” says Coe. “They had 99 interior options (between) colors and materials. They had 30 exterior colors and then a host of other options.”
Coe says most of the cars didn’t stray too far away from the standard offerings, which is no surprise since the slow-selling 968 was often ordered for dealer stock. “For the most part, people configured them fairly normal, maybe to keep the price down, but there are some cars with really unusual features that are pretty neat.”
These configurations included different wheel colors, unique interior/exterior color combinations, and wood interior trim. The 968 could also be had with several leather setups: full leather, full-leather seats, and the most common, partial leather (leather for just the part you sit on). Some cars got “Porsche-script” seats, which featured cloth with the Porsche name all over it.
Coe says the rarest of the rare when it comes to 968 interiors is something called multi-colored cloth. “It’s a plaid! And you could get that full-face or just the inserts inside the side bolsters.” As you might imagine, there weren’t many made. Coe says fewer than ten cars. The late Excellence contributor Jerry Sloniger bought just such a 968 new, in purple metallic outside with a gray-and-purple plaid cloth interior.
Towards the end of 968 production, Porsche offered colored piping on the seats, supple leather, and Porsche crests on the headrests. It even made car phones available, but Coe says a phone was a $1,500 option and they were analog — so they aren’t all that useful today.
THE MOST UNUSUAL 968 COE CAN REMEMBER IS A 1992 CABRIOLET painted Rubystone Red (pink) with a Magenta cloth top (which he says was purple) and a gray-and-magenta interior! He says the really different stuff didn’t appeal to U.S. buyers.