Will the real ‘last 968’ please come forward?
Monday, September 25, 2017
During any vehicle's production run, there are always a few significant examples produced. Some of these would include cars with special options or with the most options. With Porsches, performance-related examples often get the "significant nod" here. The rare colors are also neat and stand out among the group in later years.
But two common examples of significance found in every model line would be the first car and the last car produced. These cars are often significant beyond their super-low or high VINs as they usually have some interesting options and history as well.
When it comes to the first 968s produced for the North American market, we were denied! The first six North American 968 coupes and the first two 968 cabs produced never made it across the pond and were retained in Germany. No surprise really. Porsche was probably having fun with the new models and using them for promotional duties.
However, things had changed significantly by the time 968 production came to an end for the model year 1995, and Porsche was looking to finish the model off so they could move on to the promising new Boxster line.
You may recall from one of my previous articles that Porsche actually reVINed all the 1995 968 cabriolets from 1994 models, so the last cab was actually produced in June of 1994. Most of the 1995 coupes were also reVINed '94s, but for some reason Porsche did produce 60 additional "true '95" coupes between July and October of 1994, and SS820319 was the last one made.
Now, over time I have seen more than one 968 with a "LAST968" license plate mounted on it. In reality, they were just model year 1995 examples, not the true last car that can rightfully lay claim to that title.
There was also a very cool "paint to sample" 968 coupe out there that also claimed to be the "last one." That car was produced during the last month of production, October of 1994, but a review of the VIN saw that it was SS820318 — the second-to-last example.
To be fair, SS820318 has U.S. emissions, where 319 was shipped to Canada. So although both are North American 968s, SS820318 can claim the title of "the last U.S. emissions 968."
But, without a doubt, SS820319 has the highest VIN and is the only 968 that can truly claim the title of "last North American 968." Just a couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the owner of that car who was, of course, located in Canada.
So, what does the true "last 968" look like? Well, it is a looker for sure — all black, in and out (the most popular color combo on the 968 coupe), and it is optioned right.
As mentioned, the car is a Canadian car so it came with the Canadian package as standard equipment. That package includes Canadian emissions, dual heated seats and headlight washers. Additional add-ons included 17-inch cup2 wheels (which have been replaced by cup1s) and that always-valuable factory analog phone.
I asked the owner, Rob, about the history of the car, and he indicated that he has owned the car for two years. He was attracted to the 968 by the looks and rarity of the model, but his father is a true Porsche fan having owned a number of models so there is clearly a family influence working here as well.
The car was sold new at Downtown Porsche in Toronto and has spent its entire life in southern Ontario. Rob was surprised to learn about the special significance of his car but now that he knows, he will be sure to take extra special care of it. I was happy to find out that this significant 968 was still alive and well.
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