While classic car values have been increasing over the last few years, the classic Porsche market has seen something of a boom. Rob Sass from Hagerty Insurance gives an overview of the changing values of these German sports cars and asks if there are any bargains left?
Along with Ferrari and Lamborghini, the classic Porsche market has been among the hottest in the collector car world with early (1964-73) 911s increasing experiencing the biggest price rises. Lately though, it’s shown signs of stabilizing but there are still some Porsche bargains to be had if you look hard enough.
The Early 911 Porsche Market
In the last ten years or so, early 911s (particularly the first August of 1964 build cars, 1967-73 S models and the ultra-desirable 1973 2.7 Carrera RS) have increased in price by as much as 500%. Gone are the days of the late 1990s when Autofarm listed perfect early 911s for under £20,000. Great ones now regularly break £150,000. The under £20,000 early 911 market is now dominated by rusty projects with other significant needs. Occasionally, a decent 911T from the States will pop up for around this money but the Germans seem to be snapping up those cars in large numbers. On the whole though, the early 911 market seems to be taking a bit of a breather at present, in terms of massive price increases.
Impact bumper 911’s (1974 – 89)
Even the impact bumper cars of 1974-89 have seen huge increases over the last few years although they too showed signs of stabilising this summer. The 3.0 SC and the 3.2 Carreras have the reputation of being the best of the air-cooled cars, able to rack up 250,000 to 300,000 miles between engine rebuilds with proper maintenance. Nice cars that would have been £15,000 a few years ago now make £25,000 plus. The exception being interesting and rare colours, which can add up to a 20% in value, as the majority of 911’s from this era come in red, silver, black and white. The last bit of bad news is that the long-overdue leap in early 911 Turbo values has now happened, with early 1975-76 cars now priced in excess of £100,000.
911 Bargains today
911 bargains today are few and far between. As usual, America is still the low cost supplier with cars priced in dollars about what they are in pounds in spite of the fact that the British pound is currently worth over 50% more. On the downside, you’ll have to deal with LHD and the competition from German buyers for clean Californian 911s is fierce. On the upside, dry state galvanized 911s (from 1976 on) can be remarkably well-preserved.
Porsche 912E values
Little known outside the States is the 1976 U.S. only 912E, a brief reprise of the four-cylinder 911 this time with the injected 2.0 litre VW 914 engine. They’re lovely cars to drive, easy to maintain, about 20% cheaper than the equivalent 911 and rare with just 2,099 built.
The nineties 911 market
As we move on to look at the twilight years of the air-cooled cars, sadly there are few bargains. The last of the air-cooled 911’s, the 993 has appreciated significantly and taken the 964 series which came before it, up with it.
So what about the first water-cooled production 911, the 996? While there are 996’s out there for £13,000 and below, tread carefully as the model has gained a reputation for damaged-goods, with the well-documented Intermediate shaft bearing failures that afflicts about ten percent of the early 996 production. Although UK Porsche specialists have fixes, they aren’t cheap and if the bearing does fail it will necessitate the potentially crippling expense of a new engine. If you can find a good one that has had the work done, there is still an awful lot to like about the 996.
Really savvy Porsche 996 buyers are looking at the 996 Turbo which doesn’t use an IM shaft bearing but has been (unfairly) tainted by the engine issues with the normally aspirated car when in fact the Turbo unit is close to bullet-proof. Coupes can be found for as low as £35,000. A fantastic deal for a car that is two-thirds a 959 under the skin.
Classic Porsche Market tips
So where are the Porsche bargains today? They’re almost exclusively in the front-engine water cooled cars. 924s, 928s, 944s and 968s that are still criminally cheap and all great to drive. For future appreciation, we might suggest a 944 or 968 cabriolet, a very early or very late 928, or a 924 Turbo.
How long it will take until the inevitable climb is uncertain but as a generation who grew up seeing these cars in films and TV gains some disposable income, there is nowhere for these cars to go but up.