I read a story on Petrolicious a few weeks ago that piqued my interest. It asked whether we’ve reached ‘Peak Porsche’ yet – a question to which there is no certain answer but one would have to hope that the silliness will end some time soon.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Porsche 911 is a rare and truly worthy recipient of the over-used ‘icon’ label. It has endured. No matter which model you talk about over the car’s 50+ year history, the 911 has always been elegant, reliable and in the top quartile of the performance scale for it’s generation. And that’s probably being a bit harsh.
So was it really under-valued for so long or have things gone a bit nuts over the last 3 years?
I’m really not sure, but here’s some of my personal experience.
Back in 2013 I sold my Alfa Romeo GTV6 and I was looking around for a fun car to replace it. I eventually bought my 968 Clubsport for $30,000 and that amount of money was a stretch for me. I briefly considered buying an air-cooled 911 at the time and believe it or not, I could have got one for that money. It would have most likely been an import, a less desirable 2.7 from the 1970’s or something in need of significant repair (see my vehicle value maxim) but it was possible.
The one that caught my eye the most was a UK-Import known as a Carrera Super Sport. It was for sale for $45,000 here in Australia at the time (2013).
So that was then. This is now.
The cheapest 911 in Australia right now that isn’t a) a 996, or b) a cabriolet, is a 1978 3.0 911SC going for $59,000 and it’s a UK car rather than Australian delivered. This would have been a $30,000 car back in 2013, without doubt.
The prices rise quickly from there, too.
The 2.7 model that preceded the SC used to sell for even less given that it’s perceived to be a weaker engine. It was the least desirable model back when I was looking around, regularly available in the mid-$20K range. The cheapest one I’ve found on carsales today is selling for $79,990 at a dealership in Victoria.
Then there’s the 1971 2.2 Targa that was originally Viper Green and LHD and is now Guards Red and RHD. This would have been a $20-25K car back in 2013. Not only is it a targa (go ahead, ask a purist) but RHD conversions were some of the lowest value cars back then. This one’s now offered for sale at $80,000.
Of course, there are a lot of people speculating on the Porsche they bought 5 years ago. They see the prices going nuts and they want a piece of that action. Prices have been going particularly loco on Porsches up to 1974, which is why this buyer has the temerity to ask a price that would have had people rolling in the aisles just a few short years ago.
If you don’t get it, you’re not the only one. Yes, Porsches were probably under-valued for a few years prior to the recovery from the global financial crisis. You have to bear in mind, however, that there are so many 911’s on the road. These cars were made in big numbers and they’re very reliable, meaning there are still a lot of them around compared to other high-end sports cars.
I can certainly understand them going up in price over the last few years, but I’m not sure I understand them going up by this much.
Is it a Petrolicious effect? Is it a Magnus Walker effect? Is it simply that people are placing a premium on having an air-cooled Porsche experience?
Whatever it is, the 911 is now well and truly out of my price range, which makes me a little bit sad. I’m going to keep myself as debt-free as possible so that I can take advantage the next time that prices bottom out.
The 968CS I bought?
968’s are currently selling for between $24,000 and $39,500 but none of those are ClubSports and my guess is that none of them are going to sell quickly. That was always an issue with the 968. It’s an incredible car but few people really know about them and fewer still want to spend their hard-earned on one.
I sold mine for the same $30K I’d paid for it and I was happy with that. It might be worth a bit more now, but it hasn’t kept anywhere near pace with the growth in the 911.
I probably should have stretched myself for that Super Sport.
And for what it’s worth, if I was looking for something right now…..
This BMW M Coupe just sold for US$15,500 at auction on Bring-a-Trailer. You won’t get one for that price in Australia (or Sweden) but it seems like a very good way to spend some fun-car money.
I’ve never been a big BMW fan but I do love me a clown shoe.