I want to take a break from high performance to turn back the clock for a minute. While the rush of acceleration and the feel of ultimate grip through the corners drives much of the enthusiast’s desire, the raw mechanical nature and simplicity of vintage motoring can work to similar effect. It’s a different feel, but the joy of driving remains.
If you happen to be in the market for a driver-quality 356 I think this one has promise. We see examples of the 356 like this from time to time though typically, because of the model’s very old age, most tend to fall into the categories of fully restored (and quite expensive) or in need of such work and not looking terribly sharp.
This Irish Green 1965 Porsche 356C 1600 SC Coupe appears to be neither of those things. It looks pretty good and while there certainly is wear evident none of it looks to seriously detract from the car. Its current condition is the result of “mechanical and cosmetic refreshening”, it just so happens that occurred more than twenty years ago. So you kind of get the same result, but with less immediate cost.
How much performance is enough? If we set aside the small percentage of drivers actually capable of exploiting any of the world’s supercars I’d imagine that bar was eclipsed long ago. I ask this mainly because my first thought upon seeing this 2002 Porsche 911 GT2 was, “why would you spend more?” Newer, more refined, more utility (maybe?): I can understand these aspects of upgrading. I also understand that in some cases it is the combination of performance and refinement that really drives prices higher. But I don’t know, this feels like a reality check of sorts.
Of course this GT2 isn’t exactly what we’d call inexpensive and if you can afford a toy like this, then the cost isn’t really that big a deal when it comes to searching out even more performance. If your goal is raw performance though, then for this money what else is out there that’s better?
Those who have been following along will know that I have had my eye on the GT3 in general, and the 996 GT3 specifically, for a good while now. I know it’s the 996 and we’re not supposed to like their looks, but I keep coming back to these cars in part because I do find them to be stellar looking machines from the outside. I do hate the interior, but I can live with it and given the GT3’s pedigree and prowess we certainly don’t need luxury. There is something about its exterior lines that I do really love and I dare say it’s my favorite of the GT3 models.
I will admit that price does have a little bit to do with the attention I have given these cars and it is in that regard that this particular GT3 has piqued my interest. This is a Carrara White 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 which sits with only 16,396 miles and only has had one owner. It looks in phenomenal condition and has a complete service history. The asking price is above $100K and that’s where I’m curious. I really haven’t seen many 996 GT3s with this sort of price tag. Has the market for these finally picked up a bit of steam?
I won’t proclaim this as the greatest 911 in the world or anything of that sort, but this 1971 Porsche 911S Targa does check a lot of the boxes for what we might look for in an early 911 when not looking for absolutely pristine collector-quality condition. It is coming out of long-term ownership as the current owner has had it since 1974 and it is in mostly original condition. It is numbers matching per the CoA and has had one repaint in its original color of Gold Metallic. The interior is mostly original with only the carpets having been replaced and shows a nice looking set of sport seats. The color itself is an uncommon one and certainly has its fans. Overall everything looks in very good shape and the level of originality here appears quite good. Oh, and of course it is the highly desirable 911S.
It doesn’t pop off the page the way some early 911s do, but it definitely shows as one of the better and probably more original examples we see.
This 930 might be in the best condition I can recall seeing one. The mileage is pretty darn low at only 11,300 miles so maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but even still low miles does not always equate to excellent condition. I know not everyone likes the Slantnose option on these cars, but like it or not I think we can all appreciate how good this one looks. And for those us, myself included, who are fans of the Slantnose, this 930 provides you with something to spend a good deal of time inspecting.
It’s a Cassis Red Metallic 1988 Porsche 930 Coupe with the M505 Slantnose option. It’s stated to be only 1 of 2 such cars painted Cassis Red Metallic (I have no idea if that’s true) and it has a contrasting Linen and Burgundy interior. Pretty much all of the Slantnose 930s are rare and the Coupe easily is the best looking of the various models. This one is immaculate.
This is going to be a slightly peculiar post for me. I wouldn’t normally think too much of this 911 and would ignore it, but it has one very particular redeeming quality that makes me think it is worth a closer look.
We’re talking about performance for your dollar. That’s not an unusual feature of the 996TT. These have long been unloved by much of the Porsche community and as such values have been much lower than their performance should warrant. To really maximize your performance value you’d seek one with the X50 package and, of course, a manual transmission. Reasonable mileage and cool colors just enhance the allure. However, the cat’s been out of the bag for a while now and those cars are being priced higher. The value is diminishing.
Which brings me here. This 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe pretty much possesses none of those features. So why are we here? Well, there is a way in which all of the aspects of this 911 I normally would construe as a negative have come together to create a positive. The asking price looks to be much more reasonable. Yet it still looks in good condition:
I have featured a lot of rare 911s over the years, but I have never featured one of these. I’m not even sure I have seen one for sale. This is just about as rare as they come. I have featured examples that are more rare due to paint-to-sample or other custom options and I guess the reason this 911 is rare is for similar reasons. The model itself, the 3.2 Carrera, is not especially rare, but an ’89 Carrera equipped with the M491 Turbo-look package is a rare thing indeed.
Production of the Turbo-look package gradually waned as the ’80s wore on and once the 930 had returned to U.S. shores. Somewhat strangely those who still opted for the package tended to select it on the Carrera Cabriolet rather than the Coupe or Targa. :shrug: Determining accurate production numbers has been difficult; a long-circulated letter from PCNA themselves has been shown to be very inaccurate. Perseverance pays off and the best numbers now show there were 15 M491 Coupes produced in 1989. That’s not very many.
But what really makes this example rare isn’t just the M491 Turbo-look package. It is the other even more rare M470 front and rear spoiler delete package. Of the 15 M491 Coupes produced in 1989 only 5 also had the M470 package. There were only 2 Targas equipped as such so this isn’t the rarest, but 1 of 5 will have to suffice. It’s stunning!
The 991 Targa is a stunning car. There aren’t a lot of them so I don’t get a chance to see them often, but recently I walked past one parked on the street that made me stop. It was totally blacked out so it had that sinister Darth Vader vibe about it and looked great. I have always been a 911 Targa fan and there is something about the 991 Targa that appeals to me more than the design of the Coupe. Perhaps I just like the utility more of the open roof so I’ve convinced myself it’s a prettier car, or perhaps it’s the slightly different lines created by that open roof and larger rear window. Whatever it is I’m now fully on board and find myself keeping an eye out for them more and more.
So it should come as no surprise that this paint-to-sample Pastel Orange 2018 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS caught my eye. It’s new so there shouldn’t really be any questions and while that also means you could simply build your own and get it exactly how you’d like, getting a PTS allocation isn’t necessarily easy and this one is here now and ready to drive.
As a brand Porsche is known for a lot of things: Production of sports cars that meld luxury, performance, and livability better than most any other marque. A prestigious racing history dating back more than 40 years. And, of course, their most iconic production car utilizes a physics defying rear-engine rear-wheel drive layout. I’m sure there are more. Among the long-time fans and enthusiasts Porsche also is known for its variety. For a price, customers can choose from a wide array of custom options for both the exterior and interior. Even when certain limitations are apparently placed upon such options, certain buyers still might manage to get around these in order to produce their custom Porsche. These programs have gone under the name of Sonderwunsch (Special Wishes) and Porsche Exclusive.
The most common of these options is paint to sample, which typically draws on classic colors from Porsche’s past (though the color doesn’t HAVE to be a Porsche color) made available alongside whatever standard options are produced at the time. As prices for collectible Porsches have increased it appears that the number of buyers selecting a paint-to-sample exterior also has increased. Among air-cooled 911s it is very rare to come across a paint-to-sample example; among current production they are still rare, but you will have no trouble finding one. Some of that certainly is down to recency and increased production more generally, but I think there’s more to it than that.
This 1986 Porsche 930 is not a modern Porsche so we remain in the realm of the extremely rare. It also has not stuck to only a paint-to-sample exterior.
I would like to make an argument for subtlety and I will use this 911 as my cue. Granted this is still a 911 so it’s not like we’re talking about a sleeper sedan or something of that sort. But within the realm of backdated 911 builds I do think this one has taken a much more subtle approach and the result might just be my favorite of the bunch. There are no decals, there is no ducktail spoiler, there are no fancy Recaro seats in the interior. It isn’t crazy wide or a wild color. This 911 is built in such a way that those with only passing familiarity with the car might not even realize it has been modified at all. I think there is appeal in that.
The 911 design is a beautiful design on its own even when stripped of many of its more aggressive cues. These are performance cars, there’s no doubt about that, but that pedigree doesn’t always need to be shouted. Sometimes simply letting an attractive design look its best is enough to stop observers in their tracks. And I do think this 911 accomplishes that quite well. It’s well balanced, appearing both elegant and sporty, maximizing the better parts of the long-hood 911 and the 3.2 Carrera to produce something that might be better than either one on its own.