1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody Coupe

For the 964’s final model year Porsche gave us a few interesting new variants from which to choose. One of those was looking both forward and backward, drawing upon previous models and hinting at models that would come later. The car in question, which we see here, was the 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Widebody Coupe. While the Carrera 4 itself first was introduced upon the 964’s debut, it originally came in the narrow-bodied design that was standard to any naturally-aspirated 964. Porsche, who had long produced wide-bodied 911s, had a few lingering Turbo chassis available and for the ’94 model year used those to produce a limited edition Turbo Look Carrera 4. The Turbo Look wasn’t a new idea as the 3.2 Carrera had provided a similar design through the M491 option package, and future 911 models would share the similar layout of the 964 Widebody under the guise of the Carrera 4S. These 964s are almost like an experiment taking previous ideas and trying them out in ways that would signal future directions. They aren’t the quickest 964s out there, but their look has garnered them quite an affectionate following among 911 fans.

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James May’s 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Fans of the BBC motoring show Top Gear are familiar with the travails the show has gone through over the years and I assume are aware of its current status due principally to Jeremy Clarkson’s constant ability to cause problems. Always found in the midst of Jeremy’s bellowing and Hammond’s whining stood James May, otherwise known as Captain Slow. As a constant source of jabs from his two ridiculous co-presenters, May provided balance to the show, but behind the staid exterior was a genuine motoring enthusiast who has owned a number of interesting, and fast, cars and bikes over the years. Some of his machines have made appearances on Top Gear itself, while others have appeared in separate one-off shows he has been a part of during his Top Gear tenure. One of those, his Guards Red 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with just under 55K kilometers on it, will be put up for auction at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday, June 26. Among cars with famous owners this Carrera is somewhat unique in that it is currently owned by James rather than being a car that is an owner or two removed from its famous owner’s stewardship. For fans of the show, that makes this low-mileage Carrera just that extra bit more special.

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1982 Porsche 911SC Coupe

Let’s shift back to value 911s and as is so often the case that finds us taking a look at a 911SC. This particular SC is distinguished from other examples of similar value by its very striking, and rare, Green Metallic exterior over Tan interior combination. The seller hasn’t provided the necessary documentation to verify, nor made any statements to suggest, that this 911 wears its original colors (and we do know it was repainted a while back), but for those less interested in the long term value of this 911 that may not be an issue. It should nonetheless affect the final selling price to a small degree, but either way we are firmly in the realm of driver-quality machines here. The mileage is on the higher end – I’ve followed what is shown on the odometer of 168K – but the overall condition, along with the long history of documentation, shows that this SC has seen a good degree of care over the years and as such should make for a fine example for any buyer looking to get into a classic 911.

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1979 Porsche 930

I am going to return now to a long-time personal favorite of mine: a Black 911 Turbo. This particular example is the full menace, triple-black, configuration and while my own preferences lean toward black and tan, triple black always has enjoyed favor among a wide array of fans of the 911 Turbo. This is the version that brings the greatest level of aggression to match the car’s dynamics and it’s become the poster car configuration of many Turbos over the variety of 911 models. The example seen here, a triple-black 1979 Porsche 930 located in Nevada with a little under 60K miles, comes from the early years of the Turbo’s existence, though not one of the earliest 3.0 liter, non-intercooled, models. In many ways, this is the version that propelled the 911 forward through its combination of exhilarating performance wrapped in a package that retained a good deal of luxury and refinement. The 930 was Porsche’s statement to the world that they could compete with any automaker’s best while still producing a civilized machine when the driver sought a more leisurely drive. Not all supercars had to come with significant sacrifices!

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1979 Porsche 911SC Coupe – less than 10,000 miles

Here we have another 911 coming from the value range of 911 models, but this 911 will be no value. This one-owner Black Metallic 1979 Porsche 911SC, located in Michigan with Saddle Tan leather interior, sits with a mere 9,158 miles on it. That makes it the lowest mileage 911SC I have come across and certainly one of the lowest mileage in existence. I’ll admit I find it quite strange that such a car would have come this far having covered so few miles, but here we are. This isn’t a Carrera RS or some other uber rare 911, nor was the iconic stature of the 911 secure during the time of the SC’s production. Regardless of how we got here this is a time capsule and it looks in the sort of shape we would expect from a car with such low mileage. It also happens to come in a more rare Black Metallic exterior rather than the standard Black.

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1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

For the second of my value-911 posts I will move on to the model that followed upon the success of the 911SC. There is little that separates the 3.2 Carrera aesthetically from its predecessor, so for those in love with the design of the G-Series 911 in general either model makes for an excellent option. As the model name implies, the fundamental distinguishing characteristic of these 911s is their 3.2 liter flat-six as an upgrade over the 3.0 liter engine of the SC. Both engines are fantastically reliable when maintained properly and though their overall character may show small differences these two models stand shoulder to shoulder on nearly every 911 enthusiast’s list of cars to own. With the 3.2 Carrera available from 1984-1989, I have purposely chosen an example from the years prior to 1987 as the change to the G50 5-speed transmission for that model year has garnered the later models quite a bit more attention and as such prices can rise dramatically relative to their earlier peers. The particular example we see here, a Guards Red 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa located in California with 42K miles on it, will come at a premium due to its low mileage, but it seemed too nice to pass up and ultimately, even with the higher initial cost, it should stand an excellent chance of maintaining, or even gaining, in value over the course of its ownership.

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1979 Porsche 911SC Coupe

It feels like it’s been a while since I featured a 911 residing closer to the value end of the spectrum so I hope to remedy that with a couple posts for the end of this week. There do still exist wonderful, beautiful, and exciting alternatives that can bring joy to any motoring enthusiast. Sure, prices have risen across the board and, if we’re all honest, you’re not going to get a 911 Turbo for this sort of money – though we shouldn’t forget that the 996TT can be had for very reasonable cost – so performance by modern standards will be good but not the sort of thing to blow you away. Ultimate performance is somewhat beside the point though. Performance almost always will reside in the most modern machines enhanced by constant technological improvements. But the joy of driving, outside of a track, has never been purely about performance. It is into that arena that classic cars begin to make sense and our understanding of value begins to shift. You could find any number of new cars for a similar price as where I’d expect this 911 to sell. Some of them may even out perform this 911, most will surely provide higher levels of refinement and luxury, and many will be more reliable. But few, if any, will provide the kind of feel that connects driver to machine, the sound of the air-cooled engine clattering away behind your head, or the more ephemeral qualities that come with driving a machine with significant automotive history. An air-cooled 911 is rarely cheap, but it has value that most modern cars fail to approach.

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Ridiculously Low Mileage 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

We’re going to step into some deeper, and uncharted, waters with this car. The Carrera 4S, and its slimmer sibling the Carrera S, have shown nice increases in value lately as presumably collectors begin to snatch up what they feel will be the most likely examples to show significant long-term appreciation. The example we see here, a Speed Yellow 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, located in Massachusetts, with a mere 2,330 miles on it, is sure to sit near the top of the pile for any of these cars. The Turbo and RS will always stand within their own sphere of the market, but for what is otherwise a fairly standard car, mileage and color have a significant impact on value and this one has those in spades. The downside, of course, is that you can’t drive it. As in, almost never. That surely will turn some people off, but I would feel pretty confident that the owner of a 911 like this probably can afford something to put to proper use.

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1996 Porsche 911 Turbo

There are a variety of ways to make a car attract more notice, or in some cases we may even think of this making the car more enjoyable for the owner. Outside of modifications, which push stronger into the realm of subjectivity, we are dealing primarily with the color palette selected by the original purchaser and thankfully Porsche has long provided an ample array of options to suit every need in this regard, from the outlandish to the subtle. So how do you spice up the character of a car outfitted in a popular and attractive exterior color, but one that shall always remain subtle and, to some, uninspiring? You step into the interior. White over Red is a popular combination on many cars as the intensity of the Red benefits strongly from the extreme lightness of the White exterior. I mean, if you’re going for an interior color that stands out you really want it to stand out, right? This one stands out. This is really Red; the seller refers to it as Lip Stick Red and that’s more or less what we have with this paint-to-sample interior. Naturally such shades will not work for everyone, but it’s undoubtedly captivating and should help this 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo, located in British Columbia, stand apart from the rest of the collector market.

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