I have been thinking a lot about these cars lately. This is a Black 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 with 3,743 miles on it. This is the last of the breed produced for the 997. Only 600 were made in total with 156 of those coming to the US (I’ve actually seen varying numbers on that one but it’s around there). They are purported to be the last manual transmission GT3 RS that Porsche will produce. Hold on to that point. It also is the last of the “Mezger” engine GT3 RS models that will be produced. So it’s got a lot going for it.
I was particularly interested in finding a black one. I just missed one for sale on Rennlist recently, but as these things go another one popped up for sale. So here we are. Why black? First, because I like those better than the white ones. But mostly because there were a lot more white ones produced. While I can’t say this is 100% accurate I’ve seen quoted that only 36 of those that came to the US were Black. I certainly see far fewer of them. There are, of course, a few PTS examples running around and those are even more special. Good luck finding one.
I have been thinking about these a lot because I think they are the car to have (along with the GT2 RS of the same year) for those really looking for a high-dollar collectible Porsche. They also may just be the best to have for those looking to spend time behind the wheel of the best Porsche can offer. Some might prefer the extra ferocity of the GT2, but I’ll take the GT3, no question.
Depending on your location it might be beginning to get cold and snowy (or the cold and snow might be well underway!). That means for many 911s their time in the sun shall now take a brief hiatus as they are tucked into their respective garages awaiting the return of more hospitable weather. But not everyone likes to follow such a tack. For some their 911 must prove capable regardless of what the environment demands. At least within reason.
So I began to think about daily drivers and which 911s could serve such a purpose. Naturally that would lead me to one of the various all-wheel drive models and here I think we have the best all-around candidate: a 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, located in Washington, with 42,950 miles on it. I suppose if you deal with frequent snow you might want to have a little less power and save a little money so you’d opt for the regular Carrera 4. But that’s less fun and the C4S looks better than the regular 4. Also, it doesn’t snow all the time and if you live somewhere where it does snow all the time, then get yourself a Defender and let the 911 rest. For cold weather, maybe some light snow, and general fun when the roads are dry go for the 4S. And, of course, it’ll be more fun in the summer too!
I sort of stumbled into this 911, but I’m very glad that I did! I had come to this dealer’s website looking for information on a 911 I’d seen listed on one of the various classifieds. As it turns out I hadn’t even been looking for that 911 either, but rather was on a completely different search. But that’s another story. Anyway, the 911 I was seeking more information on apparently has sold since it no longer is listed. But my eyes immediately were taken in by this one and just look at it!
We can’t really call this a backdate, because it isn’t a backdate though it certainly exists in that restomod/backdate universe of 911s. This is a 1979 Porsche 911SC Targa that’s basically been enhanced in pretty much every way. The exterior mostly remains as any other 911SC would look. It hasn’t been widened and it remains a short-hood. But it was stripped to bare metal, all parts of the body and frame were reconditioned as needed, various areas were stiffened, and a roll bar was integrated and painted to match the exterior. I’m not exactly sure what color this is, but it looks quite good. Really the only exterior cues to really tell you this 911 is a little different are the round fog lamps and the center-exit exhaust. It’s an attractive looking car and I’m sure would attract plenty of notice. But it is the interior and the engine where things really begin to take shape.
I must admit I have been pretty impressed with some of the selection from this seller of late. Previously I featured this 993 Turbo S that I still return to now and again to look over the various details. It’s an absolutely exquisite car. There are others I haven’t posted: like this 997 Turbo S that looks quite good in what is a pretty attractive color combination. It’s not a GT3 though and I like a nice GT3.
So here we have a Speed Yellow 2005 Porsche 911 GT3 with only 9,784 miles on it. It doesn’t quite live up to the same level of amazing as the 993, but still looks in excellent condition.
The downside to all of this wonderfulness? Prices are very high. I don’t know if that Turbo S is going anywhere anytime soon and even though prices for these GT3s certainly have moved upward, and we have seen a few eclipse the six-figure mark, I think this one probably is a bit optimistic. Still it’s a lovely example of the 996.2 GT3, which has become one of the more sought after versions on the market.
A problem that might persistently plague some shoppers of track-oriented Porsches is that it actually can be pretty hard to find one that hasn’t had a bunch of options tacked onto it. This isn’t a new problem either. Try to find a low-option RS America and you might face similar challenges. And those only had four options! To a degree I think we can understand why this happens. Most drivers don’t want to sacrifice basic creature comforts in order to have the lightest possible version of a particular car just so they can shave a few tenths off of their weekend drive. Even for cars that do see track time it takes a driver of serious quality to exploit the significant capabilities of these cars. So why pretend? Enjoy some A/C and some music.
However, if you do want to sacrifice those things then this White 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS might be the option for you. Under the options you’ll note that both the radio and A/C have been deleted and the rest of the options list remains fairly limited. I don’t know how many such examples have been spec’d in this way, but this is the first one I have seen. I’ve come across examples with the radio delete, but not both radio and A/C. That should make this one pretty rare and, of course, even lighter.
Here we have a Bitter Chocolate 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe. It has a Cork leather interior and what look to be Gold accents for the Carrera script. It’s stated to have 81,519 miles on it, though the seller notes that the mileage cannot be verified and thus they are selling it as “true mileage unknown.” In truth I thought that was a different Carrera; one I had featured more than three years ago on offer from the same seller. I was curious why it had not sold in all that time and figured I’d check in on it again. Lo and behold it’s a different car that just so happens to be the same model, the same model year, and in a nearly identical color configuration.
Bitter Chocolate is not going to win any awards for most favorite Porsche color, but it does show surprisingly well on these early Carreras. It’s a color that fits the period and the gold accents really stand out. I wish this one had the color-matched gold wheels as that previous Carrera did, but that’s something you probably could change if you so desired. Overall, for a vintage 911 that doesn’t tend to be the most popular, in the right colors these Carreras do attract a good bit of attention.
Here we have another very pretty 928. But first a question: The seller refers to monochromatic interior/exterior combinations as an iconic ’80s theme. Was these really iconic? I was a kid so I can’t really recall what the crazy cars were like (My mom had one of those huge Buick or Oldsmobile station wagons. It was not sporty and I believe it was black with tan interior. We slept in the back on long trips. My dad’s 911 was black on black, but I don’t think that’s what they mean.) Color-matching the interior and exterior definitely seems more prevalent in the ’80s. I know I’ve commented on the blue on blue combination that we almost never see outside of the ’80s and early ’90s. Burgundy also seems popular. I’ve seen green on green a few times and those are…quite something. That was the ’70s though. I digress, I guess I hadn’t thought of this as an iconic ’80s thing to do. Perhaps it is and this 928 uses it to nice effect.
This is a Ruby Red Metallic 1983 Porsche 928S with, you guessed it, a Burgundy interior, 47,915 miles, and a very desirable 5-speed manual transmission. One other quick digression: The seller refers to the color as Rubino Metallic, which I had never heard of before. Thankfully the paint code sticker provides clarity and confirms it is rubinrotmetallic or as it’s typically called in English, Ruby Red. It looks spectacular!
Of the various iterations of the GT3 RS to now exist the 997.1 is the one I most consistently return to in my mind. I think that is in part because it was the first model to make it to our shores, but for me it also is the model that brings everything together in just the right package. The Orange/Black ones remain the 911 I aspire to most. The 997.2 is the better car and some may find the looks better, but they’ll cost you a bit more and that nostalgia of being the first still brings me back to the 997.1. They look great, are great performers, and as we’ll see with this one can come in at pretty attractive prices.
I featured one a few months back that pretty much is my ideal. Here we have another one though this time in the much less common color combination of Arctic Silver with Orange accents. It currently resides in southern California and sits with about 20,400 miles on it. As an added bonus, for extra cost it’ll come with a set of very desirable and fantastic factory GT2 seats.
There is very little that will attract my attention more than a black car looking its best. It may only look its best for the 15 minutes immediately after being detailed, but it’s a divine 15 minutes. I particularly like open-top black cars, which is why I own one. Sadly, it never looks its best since it always is parked outside. Meaning I end up looking longingly at the occasional exceptional examples I see. Some people will tell you black cars are boring and too common. They are wrong.
This one, a Black 2019 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS with Espresso/Cognac natural leather interior and 557 miles on it, looks so devilishly good. I don’t typically feature many nearly new 911s other than the various rare GT and special edition models, but I saw this one and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It’s been built pretty well too with a bunch of worthwhile options and it has a manual transmission. During the summer I walked past a black Targa 4 GTS parked in the neighborhood and it was stunning. This one rekindles that memory.
What is it that we look for in these cars? Assuming you’re not after the perfect collector example the list is fairly straightforward though not short. The availability of documentation and a known history obviously are of great importance. A knowledgeable seller helps in this regard as well. Abundant photos, paint meter readings, an assessment of its current mechanical condition including any known flaws, and possibly originality of the equipment. Obviously, the last point will vary quite a bit from buyer to buyer, but any buyer will want to know what is original to a particular 911 and what isn’t even if that buyer does not mind the lack of originality. Lastly, we all want a fair price, but perhaps even more so when looking at driver-quality cars. Their value typically is pretty locked in so you can’t bank on higher resale down the road.
I think this Marine Blue 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa fulfills most of those points and that’s part of what I like about it. It’s up for auction without reserve so the price should be fair. It also looks pretty great. It sounds like there isn’t a huge amount of documentation, but some does exist, and it does appear we know the ownership history. There is one red flag in its history – it was a theft recovery back in the ’90s – but that red flag doesn’t seem to be causing it any problems. It is stated to have a clear title. It isn’t perfect, but looks like a very nice example of a late Carrera Targa and could find itself in a sweet spot in the market.