We like to rib Porsche for their penchant toward celebrating virtually everything by way of ‘Special Edition’ models. Most of that relates to how so many of those special editions aren’t much more than cosmetic additions. This was especially the case in Porsche’s earlier years. But not all of them are just paint and interior specials, like this 2004 Porsche 911 40th Anniversary Edition. Intended to celebrate forty years since the 911’s introduction in 1963 the 40th Anniversary Edition included the X51 performance package (raising hp to 345 from the standard 320), sport suspension, and limited-slip differential. It also received the usual cosmetic updates – GT Silver paint, a unique set of wheels, and Grey natural leather interior – that would help set it apart from other 996s on the road. Only 1,963 were made. More power, better handling, and slightly different silver paint. Not bad!
I think most of us by now are familiar with Riviera Blue. Though only available since the introduction of the 993 it has become perhaps the most iconic of all the Porsche colors. Among Porsche’s deeply vibrant non-metallic blues it only is rivaled by Mexico Blue, which has a full twenty years longer existence than Riviera. When it comes up as a PTS option Riviera always attracts notice. And very high prices.
So when I came across two pretty similar PTS 997s in the color I figured I’d throw them together for a post. I’ve come across a decent number of 991s in Riviera Blue, but if we go back just one model they become far more rare. I can’t say I know how many exist, but it doesn’t appear to be very many. At the very least, opportunities to purchase one are fleeting. Here are two such opportunities: a 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 and a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. For me these are two of the best looking 911s produced and especially in the case of the GT3 RS I tend to prefer their looks over those of their successor. In Riviera Blue both look phenomenal.
Let’s look at the GT3 first:
If you missed your chance at an allocation for a new 911 GT3, or if you’re just impatient and don’t want to wait for one to be built, then you wouldn’t really struggle to find one for sale. Since delivery began there have been quite a few for sale at any given moment with the seeming majority having selected the “rare” paint-to-sample option. I have featured a couple of them when the mood struck me, but for the most part buying one of these GT3s doesn’t make sense because prices remain too high. And those prices will come down a good bit. So unless you’re really impatient there isn’t much reason to pounce on one now.
Which brings me to this Birch Green (lichtgrün) 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 located in Florida. This one is not way overpriced. It isn’t the lowest priced GT3 I have seen, but it isn’t too far off and it might be the least expensive among those in an interesting PTS color. There is a markup, but with an asking price of $190K the markup isn’t substantial and the color is awesome enough that you might actually want to make a move. Assuming, of course, you don’t mind bright colors. Very bright colors.
This is a car I feel I have to bring more attention, but I’ll admit I find the ad quite strange. Not strange in the sense that I think something fishy is going on, but in the sense that this isn’t really the best way to get maximum dollar for your car. It should sell fast though and maybe that’s the point.
This is a 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with the M491 Turbo-look package. If you’ve been following along lately you’ll know that these are rare. Very rare. Once the 930 returned to the U.S. market in 1986 sales of the Turbo-look package went down rather quickly. That makes decent sense. We also must add to this that Porsche debuted its new G50 5-speed transmission for the 911 in 1987, thus making the last three model years of the 3.2 Carrera a little more special on today’s markets. By the time we get to the final model year in 1989 the number of M491-equipped 911s had become quite low. Granted, of the three available models, the Cabriolet was produced in the greatest numbers so this one isn’t as rare as these 911s get. Nonetheless, there only were 24 of them. Oh and it’s up for auction without reserve. Rare indeed.
This is a Turquoise Green Metallic 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in Florida, with Cashmere Beige interior and 50,324 miles on it. It also has the factory Aerokit. The paint code is 25D, which I mention because there are a few colors that went with some version of Turquoise during the ’90s and in some cases they can be dramatically different colors while in others very similar. Turquoise Blue (code 3AR/3AS) is a phenomenal non-metallic blue and one of my favorites from the period. It has some of the brightness of Riviera Blue, though in a darker hue. It’s great. I believe there also was an earlier version of Turquoise that was non-metallic and much closer to the blue of Turquoise Blue than the color we see here. Similar to this 993 is Turquoise Metallic (code 25C), which is a slight variation of this Turquoise Green. The German helps differentiate the two: Tuerkis Metallic vs Tuerkis Perlcolor. Add in the even more green Wimbledon Green Metallic and then we have nearly the whole spectrum for this one type of greenish blue exterior. Porsche certainly knows how to provide options. All you have to do is figure out which one you like best.
I have always found this to be one of the more peculiar 911 models. This is a Midnight Blue Metallic 1992 Porsche 911 America Roadster, located in Miami, with a Tan/Black leather interior and 73,368 miles on it. These are pretty rare – only 250 were produced – and this one looks in very nice shape. The price is pretty high, but given their rarity these do tend to have a high price attached.
So why do I find them peculiar? Well, maybe because I don’t really know why the model exists. Were buyers clamoring for a wide body Cabriolet? Was the 911 Speedster based off the 3.2 Carrera so successful that Porsche felt they needed to produce something similar for the 964 as well? I don’t know, though the Speedster would return in 1994 after America Roadster production ceased so perhaps there was some desire for one.
Regardless, these are pretty neat even if I’m not quite sure about their appeal. The idea was to build a more driver-focused Cabriolet in the spirit of the 356 Roadster, which had replaced the 356 Speedster. As the Roadster moniker suggests, the rear seats have been removed. The rear is wider and the America Roadster received the brakes and suspension from the Turbo. It’s basically a Turbo-look Cabriolet and given that the 964 Turbo only came in Coupe form the America Roadster was your only shot at getting a Cabriolet with the wider rear.
Update 10/15/18: This 911 GT3 sold for $135,000.
In truth I wasn’t sure I should post this Speed Yellow 2010 Porsche 911 GT3. I just posted a Speed Yellow GT3 a couple days ago so this is a little redundant. However, that was a 996, while this is a 997 and this one just looks so good that I was finding it hard to move on to other options. I figured if I was this interested, then others might be as well.
The other reason I ultimately chose to feature this one was in terms of market. As we’ve seen prices for the 996 have moved up. In some cases those prices even eclipse what you’d be asked to pay for a 997. So anyone looking at a GT3 would do well to consider both options. This is up for auction without reserve so it should give us a nice window into where the market stands. (We also don’t have to worry about an ultra-high reserve, more on that below.)
The 996 still is reputed to be the more pure of these two models, while the 997 is undeniably the better looking car. I like the 996 GT3’s looks, but there is a way in which that is relative to other 996 models. The 997 GT3 and especially the 997.2 like we see here is on another level. This particular example shows off its good looks incredibly well.
I’m going to begin this post with a little bit of a tangent. In yesterday’s write-up of a Speed Yellow GT3 I mentioned that it is my favorite of the 996 GT3 colors. However, that’s only partially true because I knew even when writing that there is always an exception. The problem is that there is only one: a paint-to-sample Minerva Blue Metallic GT3. Paint to sample wasn’t really a popular option during the 996’s production. So while it seems like almost every GT3 produced today is paint to sample this wasn’t the case with earlier models and we so rarely see them that if I want to speak of favorites it makes more sense to refer to the primary colors that were available. But I know that Minerva GT3 exists and I, of course, began searching for it again just to remind myself of its beauty.
That more or less brings us to this Iris Blue Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa. Obviously, it isn’t Minerva and Minerva is a better color, but the early Iris Blue – note that the color changed significantly on the 993 – possesses a similar level of beauty. Porsche blues are some of my favorites and I’m reminded of that nearly every time I come across one. There’s variety spanning the whole spectrum from seemingly black dark blues to the brightest blues we can imagine. Whether metallic or non-metallic they bring out some of the best in any 911. Whoever chose to build that Minerva Blue GT3 made an inspired choice.
I don’t really know why the 996 GT3 has become one of my favorite cars. Porsche always has produced wonderfully performing cars capable of serving double duty as a track car and daily driver and their various GT or, earlier, RS and CS models shift that balance between performance and luxury decidedly toward the performance side of the spectrum. So we know they’re great and it isn’t really surprising that many, including myself, would find them quite alluring. But the 996 GT3 still feels different to me in the way it more recently has captured my attention. I began to look at them in earnest a couple of years ago when, like pretty much every 996, they seemed like a phenomenal value and prices seemed poised to rise. Well, prices have risen. Not so much that you’d only consider one as a garage queen, but they’ve risen nonetheless. Yet I still find myself coming back to them.
I don’t have any particular relationship to these GT3s; I’ve never driven one and these days see them very rarely. The last point may be part of the attraction as any rarely seen car is sure to elicit stronger emotions than something you encounter every day. Here’s one in my favorite color among the standard offerings: a Speed Yellow 2004 Porsche 911 GT3, located in Connecticut, with 47,200 miles on it.
It is almost silly how many variations of silver exist. And this isn’t just a Porsche phenomenon, but they do seem to lead the pack. Here we have another: a Meridian Metallic 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe with Cinnamon leather interior and 25,002 miles on it. I don’t think I have ever seen Meridian Metallic, though to be honest I’m not entirely sure I’d know if I saw it unless it was sitting amongst a few other silver 911s. It seems to exist somewhat in between Arctic Silver (lighter) and Seal Grey (darker). We might think of it as a silver in the vein of Polar Silver, not in the sense that the hue is the same, but rather that it is a variant of silver with a slight blend of another color. Polar Silver naturally possesses a hint of blue to it, whereas Meridian appears to have a slight purplish/pinkish hue. I will admit I kind of like these variations of silver since they possess more dynamic properties that will change depending on the type of light and I do find this 911 to be strangely attractive. Even so, at the end of the day, it’s still silver. I wouldn’t necessarily seek it out, but as an option on a very nice looking Turbo it might tilt me slightly in its favor.