The 997 Porsche 911 GT3 is sort of in the middle of an interesting phase right now. They aren’t new enough where buyers are desperately demanding them as the latest and greatest, but not old enough where it would be considered a classic. On the flip side, one could argue that these were timeless cars from the beginning and would always be in demand from the first day on the lot until 50 years from now. I don’t disagree with that, but I’d argue that Porsche spit out so many different GT cars after launching the 997 GT3, that these are sort of overlooked when it comes to shoppers who are willing to spend north of $100,000. The interesting part is that some early 997.1 GT3 examples are selling well under $100,000. The make it even more interesting, you can find 997.2 GT3s for under $100,000 if you are willing to compromise on color. However, today’s car probably isn’t going to be a compromise for anyone.
This 2010 GT3 up for in Colorado is finished in the lovely Speed Yellow and has a ton of options like Carbon Ceramic brakes, the Sport Chrono package, hardback yellow seats, yellow gauges, and a bunch of little things that all add up to a very big price tag. It comes in with just 27,000 miles on the odometer and looks every bit the part. Thing is, are you willing to spend a premium on the now two generations old GT3?
Wood trim in a Porsche 911 has always been an interesting debate. On one side, this is a pure sports car, leave the wood for BMW and Mercedes-Benz if you want luxury. On the other, some will argue that this is also a GT car and having some wood on the dash, steering wheel, and where ever else they could put it is just fine. Clearly buyers want this, because billion dollar car companies don’t just blindly do things without tons of research and market analysis, no matter how much we want to believe they do. This 2006 911 C2S has some wood on the inside and not just the shift knob and steering. No, this 997.1 is optioned with the Makassar Package to finished off the Sea Blue interior just right in my eyes. Wait until you see it.
I’m a big “value for money” guy. I guess that also means I’m cheap, but who cares how you define it. You’ll never find me paying full price for something or heaven forbid even a premium if I can find a better deal elsewhere. Sometimes this works out swimmingly, sometimes it goes up in flames. That comes with the territory. Today’s car, a 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo up for sale in California, is in my eyes a great value for money car. Why is it? Outside of just existing as a borderline everyday super car that you can drive in total relaxation and comfort, some 10-12 years later, prices are about half of MSRP. However, this car is much cheaper than that. There is not one, but two big reasons for that. Let me explain.
The past few weeks I looked at a few modern Porsches with some really wild green interiors. First, a 996 up for sale in San Diego that had wild jade green interior with a boatload of burl wood. Most agreed that as crazy as it was, it wasn’t worth anywhere near the asking price of $19,500. Two weeks ago, I came across a Boxster with 9,600 miles thanks to a tip from a reader with a Nephrite Green leather interior. While all of that green is still unconventional, it seems to be far less offensive that what the 996 offered up and one of our readers snapped that particular 986 up! Keeping with that green theme, I ran across this 2009 911 Turbo Cabriolet up for sale in Ohio that is features another shade of green, Malachite, but as you might have noticed, this green is on the outside.
I post this mainly out of curiosity because that’s pretty much what this 911 is: a curiosity. This is a 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. It’s located in California, has an Arctic Silver Metallic exterior over a Sand Beige interior and has 77,243 miles on it. Nice car!
The current owner decided he wanted a little more out of his Cabriolet and has attempted in some regard to replicate both the appearance and performance of the 911 GT3. As I’m sure you are aware the GT3 does not exist as a Cabriolet. I don’t imagine it ever will, nor do I imagine there is much desire for such a machine. But car enthusiasts being what they are, they tend to crave more performance even when the performance already is pretty good or even when they’ve chosen the model with somewhat compromised performance because the roof has been cut off. And I guess that’s how we got to where this 911 is now.
I will say it does look great. The GT3 front always has looked better than that of the standard 911 and here juxtaposed with the Cabriolet rear it’s a pretty attractive design. It’s party in the front, business in the back. It’s a reverse mullet. Personally I’d actually be satisfied with the alterations to its appearance, but this owner didn’t want to stop there and put in a bit of effort to improve its overall performance. I doubt it’s up to GT3 levels, especially given that I’m sure this Cabriolet still weighs a good bit more than a GT3 (according to Excellence a Carrera S Cabriolet weighs around 250 lbs more than a GT3), but performance should be elevated nonetheless. As I said, it’s kind of a curiosity. I don’t know that I’d ever think to do this to a 911 Cabriolet, but it’s not a bad idea.
Let’s really get into some value here. Here we have a Midnight Blue Metallic 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in Chicago, with Sand Beige leather interior and a 6-speed manual transmission. It’s been driven a bit, to the tune of 133,948 miles, which accounts for the pretty low price: $23,995. For a Carrera S!
We usually look to the 996 when thinking purely about performance value, but the 997 has offered the same perks in a better all-around package. Gone are the droopy headlights and somewhat wavy lines. The interior, while still not awesome, is much improved. And from a performance perspective everything has taken an evolutionary step forward. In the case of the Carrera S that means you’re getting 355 hp from the 3.8 liter flat-6. That’s 35 hp more than you could get from the 996. Larger brake discs front and rear along with PASM as standard helped fill out the package. And unlike the 996, where the S only was available as the Carrera 4, this one sends its power only to the rear wheels. For pure value this might be as good as it gets.
When I previously featured an Ipanema Blue Metallic 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS it was one of the few times I’d seen the color come up for sale. Here we have another nearly identical 911. Same year and same model though optioned slightly differently. Hilariously it is priced $1 above the asking price of the previous example I featured. It’s Price is Right bidding on eBay!
Let’s get to those different options because they’re not insignificant. Most importantly this Carrera 4 GTS is equipped with PDK rather than a 6-speed manual. That’s a big deal on the 997 GTS. We’ll get to that in a moment. The other significant option is that this one came with the Aerokit Cup. It’s an interesting choice that certainly provides a little more raciness to the exterior. There are a few other optional differences but other than Sports Suspension, which the other GTS had while this one does not, they are mostly minor and not much to get riled up about.
Ipanema wasn’t a terribly popular color for the 997. It’s why we don’t see a lot of them. But bright colors seems like they are back in style on 911s so maybe it’ll see a surge in popularity.
I have been featuring the GT3 RS a decent bit lately, with a few of those being the 997.1 models, so I thought I’d add in a couple of the less common colors we come across. As I’ve noted previously this model itself is one of my all-time favorite Porsches. I like the very bright Orange over Black version. As it turns out those are the most common, which is something we don’t get to say very often about an orange car.
The two we’ll see here aren’t nearly as common. However, assuming the numbers I have seen are correct, they only occupy second and third respectively on the rareness chart. The claim for most rare actually belongs to the Silver version I posted a couple of weeks ago. Nonetheless we don’t see these very often so they are always worth a look.
Let’s start with the highest priced, the very bright RS Green, which here sits with 9,078 miles on it:
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.
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.