This past weekend I caught a bit of the Mecum Auction action, and I was pretty stunned to see a fairly new 993 Turbo in Arena Red come across the auction block. Generally, when newer metal comes across the block at these auctions, the commentators break to commercial sponsors and don’t really pay attention. But the 911 market is such that this particular 993 – which wasn’t perfect, mind you – hammered for around $170,000 not including fees. The surge in air-cooled prices is amazing, and it seems that there’s a scramble to buy what good examples are left while they’re still affordable. Two cars were sent our way by readers last week that got me thinking more about this; one was the 993 Carrera 4S that you see here from our reader John, and a 2005 996 Turbo S in Signal Green – reportedly 1 of 1 – from our reader Michael. I’ve talked before about how the 996 Turbo is a screaming performance deal right now, and this one-off Turbo S wasn’t too far from the price of the 993 Carrera 4S offered here.
Obviously, despite being very similar cars in many respects the two have very different markets. Those in the 993 market are looking for a rapidly appreciating classic; a well proportioned, ultimate development of the air-cooled days of Porsche when limited production numbers, over engineering and sublime driving experiences ruled the day. Those in the 996 market are looking for the most performance they can buy, and a twin-turbo, all-wheel drive 911 is truly a car that now can be used all year long while lighting your hair on fire every time you hit the loud pedal. Unfortunately, that Signal Green example disappeared before I could get this article up; what I found to replace it might even be more astounding – a 997 Turbo Sport Chrono with less than 40,000 miles on the clock. Nearly a decade separates these two cars and there’s a substantial performance gap as well; which would you choose?