Legendary fashion designer Ralph Lauren is no small time car collector. In fact, his collection ranks up there with the very best in terms of quality and his stunning way to showcase some of them. He doesn’t show them off all that frequently, but when he goes, he usually goes big. His Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is nearly priceless, but some have estimated it to be worth north of $40mil. Even with his extreme wealth, he isn’t taking it out for a drive on a Tuesday afternoon. He has other cars for that. Some of those cars are Porsches, and more specifically, Porsche GT cars. He has been spotted in a 997 GT3 RS and GT3 RS 4.0, so it shouldn’t surprise you at what we are looking at today.
This 2014 991 GT3 was reportedly purchased new by Lauren and enjoyed before being traded in on a 991 GT3 RS Weissach Package. An understandable upgrade to say the least. The normally silver or black wheels were painted white to give the car an exceedingly clean look when finished off with the clear taillights. Now the car is for sale Porsche Atlanta Perimeter and kudos to them for not trying to cash in on the celebrity ownership. Heck, they don’t even mention that it was his car.
Porsche GT cars are hotter than ever it seems. If you aren’t ordering a new GT3 RS with paint-to-sample, 18-way adaptive sport seats, carbon ceramic brakes and $72,000 in other options, are you even living? Lots of people literally obsess over these things and I guess it makes sense as these are big decisions, like whether or not to spring for the $1,300 carbon fiber door sill plates. However, back when we were still in the infancy stage of Porsche GT car madness, things were much simpler thanks to one of the cars that started it all: the 996 GT3 RS.
Just 682 were ever built and exactly zero were configured for the North American market. You had no choice of color. Carrera white and you’ll like it. However, you did have a choice of wheel and sticker color of either dark red or light blue. From the cars that are publicly seen, it seems like most of them were optioned in red. These RS cars were exactly what you’d expect. A more hardcore version of the 996 GT3 that admittedly was already a pretty raw car. The RS received a bunch of lighter body panels, a Mezger 3.8 liter that could rev to 8,200 rpm, and some other small changes that is detailed below if you really want get nerdy about it. Now that everyone is into respecting their elders, it only was a matter of a time until one of these made its way to America. This 2005 up for sale in California is a left-hand drive Japanese car that is fully EPA and DOT compliant for road legal use in America thanks to the 996 GT3 RS being on the NHTSAs list of cars that can be imported through a registered importer. The price? A brand new 2019 GT3 RS, plus a Cayenne for your significant other, is less expensive than what you’ll have to pay to take this one home.
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.
This is easily the most interesting new GT3 I have seen. I won’t say that it’s the best, but it definitely is the most interesting. It also is one of the most beautiful. Let’s start with the color: paint-to-sample Amethyst Metallic. I firmly believe it is one of Porsche’s most underrated colors. Released in the early ’90s it isn’t one we come across too often, even among the many PTS 911s we see these days. On the 964 it was a really good-looking color. On the 991.2 GT3 it’s simply stunning. I’ve seen a few different pictures of this car (I believe in previous posts from GRP) and it easily is one of the most striking available. Porsche has made some stunning greens, blues, and yellows over the years, but what makes Amethyst special is the way it is completely different from all of those. It’s unique and very pretty at the same time.
But this isn’t just a PTS GT3, as nice as that PTS exterior is. The interior too received significant extras.
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.
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 (lichtgrÃ¼n) 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.
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 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.
This is a Speed Yellow 2007 Porsche 911 GT3, located in North Carolina, with 53,500 miles on it. As you can see, like the very wonderful GT3 RS I wrote up a few days ago it has a few miles on it. Not a ton, but enough that we know its owners have derived some joy out of it. As they should.
However, it’s not quite as perfect and worry-free as that RS. There are some flaws and those raise questions. The uncertainty they create will scare away many potential buyers. They’ve also brought with them a lower price; the lowest price I believe I’ve seen for a 997 GT3. I won’t call this post a “roll of the dice” because I’m not sure you roll the dice on a car costing more than $80K, or at least not one without deep six-figure upside, but can you live with a little less certainty?