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.
The second-hand car market for almost-new Porsches is kind of amusing to me these days. On the one hand, you have the various GT cars – the GT3, GT3 RS, and GT2 RS. All of those have been selling for above MSRP and in the case of the GT2 RS the markup is high enough that you easily could buy yourself a second nearly-new 911 instead. They are amazing cars and prices will come down, but still.
On the other hand, you have pretty much every other Porsche on the market, which, like most any other car, goes through a decent bit of depreciation almost immediately. For instance, there is this Graphite Blue 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in Texas, with Graphite Blue/Chalk leather interior. In truth, this one probably isn’t even a particularly good deal, but it is one that I like quite a bit. The Graphite Blue exterior is a fantastic color, I really like the interior contrast, it has the 7-speed manual transmission, and it’s a Targa. There’s a lot to like about this 911.
To be clear, I am in no way perplexed by these phenomena; I just find it amusing.
I’m going to say from the outset that I really like this Guards Red 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa. I wouldn’t say there is much that’s terribly special about it, but its overall look is really grabbing me. A bright red 3.2 Carrera Targa that is presented well simply falls right into my wheelhouse for everything I love about the 911. I love the classic 911 design, I’ve always liked the versatility and appearance of the Targa, and the ’85 fits into a nice window with regard to value. And it is that last point that brings me to the one thing I don’t like about it: the price. It is possible that given the condition and low mileage that this Targa isn’t priced too badly, but I’m not so sure about that. Though even if it is too highly priced it still foretells a movement of these early Carreras into pricing that simply seems beyond what I’d want to spend for one. Oh well. Let’s take a look at it though because as I said I love the car itself.
Sometimes I just want something simple. I’ve been posting a lot of newer and very expensive 911s lately and I must admit they are very hard to pass up. Especially now that Porsche has brought a healthy dose of color back to the 911 lineup both through the standard colors available and also through their paint-to-sample option, which even with its hefty price increase has been a frequent selection.
That, of course, brings me to the 911SC, the model that we might thank for convincing Porsche that it was the 911 upon which the marque should hang its hat. The success of the 911SC and its successor the 3.2 Carrera paved the way for the beautiful machines we see today. Or at least they got us far enough along for Porsche to commit to it since a good bit of Porsche’s success today can be laid at the feet of the Cayenne and Macan.
But I digress. As you can see, this isn’t a brightly colored 911. Bright colors were available during the SC’s time, but kind of like the 996 they aren’t quite as prevalent. Nonetheless, this 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa, in Pewter Metallic over Brown/Beige, still looks pretty good even if its exterior color won’t necessarily get your blood boiling. It’s simple, but should still be quite enjoyable.
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.
Yes, you have read the title correctly. This 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa houses a 537 horsepower 8.2 liter V8 from a 1970 Cadillac Eldorado. A couple weeks ago I posted the Safari 911 and began that post stating, “Let’s get weird.” Little did I know just how weird things would get.
From the outside there actually isn’t too much to really distinguish this 911 from any other SC of the period. Observers might notice the extensive grill work on the boot lid, but otherwise it looks like a 911 that someone has stuffed a bunch of luggage in the back. The condition even looks quite good. If you start poking around though you’ll realize things are not quite what they seem. I imagine pulling up next to it at a stoplight would reveal a little bit as well!
This obviously isn’t a very traditional method for modifying any 911, but for the owner it was the culmination of a desire stemming from his teenage years. I’m not sure I’d ever consider such a thing myself, but as someone who does lust after some of the V8 Miatas that lurk the streets I can’t say I don’t totally understand the impulse. I’m not sure ‘unique’ even begins to describe it.
A couple days ago I featured a 911 that had undergone a bit of a transformation into what we might best describe as an off-roader. I thought it seemed like a potentially interesting project, but in its present condition seemed somewhat incomplete. The pricing also didn’t seem great all things considered.
Here we can look at something similar though nearly the opposite. This is a Burgundy Metallic 1977 Porsche 911S Targa and unlike the 911S Safari, as it was dubbed, this one appears in nearly original condition, was under long-term ownership, has very low mileage, and looks pristine. At its best, this is what a mid-year 911 can look like. As I noted in the Safari post, the general lack of desirability of these models makes them good candidates for unique projects. With this one maybe we’ll see just where the market presently lies for an original example.
I have more or less made it my mission to post all of the interesting Targas I come across. It is a 911 model I have loved since my first encounter with one in the ’80s and I have grown particularly fond of the design in its present iteration for the 991. We don’t see a lot of them because they aren’t a lot of them, but thankfully enough buyers chose to get them in interesting colors that there is still some choice out there for those who don’t want the typical offerings. I still wish it were available as rear drive, but just returning to the original roll-hoop design will have to suffice for now.
Here we have a paint-to-sample (Irish Green?) 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in Houston, with 7-speed manual transmission and 4,423 miles on it. For those who like their 911s to be optioned rather simply this one is pretty much paint-to-sample, a set of wheels, upgraded stereo, and that’s about it. In that regard, it’s all about the color.
Here we have a 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa that comes in a kind of unusual color. Unusual in the sense that I’m not quite sure what it is. The seller simply lists it as Gold, but that’s not terribly helpful. It could be Gold Metallic, which had been available in earlier years though I don’t think it was available in 1983. Platinum Metallic could be another option, which I believe was available in 1983. But it doesn’t really look like either of those colors. Or perhaps Casablanca Beige, a rare color we have seen before. To me, the color it looks most like actually is Lime Gold Metallic, but unless I’m mistaken that’s a relatively recent color. It, of course, recently could have been repainted Lime Gold. The seller doesn’t mention this and, unfortunately, because most of the pictures show it parked in the shade we can’t get a very good sense of how it truly looks. The interior is brown leather, which was available in the early ’80s and works reasonably well with this exterior color. Overall I don’t know that I’ve seen a 911SC with this color combination. It may not be original, but that’s something that should impact its selling price more than whether we dismiss it entirely or not. I think it looks pretty good!
I can’t keep up with all of Porsche’s special editions. The one we see here, a 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Design Edition, is one that I was not even aware had been produced. Part of that is it isn’t really all that special, it’s more a chance for the Exclusive department to produce something than it is a celebration of a production milestone or anything of that sort. Like a lot of such projects from Porsche the Exclusive Design Edition pretty much consists of some special color combinations and interior accents unavailable on any other 911. And, of course, all are combined in one package. Only 100 were built so your chances of seeing one, let alone purchasing one for yourself, are very slim. Does that make them especially desirable?