January 2019 has been a busy month for Porsche insurance valuations and market discussions activity. Porsche 964 prices have popped up in conversation several times. As serious buyers seem to be gathering data and preparing to compete for what pops up for sale during 2019 and insurance valuations for standard Carrera 2 models in good order now touching £60k, this year could be an interesting one for 964 prices.
Porsche 964 Production Numbers
Manufactured from 1989 to 1994, the Porsche 964 had a comparatively short production life versus its predecessors. The model years spanned a global recession, so sales were relatively low. The German publication, Deutsche Autos seit 1990 (Eberhard Kittler) gives global Porsche 964 production totals for volume models as follows:
|964 C2 Coupe||18219|
|964 C2 Cabriolet||11013|
|964 C2 Targa||3534|
|964 C2 Cabrio Turbo-Look||1532|
|964 C2 Speedster||936|
|964 C4 Coupe||13353|
|964 C4 Cabriolet||4802|
|964 C4 Targa||1329|
|964 C4 Jubilee Coupe||911|
|964 Turbo 3.3||3660|
|964 Turbo 3.6||1437|
|964 Carrera RS Coupe (3.6)||2282|
A document put together in the early 2000s by the Porsche Club Turbo Register of the time is said to show that just 130 RHD 3.3 Turbos and only 42 RHD 3.6 Turbos were sold in the UK. I have not checked this data but it would not surprise me, given the scale of the recession at the time and the astronomical cost new of the Turbo models.
However, with both 964 Turbo and 930 prices retreating from the highs of 2015/16 and no sign that values have settled as yet, buyers are wary of these models. Instead, most potential buyers I speak with are considering standard C2 and C4 Coupes. Good examples of both are in short supply.
Pistonheads currently has 96 ads listed under the heading of 964 for sale. Removing the non-964s and silly POA ads gets us down to 64. If we look solely at narrow body cars being sold in the UK with an advertised asking price, then here is a summary of what is available as at January 30, 2019:
|Porsche 964 C2/C4 Cabriolet (manual plus Tiptronic)||13|
|Porsche 964 C2/C4 Targa (manual plus Tiptronic)||4|
|Porsche 964 C2/C4 Coupe Manual||8|
|Porsche 964 C2/C4 Coupe Tiptronic||3|
Distilling the stock available on what is probably the biggest advertising portal for these cars in the UK to solely non-RS narrow body 964 models, we end up with a total of 28 cars, less than half of which are Coupe models. Just 8 of the 28 cars are Coupes with a manual transmission and several of those cars are either modified or optimistically priced, such as the 66k-mile C2 Coupe for sale by an OPC at £80k. This reduces the choice even further.
The low supply creates a problem for buyers. Low supply pushes prices up, but the general market trend is still downward, as the investors who were fuelling the spiralling prices cool their spending or spread their asset portfolios across other brands or hobbies and the classic Porsche market unwinds due to lower demand.
Potential buyers are therefore faced with a gamble on what the future holds for 964s. Will low supply and persistent demand keep things as they are, or, faced with an entry cost already higher than other air-cooled options, will buyers eventually move on to different 911 model lines including well-priced 997s, causing the micro-market to capitulate and bring 964 prices down with a bump? Hence the conversations this month with potential buyers and a number of potential sellers.
If a 964 Coupe is your must-have 911, then you are not alone: many others share your desire. While the supply of air-cooled cars in January tends to be lower than later in the year, there is a marked preponderance of soft tops and Tiptronic Coupes amongst the available stock. This is probably a true reflection of what is available in the UK and may not shift to any great extent as the season gets started.
As the low supply supports Coupe prices (within reason) – particularly for the holy grail of a low mileage 964 C2 manual Coupe – buyers will have to decide whether the 964 is ultimately worth the current premium over a well preserved 3.2 Carrera Coupe or a nicely priced 993.
No doubt the 964 makes a fun car to drive when modified in the usual ways, but the £55-60k start price on a decent 964 Coupe is a fair chunk of cash for most of us. I can’t say that I would opt for an average 964 at this price point given the available alternatives if investment was a priority, but it will be interesting to see how 964 market trends play out through 2019.