My most recent used Porsche Market Report signposted rising demand for water-cooled Porsches: witness the 200-kilometre 996 GT3 RS that sold for £343,000 including premium at the recent RM Paris sale.
Good as this news may be for low-mileage GT3 RS owners, this trend is influenced in no small way by the rabid interest in low-volume, air-cooled collectables, as shown by the £1.8 million Porsche 993 GT2 at Sotheby’s in London last year and the £1.1 million Porsche 993 Turbo S Cabriolet at February’s RM Paris sale.
With prices now off the chart for real air-cooled rarities, prices for rarer water-cooled examples are being boosted with an air of expectation (not that a 200-km 996 GT3 RS is bad value at £340k if you have £5 million to spend on old cars). So while there is a growing respect for the rarer water-cooled models, high prices are linked to the staggering heights reached by air-cooled rarities at auction.
Many amongst Ferdinand’s core audience will disregard these one-off auction results as irrelevant to the market for old-school classic Porsche 911s built in greater numbers. However, where the money-no-object crowd places its bets has a direct effect on the mindset of anyone attempting to gauge where the price trends could take us during the next three to five years, assuming the external economic factors and influences remain broadly consistent.
Strong auction results do of course affect retail asking prices for 964RS, 911 Turbo and filter down to sales of the cheaper 911s. This trend then knocks on to other models, including the 944 Turbo and 968. Private sale asking prices are obviously linked quite closely to what dealers seem to be getting away with, so whatever happens in a showroom eventually makes its way to the classifieds.
Sadly for classic Porsche buyers, no truly undesirable models exist amongst the ranks of Stuttgart’s finest. Only those with a real taste of Volkswagen are anywhere close to the lower ranks of the pecking order – like the standard 924 and 912E (both of which I own/have owned myself, before you moan about elitism) – but everything else is now priced more than twice what it was a few years ago, such is the interest in classic Porsche product.
I still think the 912E is a great buy at the sort of level seen in RM Paris: £29,400 inc premium was a very good price for a collectable example, as many elements of these cars are unique. I wouldn’t want to be paying much more if buying for investment, but a low mileage minter will certainly cost at least that sort of price nowadays. These were very rare cars in their day and are not easy to find in top condition. That said, mine is destined for 911 power and some hot rod tweakery – I am not hunting for originality in my stable.