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911 Sport Classic 3.8 – 408 ch [2010]

Rare 997s: six special editions

For some, it’s the ultimate generation of the Neunelfer: melding that classic 911 design with modern-day performance and sophistication, the 997 has it covered. While the earlier Gen1 cars brought back equilibrium for the 911’s aesthetics and build quality after six divisive years of 996, the arrival of the Gen2 in 2008 improved on reliability, usability and performance. Gone was the troublesome IMS bearing and bore scoring that had plagued the M96 and M97 engines. The new 9A1 engines had direct fuel injection, which offered better power with economy. Porsche also said goodbye to the Tiptronic gearbox, an archaic transmission by this point, replaced by the swift and intelligent dual-clutch PDK transmission still utilised in 911s with two pedals today.

Revered by enthusiasts and automotive journalists, the 997.2 has forever been thought of fondly, never suffering from the negative press incurred with the 996 or 997.1 (the latter thanks to question marks over its engine’s reliability). Of course, the ultimate barometer of success is to be found in sales figures, which were positive given the global financial meltdown in which the Gen2 cars were born into.

You could argue that Porsche itself looked auspiciously at the 997 era of production. With what was an all-new generation of 911 in the 991 firmly on the horizon, the company sought to celebrate this era with a series of run-out models that would truly leave their mark. Over a period of 730 days between 2010 and 2011, the company released no fewer than six special editions, all a consummate raid of the parts bin at least or, at best, a truly unique car, courtesy of the Exclusive department. Not since the 964 or 993 generation had the throng of special-edition 911s rolling off Porsche’s production line been so rich.

Just seven short years later, Total 911 has gathered this stellar sextet with Hexagon Classics in a world first. Most are worth far more than list price – incredible for a Neunelfer less than ten years old – and all are now appreciating. This is their story and brilliance, and why they were sure to be deep-rooted to the Porsche 911 hall of fame from the moment they rolled off the production line…

To read the full story, het your copy of Total 911 issue 162 in stores now. You can also order your copy direct to your door here, or download to any Apple or Android device. 

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Actualité : A vendre : Porsche 911 Sport Classic

L’équipe britannique d’Hexagon Classics, spécialiste des voitures de luxe et de prestige, propose actuellement à la vente un exemplaire de 2010 de la…

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Sales Spotlight: Porsche 997 Sport Classic

Over the last year, Porsche Exclusive’s bespoke builds have seemingly amounted to little more than a few stickers and a specially embossed armrest fitted to a near-standard production model.

However, with the department celebrating their 30th birthday this year, there has been a renewed focus on Exclusive’s limited edition back catalogue, including on Total 911’s latest front cover.

In recent memory, the Porsche 997 Sport Classic is perhaps the department’s most accomplished build and now you could add one to your collection, if you pay Porsche Centre Leeds a visit with £385,000 in your wallet.

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Yes, that’s right. £385,000. Despite the propensity for anniversaries to add significant premiums on the Porsche 911 market, the best part of £400,000 seems more than mildly ridiculous for a water-cooled Neunelfer.

Even so, there is a case to justify the enormous price tag at OPC Leeds. Just 250 examples of the Porsche 997 Sport Classic were ever made, making it more than six times rarer than the iconic 911 Carrera 2.7 RS (good examples of which can sell for more than £500,000).

Of course, the 997 Sport Classic doesn’t have the original Rennsport’s racing pedigree but, it isn’t without its dynamic delights thanks to the 410hp, Powerkit-equipped engine and six-speed manual gearbox – complete with short shift kit.

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What’s more, for many, the Sport Classic is one of the best looking modern 911s ever built, thanks to its combination of Sport Classic Grey paintwork, double bubble roof, ducktail and genuine 19-inch Fuchs alloys.

Porsche Leeds’ example, no. 228 of 250, has covered just 8,060 miles since new too, leaving the Espresso Brown leather interior almost completely unblemished. And, with a new 991 Sport Classic potentially on the way, interest in the 997 original is only going to make prices head one way.

So, is £385,000 too much for 997 Sport Classic? Well, like any collector’s car, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay. But, if the right buyer comes along…


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Porsche 997 Sport Classic driven

I will be the first to admit that my initial response to the Sport Classic was less than stellar. Introduced in 2010 at a time when the backdate 911 craze was in full frenzy, I rather casually viewed the Sport Classic press release as a spot of opportune mid-life badge engineering by Porsche.

At a price point of £140,000, it was a healthy premium over even a well-specced 997, for what appeared to be simple cosmetic trinkets. I suspect many others thought the same. We were all wrong.

Walking towards the Sport Classic, I begin to realise that, when you see one in the metal, any cynical dismissals of black-centred wheels and that ducktail were a mistake. All 250 Sport Classics are finished in this understated shade of ‘Sport Classic grey’.

Porsche Sport Classic wheels

There’s something uniquely retro about the colour, which the design team allegedly saw on a Porsche 356 and fell in love with. Opening the driver’s door, there’s deep brown ‘Espresso’ leather, with retro houndstooth-style panelling.

As I climb inside, I can’t help but glance rearwards over the wide wheel arches and beyond to that ducktail rear wing. It shouldn’t really work on a modern 911, yet it looks so right.

Closing the aluminium door, the power seat adjusters fall easily to hand. A couple of tweaks of the buttons, then a tug at the steering column adjuster gives me my favourite Porsche seating position, sitting in a beautifully trimmed Recaro with exquisite detailing and more luxurious Espresso natural brown leather.

Porsche Sport Classic wing

We have a real ignition key to insert into a lock barrel to start and a mechanical, leather-trimmed handbrake to release. The finely stitched Sports steering wheel is thicker than a standard 997 item, the extra diameter of the rim giving a far more tactile experience as we roll carefully off the kerb at a 45-degree angle to avoid catching that low front splitter.

Through the town centre traffic of Chester, the short throw gearshift feels rather stiff for the first mile or so. This Sport Classic hasn’t been used recently, so the fluids are cold.

Clear of the city traffic, the roads quicken into winding ‘A’ roads. Beside me, Howard, the car’s owner, gives directions to our photo location. With many years of classic Porsche rallying behind him, he can’t help but begin to offer a few notes as the pace builds.

To read our Porsche 997 Sport Classic test drive in full, pick up Total 911 issue 146 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

Porsche 997 Sport Classic

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Through Europe in the 911 Sport Classic

4,731 kilometers, 15 days, nine cities and three passionate travellers – one family on the road in the 911 Sport Classic.

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