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Cut price Porsches: is the 911 Turbo out of favour?

It’s no secret the Porsche marketplace has undertaken something of an adjustment in the last two years or so, with prices of used Porsche 911s falling across the board. However, a closer look at the stats shows it is the iconic 911 Turbo which has almost uniformly tumbled in the last 24 months.

So what’s going on? “There’s been a real correction in the marketplace since 2017,” says Tom Wood, market expert from Porsche specialists Ignition Classics, who also gives a pretty good outline of why prices got so high in the first place. “Prices were at such a point where lovers of the 911 were no longer the only customers for these cars. 2012 was when, I think, the ears of the public, the media and potential investors pricked due to the rise of ‘Porsche personalities’, resulting in the prospect of owning an old 911 being ‘cool’ and people started buying them and falling in love with them.

“As such, investors started to get onboard with the idea, without having any real, in-depth knowledge of what exactly they were buying. This lead to a sale of just about anything with a 911 badge on the back. The nature of supply and demand then took its hold and the values rocketed, leaving much of the enthusiast market left behind. 

“However, these sky high values needed to be corrected, and cars are coming back into the hands of enthusiasts – but they’re not prepared to pay those inflated prices of recent times.” 

Wood’s comments are reflected across the entire marketplace, with the 911 R losing around £150,000 in value since 2017, while the average 2.7 Carrera RS has shrank in value by £300,000. And what about those Turbos? “ The Turbo model isn’t exclusive to this but it’s certainly a good example, as we’ve seen first hand the deals needed to be done to get cars sold,” says Wood.

As we’ve said in Total 911 magazine all year, the good news is it’s truly a buyer’s market right now, with plenty of choice available. Which brings us to the wide band of values at present: “Prices are spread out considerably,” Wood concurs, who focusses on the 996 Turbo as a case in point. “You could still pay £50,000 for an immaculate, low-mileage manual Coupe, while at the other end of the scale, a high-mileage, Tiptronic example can be had for around £30,000. There are more than 22,000 996 Turbos worldwide, and lower mileage cars with good specs are harder to come by.” 

However, is the recent dip in Turbo prices the start of a long-term trend? “It’s speculation, but I think there’s potential that this icon for a generation of buyers is now going to be the icon of the past generation, which may have an impact on future prices.

“However, given the way the world is headed, with a stronger focus on an efficient, renewable power source to drive cars – plus the concept of autonomous driving – is there a place for an analogue machine requiring real driver input, and which comes with a noisy soundtrack? With absolute certainty there will be. We’ll return to the days where you purchase a classic 911 for the love of it, to drive it and own it for a few years, and selling will hopefully result in you getting your money back but without expecting more.”

Wood, like all our experts in our cut price Porsche special issue, says good cars are still selling and selling well, so it’s important to do your research and spend as much as you can on the best example you can, to avoid a scenario of having to pay big bills to put a bad car right.

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3.2 Carrera Clubsport: the lightweight special

The proliferation of GT models over the last few years means we’ve arguably become a little spoilt when it comes to the concept of more focused, pared-back 911s. It was a rather more novel approach back in 1973 when the legendary 2.7 RS burst onto the scene, a model Porsche followed a year later with the much rarer 3.0 variant.

The SC RS continued Porsche’s burgeoning Rennsport tradition at the start of the 1980s, but the reality is it cannot be considered in the same vein as its predecessors. Just 21 were made, but it was also a pure competition car, unlike the homologated RS 911s of the 1970s. 

It would actually take until 1991 for the Rennsport badge to make a comeback on the decklid of a road-going Porsche 911 as we know it, this time attached to the 964.

That meant nearly a 20-year gap between these air-cooled homologation specials so coveted by enthusiasts today. There was, however, an attempt by Porsche between 1987 and 1989 to plug that gap with a lightweight special: the Clubsport

There was certainly space in the Carrera range of the time for something a little more focused, and with the 964 waiting in the wings it could be considered a fitting last hurrah before increasing modernity swept away many elements of 911 tradition. Even if it isn’t quite the real RS deal, this is a model that had more than a dusting of Rennsport magic, and today it’s a Total 911 favourite. 

Work on a prototype designated by Porsche as ‘911 F22 prototype sports package 2’ had begun in 1984, and it appeared on the road the following year featuring glass-fibre bumpers and the older 915 transmission, neither of which made it to the production version that would make its debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show two years later.

Initially aimed at those with an urge to participate in club-level racing and other track events, it would go on to make for a magical road car, albeit a rare one. Of the 340 made, just 53 would come to the UK, with a further 28 examples heading Stateside – yes, this is a lightweight special that was permitted for the American market. The majority of Carrera Clubsports – 169 – were produced in 1988.

Numbers like those should have ensured instant desirability, but rather to Porsche’s surprise the reality proved slightly different. Despite actually being cheaper than the 3.2 Carrera upon which it was based – not a strategy you could see Weissach embracing today, where less very much costs more – early sales were something of a struggle.

The reasons for this have never been fully explained, although it’s conceivable that the somewhat austere specification didn’t really chime with the period of 1980s excess, a time when the well-heeled wanted to flaunt their financial status with luxury cars. So what did ticking the option box marked ‘M637’ actually get a buyer for their £34,389?

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15 years of the Porsche 997.1

A new model of 911 is always controversial. Porsche enthusiasts tend to get so used to the current version that they can be almost resentful when it is replaced.

Indeed, the arrival of any new 911 is usually at least slightly controversial, and with over half a century of history, examples abound: the 964 disappointed for resembling its aging predecessor so closely; the 991 shocked some with its considerably larger dimensions and, for more conservative types, the 992 was not only wider still, but a daunting tech-fest.

Then, of course, there was the 996, Porsche’s imaginative and brave attempt to translate the 911 into the 21st century idiom. Such was the outcry that it was hard to distinguish whether it was the styling or the water-cooled engine which upset diehards more.

The original 901 attracted more curiosity than outright admiration, but in 1963 nobody knew what the future 911 would be capable of. 30 years later and the 993 was mostly favourably received, if still seen as quaintly old fashioned outside Porschedom

By contrast there was one 911 for which praise was unanimous when it appeared, and that was the 997. Here, Porsche managed to combine tradition and progress as never before or, for many people, since. Allow us to take you through the 997’s history, tech, and current standing.

Planning dictated that the 996 would run out six years after its launch, and preparations for that successor began within a year of the 996 appearing in the showrooms. In response to market and press reaction, ideas for its successor were already taking shape.

Two things became clear: if aesthetically modern, the 996 was a little too radical. The Carrera was seen as a shade too refined-looking, lacking a certain aggressive element.

If the Aerokitted versions partly addressed this, in reality they still looked too much like aftermarket modifications. The cabin, too, was not quite right: certainly it was more spacious, and ergonomically it addressed the classic faults of the old 911 cockpit, with its scattered and not always logical switchgear.

But the 996 interior’s curves were, for many observers, overstylised. There was also the matter that the 996 shared not just its cabin, but the entire body from the doors and A-pillar forward with the much cheaper Boxster. 

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PORSCHE GT1 ’98: ULTIMATE LE MANS RACER

Anyone with even a passing interest in Porsche’s motorsport activities can’t fail to be aware of its history at Le Mans, one that encompasses a record 19 outright victories. The last of those appearances on the winner’s rostrum was in 2017 with the dominant 919 Hybrid, but two decades previously, the 1990s was a more barren affair at Le Mans for Porsche.

The 15th win had been achieved in 1994 with the Dauer 962, a racer that was capable, but showing its age. It would take until 1998 to chalk up the 16th victory, and that would come courtesy of an entirely new, 911-derived design – the Porsche GT1.

Porsche knew that it needed something fresh to remain competitive, and that its new racer needed to look like the 911, so with Norbert Singer at the helm, it set to work on the GT1 to compete in the BPR GT Series.

Tony Hatter began drafting a design in 1995, one that borrowed pretty much the entire front section of the 993 – rather apt as he’d designed the car originally – but with the body cut behind the driver and with a new steel section grafted on behind to carry the engine and transmission that had been turned through 180 degrees and mid-mounted. 

After a 2nd and 3rd place at the 1996 Le Mans the car was updated for the 1997 season, becoming the GT1 EVO and gaining 996-style headlamps, among other developments. There was no finish at Le Mans that year, but despite outright victory remaining elusive, Porsche’s engineering director Horst Marchart was persuaded by race team boss Herbert Ampferer to stick with the project, and for 1998 what amounted to a completely new car was developed.

Effectively a clean-sheet design that shared almost no parts with the road cars, there was little pretence of remaining close to the production 911, despite the Board’s wishes – this was essentially a prototype, and in fact the FIA regulations required just one ‘Straßenversion’ road model to be built. 

The GT1 marked a number of firsts for Porsche, one of which was the use of a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, with the sections and panels constructed by English specialists, CTS. Talented engineer Horst Reitter had designed the carbon tub and he had plenty of experience, having also been responsible for Porsche’s first racing monocoque for the 956.

There was another key difference in that it was also designed entirely on computers, with no full-scale model produced, Singer adopting a new method to develop the aerodynamic package. 

A quarter-scale model was tested in the wind tunnel, with the data transferred to CAD computers for production of the final, full-sized car; that was then checked a second time in Weissach’s wind tunnel, many further hours being devoted to honing the final shape.

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Here’s Your Chance To Own A Le Mans Legend: Trust Racing Porsche 962 Up For Auction in London

This Thursday, a sparking example of a late-model 962 goes up for auction. At the RM Sotheby’s auction in Olympia Kingdom, Kensington, model 962-159 will make itself available to a lucky new owner—one who can probably recite the major players in Group C without much effort.

Perhaps better than any other version of he 962, this long-tail, high-downforce example demonstrates just how competitive the 962 was late into its career. This example raced only twice in its life—albeit both at Le Mans—which means 962-159 remains one of the most original and correct of all 962s. This car, sold to the Japanese Trust Racing team, added to the sizable 962 field at Le Mans during its debut—one of ten that year—and the quickest of the privateer 962s.

Impressively, this car qualified