By on May 8, 2013

What's the diff? Picture courtesy Pelican Parts

Are you ready to have the value of your car double while you own it? From $25,000 to $50,000 and beyond? And are you ready to experience this appreciation for an incremental maintenance cost of between $2,400 and $5,000 a year?

Then Bloomberg has a car for you. Just make you read the article instead of staring at the pretty pictures.

In yesterday’s Loot Blog, Bloomberg’s James Tarmy makes the case for owning a 1984-1989 Porsche Carrera 3.2. He discusses ownership, insurance, and repair costs for these evergreen air-coolers… those costs being New York running costs, of course. It’s unlikely to cost you $1100 a year to insure an ’84 911 in, say, central Ohio. Ask me how I know. Best of all, the cars are scheduled to double in value any day now:

Appreciation. A late-’80s Porsche should roughly double in value as you drive it, says Tashjian. “A generation is just now retiring and has a lot of disposable income,” he says… Bloomberg car reviewer Jason Harper seconds Tashjian’s assessment. “You’re basically driving the car for free,” he says merrily. “Everyone and their cousin wants an old 911, including me. But one of the great things is that they really are a workaday sports car.”

Some sellers are of the opinion that the value explosion has already happened. It’s true that the prices of these cars are creeping up. There are a lot of them out there — it was the best-selling Porsche in the company’s history in the pre-Playskool-Krap-Kayenne-era — but there were also a lot of ’57 Chevies out there and people are willing to pay good money for those.

I’ll offer a little advice beyond what the Bloomberg people give: What you want is a 1987, 1988 or 1989 Carrera coupe with the G50 transmission and plenty of options. So-called Turbo-Looks are big as well, but they’ve already appreciated. 1984-1986 examples are worth less because of their unpopular transmissions. Targas are worth less. Cabriolets are worth much less. Don’t ever buy a droptop Porsche thinking you’re going to make money unless it was originally driven to the dealership by Max Hoffmann. As Bruce Anderson always says, buy the newest example in the best condition you can afford.

The difficulty with the appreciation curve people are predicting for the Carrera 3.2 is simple: almost everyone who would like to have a 1984-1989 Carrera 3.2 would probably rather have a 1995-1998 Porsche Carrera 3.6. Sure, you’ll come across the occasional fellow who demands rubber bumpers or can’t stand a six-speed transmission, but in general the “993″ is a superset of the 911, containing all virtues of the earlier car plus a few new ones. So the value for a solid 1989 Carrera 3.2 G50 will always be capped at one dollar less than a 1995 993 Carrera in identical condition. Simple as that. Come back in twenty years and tell me if I’m wrong.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice the 1990-1994 gap in the above discussion. That’s because those years are given over to the brilliant but star-crossed 964 Carrera. These cars suffer from a variety of issues: crumbling flywheels, missing head gaskets (by design; Porsche figured their machining was so precise a gasket was unnecessary), crappy automatic transmissions, and in the Carrera 4 model, a hideously complex all-wheel-drive system lifted from the 959 supercar with all the fragility and high parts that entails. The 1995-1998 Carrera 4 uses a much simpler front and center differential pair that also works considerably better. The 1989 Carrera 4 in particular is probably the least reliable modern air-cooled Porsche.

But since it debuted in 1989 and was sold at the same time as the 1989 Carrera 3.2 rear-wheel-drive model, it’s theoretically a “1984-1989 Porsche Carrera”. Which must be why the Bloomberg story leads with a picture of two 1989 C4s rolling lustily down a road. The photo was taken a long time ago. We know this because there aren’t two 964 C4s in that kind of condition in geographic proximity anywhere in the world. There may not even be one.

So follow Bloomberg’s advice if you must. Just don’t look at the picture, okay?

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91 Comments on “Bloomberg Recommends Reliable Used Porsches Using Picture Of Famously Unreliable Used Porsches...”


  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Jack, I’m trying to figure out if you are a big Porsche fan, or pissed off from being burned by them. Would you mind writing a piece on your experience with their cars? I’d be very interested in reading it. I’m hoping one day to get a 911 and would love some REAL thoughts about Porsche ownership. The only guy I know who owns a 911 won’t even talk about his ownership with the car.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      Are you familiar with the term, “love/hate relationship”?

    • 0 avatar

      I thought he did. It was called “Porsche Deadly Sins” and ran in 4 parts.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      I’m just trying to figure out what he’s trying to say with this quote:

      “There are a lot of them out there — it was the best-selling Porsche in the company’s history in the pre-Playskool-Krap-Kayenne-era…”

      Sure if you add up every 911 derivative since day one (and even count the 912s) up to this very second, 911s are the best sellers by “model”. But they’ve never been the best-seller in any year that I recall when Porsche offered up anything else on the menu.

      The 914 outsold the 911. The 924 outsold it. The 944/951 outsold it. The 968 almost outsold it. Even the 928 generally outsold it – and it cost more, even back when $80K was real money.

      Beyond that, 911 production from Butzi’s initial mistake right up to today is about 550K units v. about 924@121K, 944@163K, 928@61K, 914@118K, and the 968@13K – That’s 476K units just from about 25 years without even throwing in a few years of Boxster production.

      The 911 basically almost never outsells real clean-sheet Porsches except on odd Tuesdays with a full moon. Hell, they sell more Panameras than 911s.

      Oh yeah. If you were crazy enough to buy an uber-Beetle, you will always be fixing that piece of primitive nonsense where nothing is where it should be (though they finally fixed the pedals). Meanwhile the guys in 944s and 928s and 968s who did their routine maint will be on their original engine and trans at 200K miles and laughing as you pony up for yet another engine rebuild for that stone-axe junkpile. And whine about your obscene maint costs which are 5 times what they are for clean-sheet Porsches.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      I’d take that as a hint.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I always have to wonder why anybody would reasonably buy an object that has depreciation issues and think you aren’t going to spend money to own it.

    I won’t claim to be familiar with maintenance costs but I see not-nearly-used up porsches from the early 2000s hovering around 10-20K. I imagine they have age issues but nothing too devastating, so why chase cars creeping up on 30 when you can have a much faster car for a relatively reasonable sum of cash.

    • 0 avatar
      graham

      For the same reasons a 10-yr old BMW 5-Series is worth less then a 30-yr old one.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Nostalgia? I’ve heard build quality arguments but the actual repair numbers don’t really belay that statement. Are the repairs just significantly more expensive? The only friend who owned something in that stratosphere was a Lotus Espirit and it was beautiful…till he blew the engine and sunk about 10K into it for an overhaul.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          People who actually have significant money saved (and are starved for yield) are increasingly buying all manner of tangible items given the backdrop of the Ben Bernanke, ECB & BOJ Liquidity Tsunami Parlor Games, which is simply a newest but most extreme bubble blowing exercise by the world’s central banks that any of us have seen in our lifetime.

          This is what happens when monetary policy is used as a tool to steal from savers and workers, in order to transfer those massive sums to financial and banking entities.

          Irrational monetary policy distorts the actual economy, destroys price discovery, and culminates in bizarre and increasingly desperate acts to attempt to capture alpha or at least preserve capital.

          Blow bubbles, then a bust….blow bubbles, then a bust…blow bubbles, then….

          Fret not. It will end differently this time sayeth the Bernanke

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    I have always thought the 964 was the last true Porsche that actually looks like a Porsche. I find the huge asses on all subsequent models a huge turn off. I just can’t stand all these new cars with huge asses for no reason. I’m looking at you CTS Coupe…sheesh.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      I’m with you.. The 964′s were beautiful, the 993′s..too bulbous… the 996′s…meh…

      Personally, I’m going to be in the market for a 997.2 in a few years. I know some people hate, but I think those are the nicest looking ones since the 964′s apparently all self destructed.

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    Agreed on 1995-1998, last of the air-cooled,best looking, et al
    Yes, buy the best 993 you can afford, period

    I do know a guy with 1991 C4 that he’s had since new and has only done regular maintenance, has maybe 70,000 miles on it. With that being said, the lead tech at the local Porsche dealership is a wizard.

    With all 911s, of course, plan on rear tires every 8,000-10,000 miles, and when you’re looking at a $15k engine or transmission rebuild, just remember, unlike most cars, it’s probably actually worth it

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      I had a 1991 C4 and sold it at 88kmiles in 2008. If I had to do it again, I’d hang on to it and if the AWD went south, have it converted to a C2. That AWD was called the Sputnik drive and had everything short of a flyball governor in it. Even if you know someone who can diagnose and fix it, costs of 20+ year old Porsche NOS parts is …. substantial.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      A Lycoming O-320 (an air-cooled flat four) costs that much to rebuild. At least the TBO is over 2000 hours (which can take you over 200,000 nautical miles).

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    All the air-cooled 911s (1964-1998) are iconic and very different from the 1999 and up wasser cooled cars. Collectors/speculators will gravitate to the air-cooled cars as there are fewer of them available every day.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I’ve always thought the 80′s Porsche 911′s were the best looking ones. The late 90′s ones are kind of ugly in my opinion, they have beadier eyes and too many lines in the bumper.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Well, maybe you a buy the Porsche, keep it a few years, drive it one maybe..park it. Follow used parts sales…then start parting it out. No insurance, fuel, wear and tear, or parts issues. Just a Porsche piggy bank with strange appreciation.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Edmunds did a LT test of an ’85 911 awhile back.

    I think they spent about $4200 on maintenance/repairs while they owned it (about $800 of that amount went to tires).

  • avatar
    Mykl

    I haven’t read the whole article yet (neither here nor there), but this immediately stood out…

    “•New tires every four years, at a cost of $1,200, so on average $300 a year”

    Why buy a fast car if you’re going to drive it so infrequently, and so gently that you can make a set of tires last for four years?

    Okay, back to reading…..

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Depends on the car. I’ve had tires last 60,000 miles or more on a run of the mill mid-size passenger car, and 15K miles/year isn’t infrequent driving. Definitely never hooned that car. Don’t some Michelins say they’ll go to 80,000?

      If you have an AMG Mercedes, then yeah, that doesn’t work. You can be like those idiots on Tire Rack who complain that the tires on their AMG only lasted 8,000 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        Mykl

        Definetely, but I did say “fast car.” I fully expect the Firestones I put on my fiance’s Scion to last four years, but if you make a set of tires last that long on a 911 I’d argue that you’re doing something wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          My Miata won’t go longer than about 15k miles on a set of tires. Anything remotely sporty doesn’t play anywhere near the league of 60k mile tires, because you’re sure not going to put high-mileage all-seasons on a sports car. Even on my 140 hp hairdresser car, anything but a UHP (ultra high performance) tire won’t cut it. The plus side with the Miata: 15″ high performance tires are cheap.

          The guys with AMGs aren’t necessarily idiots. That’s just the nature of the types of tires on those types of cars. My brother had a 350Z and mostly drove it very conservatively. Those pricy OEM 19″ rear tires didn’t last more than 10k miles, either. You can’t compare it to your Honda Accord. Be happy it’s not a sports motorcycle where 10k miles is considered “touring tire” territory.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            They are idiots because they complain that their tires only lasted 8,000 miles. There’s a reason why, they just aren’t acknowledging it. It’s called your foot can’t stay off the gas.

            I doubt your brother drove that 350Z as conservatively as you think if they only lasted 10K. I know of a G35 coupe (almost the same car as his Z) that went 25K+ driven conservatively — that was on the OEM 19″ Y-rated $300+ each staggered tires. I’m pretty sure it’s not the extra 5 horsepower due to the less quiet muffler on the Z that produced the difference.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            I probably should have said something along the lines of “car with sporting intentions” instead of “fast.” I’m the same with my GTI as you are with your Miata… I might get a year out of a set of tires just driving to work and back, and I’m getting the summer tires that are on the upper end of the treadwear spectrum among sporty tires.

            If I take the car up to the mountains even for a just a two day tour the front tires, even if they’re brand new, are going to need to be replaced when the trip is done.

            I just can’t fathom what type of person buys a car like the 911 with the intention of driving it at all, that can stretch a set of tires out for that long.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Remember with tires is not just how you drive, but what they are put on, and what kind of tires they are. I got 30K out of each set of Goodyear Eagle Gatorbacks on my Probe and that was spirited driving to say the least. Even my most pedestrian car always received “ultra” high performance all seasons and they, too never ventured much past 25K to 35K. Touring tires on my commuter made it to 50K. I can’t even imagine the drag of driving with so called “passenger” tires that come with 80K wearout warranties…

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            Why would you buy a 300 hp car with Y rated, $300 tires to NEVER step on the gas? Moderation is one thing, complete abstinence means you bought the wrong car (and tires).

            My brother himself once said, “When you have the power, you don’t have to use it,” to which my response was, “If you don’t have any intention of using the power, buying it is a waste of money.” This isn’t a war against terrorism here, it’s using the right tool for the job. Camrys and all-season tires are for economical transportation, and sports cars with appropriate tires are for enthusiastic driving, knowing that you’re throwing a certain amount of money out the window for the pleasure.

            I guess you could argue that sports cars are also for posing, but then you and I would disagree on what the actual purpose of a sports car is.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            I don’t think we’re disagreeing on much, JuniperBug, I was just pointing out the possible range on those tires. And judging from having ridden in said car, the driver still took freeway entrance/exit ramps with gusto and took spirited drives on twisty canyon roads occasionally. There just weren’t any smoky burnouts that took off 2000 miles worth of tread at once.

            Mykl — in one weekend in the mountains you can wear them out on a GTI? Methinks you are wasting a lot of energy on wheelspin and understeer, no?

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            corntrollio, that’s with clean driving, but with 1000 miles at 8-9/10′s pace, much of which occurs on old, rough pavement. You can’t really understeer much on a two lane road when there’s only a foot or two between you and oncoming traffic, or the shoulder which leads to a tree or a ditch. I guess I could have accelerated the wear with the wheel-spin that happened because of the rain for about two runs up and down Deal’s Gap though. When the roads were dry wheel-spin didn’t happen much.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @mykl – you are buying the wrong tires. I put Hankook Ventus V12s on my GTI and got 25k out of them. I drove it very hard, took it to the track a couple times too. They handle amazing in the wet or dry, not too noisy (until the end anyway) and were very long lasting for UHP summer tires.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            @mnm4ever, I’ve got a fair number of track days and autocrosses under my belt and given the roads and pace I was driving all I can really say is that I’m not surprised that I can nuke a pair of tires in the kind of mountain trips I take.

            On my last run up, on Bridgestone RE760s, I drove up and down Deal’s Gap four times. That’s basically 80 miles of autocross, which is absolutely brutal on a set of tires all by itself. Then there are all the lesser used roads between there and the point in South Carolina where I begin my tour.

            When I plan these trips I sit down with Google Maps and zoom in on the squirmiest lines I can find, and then I tie them all together as best I can and load them into my GPS. Because 90% of the roads I run on aren’t main roads which have a lot of traffic I can treat my tour like my own personal tarmac rally where I’m only allowed to use 1/2 of the road (my lane).

            When I say “worn out” I don’t mean I’ve belted them. They’re not even bald. If I rotate them to the rear of the car I could probably get another safe 10,000 miles out of them. When I say “worn out” what I mean is that they’re no longer suitable for a “performance driving event.” As in, they wouldn’t make it through a whole track day, or they wouldn’t survive another mountain run.

          • 0 avatar
            chrishs2000

            RE760′s are bad tires for heavy FWD cars. I blew through a set in less than 10k miles on my Accord V6 6MT. I get more miles out of Hankook Ventus V12′s in my S2000 while drifting around every corner I see.

          • 0 avatar
            Mykl

            chrishs2000, thanks for the tip, I may give those a try next time around. At some point I’ll be purchasing a second set of wheels for track specific rubber, so durability will be the first consideration for a street tire from that point on.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          But Porsches also aren’t often daily drivers. You could probably drive 3-4K/year and get the tires to last 4 years.

          You aren’t going to take a 911 on long trips, so if you’re not commuting with it, 3-4K is still pretty generous time to enjoy it.

          • 0 avatar
            Redshift

            Sorry. Commenting system being weird again.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            Mine are, but they’re real Porsches (ie not uber-Beetles).

            I have one 928 with 350K miles on the original engine (trans was fine but I upgraded at 250K). Nothing has ever been done to it but routine maint and it’s hardly the only one out there. I’ve got a fresh plant sitting on a shelf waiting for a free week to slap it in and do a bunch of upgrades at the same time.

            Plenty of 150K+ mile Peppers out there, daily drive, no worries just routine maint.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      If you drive about 5K/year, then you’d be able to stretch a set of Max performance summer tires out to about 3 years. That’s more realistic of a scenario for a second/third car, IMHO.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I own three collector cars, including a Porsche 924S. I’ve put about 30 feet on the 924 so far this year. I might, in a good year, put 5K miles on between all of them. In much of the country these are summer only toys at this point. While you certainly COULD use a 911 as a daily driver, you would have to be pretty diehard to do it at this point.

        BTW – all those legends about the cost of Porsche parts are entirely true. Even my 924S, which is 75% old VW and Audi parts is horrifyingly expensive to get right, and it wasn’t bad to start with. 100% unmolested original car that sat for a while.

        • 0 avatar
          AFX

          “I own three collector cars, including a Porsche 924S.”

          LOL.

          Since when has a 924S ever been considered a collector car ?. I usually see those as $2,500 Craiglist specials. You could buy two 924S cars for the price of a clapped out Chevy Cobalt.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            You would probably surprised what a nice “S” goes for these days. Note that a 924 and a 924S are rather different cars. Beat ones are cheap, nice ones are not.

            Actually, in general front engine Porsches are also starting to appreciate in value – there aren’t many left! Trouble is they cost more to maintain than a 911. Not that I bought this car as an investment – it is simply very, very nice to drive, and I love the way they look.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            Dude, where are you getting your parts?

            A 924S should cost about what a 944 does to maintain – which is about $2K per 50K miles at most insanely anal. (Doing your own thing ‘natch.)

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Porschespeed

            I don’t disagree with that figure too much – once you have the car where it should be.

            The problem with this one is that it has been sitting a LONG time in a HOT climate. Pretty much everything rubber under the hood needed replacing, and the oil cooler resealed, and the old-style oil pressure relief valve replaced, brakes rebuilt, and on and on. I went into it with eyes wide open, and it has still been a crapload of money compared to every other European car I have ever owned. It will be a nice reliable car when it is done though.

            It’s that like that old saying that every e28 M5 is a $20K car – you can buy one for $5K and spend $15K on it, or you can just buy a $20K one. I think every nice 924S/944 is about a $12K car… I didn’t pay $12K for mine… I’m OK with “sweat equity” though, it just takes a while due to my work travel, and I know I will never, ever get my money back.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            @krhodes1,

            I get your point, you do have work to do. I would offer just that you spend some time on Rennlist and Rockauto – all Porsches are just assemblages of subcontracted parts, and once you figger out who made them and how to source them through secondary channels, they really aren’t that expensive.

            One of my friends is doing yet another “musclecar” and I just cringe at the prices he’s paying for run-of-the-mill parts for a piece of rote GM garbage that you’ll see 12 of at every ‘cruise’.

          • 0 avatar
            Grahambo

            Afx (or AFDC as my auto-correct says), a 924S is indeed a very special car. It drives much better and is more useable than any 911 of a similar age. No question about it. It will also be much cheaper to maintain and much more durable – if treated right – in the long term. As for collectability? When I think of that, I think of a bunch of stupid fat baby boomers spending $150K on Hemi Chargers or Shelby Mustangs that a GTI – and perhaps even a bog standard Golf – will outperform in any real world conditions (and, most importantly, be more fun). Or the selfsame spending $20K or whatever ridiculous price for an authentic, genuine, limited edition Eric Clapton Crossroads editionTM Brownie Strat when a $300 80s MIJ Squier Strat craps on it in every objective respect. Yes, 911s are 911s just like Beyonce is Beyonce. But give me the Super Furry Animals every goddamned time.

      • 0 avatar
        CapVandal

        It’s not a bug — it’s a feature.

        Michelin Pilot Sport PS2′s have a 20k warranty, which is adjusted down by 1/2 to 10k if you can’t rotate back to front.

        (Split fitments – If your vehicle has tires of different sizes on the front versus the rear axles, your tires cannot be rotat as recommended. Therefore, the mileage warranty on each rear tire will cover half the number of miles as the standard mileage warranty for that particular tire line.)

        These tires are optimized for handling, not tread wear.

        And are Y speed rated.

        Tires are the least of it when it comes to owning a sports car.

        A car as an investment is more of a fantasy than a strategy. Buy something that you can easily afford and drive it like you stole it. Invest in things that generate cash — not use it.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          I’ll be replacing Pilot Sport 2′s with Pilot Super Sports. I got maybe 23k miles out of the PS2s but that is on a DD in mixed driving.
          The first set of tires on my old C4 were something called Eagle S’es. AX tires? Who knows. I know they were were shot at 8K miles. Tread wear rating of 40. Boy, they were fun.

        • 0 avatar
          porschespeed

          Speed rating isn’t the thing that matters – it’s the wear rating.

          Slap some gumball racetrack sticky UTQG rated treadwear 80 on a car and it’ll be spectacular – for 4K miles mas o menos.

          Put some P-Zero Neros with the same speed rating but a 220 treadwear, they might actually make it 20K miles. Not as 10/10ths sticky, but not bad.

          • 0 avatar
            chrishs2000

            Wear rating is for comparative purposes only and generated on a government test track. It really means absolutely nothing – tires wear completely differently when driven hard vs. driven on a government test track.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            You’re right, it’s relative.

            But at the end of the day, 80 UTQG will generally wear out 3 times faster than 240 UTQG. That may be more or less miles than you want, but it’s still a valid comparison.

            You may only get 3K miles of tracking a 240 tire, but you’ll only get 1K miles doing the same thing to an 80 tire.

            Make sense?

    • 0 avatar
      Redshift

      I’m probably just being a little obsessive, but, I tend to change the tires on my sporty cars due to age more than mileage anyway.
      After about 3 seasons, I find the combination of age and heat cycles means they don’t have the “stick” they did before, so I change them.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      I don’t understand 10k miles out of a set of high performance tires just because they are high performance tires. My G37S came with Bridgestone Potenza RE050As. At 44k miles, they are not quite down to the wear bars. Because it’s the street, I don’t drive at ten tenths, but I still leave ordinary traffic far behind through corners.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    As an 80s 911 owner, I can attest that if you’re buying one of these with the expectation it doubles in value during the course of your ownership, the chain tensioner in your brain may have slipped, or the air box in your frontal lobe may have just assploded.

    Sure, a very small minority of absolute cream-puff zero mileage cars might just hit collector jackpot money, as might some very specific models which contain the letters C and S or S P E E D S T E R. Otherwise, if you maintain it properly, fixing everything that breaks ($) and keep the mileage down, you might just sell it for what you paid for it (keep your repair receipts to show the new buyer, and to remind you later when you’re tempted to buy another 911, just how far in the hole you will fall…again).

    You buy this car because you love it. Because it was the coolest car of the era. Because it remains a pure automotive expression, both visually and viscerally, even today.

    But if you’re taking the plunge as an investment? Put down the Excellence Magazine and walk away. Just walk away.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’m not sure they are wrong. Just like muscle cars were worthless for ages then exploded, and Jag E-Types that suddenly doubled in a few years. They have a point – muscle cars were what that generation desired, and when they made it big the prices went crazy. My generation lusted after 911s in the 80′s and are now approaching those flush with money years.

    • 0 avatar
      CapVandal

      +1

      As an investment — just walk away.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      “You buy this car because you love it. Because it was the coolest car of the era.”

      Since when has a street Porsche ever been the coolest car of it’s era ?. That’s been like…NEVER. I can think of a dozen cars from each era from the 1950′s on up until now that were cooler than the Porsche of the same era.

      • 0 avatar
        porschespeed

        930 Turbo wasn’t bad for it’s day, the 917 was homologated and street drivable, and the 928 S4 was the fastest production car you could buy in the USA in 1986-87 according to the FIA.

        A 951 was the baddest kid on the block for $28K back in the mid-late 80s.

        But, I do understand where you’re coming from. Porsches are tools to accomplish a job, just like Benzes. I love them both for that reason, but when I start talking ’bout lust it’s a Lambo Muira. Or Jalpa. Or Silhouette. Or 400GT. Or Espada, or Jarama, or …

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        “Cool” is in the eye of the beholder. While I’m never going to have the scratch to buy (much less maintain) one, when I look at a nicely set up SC, I still get excited. To each his own, I suppose. But I’d not consider one as an investment if I was in a position to buy one to begin with.

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        AFX, what is your favorite make/model/year car?

        Oh, really?

        It’s $hit. Rubbish. A dog dropping dangling from a tail hair. I’d buy that car…NEVER.

        Just kidding.

        To each his own. Someone may feel the 308 GTB (from the same year as my Porsche) is the era’s best car. Cool. Buy it. Enjoy it. Drive it. Who am I to argue?

        Who is anybody?

      • 0 avatar
        rgil627il

        umiru bolno…

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    A lot of 911 Porsches were bought new as a rich person’s toy. Like a lot of luxury cars many of them were not driven very much or very hard. If you can snag one of these, while they are still valued as used cars rather than ‘survivors’, they make nice purchases as daily drivers. A few years ago, my wife wanted a convertible and bought a 2000 911 cab with 60k. It has been an excellent used car, but not w/o some repairs.

    Don’t kid yourself, as a daily driver they will wear out. Ashes to ashes, rust to rust. Even so, Porsche 911′s are strong cars and will last a long time if you take decent care of them. Do not expect to actually make money, but depreciation is quite low. Repairs on our detuned version have not been too bad. It is very groovy to have an aerodynamic spoiler that automatically deploys at 75 MPH.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      “It is very groovy to have an aerodynamic spoiler that automatically deploys at 75 MPH.”

      I betcha that’s exactly what Ford had in mind when they started having all their construction quality issues on their latest cars !…..then again, maybe not.

      I wonder what the automatic deployment speed is of a rear wheel on a Ford Focus ?.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The 911 has qualities that the 993 did not. Foremost of these is positive offset steering. Starting with the 964, rear engined Porches went to negative offset steering like every other car. Positive offset is massively more communicative, at the cost of not being self-correcting. Negative offset is for people who don’t know or care how hard their front tires are working. They ‘gained’ power steering too with the 964. What’s the point of a rear engined car with power steering? The 964 was when ABS was added too, further taking away from the classic driving experience. The Carrera 3.2 was also the last Porsche to look like a 911, even if it looked like a 1974 911 with painted headlight bezels instead of a 1965 911 165R15 tires. For those who feel like Ferdinand Porsche’s engineering ideas have a place in sports cars, the Carrera 3.2 was also the last model of the 911 with torsion bars. Some of us remember the technical advertisements Porsche ran in car magazines thirty odd years ago, and the torsion bar one went to great lengths in explanation of its superiority to coil springs for sporting applications. The only ad from the series that was better was the one featuring a plain 911 body that had been left outside of the technical center since 1976 to demonstrate the rust resistance of full galvanization, also a feature of the lifetime Porsches. The only downside from my perspective is that they weren’t built with much concern for running costs. Labor was cheap when 911 was designed, so the ‘easy’ way to do routine maintenance sometimes involves engine removal. The 993 had hydraulic valve lash adjustment that hadn’t previously been considered important, for example.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Torsion bars are just incredible, which is why nobody builds a cost-no-object racecar with them…

      A 993, 996, 997 or whatever is just another series of trying to fix the inherent flaws of “Butzi’s mistake”.

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        Torsion bars are used currently in Formula 1 suspensions.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I guess Formula 1 cars only use torsion bars because of the budget limit efforts, although they were using the before too. Maybe they just haven’t heard about the superiority of coils.

          • 0 avatar
            porschespeed

            Pull rods and push rods aren’t torsion bars.

            Nice effort though.

            Despite the fact that some F1 suspensions have things called “torsion bars” as part of the system, they feature all sorts of advanced hydraulic dampeners and have sweet FA to do with the beetle-evo nonsense of early 911s.

          • 0 avatar

            I thought we were talking about springs, not dampeners.

      • 0 avatar

        A spring is a spring, coil, leaf, air bag, or torsion bar. My guess is that racecar builders use coils, specifically coilover shock packages, is because they can be adjusted for preload and ride height, which is harder to do with a leaf spring or torsion bar.

        • 0 avatar
          Morea

          Ride height is easily changed with torsion bars simply by altering the pre-load of the bar. This is one of several reasons F1 teams use them.

        • 0 avatar
          porschespeed

          My meta-point (which I failed to explain adequately) is just that though several modern racecars in F1 *do* in fact incorporate a “torsion bar” as part of a very complex system of hydraulics and such, it is about 3 light-years from the primitive nonsense that is on a beetle-evo.

          Those current torsion bars are but a minor cog in a complex system, not the system itself.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I am willing to bet that the E36 BMW M3 has just as much potential to appreciate as these late model aircooled 911s. The M3 is also considerably cheaper to buy.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Maybe in Europe, but not the US model. Too many US M3s were made, and they didn’t have the high performance engine offered everywhere else. Also, E36s were positively disposable compared to the BMWs of the ’80s.

    • 0 avatar
      mypoint02

      Not many good examples of the E36 M3 are around these days. Most have tons of miles and you can pretty much guarantee that they’ve been beat to hell for most of their life. I’ve been looking at them for years, but every one I’ve seen lately is on its last legs.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Does James Tarmy know anything about cars? Are his brakes .38 caliber or .45 caliber? And if you have to ask why a Porsche and not a VW Golf, you should buy the Golf because you’ll never understand the difference.

  • avatar
    sara234

    Sometimes there is a charm in the older cars that’s not present in the newer ones.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I respect the heck out of porshe for building galvanized porshes when all the other car companies would be more than happy to let your new vehicle rust away and sell you another one in a couple of years. However, if I wanted a sports car, I would buy a used corvette. There is nothing out there that even comes close from a value perspective.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I like 964; 993 and 997

    Those years you mention there… what’s so special about them?

    Any mention of Turbo cars of that era?

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    If you buy ANY vehicle – much less a sports car – for its resale potential, you’re a fool and deserve all the premature corrosion you get.

    There’s a difference between collector value aka ‘cool to me and other *insert model here* nerds in x years’ and ‘it’ll double in value.’ Those in the latter are fools.

  • avatar
    djn

    I never had the desire to own a Porsche, or a gold neck chain either.

  • avatar
    walker42

    Don’t agree. If 993 values are going to go up and they are so will 3.2 Carrera values. There would still be a gap between the two but gap isn’t going to grow if anything it will shrink.

    There are several characteristics of the 3.2s that the 993s can’t touch including steering, sounds, and styling. OK the AC is better and there is more power in the 993 but you pay a stiff price for that.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Why in the world want to buy any Porsche as an investment. Back in the late ’70′s I worked on “Porsh”s or just about any other “furrin” car to pay for my engineering school/beer/pizza habit. Even back then, NO repair was less than $400. It wasn’t due to my near negliable labor costs, it was due to the damn parts being so expensive. I currently drive a VW GTI and I can tell you beyond a doubt, the Germans still haven’t figured out how to make durable plastics….

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    From observing freinds and acquaintences experiences with used Porsches, I classify them as a weapon of financial mass destruction.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    A two decade old car will surely require a lot of attention. I am curious how do you maintain some basic things on the 911′s rear mounted boxer engine, such as changing spark plugs, oil, etc. Is it easy to DIY or do you have to take the vehicle to a specialized shop?

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Depends. Do you have a garage, about $1K worth of basic hand tools, some gumption and mechanical skills? If you do, you can do it all at home if you want.

      The entirety of a 911 drivetrain is designed to be rather simple to drop, and as such, it’s really easy to work on. If you have the spare time.


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