By on November 18, 2018

High-end sports cars are much more likely to endure the onslaught of time that inevitably forces most automobiles into the junkyard. Why such vehicles might not all serve as pampered automotive “investments” for wealthy individuals, most are still well cared for and subject to fewer harsh winters and daily commutes than their mainstream counterparts.

Porsche claims that over 70 percent of all vehicles it has ever manufactured are still in operation today and the majority of those cars reside in the United States, not Europe. As a result, the automaker wants to expand its Porsche Classic operations in the region — helping owners keep their vintage machines in pristine condition while earning dealerships some side cash in the process. 

Currently, there are just 10 certified Porsche Classic dealerships in America. The designation allows those locations to perform factory-sanctioned work similar to the firm’s restoration centers in Atlanta and Stuttgart — albeit slightly less extensive. According to Automotive News, the brand intends to reach out to the nearly 200 other dealerships populating the region to see if they’d also like to join the program. North American CEO Klaus Zellmer told the outlet that the project was Porsche’s fastest-growing business in the U.S., swelling by 10 percent annually, but was unable to give specifics for how many shops the brand was targeting for the restoration business.

Porsche 911

“What I can tell you is, I think there needs to be a lot more,” the CEO said. “Strategically speaking, we need to ramp up our game because that’s a business field where we can still grow.”

Porsche vehicles that qualify as “classics” in the eyes of the manufacturer need to have matured 10 years after the model was discontinued. For example, a 2008 Porsche 911 won’t be considered eligible until 2022 as the 997 Series didn’t officially end production until 2012. With brand sales exploding in the early 2000s, and then again following the Great Recession, the company is about to see a massive influx of eligible models.

“The business here in the States is growing at a much higher rate than anything else we do at the moment,” Zellmer said. “There’s a lot of work that we need to do here in the United States in order to take care of those wonderful pieces of art.”

Porsche considers numerous aspects before deciding upon a prospective Classic dealer. Elements include the size and age of the showroom, the store’s demographics, the quality of its technicians, the kind of servicing it already offers, and the volume of cars that go through the service department. If approved, a shop is required to invest between $65,000 to $85,000 into a “Classic Corner” for the showroom and at least one vintage Porsche has to be on display. The dealership must also host at least two classic-themed customer events annually and send its technicians and advisers out for specialized training.

That’s a lot to ask for but the end result is a shop with some added prestige that caters to longtime enthusiast that are likely to remain loyal to the brand. Porsche also claimed that revenue accrued from the Classic business could offset the anticipated decline in service stemming from electrification.

[Images: Porsche]


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25 Comments on “Porsche Aiming to Expand Commitment to Classic Cars...”

  • avatar

    They’ll run a lot longer and cleaner if converted to natural gas.

  • avatar

    Planned non-obsolescence should make their new cars more desirable. I think it is smart.

  • avatar

    Let me see if I understand this, say it’s 2022 and I have a 2008 Porsche 911 would I now HAVE to take it to a “Classic” dealer for service? Does the dealer I currently take it to suddenly become ineligible to work on it? That doesn’t sound right, there’s missing information here

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, when I first got my 944 I was looking for a stock steering wheel and dash and to hear about winter rubber mat options, so I did call the local dealer. I imagine there’s a fair number of semi-casuals who will call in once in a while, in addition to the ‘only the dealership shall touch my 911’ crowd.

  • avatar

    70% still on the road? They must have ramped up production by a huge factor in the past decade. 356s are valuable because most of them rusted into oblivion forty years ago. Long hood 911s and 912s did the same thirty years ago. Galvanized 911SCs and Carrera 3.2s have a high survival rate. Now people are saving 964s, and 993s were always treasured once the wasserboxers turned out to be ‘no substitute.’ Then there are their volume cars during the ’70s and ’80s. 914s and the transaxle cars have very low survival rates. How can you claim a high survival rate when everything you made in meaningful numbers for the first forty years of your history is scarce? More recently, I’ve seen Boxsters with IMS issues stacked like cordwood. Early Cayennes are scrapped because nobody who can afford the maintenance would ever drive one. What percentage of Porsches were made during Quantitative Easing?

    • 0 avatar

      Considering they were so low-volume for so many years you have to imagine that a large percentage of that 70% are Cayennes.

    • 0 avatar

      Like Detroit-Iron said, Porsche’s volume has increased so much lately it makes up for all the 914s and 944s that were used up and junked. In another 10 years, when the first waves of the SUVs are retired, that percentage will plummet.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember reading a few years ago that the number of people currently on the planet equaled the amount of people that had ever lived in the past. So at that time, 50 percent of all the people that ever lived were still alive. That did not mean that any people were hundreds of thousands of years old. “Ramping up” production does affect the numbers.

  • avatar

    No doubt inspired by the kind of money and attention lavished on classic Porsches by owners at firms like Singer.

  • avatar

    BMW has already implemented something similar – a “Value” service side for owners of older cars. The service operation is now the regular side, for cars under warranty or under a prepaid maintenance plan, and the “Value” side, for cars that are about 6+ years old. The “Value” side has discounted prices on basic routine service (performed by Jiffy Lube grade techs). However, if you need a “Value” repair, you’re basically screwed, because they charge flat book rates for jobs. In that case, you would make a Bee Line to the nearest independent shop. Some dealerships don’t offer the “Value” service, from what I can tell.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting. I had my 2011 M3 in for the airbag recall, and the dealership treated me like the car was new – did not see any indication that there might be a “value” side of the shop. Maybe they just saw dollar signs, because I am foolish enough to own a complex BMW out of warranty.

      Regardless, I use a European specialty/indy shop for everything non-recall now. It’s not just cost – I strongly doubt that I could trust the dealer with anything at this point.

    • 0 avatar

      A few years ago when I brought my then 10yo 2004 BMW 325i to the local dealer, I did not get the kind of service I expected. They acted as if I was the last person they wanted on their lot. And the outrageous prices they were quoting I decided to bring my business to an independent.

      Same with my wife’s MINI. The same dealer only gets used for recall work.

  • avatar

    Assuming they are serious about covering ancient models, like 356s and early 911s and 912s, the most important benefit of this will be continuing availability of parts.

  • avatar

    80% still on the road? I highly challenge that number. I haven’t seen a road-worthy 924 or 944 in years, though I did see a really rough 928 a couple of months ago. 914s and the even rarer 914/6 are virtually unheard of. My buddy’s 914 rusted out over 30 years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      lots of guessing and purely anecdotal ‘evidence’ reflected in the remarks this article has generated.

      here are a few accurate milestone production numbers, sourced directly from porsche. huge increases in annual production year after year certainly appear to be a primary factor accounting for the large number of porsche vehicles still considered to be ‘road-worthy.’

      1948 through 1949, the company hand-builds the first 52 cars in a small garage in Gmund, Austria.

      1950 production reaches 369 for the year.

      1956 10,000th Porsche built.

      1963 Worldwide annual production surpasses 11,000.

      1965 356 production ends after 17 years and 77,361 built.

      1977 Total Porsche production to date passes 300,000.

      1987 250,000th 911 built.

      1996 One-millionth Porsche built in July.

      2008 The 200,000th Porsche Cayenne rolled off the assembly line, on February 4 in.

      2014 Porsche Cars North America has a record sales year with 47,007 units.

      2017 The One Millionth 911 rolls off the production line.

      [and it is indisputable that macans and cayennes are manufactured and sold in numbers that dwarf those of porsche’s sportscars]

      the obvious takeaway is that most porsche production has happened ‘recently.’

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I see nice 924 and 944 models on Bring a Trailer regularly as well as the 968 and even the 928.

      On the road? Well I see 944s from time to time. The rest I don’t really see any less frequently than something like a Ford Granada though. They are old…peoe don’t really daily them anymore though I would daily a 968 and may in a couple years.

  • avatar

    If you can’t beat ever tighter emissions regs, join them…

    Availability subject to membership in the demographic that bought the government writing them, of course…

    Ram needs to follow suit, and offer to extend the life of “classic,” mid 90s coalrolers indefinitely…

  • avatar

    Porsche Classic is where I work. We do more servicing than restorations. And the restorations are more like light reconditioning. Parts, while available for the most part, do not compare to original parts made 40 years ago in West Germany. Most people don’t care if the parts are repros.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Can you get things like trim and interior bits for something like a 944 or 968? Most of the mechanical stuff is out there, but sometimes decent interior parts just aren’t obtainable. The old school stuff (60s cars with a pad on a metal dash for example) lend themselves to reconditioning better than the plastic in a 944.

      I still think they are fantastic though but a tired interior and worn trim on an otherwise nice car bugs me to no end.

  • avatar

    Haven’t searched for 944/968 interior parts. Most 911 interior is available but trim shops still have to finish things like seats and panels. The full on Porsche Classic dealer does have the ability to put in special requisition orders so that might help.

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