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Porsche 911

Published: 15th Oct 2014 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Porsche 911

Fast Facts

  • Engine: It all depends which model. Post-’84 are best daily drivers.
  • Power (bhp/rpm): A real sports car, but you need to treat it with respect.
  • Fuel consumption: No Porsche is cheap to buy or run, but you’ll never regret buying one!
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There’s no getting away from the fact that the Porsche 911 was borne out of the humble Volkswagen Beetle but it has become the car they can’t kill off. As a result, the basic design stayed with us for over 50 years albeit constantly developed to keep pace with the opposition.

The 911 has become an institution as well as a bit of a marmite car. But what can’t be denied is the model’s relative affordability still when compared to its rivals over the decades and there’s no doubt that values for certain versions are sure to rocket soon. So if you have hankered for one don’t let the thought linger for much longer.


It all depends upon a) what you want to do with it and b) how much money you’ve got to spend on one. Porsche 911 ownership can never be described as cheap even though they are durable.

With one eye on our Time Line, let’s start at the bottom and work up. Chrome bumper 911s are now beyond the reach of the majority of us with six figure sums now the norm.

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of others todrool over and besides, they are the better cars unlesss you’re a real purist. Without doubt a 911SC (1978-83) is lowest priced and best value for money. But with heavy clutch and (usually) stiff gearshift it’s not quite a ‘daily driver’ and will most likely need regular attention to bodywork and mechanicals.

Post-’84 makes that dream easier. The Carrera 3.2 is the affordable compromise – especially with superior G50 gearbox – and reckoned by many to be the best of the original 911 line. The 964 that followed while smoother, more comfortable and more powerful, is arguably less thoroughbred although good one, makes a great grand tourer.

The 993 can be regarded as the last truly hand-built production Porsche and the final act in ‘real’ 911 history. After this the (by then highly developed) air-cooled motor has gone, replaced by a unit that was to prove troublesome for almost a decade. We’re splitting hairs here (all Porsches are super cars) but the advent of the Boxster and Carrera 996 – with many parts common – heralded mass production methods, big profits, and real- world depreciation.

So, how do they stack up as far as prices are concerned? No doubt about it, classic Porsche 911 prices are going up – almost as fast as the values of modern ones are going down so you know where the smart money should go!

It’s all been led by that most desirable 911 of all, the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS. With no more than 1036 made in both Lightweight and Touring guise, you’ll struggle to find a good one at less than £200,000, and competition versions with history go for much, much more. We’re talking Aston DB5 values now.

The ’73 RS knock-on effect has meant that in the past five years values of what are called ‘early 911’ models (ie: pre-impact bumper cars before 1974) have also risen. The 1968 911S that you could bag for £25k then now commands at least three times that amount.

Best value pre-impact bumper Porsche must be the 911T, the ‘budget’ job with cast iron cylinder barrels and a measly 125bhp in the 1970 2.2-litre version on Zenith carbs. Reckon half the price of an S of the same year. Very early cars, particularly the two-litre ones, can be highly priced because of their age and scarcity.

So what’s the best value classic 911? Whilst canny folks with money go for the 1974 Carrera – nothing less than a 2.7 RS with full trim and impact bumpers at less than half the price – the real sleepers are the 911 SC of 1978-’82 and the Carrera 3.2 of ’82-’89. Prices are rising even as I write, but you can still get a good SC for around £10k and a 3.2 for £15k. I hope to tell you more about these good buys in a future issue, before values rise too much.

Whatever year you go for, it all depends on the condition and how much work might be required to get the car into tip-top form – there’s always work to be done. Just remember one thing: there’s no such thing as a ‘cheap’ Porsche 911!


Are they real drivers’ cars or is it all a long standing myth – back to our marmite comment.

Lovers of the 911 speak of driving thrills and commitment, detractors speak of the wicked handling although this really only applies to chrome bumper cars.

The handling of a 911 is the stuff legends and myths are made of and while it’s true to say that it’s a car that demands the utmost respect, you needn’t be fearful of it, either. The problem arises if you drive it like a modern and do naughties such as lifting off or braking in a corner, all poor driving which an early 911 will have none of! In actual fact, as ace high performance John Lyon advocates, the 911 understeers when pushed and it’s because drivers don’t unwind the excess lock as the rear starts to lose grip that the car tightens its line. It’s driver not car induced, he feels. And he should know! There’s no doubt you feel more ‘at one’ with an early (pre-SC) 91, making for a more ‘seat of the pants’ drive.

From the SC onwards, we’re into post-200bhp outputs, wide wheels and an altogether heavier machine yet there’s not many modern cars that can hold their own against one. The 3.6-litre engine of the 964 is particularly sweet. Or try a 912? This used to be the poor man’s 911, using earlier 356 power but it’s lively enough, has better weight distribution (care of a lighter engine) and usually cheaper to buy and maintain.


The 911 remains the most usable supercar of all. Apart from early cars due to their values the rest can be used with almost impunity, if you can afford the resultant fuel and servicing requirements that is.

Thankfully, there’s an army of good 911 specialists who can contain costs although they are not cheap to keep sweet. Buy a cheap 911 and do it up? It may sound like one of Baldrick’s cunning plans, but be careful – you can grab a tatty, early 911 for, say, £15k but a full body resto (often needed) plus engine, transmission and suspension re-build will add another £50k. That’s fine if you’re going to keep and cherish the car for ever but it will be a long time before you get your money back. Best advice for 911 owning on a budget? Buy the best you can afford, irrespective of age (older or younger), drive it regularly to enjoy it, and only fix it when it breaks.



Six-cylinder, 1991cc, 130bhp, coupé replacement for the 356 debuts at Frankfurt Show but production stalls until September 1964. 82 cars are officially ‘Porsche 901’ before Peugeot forces name change to 911.


911S with 160bhp, uprated brakes and suspension, and Targa, lift roof, variants introduced. Weber carburettors replace Solexes and interior trim is altered. Twenty lightweight 911R competition versions are produced.


911T (Touring) with cast iron cylinders and 110bhp, previous base becomes 911L (Lux) with 130bhp, and 911S (160bhp) is further upgraded. Sportomatic four-speed, semi-automatic, is available as an option.


Wheelbase is lengthened by 2.4ins to negate ‘tail-happy’ handling but swb cars most sought after. Bosch mechanical fuel injection replaces carbs on all models but 911T (911E replaces 911L) and 911S is 170bhp. Interior and heater changes.


Engines grow (1970) to 2.2-litres (2195cc) and 2.4-litres (2341cc) in 1972. ‘915’ gearbox replaces ‘901’ and power rises to 190bhp in 911S. Limited production Carrera 2.7RS for 1973 has 210bhp.


Impact bumper models introduced to meet USA safety regulations. K-Jetronic injection 2.7-litre (2687cc) engine, except Carrera (mechanical injection) which replaces 911S. 3.0 Carrera (200bhp) and 3.0 Turbo in 1976.


Wide-body 911SC with 3.0-litre (2994cc) and 200bhp, Turbo goes to 3.3-litre (3299cc) with intercooler and 300bhp. Servo brakes standard, Sportomatic dropped in 1980. First 911 Cabriolet available in 1983.


Wide-body 911SC with 3.0-litre (2994cc) and 200bhp. Turbo model goes to 3.3-litre (3299cc) and comes with an intercooler for 300bhp. Servo brakes standard, Sportomatic dropped in 1980. First 911 Cabriolet available in 1983.


Carrera 3.2 replaces 911SC in Coupé, Targa and Cabriolet form with 3164cc and 231bhp. G50 gearbox with hydraulic clutch replaces ‘915’ ‘box in 1987. Lighter Club Sport model made 1987-89, also a Speedster in 1989.


Coil springs replace torsion bars on the two-wheel drive Carrera 2 and four- wheel drive Carrera 4; the Type 964 with ‘87 per cent new’ body re-styling for ‘911’. Twin-plug, 3.6-litre (3600cc) has 250bhp. Brilliant Tiptronic optional.


Further re-style introduces Type 993 in Carrera 2 and 4 (1995) with engines still 3.6-litre. Much revised suspension finally cures tail happy handling. Targa has glass roof, 400bhp Turbo. Last air-cooled engine ends era!

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