I have seen a trend during the past year, which will upset some people. It would appear to be opposite of what the norm has been, at least around this neck of the woods. And it is related the 'Singer Curse', as some call it.
There are the people who are keeping their cars original as they have aged, going so far as driving around with faded paint and worn rugs. PCA even has a class for them in their Concours. They're called 'Survivors'. This segment is small but exists. Alongside of this group are the majority of Porsche owners, who keep the cars bone stock original and in as new condition throughout. These cars are perfect and new looking, the way it came from the factory.
But now a new breed has emerged and they are moving fast. These are the Hot Rods/Outlaws, with paint changes, big flares, upgraded interiors, chrome trim, motor changes, and you name it. This group is relatively new here, but Hot Roding 356’s and 911’s for years on the Left Coast. Singer and Magnus lead the pack here.
It seems that in the East, the only acceptable modifications were for track use. As many of you remember, I did it in the mid eighties by taking a 68 912 which cost $200 and stuffing a 911 engine into it and making it look like a 73 Carrera RS. I drove that car for nearly 10 years on the street and track (mostly track). When it got tired, I built a second RS Look from a 72, 911 stuffing a 3.6 into it. That car was my first car I drove at Daytona. Fast and cheap.
In the past, keeping cars stock got the high selling price. The un-modified Porsche would bring double or more over these others. But as Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a-changin”. These Hot Rod cars are bringing the top dollar now. There are more tribute paint schemes, more stuffing 3.6 motors in, more long hood conversions and just plain more of everything taking them over the top in some cases. Most of this work now is very high grade with paint work of the highest standard.
Who knows how long this trend will be in fashion but as we all know, trends come and go. There is a bright side of all of this for you owners of original cars though. When things cool off, the trend changes again, there will be fewer stock cars around and thus supply and demand will drive prices for the original up. There will always be Hot Rods for the people who enjoy that segment and that’s ok. As for the 'survivors', they don’t really don’t care about what the other two groups are doing, they just enjoy driving their cars around - 'like a rolling stone...'
Dan Petchel is a Porsche driver, enthusiast and longtime PCA member and he's been tinkering with these beloved German sports cars for close to 50 years. He writes about Porsches, Targa Tops, vintage parts and the people he meets along the way.