All seems upside down in the Porsche world these days. Prices are going up, up and up with more players than ever (read non-Porsche people) in the game. Cars that only five years ago wouldn’t bring $5k, are getting home run derby dollars today. Even what we used to call ‘beaters’ are now called Drivers. So, let’s turn our discussion today to Drivers and where they are in the scheme of things. In my hierarchy, it goes like this. Show cars are top shelf, then Cars and Coffee cars, next are Driver, daily use but not every day, then beaters are last. Here’s my take on most of the Porsche’s manufactured in the past 50 years. Some you can drive and some you probably shouldn’t.
914 1970-76. Rust in the suspension and rockers destroyed half. At least 40% of the remaining cars have been killed by neglect because one couldn’t afford to fix them. Some of this 40% may still maybe saved but in truth, today they are economically infeasible to restore. This leaves 10% of the nice 4 bangers at $8 to $12k but reliability concerns and old technology hurts them. Sorry No.
914-6 1970-72. No longer a Driver and maybe never were. These cars are in the $60k to $80k range now. A Cars and Coffee and Show car.
Early 911 Long hood cars. Breaking the Bank here and there is nothing on earth to stop the climb. $50 to $75k. A Cars and Coffee shoe-in but most likely a Show car.
912 1965 to1969. You got a chance here with prices hovering at $30k for this 4 cylinder 911 look-a- like. Top notch 912s are bring $40k to $50k. People love the long hoods with only this 4 cyl model left an entrance price. What has happened to the car world? Better stop here or be accused of being six lover (even though, truth be told, I started out in a 912 45 years ago). Dark horse Cars and Coffee.
911 from 74-77. These cars were not looked on favorably for many years due to engine problems but now with the climb of the 911SC, these 911 have been reborn at the $24k level. Make sure you get a remote oil cooler with this car along with the other upgrades. Maybe a Driver.
911SC 78-83. These cars used to be a bargain and great driver at $20k not so much now at $35k. Good looks, good power and good handling have been the SC calling card. Yes still a Driver.
911 Carrera 3.2. A bullet proof car that that will stand up to miles with high mileage examples of over 100k miles bring near $50k. A chance here to being a Driver but a Cars and Coffee for sure.
911 89-95 964 models. People, in part to Singer and Magnus, have found out what a great car this is. AC that works, ABS, lots of power, air bags, power steering and superb handling. If you can find one for less than $40k buy it. Just make sure it has head gaskets. Got enough features to make Driver.
911 95-98 993. The price of the 993 have been out sight for 20 years but now things have cooled off. They haven’t gone down in price, they just haven’t climbed the way others Porsche have. One of the down falls with miles on these car is the secondary air injection problem, so be careful. Also, maybe the puffy design didn’t take after all. Cars and Coffee for sure.
944 1983-91. These cars have a lot going for them, Ac, heat, safety and handling. This car is still affordable in the $5-$8k range. Just that some people haven’t got over engine placement and lack of power. Maybe a choice in the future.
928 1978 -1995. The 928 was the successor to the 911 that never succeeded in eliminating the 911. Porsches first shot at electronics was a failure. The only cars that are worth having are the later years and they are not a Driver, maybe a Cars and Coffee.
968 1992-1995. Here is an exceptional car that the world hasn’t discovered. At a price of $12-$18k you get a lot of car. The 968 will stand up to miles, heat, safety, ac with 911 power and handling of a 911, and then some. Right now only falls down on being an investment. This is a great Driver.
986 Boxster 1997-2004. One of the top 3 cars Porsche ever made. You get it all, a true sports car with an open top. Porsche made a lot of Boxsters which has kept the price low, with a price of $8k to $12k you get a lot of car. I smell Driver.
996 1999 – 2004. A lot of car for the price they are selling for. Draw backs: never be an investment too many cars, not the classic 911 design and engine problems. Buy nice choice for less than $20k.
Here are my top three drivers:
Number 3 You pick it.
Number 2 Boxster
Number 1 968 Coupe
That’s all she wrote.
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.