You’ve missed the boat if you want a vintage 70s Porsche 911. Like Ferraris, early 911s have been one of the strongest prices performers of the last couple of years. Lightweight RS versions broke the half-million barrier ages ago and even a fairly ordinary 911T can now make £60k plus. If you want the iconic 911S (made famous by Steve McQueen) then take a deep breath because really fine original cars are nudging £200k territory. We shouldn’t be surprised because that famous silhouette, flat six metallic drum roll, scalpel sharp handling and vivid 70s colours have made them an investors darling. But I think prices have peaked and the vintage 911 frenzy is cooling down.
The smaller engined four-cylinder 912 is cheaper and has the same looks and presence but you’ll still need £30k to buy a good one. And be careful of all those tempting restoration projects because rust is the 911s biggest enemy and what looks like a bargain can costs tens of thousands to restore. Later 911SCs from the 70s and 80s are still around £30k too but not as collectible because of their impact bumpers and much greater production numbers. Rust free, dry state US cars can make sensible buying but even they command high prices now and there aren’t many cheap ones left.
For me the best value 911s are the 3.2 Carreras from 1984 to 1989. They have almost the same handling balance of the vintage cars but are much more usable with galvanised bodies 150 mph performance and strong reliability. Go for one with the revised G50 gearbox in Grand Prix White, Black or Guards Red and you’ll still own a legend that’s a junior supercar in its own right. 3.2s are suffering from the 911 domino effect and are also going up in price, so don’t leave it very long. And don’t forget the 964 Carrera 2s and 4s that appeared in 1989 and ran to 1993. They’re reliable fast and undervalued. £25,000 buys a decent mileage car with sensible mileage and convertibles are still buyable for around £30k. The Carrera 4 makes a fine all-weather four wheel drive supercar.
If you’re serious about vintage 911 ownership be forensically fussy, insist on a substantial history, originality, matching numbers and buy the very best you can. Enthusiasts know a lot about the classic Porsche market so make sure you only do the deal on one that’s investment grade. And that means finding a real spanker that ticks all the boxes that you can sell on later to well informed and discriminating buyers. Take your time and be careful out there.