Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in ou...
Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in our club fans and fans of the legendary series cars Porsche 911. All about 911-901, 930, 964, 993, 996 and new era 997 and 991-series.

If you're buying a used 911 as an investment, send me your address so that I can arrange a visit from the boys. Investors who never drive their 911s bring a word to mind. That word is 'pimp'. As 911 diehards, the boys don't like pimps, so when they arrive, make sure your engine is still warm, the exhaust system is making that tinkling noise and there is evidence in your tyres of some recently accomplished brisk cornering.

All 911s, from 1963 to this afternoon, share a characteristic 911 'feel', but that varies greatly in degree. Bog-standard used Coupes from the late 1970s or 1980s once delivered the goods for sensible money but they might demand some restoration work now.

Choosing a 911 is such a very personal matter. Just go for what you really want, get the best straight car you can find and look after it. Reliability is legendary but repairs can be costly.

My choice is currently the 993 Carrera 2 Coupe of 1993-98. Its predecessor, the 964, was respectable but dull. The 993's different, agile feel makes it terrific to drive and good ones go for less than £30,000 - this week, anyway.
It's the last air-cooled 911 model but so what? Later models lost nothing by being water-cooled. No, pick a 993 for its exhilarating agility, and its price.

A friend of mine paid £26,000 for a superb 1994 993 Carrera 2 in late 2013. He loves it, whether he's tootling about the shops or on a 300-mile blast through the remote Highlands of Scotland, where it truly excels. And that's no more than it deserves.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS
1973 // £500,000
The eternally great, ultimate development of the original 911 concept, it combines high performance and low weight with inch-perfect precision handling. Superb but the price of this model now, sir, is officially‘through the roof'. If you buy one, promise us you will use it.

On an autumn day in 1972 the salesman from Porsche GB came to visit our house. 'We're making a special car,' he told my father. 'Only 200 will be built, and we're offering them to our best clients first as demand is sure to be strong.' They built more than 1500 in the end, and demand was so great that, instead of management having to use them as company cars to use up unsold stock as expected, Porsche sold out the first batch of 500 immediately and had to build two more series.

Why the fuss? Because the RS is so much more than the sum of its parts. It was derived from the relatively humble 2.4S, but with flared rear arches and wider wheels (a 911 first), bored-out engine (at 2.7 litres Porsche's biggest road car motor to date), a rear spoiler (another first, and not just for Porsche, so initially illegal in some markets) and, last but not least, weight-loss that took the RS under the magic 1000kg in 'lightweight' trim.
The result: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.0sec, handling to die for (and you would if you lifted off mid-comer) and a string of victories on every continent including rallies, Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Oh, and you can drive it to the shops.

Mine's been in the family for 42 years and has never once 'failed to proceed'. Beat that, Enzo...

Porsche 911 GT3 (997-series, generation II)
2009-12 // £80,000-120,000
The 997-series Generation II cars were terrific in their time and the naturally aspirated 997 GT3 was a hugely powerful, seriously fabulous machine, subtly better in fast corners than previous GT3 models.
A classic in waiting - bound to be a sound long-term investment.

Any brand new 911
2015 // From around £75,000
Admit it, they are absolutely brilliant. If you don’t want one, you should. Buy it, keep it, service it properly. One day, it will be a classic but, meanwhile, enjoy a few happy decades driving it. The best of all worlds.
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  •   Keith Adams reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    #Autofarm 3.2/3.5 #Porsche-911-Carrera - classic pre- #1974 #Porsche #911 body style
    Price £23,336 (1984)
    Max power 231bhp
    Max torque 209lb ft
    0-60mph 5.3 secs
    Top speed 153mph
    Mpg 15-20 (est)

    This is an early example of the now-common practice of giving later #911 s a retro makeover. It looks convincing, but it given away by the standardsize #Porsche-Carrera 3.2’s 16in rims rather than the RS 2.7’s narrower 15-inchers, yet wears correct bright window trims and small mirrors. Autofarm built it in 2006 for a customer who specified left-hand drive, air-con, no sunroof and G50 ’box, which meant an #1987 - #1989 car – one of which was found in Italy.

    It now has a 3506cc motor and puts out “around 250-260bhp”, but with a lot more torque than standard. The suspension has the early-type adjustable anti-roll bar, but with four-pot #Brembo calipers all round on vented discs, plus there’s a well-protected oil cooler under the chin.

    It looks like a new car, because it was all rebuilt including the gearbox. The shell – #Dinitrol cavity-injected and undersealed – is absolutely rotfree, with perfect paint protected at the front by clear film. The seats have been changed for something more in keeping, although the standard door trims and pockets remain, which makes it more practical than a doorcard #RS rep. The tyres are #Michelin Pilot Sports, about a third used on the front and hardly worn on the back, plus there’s a mint spacesaver spare.

    Off with the immobiliser and it starts on the first turn of the key, with a gruffer than standard note from the sports exhaust. The chassis is firm, thanks to stiff Bilsteins, and it hurtles almost like a turbo, with immediate throttle response flicking the needle around to 6000rpm and super brakes – although they squeal a little. There’s a slight hesitation just off tickover, which Autofarm is going to sort. When the engine’s warm, the oilpressure gauge shows the ideal just over 4bar at 4000rpm (with 3bar at anything above 1500rpm). The electric windows work and the air-con blows cold after a while. It even has (invisible) reversing sensors.

    There’s a full service history, the last Italian stamp being at 64,500km in #1999 and three more from Autofarm since the build. Lovely.


    Rust-free; no stone chips.

    Unworn, with ’70s-style Recaros.

    Only 11,000 miles from ‘new’.

    VALUE ★★★★★★★✩✩✩
    For Performance; fantastic build by the best in the business.
    Against Maybe the twin-outlet exhaust, but it’s easily changed.

    Amazingly drivable and pleasantly addictive, it could last you a lifetime – and the price has recently been reduced by £8500.

    Autofarm 3.2/3.5 911 Carrera
    Year of manufacture #1987 / #2006
    Recorded mileage 18,177km
    Asking price £89,000
    Vendor Autofarm, Weston-on-the-Green,
    Oxfordshire; tel: 01865 331234
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    Our man reckons the #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2 is the best classic #911 to have as a daily driver. Well he would do, he’s owned one for nine years. Words & photos: Paul Davies and KPB photography.

    My first #Porsche was a #Porsche-912 . You know, the 911 with the #356 engine that outsold the six-cylinder version in its first two years. Real classic, nicely balanced, performed a lot better than it did on paper, and – when I bought it back in #1989 – pretty cheap. But daily driver? No.

    On back roads it was fine, but motorway work had Fiestas roaring past, the drivers grinning mockingly, and getting it started was a matter of tickling the Solex carbs until the engine ran steady – although that might have been my particular car.

    So, I needed something a bit more, as they say, userfriendly; I reckon if I’m trolling around the country on Classic Porsche magazine business the least I can do is turn up in the right make of car. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to take the Porsche on the annual holiday run to northern Spain, without holding up 2CVs on the back roads of France?

    The question was how to replace the 912. An early 911, even way back in 2006, looked pricey and a bit too precious. I looked at a nice #1976 Carrera 3.0 but it was expensive, and the later SC at that time was a no-no in the credibility stakes – although it’s getting up there now with the best. The Carrera 3.2, manufactured from 1984 to 1989, seemed a no-brainer.

    I always like to bring my long-time co-driver (Mrs D, that is) into car buying decisions. Then, if it all goes horribly wrong, it can’t all be my fault. Driving early cars – like the Carrera 3.0 and the #Porsche-911SC – revealed a couple of basic problems in the daily driving department, namely the agricultural feel encountered with cog-swapping through the 915 gearbox, plus the amount of leg muscle required to depress the cable-operated clutch.

    The revised #Carrera 3.2, built from #1987 model year with hydraulic clutch and easy-shifting G50 gearbox made by #Borg-Warner , was the answer. Eventually I found one, a two-owner Targa that passed muster, for sale with Coventry specialists PCT, or at least Autobahn as the sales outlet then was. A deal was done, which even included a six-month warranty, and I drove off. On the M5 motorway, the fresh air blower running at full blast to counter a stinking hot summer day expired in a cloud of smoke and the acrid smell of a burnt-out electric motor!

    To be fair, PCT replaced the unit straight away – and also re-fitted the rear anti-roll bar which had been knocking on the transmission casing because, at some stage in its life, it had been fitted upside down. From then forward I can report the Carrera 3.2 has proved a worthy buy. Yes, I’ve had a few problems – in general just what you would expect with an ageing Porsche – and consequently have spent money to keep it up to scratch through the 48,000 miles it’s covered so far.

    But it’s been worthwhile. The family #BMW 3-series is a very good car, which is what you would expect, but get in the Porsche and you only have to go a couple of miles down the road before the smile factor sets in.

    Driving the Carrera 3.2 is like driving a modern car without the bad bits. The non-assisted steering is heavy on parking because of the 205-profile front tyres, but once you’re on the move it has a precise feel that’s hard to match with a modern – especially those with electric PAS. The suspension – still torsion bars, of course – is firm, but you truly feel connected with what’s happening. Yes, the brakes are borderline if you’re cracking on, and they do need to be kept in top condition.

    The engine, that’s the gem. This, you need to understand, is to my mind the ultimate expression of the original #Porsche-911 air-cooled flat-six. It’s not the final configuration but it retains the attribute of the original Porsche concept of ‘less is more’, with just about the right amount of modern technology. The #964 and the #993 that followed were also air-cooled, but much revised and not necessarily better.

    In 1984, when the 3.2 first appeared, Porsche was seriously getting to grips with clean air legislation, especially in the USA, and that’s one of the good things about the 3.2 motor. The company’s first stab at electronic management, via the Bosch Motronic system, for the first time accurately controlled fuel flow relative to such things as throttle position, engine and ambient temperature, and ignition. The end result is a superflexible engine that delivers fuel economy which owners of carburetted or MFI-equipped cars will die for. On those long trips to Spain and back I’ve taken the trouble to do long-term fuel checks, and 27mpg overall is the result. Not bad, I reckon.

    I can’t fault the way my Carrera 3.2 drives, although I’m conscious of the fact it’s still on its original dampers. I’ve fitted Super Pro synthetic bushes to the front suspension (back end coming soon) but I think a set of new Bilsteins, or similar, would be the icing on the cake. Even so, it’s a good top-gear motorway cruiser (bit of wind rush from the Targa top over 80mph) and on back roads third gear seems to be the place to be, the super torque of the engine taking you from almost nothing to well over the legal limit. Smile factor again.

    Inevitably we get the big question. No-one, well not me anyway, said Porsche ownership was cheap (in fact if you think that way, don’t buy one), but although there is most definitely a constant cost factor involved, you’ll come out smiling just as long as you keep on top of things. Francis Tuthill (who’s built more rally Porsche than most) once told me – talking about the 912 actually, but the same implies – that the best way to deal with Porsche ownership was to drive it, enjoy it, and fix it when it breaks.

    That’s not to say you don’t indulge in regular maintenance, I think Francis was referring to not being dragged down the full restoration route. I’ve had it fixed if it broke, changed the oil, spark plugs and things like that and had the bodywork attended to when rust threatened.

    Before I bought the car, at 55,000 miles, it had had an engine rebuild after the oil pump failed (don’t know why) but during my ownership, from 62k and nine years, I’ve spent just over £10,000, excluding tax, insurance and fuel. Biggest expenses? A year into ownership, Gantspeed took a good look and replaced the clutch, updated the clutch-release mechanism, rebuilt the rear brakes and suspension, and gave the engine the ‘works’ (£3,500). PCT fitted a new dry-sump tank (new one from Autofarm £500) when the original leaked, and also fitted a stainless-steel pre-silencer (both jobs £1400).

    Jaz (I spread my favours) did a mega-service and fettle before one of my Spanish trips that totalled £1200 and included new handbrake cables, a wheel bearing, driveshaft seal, and electric motor for the driver’s seat height adjustment. Recent work at Specialist Vehicle Preparations has included replacing a broken suspension arm, those Super Pro bushes, and new front brake calipers, all for around £1,800.

    Attention to rusty bits has so far totalled £1500, but I know there’s another (bigger) job on the way before long: tyres, I’ve replaced six (excellent) Avons during the time at a cost of around £550 but I’m due for a new set before I do much mileage this year.

    That’s it really. It may sound a lot but add the costs to what I paid for the car back in 2006 (£12,000) and then take a look at the current sale prices for late-model Carrera 3.2s. I reckon I’m breaking even – and I’ve had a lot of smiles on the way.

    Finally, that Targa top. I know everybody thinks they’re for sissies and not the true 911 look, but it’s highly practical for a car that doesn’t have air-con (of course not!) and anyway the co-driver likes it. I drove a Cayman recently – you know, the Boxster with a roof for grown-ups – and I have to admit it was mind-blowing, especially in the handling department. But, hey, it’s already on the downward spiral of depreciation that modern, mass produced Porsches suffer. I couldn’t be that daft could I?
    • Porsche bb 911 Turbo Targa - I must say I found Retro #Porsche : Part II to be an absolutely brilliant bookazine – it provides a lot of history. IPorsche bb 911 Turbo Targa - I must say I found Retro #Porsche : Part II to be an absolutely brilliant bookazine – it provides a lot of history. I own a 1976 Slant Nose 911, so I’m curious about them, particularly the period modified versions from German tuning houses like Rinspeed and bb, so I particularly enjoyed the bb 911 Turbo Targa feature.

      I wondered where the initial idea for the bb-style 911, adapting a #Porsche-911 to look like a #Porsche-928 and #Porsche-959 , came from, as you don’t see a great deal of them around anymore. God only knows who modified these cars in the Eighties – like the article’s author I ran into brick walls everywhere during my own research on the cars, and I eventually gave up looking.

      Not a lot of people have time for Rainer Buchmann’s creations, but it was good to see this car. It certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but cars like this are still a part of Porsche history, even in a small way.
        More ...
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  • GALE FORCE PORSCHE 911 ROAD TEST #1987 #Porsche-911-Speedster

    The Speedster name is back, and with it some styling highlights from the 50s Porsche – witness the hump-back and low widescreen – which first carried the badge. But Georg Kacher is not impressed.

    In time for the 25th birthday of the 911, Porsche has released a special version of this classic sports car - the Speedster. Alter the coupe, Targa, Turbo, slantnose. Club Sport and Cabriolet, this is the seventh officially available 911 metamorphosis created by chief designer Tony Lapine and crew. The Speedster was unwrapped at the Frankfurt Show in September: it will go into production at a rate of around eight units per day after the works holidays in August 1988.

    The 911 Speedster is a back- to-the-roots car. It looks very much like a #1988 model, but there are still plenty of design details which evoke memories of the ’50s just as Drifters' music, hoola-hoop girls and pink iceboxes full of Coca-Cola bottles do. Not to forget James Dean, although he was killed in the Spyder and not in one of the 4822 run-of-the-mill Speedsters, which even in Carrera form did not muster more than 115 bhp. In the Porsche museum in Zuffenhausen, they still keep a vanilla yellow Speedster powered by the middle-of-the-road 1.6-litre engine. It has a low windscreen, a Bakelite triple-spoke steering wheel, a thin and tight-fitting black canvas top and beautiful brass Speedster badges on the front wings and dashboard.

    The Porsche design squad have tried hard to impose the original Speedster theme on the 911, but the result is not as harmonious as the 1954-1959 conversion. The problem is the single-piece cover which fills the opening behind the seats. Somehow, this pvc panel does not look right: the fat black rubber seal disturbs the other-wise smooth profile, the proportions between the tall cover and the lowered windscreen are not well balanced, and the rear power bulge looks ordinary and out of character. Even at this stage. Porsche should consider changing the design.

    The remaining revisions are more successful. The windscreen. whose angle is reduced by five degrees, is three inches lower than that of the 911 Cabriolet. For the Speedster, the massive body-colour windscreen frame is abandoned in favour of a thin and elegant black rim made of anodised alloy. At the eleventh hour. Porsche decided to replace the heavyweight rectangular door mirrors with a brace of ostentatiously aerodynamic devices which look like they are worth a million dollars but are about as practical as the token mirrors of a formula one racer. Inside, the Speedster features a mixture of Carrera and Club Sport trim elements. As in the Club Sport, the seats are fixed in the lowest possible position, and are not power-operated. Similarly, the electric window lifts give way to manual winders. And the useful dash-mounted heater and ventilation controls are replaced by an antiquated Beetle-style dual lever arrangement hidden between the seats. As a result of these and other weight-saving measures, the #911-Speedster - which tips the scales at 2552lb - is some 110lb lighter than the Cabriolet model.

    The roots of the second generation Speedster date back to September #1982 . At that time, chairman Peter Schutz was told by his American dealers that a modern Speedster was the one still-to-be-released Porsche model all the yuppies between Vermont and Oregon were craving for. The big boss subsequently approved the development of a first prototype which was completed in March #1983 . By then, chief engineer Bott, Lapine and Bezner (the chief project engineer) had put together an exciting, good-looking and pleasantly radical machine which had only one major fault - it would never jump all the legal hurdles which over the years have been erected between Weissach and Wisconsin.

    Based on one of the last SC Cabriolets, the Speedster that did not make it lacked such essential items as wipers and a proper windscreen. Instead, it boasted a trick three-part wraparound glasshouse which was only a couple of inches tall but looked great. In line with this leather-cap-goggles-and-gloves approach was the car's shallow hood cover which had commendably narrow outlines and only one subtle power bulge on the driver's side. Those who have been behind the wheel claim that this design exercise felt like a curious crossbreed of motorbike, horse, power boat and roadster - a fair description which also explains why the Speedster Mk1 had not the slightest chance of defeating unsympathetic bureaucracy.

    Despite this initial defeat, the team around Friedrich Bezrer were determined not to give in. Bezner, who joined #Porsche in #1954 (the year the original Speedster was launched), ex-plains: 'Instead of fighting the rule keepers for every minute modification, we decided to do two Speedsters. Number one takes a more conformist approach. It is basically a #911 Cabriolet with a twist, and it is street-legal. Number two is the Club Sport conversion. This car has no wipers, a tiny Brooklands-type windscreen and only one seat. It costs more money, requires a little bit of extra skill and patience and is not fit for public roads. But it is a lot of fun.'

    In terms of design, however, the Club Sport car is even less convincing than the standard Speedster. Among the controversial styling elements are the bulbous shape of the top panel, the token windscreen, the particularly prominent rubber seal and the crude wiper axle mounting points. Porsche maintains that one man can convert the Speedster into the Club Sport in a mere 20 minutes, but alter watching three Porsche employees at the Frankfurt Show struggle for over half an hour to get all the bits in the right place, I think I’ve decided the official timing appears somewhat optimistic.

    And here is how you do it. First, take off the wipers. That's easy. Next, off comes the windscreen. That's difficult - because some of the screws are hard to get at while others are over five inches long, and because the screen is heavy and threatens to tilt once you are halfway through the removal process. Step three deals with unbolting the passenger seat, which is as effortless as it sounds. The most arduous task concerns the fitting of the big and heavy Club Sport panel which replaces the compact Speedster soft-top cover. While the full-length segment uses the same rear hinges as the short Iid, at the front it is secured to the body via the wiper axles.

    To enter the Club Sport car, you can either unbolt the front end and lift the entire clamshell (tedious and time consuming), or you open the driver's door and slip in from below (looks funny, and the intervertebral discs might object), or you simply straddle the damn' thing, John Wayne fashion (looks great, but you're likely to split your trousers or do even more serious damage).

    Although the Speedster is identical to any other 911 up to the beltline, the driving position is different. Even in the street legal versions, you feel almost as exposed as in a monoposto sports car. Because of the thin frame which becomes almost invisible as soon as you are facing the sun, the windscreen becomes one with the horizon. While the tinted glass still provides a certain amount of protection against the elements, it does in no way impair the stunning panoramic visibility - on a bright day, this car feels like a 3D 363 degrees cinema on wheels. Other bonuses include the improved adjustment range of the seats as well as the extra oddments space, including two lockable compartments hidden beneath the rear lid. On the debit side, you instantly notice the nonsense door mirrors (they are neither heated nor adjustable from inside the cabin) and the high rear deck which catches the wind.

    The Speedster is one of these cars which calls for certain preparations by the driver. Of course, you can take it for a ride in Bermuda shorts and Polo shirt, but who can afford a midweek crisis consisting of flu. ear-ache and a stiff nock? All it takes to avoid such misery are a cap, glasses or goggles, gloves, a scarf (preferably shorter than Isadora Duncan's) as well as ear-muffs and/or ear-plugs, plus, of course, a decent sweater. Between Knightsbridge and Clapham, these ingredients may not do more than amuse bystanders and fellow motorists, but once the tempest breaks loose above 45mph, they are absolutely vital.
    On the open road, the two most obvious Speedster characteristics are 'thunder' and 'hurricane'. Thunder is a decibel cocktail mixed from the chain-saw yell of the familiar flat-six and hostile accompanying noises. Hurricane stands for the draught of anything from a stiff breeze to a force 10 gale.

    Apart from these two idiosyncrasies, the latest #Porsche-911 embodies all the vices and virtues its stablemates have become notorious for. It has a powerful engine which sounds better than my favourite CD. It has a surprisingly rigid chassis and a race-proven suspension which offers plenty of grip and strong roadholding. And it is built to last with quality and durability designed into every single component. But the Speedster is by no means flawless. Take, for instance, the heavy clutch, the vague and rather slow gearbox, or the very unassisted steering which is neither well balanced nor well enough damped. Look at the poor ergonomics, the bad ventilation, or the speed-sensitive heating. And consider the unsatisfactory directional stability, the car's susceptibility to crosswinds and the tricky handling in the tightrope demarcation zone between wow! and ohmigawd!

    Fact is though that, as with all 911s, the fascination will eventually outweigh the flaws, The 911 is a challenging car, and although there are now plenty of rivals which offer better handling, better roadholding, more comfort or even more power, it is this challenge of mastering the rear-engined monster which makes you come back time after time. If Porsche had positioned the new Speedster in the same niche of the model hierarchy as the #1954 original, it would have been much easier to excuse the weak design and the drawbacks which result from it. But instead of making this most basic 911 also the least expensive, the Zulfenhausen management nave decided to price it at the same level as - or even above - the 911 Cabriolet. And that is hard to justify because the Speedster is a less complete car than its brethren. It is neither as well equipped nor as competent as the Cabriolet. It is no better as a driving machine than the baseline coupe. And it is not even particularly exciting for a poseur, since the eye-catching Club Sport version is not street legal. Are you perhaps going to think this one over again, Mr Schutz?

    Interior of Speedster has elements of 911 Cabriolet and new Club Sport coupe. Scat adjusters and windows manual, to save weight. Hunchback pvc cover does not integrate well, covers solt-top. Mirrors daft.

    Speedster based on normal 911, engine and rest of mechanicals are Identical. Styling changes Include shallower windscreen, rear pvc lid. Normal Speedster model - not Speedster Club Sport-is shown. Dash same as 911’s.
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