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Inside the used Porsche 911 market: Q1 2021 review

UK Hagerty Price Guide editor John Mayhead casts light on the Porsche 911 market over the last five years and previews which models could be set for a stellar 2021…

The last five years has been a time of great change within the classic car world. The market’s taste in cars – what models are hot and not – has subtly shifted, as has the way cars are bought and sold. And let’s not forget that the age of buyers is also in constant flux; we’ve seen a flood of younger enthusiasts join the fun, bringing with them an appetite for different cars. The manufacturers have also adapted, and supporting historic models has now moved from being a commercial afterthought to indeed one of the key strands of many prestige companies’ operations.

These changes have been keenly felt in the Porsche community. Of the 60 models of Porsche 911 tracked by the Hagerty Price Guide, 45 have risen in value an average of 20% since 2016, although that’s been slowing: in the last 12 months, the rise was just 0.33% across the market.

When each 911 variant is listed in order of value gained, the greatest risers are ultra-rare performance models: the 964 Turbo Cabriolet increased a hefty £184,150 ($256,400 USD) over the period and the Carrera 3.2 Clubsport by £78,325 ($109,000). Those that lost the most value were the 911S 2.4, down £80,925 ($112,700) and the legendary 2.7 RS, down £141,500 ($197,000).

Some of the shifts come down to the vagaries of the market – the 911 S 2.4 and 2.7 RS, for instance, had both been overvalued thanks to a short-term bubble caused by some extraordinary sales results. Look deeper into the values, though, and some interesting patterns appear. Plotted as percentage increases in value, every car in the top ten is a 1980s model, with the exception of the 964 Turbo Cabriolet. The last five years has been the time when the Carrera 3.2 and 930 models have really established themselves as seriously collectable cars, and it’s no coincidence that this is the time when 1980s teenagers hit their 40s – typically the time that income becomes comfortable, children begin to leave the nest, and some look to purchase the automotive heroes of their formative years.

Expect the buyers and the Porsches to keep getting younger. Back in 2016, the average year of a Porsche sold at online auction was 1985.2; now it is 1993.6, and three times as many are being offered. Hagerty’s clients are also getting younger: from 2019 to 2020, the number of Porsche enthusiasts below the age of 40 calling Hagerty for insurance quotes surged 24%, making it the fastest-growing age group. Correspondingly, over the past 12 months, Porsches from the 2000s and 2010s saw the biggest increase in their share of policy quotes, and those from the 1980s saw the biggest decrease (although that was just 0.7%). This all points to younger enthusiasts targeting more modern cars.

So, which models will be the ones to watch in 2021? Assuming that the trends continue, Hagerty would expect to see 1990s and early 2000 performance versions becoming the most collectable. The Hagerty Price Guide currently values the 964 Carrera RS at between £141,000 and £265,000; combining its classic looks, limited numbers, 260bhp performance and practical drivability, it seems that this model ticks all the boxes to increase in collectability in the future.

The other car firmly on our radar is the 996.1 GT3. The release of Porsche’s most recent iteration of the GT3 has drawn attention back to the original version of what is now one of the marque’s most important model designations. Values have fluctuated a great deal over the last few years, with the very best examples reaching a peak of £93,400 in the October 2017 Hagerty Price Guide, but softening since. The Guide now ranges the model between £40,100 and £86,500. Whatever your perception of the 996’s styling, the GT3 has a charismatic and powerful engine and delivers an entertaining drive. Even for sheer performance alone, values seem to have the potential to increase.

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