Left wing politics
Some years ago, I bought a very nice 964 Carrera 4 from Germany. It was a left-hand drive car which, in those days, was an affordable way to get behind the wheel of a decent Porsche. The 1989 car with 71,000 miles (or rather the kilometre equivalent) cost me about £10,000 and had just had a £7000 engine rebuild done by an OPC.
It was a great car and I had a lot of enjoyment from it, updating it with a mile-per-hour speedometer, RS rear bumper, Cup lights, 993 door handles, lowered suspension and a few other tasteful tweaks.
I then sold it a couple of years later but vaguely kept track of its life and then, last year, I spoke to its then-owner who was having to sell it in a hurry and he’d just accepted an offer for well under £10,000. I was gutted – I’d have bought it back for that price.
Then, just recently, the car appeared in the classifieds once again. By this time it had done 108,000 miles but appeared to have been well maintained and still in good condition. The asking price was £13,250 which seemed a bit optimistic. I spoke to the owner, though, and he said he’d had about 20 phone calls within days of advertising the car, all from mainland Europe. He’d taken a deposit and the car was going to return to its native Germany the following week, with the seller making a handy profit.
I was said to hear that the car was leaving the UK because I suspect I’ll now lose touch with it completely.
It does, though, illustrate just how the Porsche market has changed in recent years, thanks in part to the euro exchange rate. Now, people in mainland Europe are clamouring to buy left-hand drive cars from the UK because they’re better value than those in their home market, and because there is a shortage of decent cars.
I just wish I’d held onto my 964 but who could have predicted that this bizarre situation would arise? When I sold the car (for a little more than I’d paid for it), I assumed that left-hand drive 911s would drop in value and, indeed, they did for a while. I wonder how long it will last and if we’ll ever be in a position when it will, once again, make financial sense to buy a left-hand drive car and import it into the UK.