Opinion: the sense behind the silly values of classic 911s

Much has been made of the surge in values of classic 911s this year. We’ve focussed on it a lot here at Total911.com, reporting on the action from every auction room sale as soon as the hammer falls.

To Joe Public, the astronomical sale prices of these classic 911s are simply inconceivable. The 964 RS sold at Monaco started the outry. “£225,000 for a pared-back Carrera?” was the main line of heresy bounding about social media in the aftermath of that particular sale. We’ve also seen a million-dollar 1974 3.0-litre RS sell at Pebble Beach, and to top it all off, just last week a 1973 S with the less desirable Targa top sold for £195,500. Madness, you might say? Absolutely not.

1973 Porsche 911 S Targa
This 1973 911 S Targa has classic, purist appeal and is from the low-production era of manufacturing, increasing its provenance.

Here’s why. Just look at that ’73 S Targa. Sure, its main USP is classic engineering and aesthetics, replenishing a lack of any discernable driver aids with retro charm by the lorry load. But, most importantly, there’s an added bonus of provenance attached to the car too. Just 5,054 examples of the 2.4-litre 911S were sold by Porsche, compared to over 15,000 997 Carrera S variants. And that’s in rear-driven form only, and not including the M97-clad first generation 997 either.

Modern sporstcars may be more accomplished to drive, but they're made in high numbers, denting their appeal as collectibles.
Modern sporstcars may be more accomplished to drive, but they’re made in high numbers, denting their appeal as collectibles.

The crux of my argument is, on top of their zesty appeal to nostalgic buyers who grew up surrounded by cars from “the good old days,” we have to accept these classics carry a premium due to their hailing from a low-production era of automotive manufacturing. There’s simply less of them on the face of the earth than today’s machine-built, mass produced (and even platform sharing) sportscars. As production increases – Porsche themselves this week announced a 12% sales increase from last year – these early cars will only become rarer.

So, regardless of that idiosyncratic Targa top, all of a sudden £195,500 for a low-volume classic appears to be an absolute snip for such a car.

Do you agree? Comment below or tweet us @Total911 with your thoughts.

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