Opinion: Why time is the Porsche 911’s greatest friend

Every time Porsche releases a new generation of Neunelfer, almost without fail, there are a number of enthusiasts and experts quick to proclaim that “the Porsche 911 as we know it is dead” and that the new car isn’t a patch on the old one.

Years ago (before the arrival of the current editorial team) this particular publication wasn’t immune from this viewpoint; a number of online commenters have pointed out that Total 911 used to be less than favourable in our views on the Porsche 996.

The 996 is pretty much the case in point for this standpoint; arriving as the first water-cooled Porsche 911, the car (and it’s avant-garde styling) drew much criticism as many fans rued the end of the air-cooled era. After all, if the engine in the back wasn’t cooled naturally, was it really a Porsche 911?

Blue Porsche 996 Carrera 4 driving

Recently though, the rapidly rising values of Porsche 996 Carreras (despite the fact that even the earliest are less than 20 years old) shows that, among our ranks, there are numerous people who do believe that the 996 is a true Neunelfer. Total 911 editor, Lee is one of them; he recently bought one, after all.

The 996 is not the first Porsche 911 to have seen such a swing in public opinion however. When the 964 was a launched in 1989, people couldn’t believe that Porsche had added a four-wheel drive system to the 911. And what was that? Power steering! This couldn’t be.

Fast forward to the winter of 2014/15 and suddenly, after years of languishing around the £8,000-£10,000 mark, 964 Carreras (of both C2 and C4 ilks) were suddenly shooting up in value. Now, you’d struggle to find a nice 964 Carrera for less than £45,000.


Even recently, the first generation Porsche 991 was lambasted as overweight, oversize and over polished. Yet, with the release of the 991.2 Carrera last September, the new turbocharged engines have suddenly seen people reappraising the Gen1 cars.

A few years ago, these cars were, to some enthusiasts, “too Audi-like”. Now they are revered as the last naturally aspirated Porsche 911 Carreras. It’s likely that their values will stabilise more rapidly than previous generations because of this.

It’s funny how time changes our opinions. It is the Porsche 911’s greatest friend as each successive generation, without fail, always stands the test of time and we look back on each as a genuine Neunelfer. I’m sure that, in a few years time, we’ll be looking at the 991.2 with a similar stance. Just you wait and see…

Do you agree with Josh? Does time help to prove the DNA of each Porsche 911 generation? Join the debate in the comments below or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

IP 991.1 v 991.2 017

Comments (3)

  • Seven Zero

    well surely even turbo Carreras will rise in value when they switch to full electric drive with 992 generation.. that is obvious, but question is if it is what fans want

  • Niall G

    Funny how Total911 after years of lambasting the ‘two stars’ 996 Carrera are now positioning themselves as ‘somewhat’ more pro 996. I wonder what’s behind that. The car hasn’t changed. Is it really the change in editorial personnel or the fact that a couple of the staff have for whatever reason decided to buy the cars and suddenly have a vested interest in driving up prices? Or is is a broader issue, the need to court a potential readership base of 996 owners that up to now date have found Total911 a very unwelcoming place? On another thread one of the journo’s denies outfight that Total911 were anti-996 and now here we see an admission of sorts (albeit directed at some previous editorial staff).

  • Josh Barnett

    The current editorial team has been singing the praises of the 996 Carrera long before Lee bought one (no one else on the team owns a 996). If anything, regularly singing its praises (‘High Mileage 996’ in issue 113, various ultimate guides, a 996 C4S test drive, appearing in our ‘2015 cars to buy’ in issue 119) convinced Lee to buy one; there hasn’t been a single 996 Carrera feature in the magazine since he bought one. And, if we were out to cynically out to court 996 readers, we’d have put a Carrera on the cover by now, something that hasn’t happened since issue 56, three years before the current editorial team.