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?
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…