Rare 997s: six special editions
For some, it’s the ultimate generation of the Neunelfer: melding that classic 911 design with modern-day performance and sophistication, the 997 has it covered. While the earlier Gen1 cars brought back equilibrium for the 911’s aesthetics and build quality after six divisive years of 996, the arrival of the Gen2 in 2008 improved on reliability, usability and performance. Gone was the troublesome IMS bearing and bore scoring that had plagued the M96 and M97 engines. The new 9A1 engines had direct fuel injection, which offered better power with economy. Porsche also said goodbye to the Tiptronic gearbox, an archaic transmission by this point, replaced by the swift and intelligent dual-clutch PDK transmission still utilised in 911s with two pedals today.
Revered by enthusiasts and automotive journalists, the 997.2 has forever been thought of fondly, never suffering from the negative press incurred with the 996 or 997.1 (the latter thanks to question marks over its engine’s reliability). Of course, the ultimate barometer of success is to be found in sales figures, which were positive given the global financial meltdown in which the Gen2 cars were born into.
You could argue that Porsche itself looked auspiciously at the 997 era of production. With what was an all-new generation of 911 in the 991 firmly on the horizon, the company sought to celebrate this era with a series of run-out models that would truly leave their mark. Over a period of 730 days between 2010 and 2011, the company released no fewer than six special editions, all a consummate raid of the parts bin at least or, at best, a truly unique car, courtesy of the Exclusive department. Not since the 964 or 993 generation had the throng of special-edition 911s rolling off Porsche’s production line been so rich.
Just seven short years later, Total 911 has gathered this stellar sextet with Hexagon Classics in a world first. Most are worth far more than list price – incredible for a Neunelfer less than ten years old – and all are now appreciating. This is their story and brilliance, and why they were sure to be deep-rooted to the Porsche 911 hall of fame from the moment they rolled off the production line…