Sales debate: Do classic open-top 911s make sensible investments?
For years, when it came to investing in a classic Porsche 911, the ideal specification was simple: it had to be a manual, and it had to be a Coupe. Recently though, prices for open-top 911s have strengthened, especially at the prestige automotive auctions. Does this now make them sensible investments?
“It depends if you’re referring to Targas or Cabriolets,” explains Alan Drayson, proprietor of Canford Classics and a man better qualified to talk about the classic Porsche market than most.
Right-hand drive Targas are “now quite sought after,” Drayson says, partially thanks to their rarity. “The resurgence of the 991 Targa seems to have really opened the possibilities of what can be achieved, specifically the values.”
By comparison, he points out that “Cabriolet values – the later SCs and the 3.2s – are still a little bit less as people are still swaying toward the Coupe.” Price-wise, the earlier cars – the soft-window Targas – are doing especially well, “but then you’ve entered into left-hand drive territory,” Drayson explains.
“It’s a slightly different market and, if you look in Europe (especially Germany) it’s a stronger market there than it is here for Targas. It was definitely the UK that had a stronger sense of swaying away from the Targa.”
While it goes without saying that interest in Targas – and all 911s, for that matter – picks up heading into summer, Canford Classics has experienced a noticeable rise in customers searching specifically for open-top cars:
“It was also seen as the weaker younger brother – ‘I’ll have one if that’s all that’s going’ – but we’re certainly seeing people approaching us, looking particularly for a Targa,” says Drayson.
A potentially more significant marker that the open-top market is strengthening though is that Canford is restoring more Targas than before: “We’ve got a ’76 Targa S that’s in for a full restoration. That’s never been known of before.
It’s a sign of what values are doing and what people think are the values of the cars. If he’s willing to invest £50,000 in his car, by no means does it mean it’s worth £50,000 plus the value of the car, but he still sees it fit to invest that money.”
As Drayson points out, most classic Coupes aren’t used all year round so, with the added sensory experiences of the 911 Targa, now is definitely the time to start exploring your alfresco options.
For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.