Sales debate: How has GT3 and RS tuning been affected by rising values?
The GT3 and RS models are meant to represent the pinnacle of the Porsche 911 line up. However, some customers will always want more. Luckily for them, there are a number of companies willing to modify GT3 and RSs to extract ever greater performance from these flagship models.
In recent years though, since the introduction of the PDK-equipped 991 GT3, prices of the venerable 996 and 997 examples have rocketed. Has this had a knock-on effect on the tuning companies?
“What were once fun track cars are starting to get parked back in the garage,” explains SharkWerks founder, Alex Ross. He agrees that there may even be a time in the near future when people won’t want their GT3 modified at all, “especially a 3.8 RS in rare colours”.
Paul Robe, owner of the UK-based Parr (a company that has worked extensively on GT3s and RSs over the years) feels that car price isn’t the only factor in people’s changing attitudes towards tuning: “As the latest generation GT3s became more capable – they have massive brakes, the transmissions became stronger – it definitely cooled people’s attitude toward doing a great deal of work.”
Instead, on top of some exhaust work, Parr predominantly finds itself carrying out what Robe likes to call ‘practical tuning’. “We still fi t lift kits and things like that because they can’t drive over speed bumps,” he explains.
For those who have already made the jump and modified though, Alex at SharkWerks has been pleasantly surprised by his cars’ residuals.
“Only a couple of 3.9s have ever changed hands but the sellers have always made back at least 50 per cent or so on the mods meaning that that a 3.9 costs more than a normal one. I’m pretty chuffed with that to be honest,” he explains.
Both Ross and Robe agree that any modifications carried out should be ones that are reversible, with the latter explaining that “the market wants originality”.
As an investment, without the benefit of significant media exposure, tuning a GT3 or an RS can harm values, with a definite change in attitudes to tuning as prices have risen. However, keeping to reversible changes (such as SharkWerks’ exhaust, suspension and wheel tweaks) does help to protect residual values.
What’s more, as Alex also points out, some of the modifications “actually fix and address a few issues (like the coolant pipe problem),” meaning that, if you’re not afraid of the modified moniker, some tweaks can bring significant real-world benefits.
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.