Time warp Targa
There’s a Porsche marketing poster, released at the time of the 996 Carrera 4S Cabriolet launch in 2002, which says ‘Every hour a Porsche spends parked: you cannot get that time back.’ It’s a wonderful piece of marketing that should perhaps make a comeback, given the propensity today among buyers to acquire a 911 and then park it in the hope of making a buck some day in the distant future.
However, historically speaking, the concept of a Porsche being left motionless for a prolonged period of time isn’t unheard of, though more often than not this was due to financial burden, not investment. The 911 wasn’t as valuable a sports car as today’s markets would have you believe, and so if a used example developed a major problem, this could easily signal the end of its working life, the expense to fix it often impractical or even uneconomical for its owner.
Anguished to sell the car on, owners simply garaged their pride and joy in the hope of one day fixing or restoring the 911 back to its former glory. Sometimes this played out as fairytale, other times it didn’t, the car lost and forgotten about for years – decades, even – until one day being rediscovered by a family member or otherwise. These cars are called barn finds.
Let’s face it, we all love a genuine barn find story. Famous for the chronicles physically etched in their coachwork, they are a time warp, a total motoring preserve of a bygone era. Bedecked in patina, these are the cars that undeniably peak the interest of an enthusiast over a car that’s been completely restored. The car has a story to tell, and we want to hear about it.
David Gooding of leading auction house Gooding & Co exemplifies this, telling us in issue 156, “People prefer more genuine human stories with a car that has much more meaning to it – that’s why a barn find is the most pure classic you can have.” As classic 911 values have increased in recent years, so has the rate at which these barn find cars are being unearthed, each story seemingly more enchanting than the last. The tale of the barn find in front of you, however, is frankly the stuff of legend…