Where does the smart money go?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that allowed you to see the future of the Porsche market?

You’d have been able to sell that early 996 before prices crashed, buy up stocks of left-hand drive, UK-based 911s ready to sell back to the Continent, and hoover up anything with an RS badge (apart from 996s) in readiness for their values to go stratospheric.

It seems, also, that buying 911 Turbos – the original 930s series, that is – would also be a good idea. A couple of high-profile magazine articles have cited these hairy-chested supercars as the new big thing and, as a result, I’ve spoken to several people eager to jump on the bandwagon.

Why the 930? Well, there are several reasons. First, prices are surprisingly affordable right now, with UK cars starting at under £20,000 for a tired example. Next, it’s the poster car that many males adorned their bedroom walls with when they were boys and yearned after almost as much as that tennis player scratching her backside. It’s also undeniably a great-looking car and, of course, has that legendary ‘Turbo’ badge across its rear (unlike the tennis player…) and we all know what that’s done to 993 Turbo values.

For a long time, people were scared off these early Turbos, after hearing tales of scary handling, on/off power delivery and expensive maintenance costs. OK, let’s look at these one by one.

The handling is fine, so long as you’re sensible. Yes, the engine sticks out even further behind the rear wheels than in a normal 911 of the day, and all the power is going through the rear wheels, but you just need to drive the car properly and treat it with respect.

There’s no denying that the single, large turbocharger creates noticeable turbolag – floor the throttle, wait and, eventually, you’ll be bombarded by shed-loads of power. Not the most practical or useable outcome, but is sure is a lot of fun!

Running costs should be reasonable so long as you buy a good, well-maintained example and keep it so. The engines themselves are tough, and it’s really only the turbocharger that can go bang – if you’re unlucky. Regular oil changes are essential, and you should treat the engine gently until it’s warmed up, and let it idle for a few minutes before turning off, to ensure proper lubrication to the blower.

But will a 930 prove to be a good investment? I’m not so sure. Yes, prices seem to have firmed up in recent months and I’m sure if you buy now you’ll be able to sell for similar money in a few years. So, if you want a 911 Turbo and can’t afford a newer one, then by all means choose a 930. Just don’t expect to use it to fund your retirement.

Without the aid of a crystal ball, I predict that 964 Turbos will be the next to be treated to an increase in market interest. Not the rare 3.6 – that’s long been sought-after – but the original 3.3-litre version. It offers everything the 930 did but in a more modern package.

Comments (2)

  • 996 GT3 RS. with only 682 examples built (113 UK cars) that’s less than half the total of the iconic 1972/3 2.7 RS’s produced. so its a very rare car. prices have been steady for a while now. like other RS cars the value of this car will increase and hopefully significantly as I have one. if i could then i’d buy another.

  • Andrew

    Even low mileage examples of the 996 GT3 can be had at very reasonable prices now. I wonder if the 997 GT3s will experience the same sort of depreciation their predecessors did…