5 Types of Porsche Models for Collectors

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5 Types of Porsche Models for Collectors

Collectors buy Porsche classic cars as investments, to race, to show, and out of sheer love for the vehicle. Fans of the line come from all walks of life. Magnus Walker, a British expatriate living in Los Angeles, is the dreadlocked creator of a clothing line for rock-and-rollers, and he has been dubbed 'the world's most unlikely Porsche collector'. Walker set a life's goal of owning one of each year's 911 ever produced. As of 2012, he was short only the 1974 model.

One advantage to collecting Porsche cars is that so many are available at low prices compared with many other classic cars. It can mean that a collector is less certain of future appreciation in the value of vehicles purchased. But it also means a collector can feel more at ease taking almost any of the vehicles purchased out on the open road. Insurance costs are also relatively lower than for many classic cars.

Porsche collectors can spend hundreds of thousands for rare models or purchase hobby cars for less than a new commuter vehicle. Many classic Porsche motor cars are advertised through such large online marketplaces as eBay, making them widely available to collectors seeking specific models.

Type 1. Porsche 356 (1952)

For those who see echoes of the VW Beetle in the nose and front bumpers of the 356, there's a good reason. Porsche began as a consultancy and one of its first projects was design of the German 'People's Auto'. The Beetle and the 356 were both designed by Porsche's Erwin Komenda. Some may also see commonalities between the lines of the 356 and those of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. The Karmann Ghia debuted at the 1953 Paris Auto Show but was designed by Luis Segre for Volkswagen. Similarities probably relate to design influences throughout the industry at the time.

Type 2. 911 SC (Built 1978-1983)

The 911 was introduced in 1963 and has remained the central vehicle in the Porsche line ever since. Modified versions are popular on the racecourse, where its victories have included Sebring, Daytona, and Targa Florio. It was one of five cars ranked among the top cars of the 20th century at the 1999 Frankfurt Auto Show, with the Ford Model T, Mini Cooper, Citroen DS, and Volkswagen Beetle also on the list.

The relatively short-lived SC series launched a new 911 and is reputed to have saved the 911 line within the Porsche firm. The initial models were Targa convertibles, with the cabriolet models entering the market in late 1982. Over the years of manufacture, engine power increased, eventually reaching 204 bhp. They are the first cars in the industry to have fully galvanised shells for protection from road salt. Despite the short market run, nearly 59,000 of the 911 SCs were sold, helping to keep the price relatively low in the collector's market.

Type 3. Porsche 944 (1983-1991 Models)

Don't be put off by superficial similarities to the underrated 924, generally dismissed as the Porsche 'budget' car. The critics who disliked the 924 spoke highly of the 944, recommending it for a fun drive, 'swoopy' lines, and 'spirited' handling. The rear transaxle makes it an easy car to drive comfortably without a long learning curve. The smaller engines in the pre-1989 models should be carefully checked out before purchase since enthusiastic prior owners may have run them harder than appropriate. It retains the convenient big glass hatchback of the 924, with offerings over the years including a two-door coupé, a Cabriolet starting in 1989, and a Turbo.

Type 4. Porsche 968 (1992-1995 Models)

Only 12,776 of the 968 were ever built, which would initially suggest high market competition for this short-run vehicle. As it turns out, the converse is true. The initial run was short because for whatever reason, this model never gained traction in the market. As a result, even in the collectors market, prices tend to be relatively low. Both Coupé and Cabriolet versions are available and cars produced later often carry a great many dealer options as well.

The 968 has a six-speed transaxle. Its 2,990 cc engine has the new VarioCam system, which allows for changes in timing of the intake, improving engine power and smoothness.

Type 5. Boxster (1996-2004 Models)

First-generation Boxsters are real sports cars, but the price of these roadsters is very reasonable and the driver still has no question he or she is driving a Porsche. This vehicle is the first and only Porsche with a water-cooled engine located anywhere except the front end. Having that engine located half-way down the car means there's no room for even a small rear seat, but who expects rear seating in a sports car? The next generation came to market in 2005, which is one reason these models can be had at such good prices.

Entry Level Porsches for New Collectors

People just buying their first Porsche may want to consider used vehicles that are inexpensive, fun to drive, and still maintain the allure of the Porsche brand. Here are some entry-level choices recommended by members of Porsche Clubs and auto writers as good 'hobby cars' for first-time owners.

Porsche Model

Years

Why Recommended

911 SC

1978-1983

Supply is large relative to demand so prices are relatively low; very fast and solidly built; vehicles from 1981 on are rustproofed; value has remained steady for many years

911

1974-1977

Underrated; fun to drive; 1974 has lowest original wear from engine heat due to emissions control devices; engines in 1975 and after have often been rebuilt; check carefully for rust in 1974-1975; rustproofing in 1976-1977

911 Carrera 3.2

1984-1989

Integrated ignition and fuel injection make this a more powerful and fuel-efficient vehicle; Coupé, Targa, and Cabriolet available; five-speed only; Turbo-look starting in 1985

Boxster

1997-2002

The ultimate convertible; Boxsters from 1997-2000 required a number of repairs under manufacturer warranty so confirm these were made; 2001-2002 are upgraded and cost more than earlier editions

Every vehicle has its own characteristic patterns of engine wear and other kinds of wear to its mechanical parts. When purchasing an older vehicle, learning about the particular model's tendencies is helpful in assessing the condition of a vehicle under consideration.

Volkswagens with Porsche Components

Here is a little known Porsche fact. The company was founded as an automotive consultancy, not a manufacturer and the first car it designed was the car we know today as the Volkswagen Beetle . That is one reason so many early Porsches have air-cooled rear engines, like the Volkswagen Beetle and bus. It is also the reason so many Volkswagen enthusiasts trick out their vehicles with Porsche components, from engines to wheels to paint colours. Owners of early Karmann Ghias can almost fool the unsuspecting.

Buying a Collector Porsche on eBay

When selecting a classic Porsche on eBay, some issues to consider beyond the mechanical and body condition include whether it has right- or left-hand drive, manual or automatic gearing, and whether it is fuelled with diesel or petrol. Usually, the fewer of a vehicle that were produced, the higher its price, although this does not hold consistently. If you are seeking a particular model Porsche, use the Select box on any eBay page to key in the model you desire, for example, 'Porsche 911 SC'. Often, additional options appear to allow you to narrow the selections to ' Coupé ' or 'Convertible ' or other specifics of that model.

Finding a Classic Porsche Nearby

The Sort function on eBay allows you to Sort your selections by 'Distance: Nearest first'. This is particularly helpful when purchasing classic Porsche motor cars, since you may wish to view and test drive any vehicle under consideration, as well as give it a solid mechanical check. In addition, classic cars are typically offered 'For Collection Only', so a new owner needs either to arrange a car carrier or transfer the vehicle registration to drive it to its new home.

Be sure to also check out the seller. The seller's rating and feedback, including any comments from previous car buyers, can help determine the seller's reliability.

Conclusion

With more than 60 years of production in the line, there are many classic Porsche motor cars that any collector could choose. Porsche collectors and Porsche car clubs span the globe, with memberships that range from local tinkerers to professional auto racers. A Porsche car that is described as a 'hobby car', defined as perhaps in need of some TLC but ready to drive, can be purchased for a price typical of an average commuter car. But no Porsche is an average car.

For those ready to spend more, the sky is not quite the limit. There are cars that more expensive than the most expensive Porsches. But when it is possible to scream down the motorway in a Targa, with nothing but the wind between the driver and the open sky, who needs to spend more money? Collecting Porsche motor cars is a satisfying way to enjoy one of the five top cars of the 20th century, and it can start with nothing more difficult than a search of eBay.

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