Which Porsches will the next generation covet? We asked the experts.

Photograph Courtesy Porsche

An obvious observation: Porsches have been popular for decades.

Perhaps not so easy to nail down, however, is which models will be favored by tomorrow’s enthusiasts.

What seems to be the case with Porsches,” notes Spencer Trenery, owner of Fantasy Junction, a Bay Area specialty dealer, “is that they have, more successfully than other manufacturers, transitioned to the younger fan base while retaining more or less the same design configuration since the inception of the brand. This doesn’t seem to have been the case with Jaguar or Alfa, as examples.”

Today’s fan, he continues, seems more interested in models from the 1980s and up–the cars they couldn’t have during their formative years because, well, they were kids. 

And the fact that Porsches are mechanically and structurally robust allows them to be used regularly as cars rather than just an art display which happens to have wheels on the corners,” Trenery adds. “This means that there are more angles for someone to justify their purchase with, again increasing demand, even for the more pedestrian models produced in greater numbers.”

[First-time Porsche buyer's guide: 5 models perfect for scratching that itch.]

Drew Alcazar, co-founder of auction house Russo and Steele, agrees that it’s not always about the money and the rarity. “When considering truly collectible Porsches from 1980 through present day,” he says, “I believe it’s easy to list the obvious choices of the 911 Turbo, which dominated so many kids’ poster walls; the 959, forever wrapped in mystique and exclusivity; and the current supercar era, the Carrera GT and 918, all of which will endure as timeless icons of performance automobiles worldwide.

There are, however,” he continues, “a couple Porsche models with lesser fanfare and correspondingly more mortal price points that I believe will always deliver passionate performance and a driver experience that defines collectibility.”

Here are some of those models that, as judged by experts in the field, capture that Porsche experience for the next generation. 

George Hussey

Automobile Atlanta Inc.
President

Pictured: 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo sold via Bring a Trailer for $79,000

Collector cars are always generational. In my opinion, the car you lusted for when you were 14 years old is the car you want in your collection by the time you’re in your 50s. That seems to be the age when most have finally achieved the lifestyle that enables one to afford these cars. 

Hence, as of 2021, the current popular collector cars are those of the ’80s. The Porsches in this category are 911s, 944s, 968s and 928s. Among those cars, here are the ones that are most collectible:

  • 1979-’89 911 Turbo: Best of the breed and will always be an iconic car. If you find an ’89 five-speed, you have won.
  • 1987-’89 911: Absolutely the best year range for the iconic ’80s 911. The G50 hydraulic clutch gearbox made all the difference in the world in the way the car shifted and drove.
  • 1986-’89 944 Turbo: Cannot find a more balanced and powerful car.
  • 1984-’86 911 Carrera: The fabulous 3.2 engine and reliable Motronic fuel injection.
  • 1978-’83 911 SC: Peter Schutz, chairman of Porsche at the time, saved the 911 by introducing a vastly improved model over the 1974-’77 S series, with the flared rear track, an upgraded interior and the reliable 3.0 engine.

The 944s–1983 through early ’85–are just not up to the standards of a desirable collectible. The 19851/2-’90 series was better, but by now usually all of these cars have been well worn and not maintained, so one could incur major costs in their restoration. It costs as much to restore a 944 as it does a 911. 

The 928s are very, very expensive to repair and parts are hard to find; the 968 models are the same. A five-speed 928 or convertible 968 could be considered, however. One could also consider any of these cars if they have very low miles and original paint.

Please keep in mind that Porsches are expensive to repair and also not always the easiest to find parts for. Bosch seems to have discontinued all of the early fuel injection components, for example. Also, these days it’s hard to find a good mechanic willing or able to work on the older Porsches. Finally, always buy the best car you can possibly afford.

Wayne R. Dempsey

Pelican Parts
Co-founder

Pictured: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera sold via Cars & Bids for $41,250

While one can easily recommend and extol ultra-rare models like the 1995-’96 993 Carrera RS and the 1989 Carrera Speedster, I like to focus on the cars that most of us would love to drive and enjoy. Without a doubt, the most collectible models–and, not coincidentally, the most drivable–are the 1987-’89 Porsche 911 Carrera and the 1994-’98 Porsche 993.

The late-’80s Carreras were clearly the best of the 1974-’89 G-series line and a cultural icon of the ’80s decade. The highly evolved 3.2-liter engine combined with the G50 transmission make this a high-performance, trouble-free, reliable car. Collectors have taken notice and look for these cars to maintain or increase their value.

Going a step further, the 993 is the last of the air-cooled Porsches and pretty much a no-brainer for collectability–what I dub “the ultimate daily driver.” These cars have always held their value and have never really experienced that steep drop in value that an older model develops after the newer generation comes along. 

Porsche 993 owners tend to hang onto their cars for a long time, and for good reason. The water-cooled generation of 996 cars that came along in the late ’90s were very high-performing cars, but many feel that they lack the air-cooled “soul” of the 993 and the earlier generations.

John Kraman

Mecum Auctions
Lead TV commentator/analyst

Pictured: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo sold via Mecum for $29,700

The late-model market certainly has plenty of choices: the entry-level Boxster/Cayman sports cars, Panamera sedans, Macan/Cayenne SUVs and even the all-electric Taycan. These models are probably not expected to be considered collectible in the near future but remain very popular for drivers seeking a more affordable or practical entry into Porsche ownership. 

Of course, the exotic Carrera GT from 2003-’07 and the hybrid 918 from 2013-’15 are pinnacle examples and were built in limited numbers. Today, they sell for more than the new cost and are considered top-shelf, investment-grade collectibles.

Interestingly, the 944 from 1982-’91 and the 928 from 1978-’95 have very recently shown an increase in demand and prices. They appeal to an emerging generation of collector that now financially is able to move forward with a purchase of a car perhaps admired in the past. 

Stefan Mastronardi

Legendary Motorcar
Marketing specialist

Pictured: 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 sold via Bring a Trailer for $159,000

What we are currently seeing is a surge of younger collectors coming into the market and purchasing sports cars/supercars built from around the 1990s to 2010. I think this new demographic of collector is looking for sports cars that give them a unique analog driving experience while still being reliable and with modern creature comforts like air conditioning and power windows. 

I believe the days of the enthusiast who enjoys working on their sports car are long gone, and the new buyers want to use their collector cars more frequently. As an example you could take Carrera GTs, which have almost doubled in price within the last 12 months.

My pick for the next collectible modern Porsche would be a 997-generation GT2. The 997-generation 911 is the perfect combination of small overall size, lightweight feel and modern amenities. The GT2 is one of the most insane modern variants, with its twin-turbo, 3.6-liter flat-six producing 523 horsepower with a six-speed manual transmission. They are ultra-low production and there is nothing made by the factory today that feels like it. Today, it remains one of the most insane cars to drive and feels like it wants to kill you coming out of every turn.

Drew Alcazar

Russo and Steele Auctions
Co-founder and CEO

Pictured: 1983 Porsche 911 SC sold via Cars & Bids for $39,250

On the more economical price point of the spectrum, I would cast a strong vote for the 911 SC: all the hot looks and wide hips of the Turbo without the mechanical intrigue. Plus, the later, higher-horsepower versions and topless options make this a fan favorite with the enduring 911 body style. In addition, I would consider a spectacularly clean and all-original 928 in the later GTS configuration, equipped with a mandatory left foot pedal and a five-speed stir stick on the floor.

Moving farther up the monetary investment ladder, any of the “GT numbered” cars are textbook future collectibles due to brilliant performance that embodies the ultimate essence of the Porsche driving spirit. The GT3 is, to this day, one of the most analog, tactile feedback cars I’ve ever driven. Blindingly fast, blistering cornering capabilities, and “put your gum on the windshield” braking force, it commands the respect of both the driver and passionate enthusiast.

As always, buy the very best-condition Porsche you can afford, preferably from a fellow marque aficionado, well serviced, with no damage history. Patience finding the right collectable Porsche will be well rewarded.

Ken Dusman

Gateway Classic Cars
Marketing director

Pictured: 1988 Porsche 928 S4 offered via Gateway Classic Cars for $37,000

As a dream car for many classic enthusiasts around the world, few top the charts more consistently than a well-cared-for Porsche. Year after year, several Porsche models consistently place in the top 10 for collector cars worldwide. 

The 911 is always in peak demand as one of the most iconic models. However, at Gateway Classic Cars, we have seen an increase of popularity over the past two to three years in the Porsche 914. A departure from some of the classic lines, the 914 stands out as pure class from bumper to bumper. 

Our current inventory reflects a solid presence of 928s, which, based upon the attention and inquiries, is well on its way to giving the 911 a run for top spot. 

Bill Swatt

Classic Vehicle Auctions
President

Pictured: 1988 Porsche 924S sold via Bring a Trailer for $17,000

The rising prices of air-cooled Porsches, specifically the 911 and 356, have been the proverbial rising tide that has lifted all boats. Prices for 912s and 914s have already begun their ascent. The question is, what’s next? With the cost of 944 Turbos and 928s–five-speeds and GTS models–rising, the obvious answer is the naturally aspirated 944. The less obvious answer is the 924S.

Porsche introduced the 924S in 1984. While the base 924 was equipped with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, the S came equipped with a detuned version of the 944’s 2.5-liter, five-lug wheels, and 944 brakes. In fact, the 1988 924S had only 3 less horsepower than the base 944 and was about 130 pounds lighter. 

There are still cheap 924Ss to be found, but probably not for long. If you are on the hunt for one, try to find a 1988.

Kevin R. Duffy

924S944.com LLC
Chief geek

Pictured: 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition sold via Bring a Trailer for $10,500

Almost every Porsche model over the years has had Special Edition or Club Sport cars, and the 924S was no exception. The 924S SE looks like a common 924S on the outside, but the performance equipment and weight reduction make it very special indeed. And the low production numbers–980 total worldwide, with only 500 of them making it to North America–make it collectible.

The North American version was painted black, with maroon carpets and gray flannel seats with maroon pinstriping and maroon piping, making this interior unique. Power mirrors, power windows and the sunroof were all deleted for weight savings. The front suspension is fully height-adjustable, with heavier springs and torsion bars coupled with 944 Turbo sway bars, all from the factory. The rear 6-inch wheels were replaced with 7-inchers, and 931 rear mud guards finished off the look. All North American cars came with air conditioning, power steering and a Blaupunkt radio as factory options. There were a few–very few–that came through with the optional three-speed automatic.

A very good, original SE can be purchased for less than $20K and they’re increasing in value. Many in the Porsche world don’t even know they exist, so now is a good time to acquire one of these marvelous classic collectible Porsches.

Geoffrey Isabelle

Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars
Classic vehicle specialist 

Pictured: 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster sold via Mecum for $214,500

On the surface, the obvious collector picks are supercars, like the 918 and Carrera GT, and other limited-production models, like the 993 Turbo S or any of the latest GT and RS series. But you don’t need a huge budget to get a collectible Porsche from the past 40 years. 

Today’s enthusiasts value accessible performance and an analog experience. One car that comes to mind is the 1989 Speedster: It boasts limited-run appeal, a connection with Porsche history, and a pure, unfiltered character. Another place to look is at superb examples of relatively standard 911s, as these are typically the cars that get used up first. 

Outside the 911 box, cherished low-mileage “transaxle” Porsches are rising to the forefront–and can start at entry-level money. But we have learned that no matter your taste or budget, Porsche buyers reward condition and fastidious record-keeping above all else, so be patient and you’ll eventually be rewarded with the Porsche of your dreams.

Charles L Navarro

LN Engineering | Bilt Racing Service
Co-founder

Pictured: 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo sold via Cars & Bids for $90,000

Although I’m through and through an air-cooled guy first, I’m often asked what modern Porsche I would recommend to a new potential owner, to which I always respond that a base-model 987.2 Boxster or Cayman is a great car for many reasons. However, adding the collectability factory to that, I’d have to say, hands down, a 997.1 Turbo with the tried-and-true, bulletproof Mezger engine. All-steel body construction, excellent interiors and classic styling are just a few more reasons I’d choose a 2005-’09 911 Turbo. It’s on my list for sure.

Manny Albin

Porsche Club of America
Technical director

Pictured: 2012 Porsche Boxster Spyder sold via Cars & Bids for $55,500

In 2011, Porsche released the Boxster Spyder. It was built on the 987.2 Boxster chassis with some performance goodies added to it. What made this car so unique and ultimately a sales disappointment was its two-piece manual top. 

The top is so different that you will be forgiven if you forget that it’s on a Boxster. It looks like it was designed by the same person who did the “bikini” top for the Jeep. You had to read the manual at least three or four times to remember the steps in taking it down. 

Furthermore, the manual actually stated that the car should not be driven over 100 mph with this top on! A car whose country of origin was also home to the fabled Autobahn was being speed-limited by a fabric top. No one at Porsche was willing to answer what happened when you exceeded 100 mph with the top on. Add in an X73 suspension, which lowered the stance, and aluminum for the doors and decklid, which lowered weight, throw in a set of Porsche bucket seats as standard equipment, and this little Spyder was an instant collectible.

Elton Darby

Trissl Sports Cars
General manager

Pictured: 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 offered via Trissl Sports Cars for $237,911

The Porsche sports car market outlook remains strong for 2022. Air-cooled 356s (1948-’65) and 911 long-hoods (1964-’73) remain strong–especially for top-tier original and fully restored examples–with significant upward value trends for SC (1978-’83) and 3.2-liter Carrera (1984-’89) series. The strong 964 (1989-’94) and 993 (1995-’98) series, meanwhile, grew even stronger.

Porsche water-cooled sports cars have also trended up in 2021 and are expected to continue in 2022, especially manual-transmission GT-and GTS-series cars. The 996 (1999-’05) series received long-awaited affection and a significant value uptick, while 997s (2005-’12) and 991s (2012-’19) have remained strong–especially the 991.2s and the new 992 (2020 and up) series, given their popularity and the shortage of available new 911s on dealer lots that have pushed them into a premium value range rarely seen on current-release, mass-production cars. 

Brian Weathered

Midwest Eurosport
Owner

Pictured: 2005 Porsche 911 GT3 sold via Bring a Trailer for $115,000

The gen-one GT3 (2004-’05) represents a fantastic bang for your buck. The 996 GT3 powertrain is not plagued by the infamous IMS bearing troubles and inferior oiling system of the base-model 996. The GT3 was blessed with the more robust Mezger-designed engine. The gen-one GT3 provides a rawer driving experience without any of the modern nanny aids (traction control, etc.), akin to the old-school feel of the infamous 1973 Carrera RS. 

An all-steel tub means repairs can be performed on the cheap after a rough track weekend, unlike with the later, more fragile GT3 aluminum tubs, which are more cost-prohibitive to repair. Eighteen-inch wheels come standard–a huge plus as they allow for the widest selection of street and track tires. 

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Comments
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Automobilist
Automobilist New Reader
4/20/22 2:06 p.m.

I would say the 2012-2015 991.1  These are extremely good cars, in virtually all aspects. 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
4/21/22 9:25 a.m.

I am thrilled with the 997.1 I just picked up. Best car I have ever had.

Goluscombe
Goluscombe New Reader
6/21/22 3:36 p.m.

I read an article about Bruce Canepa and had the unexpected pleasure to speak with him by phone.  He said that the best combination of handling and power was the '78 to '83 911 SC.  He felt that the handling of the 911 was more GT-like as the design progressed and while '78 to '83 years provided enough power to satisfy.    The good thing about Porsche 911, there's a model and year that would satisfy just about anybody.  

I suppose if there is anyone who could carry a weighty opinion it would be Bruce Canepa.    I will say this, that he has more energy than any three people I know.   Like the saying goes "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" perfectly applies to Bruce.   He genuinely loves what he does.  

 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
6/23/22 10:14 a.m.

In reply to Goluscombe :

I visited with Bruce last month. He certainly has a lot of experience and knowledge. 

personally, I spent the better part of a day a few weeks ago in a 1987 Porsche 911. I know they are iconic, well made and beautiful, but I can't warm up to the driving experience. Especially for less money, I would take my water cooled car any day.

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