Porsche Investing and the Marketplace – What Next?

The collectable Porsche phenomenon of recent years has become symbolic of the plight of the potential Porsche owner. Several emotions run through the discussions and private thoughts with the Porsche air cooled community, often the opinions are symptomatic of the viewers individual circumstance.

Long time watchers, often Porsche owners who may wish to buy more cars, can have their judgement coloured by memories of the ‘cars they should have bought’. We all recall the 964RS just a few years ago could be purchased for less than £35,000. An immaculate, low mileage left hand drive car sold this past week at auction in Monaco for €268,000. Less than twelve months ago, I was discussing with a friend whether he should be buying into a 964RS at £90,000. His judgement of course included not just memories of the £35,000 cars, buy also the car he was about to buy twelve months earlier for £65,000.

The Monaco Porsche 964RS
The Monaco Porsche 964RS

Is the Monaco 964RS an anomaly, in the same way that I believe the Magnus Walker 911 sale of last summer was? Time will tell, but I think not. The cars is original and immaculate in the same way that the delivery mileage Porsche 959 we featured here was. The Magnus Walker car was the result of a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances, social media frenzy, skillful marketing and presenting the car in front of a monied audience who were there to spend millions. In that saleroom, the car didn’t seem expensive and those concerned where skillful in the presentation.

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Of course, your views on aircooled Porsche prices are very dependent upon where you’re standing in the marketplace, how wealthy you are and whether you’re a potential buyer, an owner or an enthusiast who one day would wish to have the funds to buy one.

If you have significant money to invest and it’s only part of your portfolio of cars, property, Salavor Dali art and California real estate, then it’s probably a useful and entertaining way to safely place some money.

If you’re saving hard and you’re a ‘driver’ as opposed to a ‘polisher’ then you view it as a double edged sword. The pricing is a continually moving target as you chase your quest. But of course once you become an owner, you’re having a combination of concern at driving it as hard as you used to, plus the combination of pleasure if it’s value continues up and concern that you have made the mistake of buying at the top of the market. Porsche consultant Philip Raby writes about this very thing on his blog here, commenting “The problem, if it can be called such, with these increases in value, is that people are becoming loath to drive their rare Porsches.”

If you’re an enthusiast and aspire to own an aircooled Porsche without having the funds in place, you’re probably frustrated at the fact that to be honest, you may well never own one now. Try not to be bitter and think of other ways to enjoy Porsche ownership and keep a weather eye on the future.

The dealers, obviously, want the market to continue upwards and have vested interest in seeing this continue. But don’t forget, as well as being good for business, the skillful players forge strong relationships with clients and manage collections where everyone is a winner. John Hawkins of Specialist Cars of Malton commented recently. “Someone sent me a copy of an old classified advert we ran a few years ago. Compare it to our stock today and we found that all of the £50,000 water cooled cars were worth virtually nothing. But the aircooled cars that were previously cheap had quadrupled in value.”

[quote]Back then people were buying brand new cars crossing over the road and making ten grand[/quote]

I can recall working in the specialist car industry during the previous surge in prices. The Jaguar XJ220 was something we called at the wrong time. With supercars climbing in value literally every week, the market was unsustainable and it all ended in tears. What’s to stop it happening once more?

John Hawkins, “It’s different this time. Back then people were buying brand new cars crossing over the road and making ten grand. Then someone else was buying it, cross back to the other side and turning another ten grand. It was just greed. What’s different today is the way the clients are buying. They’re taking a long term view, building a portfolio of cars that they can drive and enjoy owning as well as investing in. The whole financial circumstances are different.” Indeed, classic Porsche are hot property, as right now Specialist Cars have three Porsche 959’s in stock and three Porsche Speedsters.

Perhaps the air cooled Porsche is simply taking it’s rightful place in the collectors stable, as for years values remained static while E Type and Aston Martin values climbed steadily upwards. With air cooled cars becoming older and more expensive and water cooled 996 Porsche remaining unloved and plentiful, what will be the next collectable Porsche?

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Author: Neill Watson

If you love the sound of the Cosworth V8 as much as the V12 Merlin, the smell of Jet A1 as much as Castrol R and admire the late Ray Hanna as much as Sir Stirling, you’ll find you’re both on the same page. Neill's love of art deco buildings means that his ideal home would be a brilliant white, 1930′s control tower in Southern France, with crisply mown grass, biplane parked on the driveway and a Ferrari 288GTO in the garage. This is something that those around him tolerate, though it does concern them from time to time.

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