At the beginning of 2019, our valuation team noticed an unusual trend in the Porsche market: the seemingly endless trend of rising prices, especially for air-cooled models, was slowing down. We asked Hagerty valuation analyst James Hewitt to probe insurance quoting activity and values to get a feel for models to buy, sell, or hold.
This list is packed with 911s and their derivatives, but there are some other great entry points to Porsche ownership and plenty of good news for current and future Porsche owners.
Don’t count out the fried-egg-headlight 911 just yet. Collectors look like they’re finally coming around to the first water-cooled 911 models. When solid examples are fetching less than $30,000, plenty of first-time Porsche buyers have a great entry point to the brand with 300-horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. Quote counts are up 28 percent in the last year, but quoted values have not seen an increase yet. “With the increased interest and these becoming a more valued generation, we expect to see values rise,” Hewitt notes.
Porsche’s four-cylinder from the ’60s is no longer an affordable entry to 911 looks and handling. With great examples bringing more than $60,000, and exceptional models breaking into six figures, the allure of a classic, air-cooled, rear-engine Porsche has elevated the 912 beyond many of the more powerful 911 models that evolved later. Hewitt advises, “We might be seeing these cooling off, and the May Hagerty Price Guide saw the strongest decreases in recent years.”
With its great silhouette and wonderfully flared fenders, the 944 is a stunning car. However, its low price in the used market often meant that it got mistreated by second or third owners. That hasn’t hurt the popularity of the well-preserved models, however. Hewitt explained, “The S models increased about 5-percent in the recent price guide, the turbos 3 percent, and the base models 19 percent.” We’ve suggested that there probably won’t be a lot of upward movement in the 944 market, but if you have a 944 that’s in great driving condition, you know that it would be tough to replace its spirited handling.
If you didn’t get in on the 944 before prices crept up, perhaps now is the time for its successor and the final evolution of Porsche’s front-engine four-cylinder sports cars. Both quote counts and the number added to policies are up nearly 20 percent. The average quoted value over the last 12 months has been steady, but might heat up soon with the increased interest.
It seems like the peak may have already come for the early turbo 911 models. “The Hagerty Value Rating has consistently been at the bottom this year, down from a high of 29 in January,” Hewitt says. The value of cars added to policies is down from a peak of $119,000, and fewer new policies are being added. As with many other six-figure cars, there are fewer buyers here, and, instead, there seems to be interest in more affordable cars. Perhaps now is the time to catch the market before the buyers move on completely.
The 1978–83 Porsche 911SC, or Super Carrera, introduced an aluminum engine case that replaced the previous magnesium casting and, in its final year, brought a cabriolet to the Porsche lineup for the first time since the 356. Hewitt notes, “Quoted values on these keep going up and up—7.7 percent in the last year—but the number added to policies has only increased 1 percent in that period.” Just weather that small dip in prices over the last year, and know that your 911SC is still in that wide sweet spot of air-cooled Porsche perfection.