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Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?With Porsches smashing auction records – including a 993 GT2 recently sold for £1.65 million – all eyes are on the forthcoming Silverstone Auctions sale. Taking place at Silverstone circuit on Saturday 15 October, it includes plenty of rare, exotic and expensive Porsches, including the 964 Carrera RS above. Still, let’s forget about prices for now and just admire the cars. Here are our highlights from the Silverstone sale, presented from oldest to newest.

1959 Porsche 356B T5Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

This pretty 356B coupe is one of the earliest UK right-hand-drive cars, estimated at £45,000 – £55,000. It has a modest 67,651 miles on the clock, although the seller warns it has ‘sat for a number of years’. As such, ‘some recommissioning work is carried out before you take it for a blast’. We’d love to.

1968 Porsche 911T SWBWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Launched in 1963, the 911 is the car that defines Porsche in the eyes of enthusiasts. The 2.0-litre 911T (Touring) was introduced in 1967, this car being a rare short-wheelbase version. Resprayed from beige to Irish Green (a period Porsche colour), it comes with its original radio, tool kit and maintenance books – plus invoices for a full restoration in 2010. Estimate is £85,000 – £100,000.

1968 Porsche 912Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Another Irish Green Porsche – but looks can be deceiving: this is a 912 rather than a 911. The Cayman of its day, the 912 had a four-cylinder engine and cost around 30% less than its six-cylinder sibling. No surprise, then, that Porsche sold nearly twice as many 912s as 911s in 1966. This 1968 912 had a bare-metal restoration last year and is estimated to sell for £38,000 – £42,000.

1969 Porsche 911 Carrera RS replicaWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

More proof that all isn’t as it seems in the world of old Porsches. This 1969 car looks like a 2.7 Carrera RS perhaps the most highly-prized 911 of all. However, it’s a replica, with a highly-modified engine from a 1973 911T and, of course, period graphics and a ducktail spoiler. You’ll pay in excess of half-a-million for a tidy 2.7 RS, which makes the £65,000 – £75,000 estimate for this car very appealing.

1971 Porsche 911SWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Feeling brave? The value of classic Porsches is such that even basket cases like this 1971 911S can be worth £55,000 – £65,000. In truth, the car isn’t quite as far-gone as it looks. Its owner says the engine ‘will turn over’, and the chassis and floors ‘appear solid’. Being a matching-numbers car with a Porsche certificate of authenticity adds value, too – as does a rare 2.2-litre engine.

1973 Porsche 911E TargaWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

This mid-range 911E Targa is another Porsche in need of serious work. A left-hand-drive model, it was imported from Florida in 2013, along with a replacement bonnet, doors and front/rear wings. Its 2.4-litre engine comes from a 1973 911T, so obviously isn’t original. However, the car is sold without reserve – potentially making it the cheapest Porsche in the Silverstone sale.

1975 Porsche 911 TargaWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The 911 Targa is firmly back in fashion (helped in no small part by the latest, retro-look 991 Targa), and prices have been rising accordingly. Only six right-hand-drive 911 2.7 Carrera Targas came to the UK, making this a very rare car indeed. We love the trad-Porsche Guards Red paint and Fuchs alloy wheels. Expect it to sell for strong money: the estimate from Silverstone Auctions is £130,000 – £160,000.

1981 Porsche 911 SCWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

By comparison, this 1981 911 3.0 SC looks a bargain. Sporting wider ‘Turbo’ bodywork and the iconic whale tail spoiler, it has been owned by the vendor for the past 23 years. The auction estimate is lowly £20,000 – £25,000, partly because the fitment of a new speedo some years ago means the displayed 54,492 miles is unwarranted. Still, if you’re willing to take a punt…

1981 Porsche 924Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Four-cylinder Porsches are back – the latest 718 Boxster and Cayman both use four-pot engines – so perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the humble 924? This 1981 924 is less humble than most, having covered just 10,220km since it left Stuttgart. A left-hand-drive car originally sold in Italy, it was imported to the UK in 2015. Estimate is £15,000 – £20,000.

1983 Porsche 911 TargaWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Even as winter approaches, there’s something irresistibly appealing about this Summer Yellow Targa. Perhaps it’s the chequered coffee-and-cream Pasha interior? Or maybe the later 234hp 3.2-litre engine? Or simply the fact that it’s covered just 55,000 miles from new? If we had the money, we’d be bidding. Estimate is £37,000 – £43,000.

1985 Porsche 911 RSR ‘evocation’Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

This 911 isn’t a replica, but an ‘evocation’. Whatever that means. Either way, it’s a 1985 911 Carrera 3.2 that’s been rebodied to resemble a Carrera RSR – and it looks fantastic. Only 49 genuine RSRs were made, meaning you’ll need a lottery-win to buy one. This car, built by a Porsche engineer using parts from RS-Teknik, is expected to sell for £40,000 – £50,000.

1985 Porsche 928SWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Speak to Porsche specialists and they’ll tell you the 928 is still undervalued. This futuristic, front-engined coupe was originally designed to replace the 911, but many considered it too ‘soft’ for a sports car. However, as a grand tourer, the 928 takes some beating – particularly in 310hp ‘S’ guise seen here. A one-owner car that has spent its life in sunny South Africa, it’s sold with no reserve.

1986 Porsche 930 Turbo FlachbauWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Few things scream ‘1980s’ more loudly than a flatnose Porsche 911 Turbo. Especially in Essex-stiletto white. This is one of only 50 official ‘Flachbau’ Turbos, built in 1986 as part of Porsche’s ‘Sonderwunchprogramm’ (special wishes program). As well as that 935-style front end, it boasts an engine uprated to 330hp and a limited-slip diff. With just 21,000 miles, it has to be only of the finest Flachbaus still in existence. Estimate is £100,000 – £120,000.

1988 Porsche 944 Turbo SWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The fastest 944 was launched in 1988 as a limited-edition, with a spec that emulated the Turbo Cup race cars. Engines were boosted to 250hp, along with larger brakes, optional adjustable Koni dampers and unique alloy wheels. This Turbo S has covered just 47,177 miles and is a Porsche Club GB concours winner. Expect to stump up £35,000 – £40,000 if you’re keen.

1989 Porsche 930 TurboWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The first 930 Turbo appeared in 1975. Fourteen years later, Stuttgart assembled this example – one of the last of the breed. Early Turbos used a four-speed gearbox, but this car has the desirable G50 five-speeder, plus factory-fitted sports seats and a sunroof. With less than 25,000 miles, Silverstone Auctions predicts a hammer-price of £135,000 – £150,000.

1990 Porsche 964 C2 cabrioletWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The venerable 911 entered the modern era with the 964 of 1989. Porsche was keen to promote the new four-wheel-drive Carrera 4, but many enthusiasts prefer the – visually identical – 2WD Carrera 2 seen here. Described as being in ‘stunning condition’, this 964 C2 cabriolet has an electric roof, leather seats and plenty of Porsche service history. Estimate is £34,000 – £38,000.

1991 Porsche 964 Carrera 4Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Regardless of what Porsche purists think, we like the added traction and all-weather ability of a 4WD 911. Finished in the classic combination of Guards Red with black leather, this 964 also sports 17-inch Carrera Cup alloys, air conditioning and a sunroof. At £40,000 – £45,000, it could be a sound investment.

1991 Porsche 964 Carrera RS NGTWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Oh yes – now we’re talking. After driving one for the MR Retro Road Test earlier this year, the 964 Carrera RS definitely has a parking spot in our dream garage. This NGT version is as close as you’ll get to a race car for the road, with a rollcage and Nomex-covered seats. Carpets and soundproofing have been removed, too – all the better to hear that feral 256hp flat-six. Estimate is £135,000 – £155,000.

1991 Porsche 964 TurboWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

More powerful than the 964 RS, and (slightly) more civilised, the Turbo blurs the boundary between sports car and supercar. It also looks fabulous in Tahoe Blue: a study in squat, purposeful aggression. This 3.3-litre Turbo has driven 65,510 miles since new and is estimated at £80,000 – £100,000. So… this or a new 991 Carrera S with a few options?

1992 Porsche 964 Carrera RSWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Another 964 RS? Oh, go on then – especially as this one is painted in the RS signature colour of Rubystone Red. Because everyone loves a pink Porsche, right? The car was imported from Japan and is left-hand-drive, with 41,000km on the clock. Silverstone Auctions’ estimate is £140,000 – £160,000. Oh, and did we mention the seats are trimmed in pink, lilac and purple?

1993 Porsche 968 Club SportWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Looking for a hardcore, track-ready Porsche, but don’t have six figures to spend? Consider the 968 Club Sport, a stripped-out version of the 968 with lowered suspension and lightweight Recaro seats. A previous owner has modified this car with KW suspension, a stainless exhaust system, bigger brakes, a limited-slip diff and a 968 Turbo rear spoiler. Showing just shy of 100,000 miles, it’s expected to sell for £25,000 – £30,000.

1993 RUF 964 RCTWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Feeling RUF? You might be after a ride in this modified 964 Turbo, which has been tuned to 385hp (versus 300hp in the standard car). The legendary Porsche tuner has also fitted its own brakes, suspension, exhaust and alloy wheels, along with a host of cosmetic upgrades. RUF apparently produced no more than 100 RCTs, and this is the only one with a wide Turbo body and four-wheel drive. Estimate is £120,000 – £140,000.

1995 Porsche 993 TurboWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

We move on to the 993 generation, the last 911 with an air-cooled engine, and judged by many to be the greatest of all. Even today, the 4WD 993 Turbo is staggeringly fast: 62mph arrives in 3.7 seconds and top speed is 180mph. This 1995 car has been imported from Japan and has 77,000 miles on its odometer. Estimate is £90,000 – £110,000.

1996 Porsche 993 Carrera 2Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Much as we love the Turbo, the simpler pleasures of a 285hp Carrera 2 are more our bag. This 1996 993 C2 manual looks just about perfect, with sports suspension, air conditioning and a grey leather interior. It isn’t cheap – estimate is £40,000 – £50,000 – but who’d bet against that value increasing in coming years?

1998 Porsche 996 Carrera 2Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The step-change between 993 and 996 generations of 911 was too much for some Porsche diehards. But look past the water-cooled engine – and the gloopy ‘fried egg’ headlights – and the 996 is still a great sports car. It’s also good value, as the £16,000 – £20,000 estimate for this 1998 C2 proves. Interestingly, this is an ex-Porsche UK press car, so it spent its early life being driven by car journalists. We’re not sure that’s a good thing…

1999 996 GT3 ClubsportWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Proof that the 996 hadn’t lost its edge, the GT3 used a dry-sumped, naturally-aspirated version of the Le Mans-winning GT1 racer’s flat-six, redlined at a heady 8,000rpm. The optional Clubsport pack added a rollcage, hard-shell bucket seats and a single-mass flywheel for sharper throttle response. Only 28 Clubsports came to the UK, and this Guards Red example has covered just 32,287 miles. Estimate is £55,000 – £65,000.

2001 Porsche 996 GT2Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The GT2 is effectively a 911 Turbo with even more power and rear-wheel drive – a potent combination indeed. You want stats? Try 483hp, 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds and 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds. All with no traction control or electronic stability aids. Gulp. Estimate is £100,000 – £120,000.

2002 Porsche 996 Turbo X50Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

The 996 Turbo is another car we drove recently for our Retro Road Test. And what a machine! Easy to drive as a supermini, yet quick as a supercar, it’s one of the most underrated 911s ever. This Turbo is our perfect spec, with subtle black paint, a manual gearbox and the optional X50 pack. The latter effectively transforms the car into a Turbo S, increasing power to 450hp. Estimate is £44,000 – £49,000.

2002 Porsche Boxster SWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Surprised to see a first-generation 986 Boxster in a classic Porsche auction? Well, this 2002 Boxster S has covered a mere 9,000 miles and is said to be in ‘immaculate condition’. Silverstone Auctions puts the estimate at £15,000 – £20,000: potentially less than half what you’d pay for a new 718 Boxster S. And this one has six cylinders…

2004 Porsche Carrera GTWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Firmly back in the ‘exotic’ zone, this Carrera GT will almost certainly be the priciest Porsche in the auction. But hey, it’s a limited-run V10 hypercar previously owned by F1 team principal Gerard Lopez, so what do you expect? The 2004 GT has less than 20,000 miles on the clock and comes with a RUF suspension-raising system to clear speed humps. If only we had a spare £440,000 – £460,000.

2008 Porsche 997 GT2Will classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

This GT2 has been converted to RS-look, with a carbonfibre bonnet and side intakes, plus centre-lock RS alloy wheels. Inside, it has the more comfortable interior of a regular GT2 – albeit with a rollcage and harnesses. Better strap yourself in tight: the 523hp missile hits 62mph in 3.6 seconds and keeps going to 210mph… if you can find an Autobahn empty enough. Estimate is £100,000 – £120,000.

2009 Porsche 997 Carrera 4S convertibleWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

Not everyone wants neck-snapping pace and compromised comfort, of course. For a gentler route into 911 ownership, this 997 Carrera 4S convertible looks very tempting. It comes with a PDK semi-automatic gearbox for easy urban driving and a lowly 28,856 miles on the clock. When new in 2009, the car cost its original owner £89,700. Pay around estimate of £45,500 – £47,500 and you’re effectively getting it half-price.

2010 Porsche 997 GT3 RSWill classic Porsches break records at Silverstone sale?

We finish with something special. The 997 GT3 is a favourite with Porsche aficionados, as the final GT3 available with a manual gearbox and hydraulic power steering. Only 35 of these 196mph ultimate driving machines came to the UK, and you need to find £135,000 – £155,000 to buy one. Start saving now – and we’ll see you at the Porsche Sale.

Porsche 996 Turbo

Porsche 996 Turbo review: Retro Road Test

Porsche 996 TurboStroll into a new-car showroom and you’ll struggle to spot anything that isn’t turbocharged. Even Porsche has succumbed: the latest 718 Cayman and 911 Carrera both use forced induction.

Where does that leave the 911 Turbo? Well, despite all this high-velocity hot air, the ‘proper’ Turbo remains something special – and rarely more so than in 996 guise. Indeed, the 2000-2005 996 Turbo may be the best used 911 you can buy.

The car we drove is an immaculate 2001 example, kindly loaned by leading Porsche specialists, Autofarm. At the time of writing, it was for sale at £48,000.

What are its rivals?Porsche 718 Cayman

That £48,000 is near-as-dammit the price of a new Porsche 718 Cayman S. The 350hp Cayman is only 0.4 seconds slower to 62mph than the 420hp 996, and 16 years of chassis development mean there’s scant difference in cross-country pace. With an ‘average’ driver at the wheel, the young pretender is, in reality, probably quicker.

However, while the 718’s three-year warranty certainly appeals, you pay dearly for that peace of mind. A Cayman S will retain around 52% of list price after three years and 60,000 miles – a loss of more than £23,000. Over the same period, a 996 will almost certainly appreciate in value, perhaps significantly so. After all, a few years ago, you could pick up a Turbo for less than £20,000. Now, £30,000 is a realistic start-point.

If you fancy an older, air-cooled 911, you’ll have to settle for a Carrera – don’t expect to find a Turbo for less than £50,000. Prices for the 996’s predecessor, the 993 Turbo (1995-1998), have gone supernova: the best examples now nudge £200,000.

Which engine does it use?Porsche 996 Turbo

Two bits of good news. Firstly, the Turbo uses a derivative of the legendary Mezger engine, as found in the 911 GT1 Le Mans racer and 996 GT3. Secondly, that means it doesn’t have the M96 motor found in most 996s, which is notorious for costly intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing failures.

With six-speed manual gearbox as here, the 3.6-litre flat-six is good for 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and a VMAX of 189mph. Opt for the five-speed Tiptronic auto and those figures drop to 4.9 seconds and 185mph respectively.

Porsche offered an ‘X50’ upgrade pack that boosted power to 450hp and reduced the 0-62mph time to 4.0 seconds. This effectively became the Turbo S in 2005, shortly before the 996 was discontinued.

What’s it like to drive?Porsche 996 Turbo

Close your eyes while driving a 996 Turbo (actually, please don’t – Ed.) and you could be in a modern car. Its controls are light, but beautifully-weighted, its suspension feels supple and refinement is genuinely impressive.

There’s nothing old-fashioned about its performance either. The seamless shove becomes a torrent of turbocharged torque once the blowers spool up beyond 3,000rpm. It feels gut-punchingly, head-spinningly fast.

Four-wheel-drive traction and a benign, yet biddable chassis make the 996 ruthlessly rapid in real-world conditions. On narrow British B-roads where a Ferrari might intimidate, the Porsche inspires calm confidence. And, unlike older 911s, the 996 Turbo doesn’t bite back.

Criticisms? The water-cooled six lacks the heavenly high-rev howl of its air-cooled ancestors. And the brakes don’t have the vice-like bite of a newer Porsche. But we’re nitpicking: this is still a fabulous driver’s car.

Reliability and running costsPorsche 996 Turbo

A 996 Turbo should be cheaper to run than most cars with equivalent performance, particularly if you use an independent Porsche specialist such as Autofarm.

Nonetheless, you should budget around £5,000 a year for servicing and maintenance, including regular oil changes (at least once a year), new spark plugs every 24,000 miles and a new clutch every 40,000 miles. Be wary of cars with the optional carbon ceramic brakes, which were standard on the Turbo S. They last a long time, but cost thousands to replace.

Official fuel economy for the 996 Turbo is 21.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 309g/km. That equates to annual road tax (VED) of £235, or £295 for cars registered after March 2001.

Could I drive it every day?Porsche 996 Turbo

The 911 Turbo hasn’t earned its ‘everyday supercar’ nickname by accident. In stop-start traffic or – dare we say it? – on the school-run (it has four seats, right?), the 996 is as docile as an Andrex puppy. Equally, on a foggy February morning, when few supercars venture beyond their air-conditioned garages, the four-wheel-drive Turbo is sure-footed and safe.

Where the 996 really feels its age is inside. Ergonomics are good – far better than the haphazard 993, in fact – but there’s an abundance of hard, scratchy plastics. The media system looks very dated now, too. Jumping from this into a new 991 is like trading your Nokia 3210 for an iPhone 7.

How much should I pay?Porsche 996 Turbo

Prices start at around £30,000 for early cars with mileages approaching six figures. At the opposite end of the scale, expect to pay £75,000 for a mint Turbo S.

Any Porsche 911 has investment potential – and the potential for big bills. So buy the best 996 Turbo you can, focusing on service history and condition rather than mileage. We strongly advise getting a professional inspection before you buy, too.

What should I look out for?Mikey Wastie

Mikey Wastie is the co-owner of Autofarm and an expert on all things 911. Here are his top tips for buying a 996 Turbo:

1. Make sure it has a good service history. You’ll want to see invoices to back up the services, and ensure the stamps are credible ones. Turbos are lovely cars, but costs can add up if they’re not maintained properly.

2. The left-hand turbo control valve link rod corrodes and can stop the wastegate functioning – thus there is no overboost safety. Look out for boost issues: intercooler hoses can blow off and the plastic diverter valves can fail. Some cars have billet alloy ones fitted.

3. Check for rattling heat shields over the turbochargers.

4. Radiators have similar blocking-up issues to the naturally-aspirated 996s. However, they don’t seem to happen so soon as the radiators are at slightly different angles. The bumper also has a tighter grille that stops larger leaves.

5. Rust may be found under or around the bonnet latch, plus around both door striker catches on the rear wings. Look for the door-shut decal being masked over and painted around.

6. Corrosion can form on the curved edge of the Turbo alloy wheels from brake dust erosion.

7. As the cars are heavier and braking tends to be harder, we’ve found that standard, non-genuine discs and pads are not robust enough, possibly causing brake judder.

Should I buy one?Porsche 996 Turbo

Older cars invariably look cool and offer classic kudos. However, they’re often – whisper it – quite disappointing to drive. Not so the 996 Turbo. Of all the Retro Road Tests we’ve written, this one was perhaps the most surprising.

Maybe our view had been tainted by sniffy Porsche purists, who look down on the 996 as inferior to the earlier, air-cooled cars. Objectively, the exact opposite is true: few cars even today are so capable, so crushingly competent.

For some, that breadth of ability equates to dearth of character, at least when compared with the quirky 911s of old. Judge the 996 Turbo on its own merits, though – as a car to own and live with, as well as to drive – and little else comes close.

So, should you buy one? Absolutely. Prices are creeping upwards, but the 996 Turbo is still a bargain in the big-money world of classic 911s. Get one while you still can.

Pub factSally Carrera

The Porsche 996 is familar to five-year-olds everywhere as Lightning McQueen’s girlfriend – and a star of Pixar’s Cars films. The character of Sally Carrera is based on 2002 911 Carrera (not a Turbo, sadly), albeit with a shorter wheelbase and more upright windscreen.

Sally was originally going to be a classic 911, but Porsche convinced the animators to use an up-to-date car. The photo shows a real-life ‘Sally’, created for promotional duties.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

This Porsche 911 is the reason Dutch kids grew up wanting to be traffic cops

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa RijkspolitieWhat you’re looking at is the sole reason why, statistically*, more Dutch children grew up wanting to work for the highway police than in any other European country. The Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie is the coolest cop car you’ll see today and it’s going under the hammer at the Zoute Sale in Brussels.

*We made this up.

Better than a Vauxhall AstraPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

What’s Dutch for ‘Ne Nah, Ne Nah, Ne Nah’? While you were growing up watching police-liveried Austin Maestros in Juliet Bravo, Vauxhall Astras in The Bill and Ford Anglias in Heartbeat, Dutch kids were sat in the back of their father’s Opel Asconas and Vectras watching 911s engaged in a game of kat en muis.

 

The boys in whitePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Rijkspolitie (government police) and Porsche have a history stretching back to 1962 and the formation of a special traffic format – the Algemene Verkeersdienst (AVD). The ‘boys in blue’ actually switched from blue to white uniforms, making them the ‘boys in white’.

Stoppen in de naam van de RijkspolitiePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

These men in white suits needed a set of wheels to patrol the flat lands of the Netherlands and – resisting the temptation to drive a Ford Anglia – they looked across the border and spoke to some friends in Stuttgart. Quicker than you could say ‘stoppen in de naam van de Rijkspolitie’, 12 Porsche 356 Convertibles were delivered to the AVD.

The kings of cool?Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

This marked the beginning of a relationship spanning three decades, during which time these Porsche-driving coppers cemented their reputation as the kings of cool. If you’re going to get pulled over by a police car, make sure it’s a Porsche.

Roofless law enforcementPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

The Rijkspolitie soon switched to the Porsche 911, favouring the Targa for its visibility and the fact that emergency officers could stand on the seat and give directions to other road users. Try doing that through the sunroof of an Austin Metro panda car.

500 cars orderedPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

In total, the Dutch traffic cops bought over 500 different cars from Porsche, only a handful of which survive. These cars wouldn’t have come cheap, so you have to admire the negotiation skills of the AVD. Spending the cash on a fleet of 911s must have been a political hot potato.

Staying cool, staying alivePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

According to PetrolBlog, one justification for the expense was that the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine of the 911 wouldn’t overheat when reversing at high speed on the motorway emergency lane. Such things matter when you’re guarding the tail of a traffic jam.

Box of delightsPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

As you’d expect, these law enforcer ‘Porkas’ were treated to one or two upgrades. The rear seats were removed, with a wooden box of police equipment put in its place. Misbehaving drivers weren’t invited to discuss their misdemeanors in the back of these cop cars.

Everything a copper could ever needPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

The wooden boxes – which had the look of something put together in a Dutch garden shed – contained gloves, an alcohol tester, instructional paperwork, handcuffs, tape measure, white markers, camera, two warning triangles, fire extinguisher, towing cable, first aid kit, set of spare bulbs, wheel wrench and a cuddly toy. Probably.

Items not found in a Porsche brochurePorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Other modifications included two internal rear-view mirrors, additional electrical wiring for communications, flashing lights, STOP sign, extra reversing and fog lights, mobile telephone and rear-mounted loudspeaker.

Filling your rear-view mirrorPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Seriously, if you catch sight of this view in your rear-view mirror, one of two things is going to go through your mind: ‘floor it’ or ‘it’s a fair cop, guv’. If you opt for the former (tut tut), the ensuing chase would be quite epic. The Dutch equivalent of Police, Camera, Action! would be more thrilling than a Vectra chasing a hoodie in a stolen Nova through an Oxfordshire housing estate.

From Porsche to VolvoPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

In 1993, the Rijkspolitie switched to Volvo, bringing to an end a highly visible 30 years of of life with Porsche. Dutch coppers cried into their Amstel beer, while the police dogs breathed a huge sigh of relief. Squeezing into the load area of a Porsche 911 can’t have been fun…

The Zoute SalPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

Bonhams is auctioning this 1989 example at The Zoute Sale on 7 August 2016. It’s offered with a guide price of £76,000 – £130,000, which seems like a small price to pay for a 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa in full Rijkspolitie specification.

ALEX 12.24Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

It patrolled the Dutch highways between 1989 and 1991, making it one of the last Carrera 3.2s to be delivered to the Rijkspolitie. While in service, it was designated the call sign ‘ALEX 12.24’.

Politie Technische DienstPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

The final production year model – used by the Politie Technische Dienst (PTD) – is fitted with the desirable G50 gearbox and has been restored by Porsche Centro Assistenza Pordenone.

Comical moustaches available separatelyPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

It’s offered with no reserve and comes complete with original suits, helmets and accessories. Doughnuts and comical moustaches available separately.

Bonhams auction: 7 October 2016Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa Rijkspolitie

If you fancy chasing Saab 900 Turbos at 200km/h on Dutch motorways, this is the car for you. Actually, don’t do that, but if you fancy a slice of Dutch law enforcement history, the Bonhams Zoute Sale takes place on 7 October in Brussels, Belgium.

Porsche 964 Carrera RS

Porsche 964 Carrera RS: Retro Road Test

Porsche 964 Carrera RS

Porsche doesn’t use its Rennsport badge lightly. Or rather, it does: RS models are stripped of excess fat, making them the most focused and most fêted – 911s of all. And, in traditional Porsche style, you pay more money for less car especially when it comes to used examples.

The 964 Carrera RS was the first 911 with ‘RS’ on its rump since the epochal Carrera 2.7 RS of 1973, and just 2,282 were made. Today, a mint-condition 2.7 RS could set you back £1 million, versus £168,000 for this 964 currently for sale at Autofarm in Oxfordshire (01865 331234).

Could this be our most exciting Retro Road Test yet? Time to discover what all the fuss is about…

What are its rivals?Porsche 993 Carrera RS

If you’re in the market for a classic 911 RS, you probably won’t consider much else. These low-volume sports cars exist in a rarefied bubble, scrutinised by enthusiasts and investors alike. And with prices edging ever upwards, there’s no sign of the bubble bursting yet.

Perhaps the 964’s closest rival is actually its successor, the 993 RS. Despite its more aggressive styling (a huge GT2-style rear wing was optional), the 993 is a slightly softer, more road-biased alternative to the 964. It’s also rarer, with only 1,241 made, meaning prices are even higher. Good ones can exceed £200,000.

What engine does it use?Porsche 964 Carrera RS

Porsche 911 engines never look very special. But this air-cooled flat-six is meatier than most, at 3.6 litres and 264 hp. That’s modest by modern standards, but the RS is around 150 kg lighter than the standard car – plus it boasts a lighter flywheel and close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox.

The net result is 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 161 mph; hardly old-fashioned performance. There was also a 3.8-litre, 304 hp version of 964 RS, although very few were made.

What’s it like to drive?Porsche 964 Carrera RS

The 964 RS feels very different to a modern 911. It’s amazingly compact, for starters – shorter and narrower than the current Cayman – and utterly bereft of creature comforts. Infotainment? Dream on.

The pedals are offset sharply to the right in this left-hand-drive car, with the clutch positioned dead-ahead where you’d usually find the brake. UK cars came with power steering, but this Spanish RS does without, so manoeuvring between parked Porsches at Autofarm is a bicep-busting effort. A lumpier cam (the only engine modification) also makes it embarrassingly easy to stall.

Escaping onto the Oxfordshire lanes, it’s time to let the RS off the leash. The mechanical clatter of its flat-six hardens to a visceral snarl as the revs rise. Below 4,000rpm it feels merely quick – then all hell breaks loose and it explodes to the 6,800rpm redline faster than you can grab the next gear. It’s uncouth, uncompromising and utterly fantastic.

The brakes require a firm shove, but all the controls are deliciously analogue. Riding on 40mm-lowered suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels, the 964 feels totally tied-down – like a Carrera Cup racer with number plates. Perhaps less really is more, after all?

Reliability and running costsPorsche 964 Carrera RS

The Porsche 911 is famed for its bulletproof mechanicals. And the RS produces just 11hp more than a standard 964 Carrera, so its engine isn’t unduly stressed. You need to judge each car on its individual merits; some have been worked hard at track days, while others have led pampered lives in air-conditioned garages. Originality is ultimately more important than mileage, as bespoke RS parts – such as the thinner glass and aluminium bonnet – are rare and expensive.

With any luck, other running costs, such as maintenance, insurance and road tax, can be offset against the car’s increase in value. Fuel bills won’t be cheap, of course, but this isn’t a car you will drive every day. Or is it?

Could I drive it every day?Porsche 964 Carrera RS

We’d shake the hand of anyone who does their daily commute in a 964 RS, but such owners are few and far-between – soaring values have seen to that. We could live with the heavy steering (not an issue on UK-spec cars, as noted above) and lack of air-con, but the ride is only borderline acceptable on broken British bitumen. What feels taut and agile on Sunday morning could be tiresome and annoying by Monday morning.

Better to savour the RS as a car for special occasions. A car to drive just for the hell – or indeed heaven – of it. On narrow lanes in Wales or the Scottish Highlands, the diminutive Porsche could keep pace with many of today’s bloated supercars. And its driver would have more fun, too.

How much should I pay?Porsche 964 Carrera RS

You probably won’t find an RS for less than six figures, such is the demand for this classic Porsche. Expect to pay from £150,000 for a well-cared-for example, with the very best cars advertised at nearly double that. Not bad for a car that cost £61,000 in 1991.

This particular ‘matching numbers’ RS has covered 77,000 miles from new and has just benefited from a £50,000 Autofarm renovation – including a respray in the original Guards Red. As such, it looks decent value at £168,000.

What should I look out for?Mikey Wastie

Mikey Wastie is managing director at Autofarm and an acknowledged Porsche expert. Here are his five tips for buying a 964 RS:

  • Some have been used as track day cars, so check for brake and suspension wear
  • Authenticity is key. Has it got the correct numbers on the engine and chassis? History is important, too – you need to know what it’s done and where it’s been
  • Has it still got the correct magnesium wheels? Keep an eye out for poorly refurbished ones or spider blistering
  • Gauges are prone to the printed face delaminating – a problem on all 964s
  • Check for front boot floor damage. Accident repairs should be easy to spot here

Should I buy one?Porsche 964 Carrera RS

The 964 Carrera RS is the Porsche 911 in one of its purest forms. Raw and unfiltered, it distils all that’s great about Germany’s sports car into a shot of pure petrolhead adrenalin. It’s a car you’ll ache to spend time with, to learn its quirks and exploit its talents. The buzz of driving it stayed with us many hours after we reluctantly handed back the keys.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford one, go for it. There are few better investments in the world of classic cars than a 911 with an RS badge. The only problem is, you’ll never want to sell it.

Pub factRUF CTR

The previous owner of ‘our’ 964 fitted various upgrades from Porsche tuner, RUF. These included spoilers and an innovative ‘Electric Foot’ EKS clutchless semi-automatic gearbox. Autofarm has since returned the car to standard ‘Lightweight’ spec – as it left the factory.

The 911 pictured is the famous RUF CTR Yellowbird, a turbocharged 964 that starred in the famous ‘Faszination on the Nurburgring’ video (look it up on YouTube), driven by Stefan Roser.

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Is this the lowest-mileage classic Porsche 911 Carrera in the world?

Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

“A Porsche 911 is better than a flat in Chelsea.” So opined a classic car expert to us recently. And while nobody is suggesting you sell the house and squeeze your worldly goods into an old Porsche, the comparison between 911 values and London property prices is a valid one.

Values for the most desirable 911 of all the Carrera 2.7 RS – have climbed nearly 700% in a decade. And just this week, we learned the limited-edition 911 R is changing hands for close to £1 million. Not bad for a car with a list price of £137,000.

Now a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 with just 4,429 miles on the clock has come up for sale. It’s described by the vendor, Hexagon Modern Classics, as being in ‘timewarp’ condition. So while £84,995 certainly isn’t cheap, who’d bet against it being worth more in years to come?

Last of the original 911s
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

The Carrera 3.2 replaced the 911 SC in 1983 and was the last of the original 911s before the much-modernised 964 arrived in 1989. Its 3.2-litre engine produced 234 hp, giving 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Top speed was 158 mph.

Road testers at the time praised the car’s improved refinement and driveability – the latter thanks to a big hike in torque to 209 lb ft. And, of course, it still had the classic air-cooled soundtrack. It would take until 1998 and the 996-generation 911 before Germany’s greatest sports car went water-cooled.

This particular ‘Garnet Red’ 911 is fitted with the earlier 915 five-speed manual gearbox, which is often criticised for its vague shift action. The 1987-on Getrag G50 five-speeder is a big improvement, if you can find one.

Germanic build quality
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Just look at that interior – zero fripperies or superfluous styling touches, just no-fuss functionality. It was during the 1980s that German cars cemented their reputation for build quality (compare a Mercedes-Benz of the era to one built a decade later) – and the 911 is among the best of the breed.

That said, the Carrera 3.2 is hardly an ergonomic masterpiece. The large rev-counter, red-lined at 6,300 rpm, is situated dead-ahead, in traditional Porsche style. But the minor controls are scattered haphazardly across the dashboard, or awkwardly situated behind the steering wheel.

Traditional ‘tombstone’ black Porsche seats with matching door cards give the interior of this 1985 911 a sombre air. But hey, nobody said you have you live in it…

Driven just 143 miles a yearPorsche 911 Carrera 3.2

Hexagon says the interior of this Carrera 3.2 is ‘pristine’. And so it should be, with just 4,429 miles under its Fuchs alloy wheels. Over 31 years, that’s an average of just 143 miles a year. Barely enough to keep that famous flat-six ticking over.

Fortunately, the car has a full service history and comes with a 12-month warranty from Hexagon, plus a fresh MOT.

Inside, the new owner will benefit from air conditioning, electric windows, an electric sunroof, cruise control and a Blaupunkt radio/cassette with an oh-so-1980s graphic equaliser. The original handbook, jack and toolkit are all present and correct, too.

Own a piece of Porsche history
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2

The 911 Carrera 3.2 was produced in three bodystyles: coupe, cabriolet and Targa, with the coupe being the biggest seller. So while this car will never boast the weapons-grade investment potential of a 2.7 RS or 911 R models, it’s sure to appeal to Porsche collectors. Besides, we rather like the 911 is its pure, unadorned state, without even the optional ‘Whale Tail’ spoiler to break up that classic silhouette.

Paul Michaels, chairman of Hexagon Classics, said: “This is a massive opportunity for someone to purchase a true collector’s item. It is always difficult to find 911s of this era with low mileage – they were built to be used daily after all – but to find a Carrera 3.2 with less than 5,000 miles on the clock is almost unheard of.”

Let’s hope that lucky new owner actually drives it, rather than leaving it in air-conditioned storage fro another 31 years…

Porsche turbo history

Porsche’s turbocharged street car saga

Porsche turbo history
In the 1990s, due to regulations and increased performance, Porsche made the move – an unfavorable one by many Porsche aficionados – to go from air-cooled to water-cooled engines on all 911s.

Now, due to similar circumstances, Porsche’s standard engines are, once again, entering a new era as they will all be turbocharged; first the 911, and now the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman.

But turbocharging is nothing new to Porsche as it has been playing with the force induction devices since the early 70s. Porsche’s inaugural venture in turbocharging began with its motorsports program.

In order to challenge the dominating McLarens of the Can-Am, Porsche engineers were pushed to adapting a turbo to its Type 912 engines used in its 917 racecars.

From the track to the road

Porsche turbo history

Turbos elevated Porsche’s motorsports program and company chairman, Ernst Fuhrman, believed they could also enhance the performance of the production cars. The 911 Turbo – the first production turbocharged Porsche – was introduced as a prototype in 1973 before officially launching in 1975.

The 911 Turbo

Porsche turbo history

Iconic 930 body – with ‘shark-fin’ fender covers and large ‘whale-tale – on the outside. 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six on the inside. The first 911 Turbo, for the time, impressively produced 260 hp. Five-hundred models were initially to be produced, but due to immense demand over 1,000 ended up being sold.

Expanding turbocharger utility

Porsche turbo history

Porsche’s entry-level model, the 924, was in need of a variant which could bridge the gap between a base 924 and base 911. To fill the vacancy Porsche took inspiration from the 911 Turbo and added a turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 to the front-engine sports car.

Entry-level turbo Porsche

Porsche turbo history

Introduced as a 1978 model, the 924 Turbo produced 170-horsepower – 10-horsepower off of the 911 SC – and featured a NACA duct in the hood and air intakes in the nose to help distinguish the base 924 from the Turbo. In its short production run the 924 Turbo say minimal changes before its end.

Upgraded 911 Turbo

Porsche turbo history

In 1978 the 911 Turbo’s engine’s displacement increased from 3.0-liters to 3.3-liters, giving the car a 40-horsepower jump over the last. Unfortunately for the U.S. in 1979 the 911 Turbo would no longer be available due to an energy crisis, and would not return until 1986.

New front-engine turbo

Porsche turbo history

Before the 911 Turbo returned to the U.S. the 924’s replace, the 944, arrived with a turbo variant. The turbo produced 217-horsepower and had a recorded 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds.

Advanced 944 Turbo

Porsche turbo history

In 1988 a 944 Turbo S was revealed. Improved suspension, clutch, transmission, rear-end, and engine and clutch combination, helped make the Turbo S the fastest production four-cylinder car of its time. With 247-horsepower and 258ft-lb of torque, the Turbo S could go from 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds.

Superior supercar

Porsche turbo history

While the 911 Turbo returned to the U.S., something much more menacing and paramount was leaving Stuttgart at the same time – the Porsche 959. Powered by a bi-turbo flat-six, the 444-horsepower all-wheel-drive super-Porsche could reach 195mph, making it the world’s fastest street-legal production car for its time.

Next generation 911 Turbo

Porsche turbo history

Not until 1990 would the second generation 964 911 Turbo be released. It retained the same 3.3-liter flat-six from the last generation, but retuned to 320-horsepower. A Turbo S variant was released in 1992 with improved suspension and a power increase to 376-horsepower.

Improving the 964

In 1993 Porsche replaced the 3.3-liter engine with a new 3.6-liter flat-six pushing 360-horsepower with the Turbo variant. Only 1,500 3.6-liter Turbo 964s were produced, making it almost as sought after as the 959.

New 911 features

When the 993 generation of the 911 Turbo was revealed in 1995 it was equipped with two never-before-seen features on a 911 – twin turbos and an all-wheel-drive system. The twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six produced a whopping 402-horsepower, and combined with the new aerodynamic body the 993 Turbo launched from 0-60mph in a blistering 3.8 seconds. The Turbo S even faster with 424-horsepower.

The apotheosis of the 993 911

The GT2 name presents a sense of nobility. And when placed next to another dignity name, 911, everything you need to know about the car is represented in six characters. Bestowed with 430-horsepower – 450-horsepower on the upgraded edition – widened plastic fenders, larger rear spoiler with air scoops in the struts, six-speed transmission and rear-wheel-drive, the GT2 was truly a street-legal 911 racecar.

First water-cooled 911 Turbo

Diehard air-cooled 911 fans were thrown a curve ball with the launch of the new water-cooled 996 model 911. But the 911’s new feature in no way hindered the Turbo model’s performance. Its 3.6-liter flat-six is derived from the 1998 Le Mans winning GT-1 car and produced 415-horsepower at 6,000rpm.

996 generation GT2

Despite how enthusiasts felt about water-cooled 911s, there was no denying the pertinence of a 911 GT2. And the 996 GT2 did not disappoint. Two large turbochargers assisted the 3.6-liter flat-six in producing 476-horsepower, and according to reports of the time, the GT2 hardly suffered any dreaded turbo lag.

Turbocharged SUV

Porsche entered uncharted territory in 2002 with the development of a SUV. But in typical Porsche fashion, the Cayenne had superb handling and a line of strong motors – including a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 – and quickly became the company’s best-selling vehicle. The Cayenne has a Turbo and Turbo S variant with the current Turbo S producing 560-horsepower.

Growing line-up

Porsche continued to grow its lineup with the Panamera – a full-sized luxury sedan. Like the Cayenne, a Turbo and Turbo S variant of the Panamera was made available with a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8. The current Panamera Turbo S is the most power mass production Porsche producing 570-horsepower.

997 generation turbos

While it was no surprise to see new turbo editions with the launch of the 997 generation 911, what was new was the first time use of BorgWarner VTG turbos. The new turbos cut lag and increased power with the 911 Turbo producing 473-horsepower and the mighty GT2 producing 523-horsepower.

997 generation two

For the 2008-09 model years of the 997 911 there were a few updates including revised suspension, PDK 7-speed transmission option, slightly altered front fascia and a couple other minor details. This didn’t have a major effect on the Turbo variants, but there was the addition of a new Turbo S and a staggering 612-horsepower twin-turbo GT2 RS.

Crossover endeavor

Porsche continued to work on increasing its audience by jumping on the crossover bandwagon with the launch of the Macan in 2014. There is a Turbo variant of the Macan, but a unique feature of the Macan is all of its engine options include a turbo. The base Macan and diesel models house a single turbo while S, GTS and Turbo models house twin-turbos.

991 generation 911

With the new 991 generation 911 came the end of the 3.6-liter flat-six. Now all Turbo models would be powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six. The Turbo now produced 513-horsepower, while the Turbo S produced 552-horsepower.

The 911 blows into another new era

Mid-generation updates usually include minor revisions, but this time the facelifted 991.2 sees all Carrera models sporting a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. Aside from GT models, no longer can you go to a Porsche dealer and purchase a new naturally aspirated 911.

991.2 Turbo models

The Turbo and Turbo S models will still exist and will be the most powerful editions. Both all-wheel-drive with a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six, but the Turbo will produce 540-horsepower with an estimated 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds, while the Turbo S will produce an incredible 580-horsepower with an estimated 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds.

Increasing its turbo line-up

New emission regulations are pushing manufacturers to adapted turbocharging technology to their lineups, and for Porsche this doesn’t stop with the 911. As of 2016, the Boxster and Cayman, now named 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, have been given the turbocharged treatment coming standard with a turbocharged flat-four.

Boost or bust?

Now, Porsche’s entire line-up is turbocharged. The exceptions will be super-raw road-going racers such as the 911 GT3 RS. Like it or not, if you’re a fan of Porsches, you now need to be a fan of turbochargers. Not all the die-hard enthusiasts are happy, but such is the march of progress. Besides, as we’ve now seen, Porsche’s history with the turbo goes back decades. If anyone can lay claim to being an authentic turbo car maker, it’s Porsche…

Porsche 993 Targa

Porsche 911 Targa (993): Retro Road Test

Porsche 993 TargaFor Porsche enthusiasts, this is as good as it gets. The venerable 911 has been in production for 53 years (and counting), but the ‘993’ version lasted just four: from 1994 to 1998.

The 993 was the last 911 with an air-cooled engine – Porsche switched to water-cooling for the 996 of 1999 – and sleek styling, compact dimensions and superb handling, combined with relative rarity, make it highly sought-after today.

This particular 993 is a Carrera 2 Targa, meaning it has rear-wheel drive and a retractable glass roof. It was supplied by renowned Porsche specialists, Autofarm – and has since been sold.

What are its rivals?

The current 911 has a long list of rivals, from the Audi R8 to the Nissan GT-R. Sports car buyers weren’t so spoiled for choice in the mid-1990s, though.

BMW’s E36 M3, built from 1992-1999, comes close for on-paper performance and, as the least fashionable M3, is vastly cheaper to buy. Expect to pay from £6,000, compared to least £30,000 for a 993.

Prices for the Honda NSX are roughly on par with the Porsche, and the Japanese car is arguably even better to drive. However, its aluminium body can make repairs prohibitively expensive. The Mazda RX-7 is a less exotic and cheaper alternative – if you can find one that hasn’t been modified.

Lastly, potential 993 buyers may also consider the – much newer – ‘997’ Porsche 911, sold from 2005-2012. Prices start at around £18,000 and there are hundreds listed in the classifieds.

Which engines does it use?

Porsche 993 Targa

A 3.6-litre ‘boxer’ six-cylinder engine is mounted just aft of the 993’s rear axle. This 1997 car has the Varioram intake system, which boosts power to 286 hp (earlier cars has 272hp). It also boasts a six-speed manual gearbox, rather than the – less desirable – Tiptronic semi-automatic.

The 993 Carrera 2 Targa hits 62mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 162mph. Pretty respectable stats, even today.

What’s it like to drive?

Porsche 993 Targa

First impression of the 993 is how compact its cabin is – even for my equally ‘compact’ 5ft 8in frame. The pedals are very offset to the left, too.

Any minor discomforts are soon forgotten when you fire-up that flat-six, though. It’s turbine-smooth, and surprisingly quiet at low revs. But push the floor-hinged throttle a little further and that familiar hollow air-cooled bark echoes around your eardrums. There’s nothing quite like it.

On the road, the 993 feels darty and surprisingly dainty; it’s closer in size to a Cayman than a new 911. The steering is wonderfully talkative and the brakes are better than expected for a 19-year-old car.

At low speeds it understeers (runs wide), but push a little harder and the rear end comes into play. Tail-wagging oversteer is there on-demand if you want it. However, conscious that 993s lack any electronic stability aids – and that this car is worth around £44k – I back off before brimming confidence gets the better of modest talent.

Reliability and running costs

Porsche 993 Targa

The 993 comes from the era that spawned the ‘Germanic build quality’ cliche. Serviced regularly, it should prove a paragon of reliability; the most likely issue will be rust – we’ll come to that shortly.

No 911 is cheap to run, but a network of knowledgeable specialists, such as Autofarm, means you aren’t reliant on pricey Porsche dealers. Budget up to £500 for a minor service (every year), and £1,000 for a major one (every two years).   

With official fuel economy of (ouch!) 16.8mpg, filling up could be your biggest expense. At least classic insurance and pre-2001 road tax of £235 a year keep costs down.

Could I drive it every day?

Porsche 993 Targa

Assuming you could stomach the fuel bills, the 993 is comfortable, refined and practical enough to use every day. There’s less room in the front ‘boot’ than current 911s offer, but many owners simply use the child-sized rear seats as additional luggage space.

The 993 was the first 911 Targa with a sliding glass sunroof in place of a removable panel. So you can enjoy the sunshine at a moment’s notice – along with styling that’s barely distinguishable from the 911 coupe.

How much should I pay?

Porsche prices seem to be spiralling ever upwards, and the 993 is one of the biggest appreciators. That’s good news if you already own one, but less so if you’re looking to buy. GT2 versions can easily top £500k, with the lightweight RS not far behind. Even the once-unloved 993 Turbo is now a six-figure car.

Fortunately, prices for ‘regular’ Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 versions of the 993 aren’t quite so inflated. The cheapest cars are around £30k, although we’d advise spending between £40k and £50k for a tidy car with comprehensive service history.

What should I look out for?

Porsche 993 Targa

Autofarm founder Josh Sadler is a leading expert on Porsche 911s. Here are his top six tips for buying a 993 Targa:

  1. Check for poorly-repaired accident damage. These are sports cars that were driven hard and the rise in values means even damaged cars may have been repaired for a quick profit.
  2. Look for good history. Brakes and dampers wear out, which is normal, but check the car has been serviced by a specialist.
  3.  Targas can rust around the roof mounts and it’s a real pain to sort out. Walk away if these are rusted.
  4. Also check carefully for rust around the windscreen. That said, rust is less of an issue than on earlier 911s.
  5. There have been some cars with clicking door hinges. The weld cracks, possibly because the door is swung open too hard. It requires welding to fix
  6. Parts availability is good, but the two-piece alloy wheels on the Targa are specific to that model. As such, they may be harder to find.

Should I buy one?

We’ll leave the air versus water debate to the Porsche purists, but there’s no doubt the 993 is a high-point in 911 history. And when we’re talking about arguably the world’s greatest sports car, that makes it very special indeed.

The odd driving position and haphazard ergonomics would take more getting used to, but we suspect the 993 is a car that worms its way into your affections over time, transforming flaws into mere quirks, and eccentricities into something broadly defined as ‘character’.

Yes, you could have a very nice 997 for similar money. However, we doubt that car – for all its brilliance – will ever be revered like the 993. And besides, drive it carefully and the older car’s increase in value should, hopefully, more than cover its running costs. A free Porsche? Now there’s a thought…

Pub fact

Porsche 993 Targa

The first 911 Targa was introduced in 1967 and had a zip-out plastic rear window, replaced by a fixed glass window just one year later. The early ‘soft-window’ Targa seen here is actually a Porsche 912 – a budget four-cylinder 911 sold between 1965 and 1969.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Why Matt LeBlanc owns the ultimate Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT2 RSIf you had any doubts about Matt LeBlanc’s petrolhead credentials, you can rest easy. The new Top Gear presenter owns a Porsche 911 GT2 RS – perhaps the most hardcore version of Porsche’s icon ever to wear number plates. That alone makes him a man of impeccable automotive taste.

You see, a GT2 RS isn’t the sort of sports car you buy simply because you’ve made some cash. You won’t spot Wayne Rooney parking one outside an overpriced nightclub. Former Friends star LeBlanc is estimated to be worth $60million, so he could have any car he chooses. But he told Top Gear co-host Chris Evans the Porsche is his “favourite car to drive”.

Matt LeBlancThe Widowmaker

Just how hardcore is the GT2 RS? Well, the original 1975 911 Turbo earned the nickname ‘the Widowmaker’ because of its knife-edge handling and propensity for spitting unsuspecting drivers off the road. Porsche finally tamed the Turbo in 1995 with the addition of four-wheel drive. However, the GT2 is essentially a 911 Turbo with even more power and rear-wheel drive.

So, how much (cue Jeremy Clarkson voice) “Powwwwweeeerrrr” are we talking? The 997 GT2 RS that LeBlanc owns develops 620hp – more than double the 260hp of the original 911 (930) Turbo. That’s enough to blast it to 62mph in 3.5 seconds, plus a top speed of 205mph. It also lapped the Top Gear track in 1min 19.5sec – faster than a Ferrari 430 Scuderia and only 1.2sec behind the Bugatti Veyron.

Porsche 911 GT2 RSCaged animal

When it was launched in 2010, the GT2 RS was the most powerful road car Porsche had ever built (although it has since been eclipsed by the 918 Spyder). Power comes from a 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged flat six, driving through a six-speed manual gearbox. The ultimate 911 wears track-biased Michelin Cup tyres – great in the dry, worrying in the wet – and has racecar-style ceramic brakes.

Inside, the racing theme continues with hard-shell bucket seats, plenty of Alcantara (man-made suede) and a rollcage. You’ll also find those hallmarks of a no-holds-barred Porsche: fabric door pulls. These probably save less weight than if LeBlanc opted to drive without socks. But every little helps, right?

Porsche 911 GT2 RSWhat the critics say

Confession time: we’ve never driven a GT2 RS. And unless LeBlanc decides to lend us his prized possession, we probably never will. So we’ll have to refer to the opinions of others here.

Ben Pullman of CAR says: “Bury the throttle and it goes bloody nuts, smacks you in the guts and charges forward with awe-inspiring speed.” He goes on caution: “You can go fast, but never, ever kid yourself that you’re in charge.” Andrew Frankel of Autocar calls the GT2 “legalised insanity” and concludes his review by saying: “[This] is one of few experiences you know will lodge in your brain forever. It really is that good.”

However, let’s leave the final word to LeBlanc’s fellow Top Gear presenter, Chris Harris. Writing for EVO, he said: “I saw 334kph (206mph) on the speedo, and it was still pulling like a mentalist …  Veyron aside, it’s the fastest road car I’ve driven.” Matt LeBlanc: we salute you.

Porsche 911S

Porsche 911S: Retro Road Test

Porsche 911SFirst, the bad news. If you want a classic Porsche 911, you’ve already missed the boat. Prices soared skywards years ago. For one of the very best cars, like the 911S tested here, you can now expect to pay well into six figures.

However, let’s not be blinded by finance. Regardless of its material value, a vintage 911 is both beautiful to behold and – as we’ll discover – bewitching to drive. So whether you’re a potential 911 driver or a penniless 911 dreamer, sit back and enjoy our most exotic Retro Road Test yet.

Thanks to Porsche specialists Autofarm for supplying this 1971 Porsche 911S, which was for sale at the time of writing.

Ferrari DinoWhat are its rivals?

The 911S arrived in 1969, initially with 170hp. The same year, Ferrari launched its six-cylinder 195hp Dino 246 GT and (open-top) GTS. The delicate Dino trumps the 911 for sheer beauty, but not for value. Prices can easily top £300k today.

Other rivals included the Jaguar E-Type and BMW 3.0 CS. However, neither is a pure sports car like the Porsche.

Porsche 911SWhat engine does it use?

Autofarm describes the 180hp 2.2-litre flat six in this 911S as ‘the ultimate form of Porsche’s original 911 engine’. It was a modern unit for 1971, with mechanical fuel injection and an automatic choke.

The engine sits behind the back axle in trad-911 style and drive goes to the rear wheels via a five-speed dog-leg gearbox. For the uninitiated, first gear is across and down (where reverse would often be), while the other four ratios are arranged in a simple H-pattern.

Porsche 911SWhat’s it like to drive?

Turn the key and the air-cooled six coughs and chunters into life. Its turbine-like whirr fills my ears and vibrates my fingertips through the skinny, four-spoke wheel.

Old 911s don’t like cold starts, so I give the engine a few minutes to warm up, using the hand throttle (a small lever next to the handbrake) to keep the idle speed high. Did I mention the sickly-sweet smell of oil? A classic Porsche is a car for all the senses…

Pulling away, I’m struck by how light the steering is (most of the car’s weight is at the back) and – shortly afterwards – by how ineffective the brakes are. That’s to be expected in a car of this era, of course. But it’s worth acclimatising yourself before you reach that first roundabout…

The engine is smooth and deliciously free-revving, although it doesn’t really wake up until about 5,000rpm. From there, the noise hardens to a synapse-tingling snarl and it charges to the 7,200rpm redline with real urgency.

Grip is limited by modern-car standards and there’s no doubt the rear-engined Porsche could bite back if you overcooked a corner. But it’s refreshing to drive a car that can be enjoyed at sensible speeds. The 911S is as much fun at 30mph as a new 991 Carrera at 60mph.

Porsche 911SReliability and running costs

Porsches have a reputation for robustness and the 911S comes from an age where most things could be fixed with a socket set and a can of WD40. Even so, any car this age will need regular TLC to keep it running properly. Prepare to budget several thousand pounds for maintenance each year, as official Porsche parts won’t come cheap. Especially if they’re rare, deleted items, such as obscure pieces of trim.

On the plus side, car tax (VED) is free and a classic car insurance should keep costs down.

Porsche 911SCould I drive it every day?

Compact dimensions, light controls and excellent all-round visibility (thank those skinny roof pillars) make the 911S a surprisingly capable commuter. Yes, the dog-leg gearbox is a pain in town, but you’d get used to it. Ditto the old-car brakes.

However, it seems a shame to use a car this special for the daily grind. The lack of air-con would be a pain in summer, while salty roads would ravage the bodywork in winter. And, much as we hate to say it, a classic Porsche is an investment – so it pays to use your car sparingly and keep it in tip-top condition.

How much should I pay?

This immaculate 911S would set you back you £180,000-£200,000, although many are worth considerably less. It’s rare to find an old 911 that hasn’t been restored, so condition is more important than mileage. And service history is vital.

Classic Porsches are very colour-sensitive, with bold, bright hues commanding the highest prices. Perhaps that’s why this particular car was resprayed from its original beige to Blood Orange, the factory competition colour of the era.

Porsche 911SWhat should I look out for?

There isn’t much that Autofarm’s founder, Josh Sadler, doesn’t know about 911s. These are his five top tips for buying one:

  • Always take a qualified Porsche expert with you. They know the cars well and be able to assess all key aspects.
  • Heads for the paperwork first. Look for careful ownership, authenticity and whether it’s possible to contact previous owners. Get a certificate from Porsche to see what the original specification was. This is still key to values.
  • Rust, rust and rust. Older Porsches rust all over – even the roof. Check for poor repairs, plating and patching. Look around the windscreen pillars (especially on cars with a sunroof), plus the inner wings, bulkheads… literally everywhere. Putting it right costs a lot!
  • Look for accident damage. These were early performance cars and it wouldn’t be unusual. Autofarm started its business by selling parts from a crash-damaged 911.
  • Matching-number cars are worth more. Check the engine and body numbers match the car’s details.

Porsche 911SShould I buy one?

This, or a new 911 GT3 RS – plus a BMW M3 for your significant other? Put like that, a £200,000 911S seems expensive. But remember, while most modern cars will lose value faster than you can say ‘depreciation’, a classic 911 is an appreciating asset. Admittedly, Porsche prices can’t continue their rapid ascent indefinitely, but a rare and desirable car like this will always have value to collectors.

Anyway, we promised not to get carried-away with all that. And the 911S is so much more than a set of figures on a balance sheet. I loved every minute of driving it – climbing back into a modern car seemed desperately dull by comparison. Sadly, I’m firmly in the ‘dreamer’ category when it comes to cars of this calibre. But if my numbers came up…

Porsche 911 2.7 RSPub fact

If you think a 911S is pricey, try shopping for a Carrera 2.7 RS. Only 1,580 examples of this most desirable of 911s were made, and the best cars can top £1million. Amazingly, on my visit to Autofarm, I spotted no less than five.

The car seen here was sold by Autofarm in 2014. The company can also ‘backdate’ more recent 911s to make them look like a 2.7 RS – or another classic 911.

 

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

New Porsche 911 Turbo: turbocharging the Turbo

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

New 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S range; Turbo S breaks 200mph barrier for the first time

In 2015, Porsche added turbochargers to the 911 Carrera range for the first time, in an effective but slightly controversial update. But for three decades, it’s had another turbocharged 911 – the original ‘Ur Turbo’. Which, up until now in 2015, has been overlooked…

Now the ‘real’ Turbo has restored its position at the head of the Porsche range, with a power boost for both the Turbo and Turbo S. Debuting at the North American International Auto Show in January 2016, the new Porsche 911 Turbo turbos are more powerful than ever.


Read more:

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera range gains turbos

911 Turbo-rivalling McLaren 570S driven

Porsche reveals Carrera 4 and Targa 4 turbos


Both share an updated version of the existing 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine, with higher fuel pressure, new injectors and modified inlet ports. This pushes power up to 540hp in the Turbo and a whopping 580hp in the Turbo S.

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

Performance is truly eye-watering. The Turbo S Coupe is now capable of hitting 205mph – breaking the 200mph barrier for the first time – and accelerates from 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds.

Even the regular Turbo Coupe can do 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds – yet both it and the Turbo S Coupe can also average 31mpg. That’s 2mpg better than before and means the 911 Turbo breaks the 30mpg mark for the first time, too.

Porsche’s even made sure the monstrously powerful Turbos respond even more quickly, thanks to a ‘dynamic boost function’. This keeps turbo boost pressure up even when the accelerator is briefly released – when, say, cornering in sporty, switchback driving – to ensure boost is instantly there when it’s pressed again.

Turbocharged equipment

Standard on all Porsche 911 Turbo Coupe and Cabriolet models is the Sport Chrono Package with Mode Switch – this is a rotary ring with four stepped positions to quickly engage the various driving modes.

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S

The Mode Switch also has a Sport Response button in the centre; jab this and engine and gearbox are preconditioned for maximum response for up to 20 seconds. The steering wheel itself is  modelled on the 918 Spyder. Called the GT wheel, it’s 360mm in diameter.

Porsche has upgraded the PCM infotainment system with online navigation (and better smartphone pairing), the PASM suspension offers a greater spread between sport and comfort, plus there are new settings for the PSM Porsche Stability Management system.

Turbocharged looks

Subtly updated styling marks out the new 911 Turbo and Turbo S. The front and rear gain the revised styling of the regular 911 Carrera range, enhanced by Turbo-bespoke features. These include side-mounted airblades and narrow LED front lights with double fillets to give a wide and fittingly range-topping look. There’s also an extra fin in the front air intake.

Whopping 20-inch alloys are fitted as standard, with centre locks and seven instead of 10 spokes on the Turbo S. Both front and rear wheels on the Turbo are a full half-inch wider, for that classic ‘wide rubber’ 911 Turbo look (and making them the same size as the Turbo S).

Porsche has tweaked the exhaust openings and redesigned the twin tailpipes, while the rear engine lid grille is also new. The right and left sides have ‘longitudinal louvres’ and the centre section now has a separate cover feeding induction air to the engine.

911 Turbo prices

The new 911 Turbo and Turbo S are on sale now at Porsche dealers, for suitably range-topping prices:

  • 911 Turbo: £126,925
  • 911 Turbo Cabriolet: £135,766
  • 911 Turbo S: £145,773
  • 911 Turbo S Cabriolet: £154,614