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Were the Affordable Air Cooled Porsches Really Affordable?

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

When you are speaking about affordability when talking Classic Porsches, it all becomes relative. Air Brigade had identified five air-cooled Porsches prior to the Amelia Island Collector Car Auctions that were affordable Classic Porsches. Air Brigade is defining affordable in this context as being under $100,000, though I suspect for most us, affordable is probably in the $25,000 - $40,000 when you are speaking about buying a “fun car.”

Porsches on auction Amelia 2020
Porsche Images: Gooding & Co

So what happened to the five Porsches Air Brigade identified as affordable air-cooled Porsche buys at the Amelia Island auctions?

Well, we were right on with most of them, but surprised but a couple classic Porsches. Let’s look at them in order of pure affordability from just a price standpoint; least expensive to most expensive for the five identified, plus one that wasn’t identified.

Porsche 914 Race Car
Porsche 914 Image: Gooding & Co

1971 Porsche 914 Vintage Racer $44,800

This Porsche 914 was the low-end surprise among air-cooled Porsches. The pre-sale estimate was $80,000 - $120,000 which is a realistic price for a race-prepared 914 in this condition. The problem was this was not the venue for a vintage racer. Most of us are also probably not in the market for race-tuned Porsche 914, but this car clearly sold for a lot less than what was into this car. If you are handy with a wrench it would have been a ideal candidate to convert to a a heck of a street-driving Porsche 914 Outlaw.

Gooding & Co Catalog Description:

Porsche 911 Weissach Edition Amelia 2020
Porsche 911 Weissach Edition | Image Gooding & Co

1980 Porsche 911SC Weissach $56,000

This special edition Porsche 911SC went for just a tad over its pre-sale estimate of $45-$55,000. I went to see this car in person as an Air Brigade member has one and it is quite a nice car. This car sold without a reserve, so I had hope that maybe this wasn’t a venue for an SC and maybe there was a bargain to be had. It wasn’t the case but it certainly represented a great candidate for entry into the air-cooled Porsche market with a special edition 911 that would turn heads at any Porsche meet.

Porsche 914 at Amelia 2020
Porsche 914 | Image Gooding & Co

1973 Porsche 914 2.0 $47,040

This 914 sold at within its pre-sale estimate of $45 - $65,000 but it was still a lot of money for a 1973 Porsche 914 2.0. I also viewed this vehicle in person as I wanted to see what a $50,000 914 looked like. As you would expect, it was impeccable and beautiful in the rare Delphi Green Metallic. But would I have bought it for $47,000? No.

Gooding & Company Catalog Description:

Porsche 912 at Amelia 2020
Porsche 912 | Image Gooding & Co

1966 Porsche 912 $48,160

Even though this Porsche 912 sold for just below its pre-sale estimate of $50 - $70,000 it was about right. A Porsche 912 is a great way to get into air-cooled Porsche ownership with an affordable entry-point for Porsches that are in great shape. As auction house Gooding described: “Early 912s have recently been gaining in popularity, as a new generation of enthusiasts is attracted to their affordability, ease of maintenance, and well-balanced driving experience.”

Porsche 964 at Amelia 2020
Porsche 964 Cab | Image Bonham's

1991 Porsche 964 C4 Cab $56,000

This Porsche 964 Cab sold just below the pre-sale estimate of $65 - $85,000, but I believe it was aggressively priced to begin with. Granted, it was a clean example but I believe a 964 cab is more in the $50,000 range on the open market. Taking into account the buyers premiums this is where this Porsche sold.

Bonham’s Catalog Description:

Porsche 964 Amelia 2020
Porsche 964 C4 | Image RM Sotheby's

1989 Porsche 964 C4 Coupe $103,000

This Porsche 964 was a total surprise as it doubled its low pre-sale estimate of $50,000. Granted it was a very clean, low mileage example of a first year 964, but I am just not sure why it went for this much money. It was also far beyond current market pricing. All I can guess is that there were two well-moneyed Porsche aficionados wanting specifically a white 964.

RM Sotheby;s Catalog Description:


The auctions continued the trend that affordable air-cooled Porsches are available, but the best point of entry continues to be the four-cylinder models: Porsche 912 and Porsche 914. Within the 911 range, a buyer needs to consider a 911SC or a Carrera 3.2.

Happy Hunting!

Porsche 911SC, Porsche 912, Porsche 914 Amelia 2020
Porsche 912, Porsche 914, Porsche 911SC | Images Gooding & Co

Tags: Affordable air-cooled Porsches, Amelia Island classic Porsche sales.

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