Top-up, Top-down; Where's the Value in Air-Cooled Porsche 911's?

In Air-Cooled Porsche 911’s, the general rule, is that when the top goes down, the price goes down. Of course, there are several exceptions such as the one-year only 1983 911SC and the final years 993 C4 models. Other than these two exceptions the Coupe can be anywhere from 12% to more than double the price of the Cabriolet model.

1995 Porsche 993 Cabriolet | Image Don Therien

Why is Air-Cooled Porsche Cabriolet Pricing Below Porsche Coupe Pricing?

Air Brigade believes that there are two primary reasons why the market values the Coupe over the Cabriolet.

  1. Heritage: The Porsche 911 was first introduced as a coupe with a very distinctive shape and design that is the result of the rear-engine configuration. The distinctive roofline just doesn’t translate quite as well in the Cabriolet.

  2. Driving Characteristics: A Coupe provides a level of rigidity to the chassis improving the handling and drivability of the Porsche over a Cabriolet model. Without the roof the Cab chassis is more likely to twist and bend during cornering as opposed to the flat handling characteristics of a rigid Coupe chassis.

The value of a cab ultimately comes down to what type of driving do you enjoy? Some people can’t imagine a sports car without an open top driving experience while the hard-core Porsche fanatics can’t imagine that you wouldn’t want to maximize the performance of your Porsche with the rigid chassis of the Coupe.

To each their own ... it is your car and your driving enjoyment.

Here are the price comparisons of air-cooled Porsche 911 Cabriolets versus Porsche 911 Coupes.

Porsche Cabriolet Versus Coupe Pricing

Based on Sports Car Market Price Guide (2020)

Based on Median Prices from Auction Sales

Porsche 911SC (One Year Only – 1983)

Cabriolet $49,500

Coupe $48,500

Net Takeaway: In this case since the Cab was a one year-only model there is a slight premium over the coupe but at 2% it is basically even.

Porsche Carrera 3.2 (1984 – 1986 with 915 Transmission)

Cabriolet $36,500

Coupe $55,500

Net Takeaway: The value of the coupe is $20,000 more, or 55% premium for a Coupe.

Porsche Carrera 3.2 (1987 – 1989 with G50 Transmission)

Cabriolet $49,000

Coupe $56,000

Net Takeaway: The premium the Coupe garners with a G50 transmission is only 14% at $7,000.

Porsche 964 C2 (1990- 1994)

Cabriolet $39,500

Coupe $62,500

Net Takeaway: The $23,000 premium garnered by the coupe equates to a 58% percent rise for a coupe over a cabriolet

Porsche 964 C4 (1990 – 1994)

Cabriolet $41,500

Coupe $89,500

Net Takeaway: The price differential is most pronounced in the 964 C4 with a $48,000 price difference making the coupe more than double the price of the Cabriolet

Porsche 993 C4 (1995 – 1998)

Cabriolet $50,000

Coupe $56,000

Net Takeaway: At 12% ($6,000), the coupe has a minor premium over the Cabriolet

Porsche 993 C2 (1995 – 1998)

Cabriolet $65,000

Coupe $64,000

Net Takeaway: The $1,000 difference makes the prices basically even between the two models

Porsche 993 Cab on the Blue Ridge Parkway | Image Randy Rutherford

Tags: Porsche Cabriolet, Porsche Cabriolet Pricing, Air-Cooled Porsche Cabriolets

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