Air-Cooled Porsche Selling Regrets

How many times do you see or hear the statement: “I wish I hadn’t sold my Porsche.” In most cases it is an air-cooled Porsche that was their first or a unique one that someone offered a good dollar to purchase it from the owner. Next time you think about selling that Porsche near and dear to you, wait 30 days and you may have a new thought.

The Porsche that Got Away - Porsche 911 Smurf

What got me thinking about the “I shouldn’t have sold it.” Statement was an email from a new member of Air Brigade who was using Smurrf in his email address. I asked him about it and he told me the story of owning this unique colored air-cooled Porsche that he called Smurfr but he no longer owned it and regretted selling it.


I can’t tell you how many times someone tells me that “I owned a ____ air--cooled Porsche but I wish I hadn’t sold it.”


I have two similar stories; one I sold and to this day I say I still wish I had the car and the other I put up for sale and then took it off the market and am extremely glad I did.


Let’s first talk the one that I let go. At one point I was into historic racing and bought at the Monterey RM Auction a real 1973 Porsche 911 RSR for below $100,000. This was in the early 2000’s. I wanted the car more for its historic value but since it was a racecar originally driven by my childhood driving hero, Peter Revson, I felt I had to race it too. This was the start of a downhill slope of spending money that many of you know if you have ever been into racing.

My Porsche 911 RSR that I Sold

I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t very good and took the advice of Phil Bagley to get myself into a less powerful Porsche, a 2.0 liter 911 with a long historic pedigree. So I sold the RSR for what seemed like a nice profit or at least break even as I received well over $100,000 that allowed me to buy the 1969 911 TR for just under $100,000. Unfortunately, the smaller displacement Porsche didn’t help me much but it didn’t have me on the track with the big powerful prototype cars, like the Porsche 962 that shot past me like I was standing still.


I eventually realized that between the money spent and my skill level that racing was not for me so I also sold the ’69 911 TR (now owned by David McNeill of Weathertech). But I still think about the ’73 RSR and wish I had it. The last I heard, it was in Europe having sold for over $600,000. I am not sure if I am sadder that I missed out on the tremendous run-up in RS/RSR prices or that I just no longer own his incredibly historic Porsche. I would say that based on my extreme interest in air-cooled Porsches now, it is the fact that I now longer own the car no matter what price it is selling for.


“I shouldn’t have sold it.”


Now, on the opposite end is the Porsche that I thought about selling and then didn’t sell and am extremely glad that I still have it. It is my first Porsche, a 1986 Porsche Carrera 3.2. I bought this car used in the mid-nineties out of a local Trading Times newspaper for $22,000. The car was spotless and in a beautiful Meteor Gray. I bought the car without much research, as I just wanted a Porsche with a classic look and this fit the bill. I didn’t know about 915 and G50 transmissions and what-not; I just knew it was a Porsche 911, a long-time dream and desire.

Thank Goodness - The Porsche I Kept

I owned this car for over 15 years and then the 2008 recession came along and I was in Detroit and in the car business. Let’s just say that my income basically went to zero and my expenses did not. So, my first Porsche, the ’86 3.2 went up for sale, In the meantime, I had gone through the RSR, the TR, a Ferrari 330GTC and a 944, but I held onto my first, the ’86 Carrera.


My kids were no longer living at home so on one of my regular calls I mentioned that I was selling the Meteor Gray that they had known was my pride and joy while they were still living at home. The thought from my kids was universal: “You can’t sell it; it is part of the family.” I thought about it and they were right. I pulled the car off the market and weathered the storm of a recession that hit my industry so hard.


I came out the other side stronger and better and still owning my ’86 911, my first. After selling the company, I started after the 2008 recession we moved to Asheville, North Carolina and brought the ’86 with me.


Here I was in Asheville, surrounded by the greatest driving roads in America and I hardly ever drove the car. What was wrong with me? I heard the same from other friends with air-cooled Porsches. They loved them but just didn’t drive them much. The Air Brigade was born. It started with monthly driving events for air-cooled Porsche owning friends and it is now a global air-cooled Porsche community that celebrates driving and owning air-cooled Porsches.


“I am glad I didn’t sell my 1986 Porsche Carrera.”


So, the next time you think about selling, stop and think about it. My suggestion, is to give it 30 days to think about it and during this time, drive it, show it at the local cars & coffee and see if you re-kindle the love affair that caused you to buy it in the first place. If you don’t fall in love again, then sell it, but if you find yourself enjoying the visceral driving experience and the admiring glances and comments when showing and driving it; then keep it. You won’t be sorry and I won’t be reading in one of the Facebook groups:


“I wish I had kept it…”


Share your story of the one that got away and that you wish that you had back. Send your story to drive@airbrigade.com


Porsche 911 SC - "The Smurrf"


Tags: Porsche Selling Regret, Selling Air-Cooled Porsches, I wish I hadn’t sold it

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