August brings the biggest US car event on the calendar with th Pebble Beach Concours, the Laguna Seca historic races and five major major collector car auctions held within a four day period. These auctions set the tone for the collector car markets that point to rising values or dropping values.
Air-cooled Porsches prices have been on a tear the past few years making ownership difficult for all but the long time owners and wealthy collectors. Prices have steadied off and in some cases dropped. This year’s auctions will be a key barometer as to what is happening with classic Porsche prices.
I have chosen five Porsches to watch that are significant for the Porsche enthusiast market of collectors want to experience a Classic Porsche air-cooled model. There will always be the unicorn model that fetches six figures plus, but these models will generally allow the Porsche Classic enthusiast to enter the market.
1. Porsche 911 G-Series
The 911 G-Series representing 1974 -1989 models represents the greatest opportunity in the market for Porsche enthusiast collectors to enter the Porsche Classic air-cooled market.
Several auction houses will feature G-Series models. Of special note will be a 1985 911 Carrera Cabriolet with the M-491 wide body option at Mecum Auctions with an estimate of $75,000 - $90,000.
Bonhams will be featuring two G-series models including a 1982 911SC Targa with a sale estimate of $45,000 -$55,000 and a 1987 911 Carrera Targa for $40,000 - $50,000.
2. Porsche 912
Collectors have overlooked the Porsche 912 that was offered as an entry-level option in the Porsche line-up but several of the Monterey Auctions will have 912 models crossing the auction block. Russo and Steele are most aggressive with a 1966 model that is original with an estimate of $75,000 - $124,000. As the catalog states, original is only once. Each of the other major Monterey Auction houses are featuring a 912 or two with Bonhams offering a 912 coupe with an estimate of $65-$85,000 and a 1969 Porsche 912 Soft Window Targa at an estimate price of $65,000 - $85,000. These prices are pretty consistent with Mecum also offering a 1967 912 coupe at an estimate price of $55,000 - $75,000.
3. Porsche early 911
The early air-cooled Porsche 911’s were the first in the classic Porsche market to see their prices run up as collectors grabbed up the highly desirable models. Some early 911 models are still available below $100,000. Mecum has a nice looking 1971 911T coupe that is a white over black unrestored car with an estimate of $50,000 - $70,000. Over at Bonhams’s they have a beautiful 1973 911E Targa in Signal Orange over Pepita interior at a slightly higher estimate of $70,000 - $90,000.
4. Porsche 914
The Porsche 914 four-cylinder model continues to offer great value in entering air-cooled classic Porsche ownership. The 914 rarely makes it to these high-class auctions but RM Sotheby’s is featuring a nice 1974 Porsche 914 2.0 liter with long ownership history in the rare and unique Olympic Blue with an estimate of $45,000 - $65,000. This is big money for a 914 so it must be in superb condition.
5. Porsche 930
The 930 Turbo does not really qualify as a sub-$100,000 affordable Classic Porsche but it is on the buy list of many of the mid-level collectors and is possible with a stretch.
The 930 had a big run-up in prices in the past few years but prices have actually dropped quite a bit lately. Every Monterey Auction seems to have a model or two as collectors try to get their money out of the 930 while still possible. Most of the estimates for 930’s are $100,000 -$150,000. Most of these are the popular black over black models. Bonham’s has one no reserve 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo estimated at $70,000 - $100,000 so it is possible for our sub-$100k buyer to still enter the market.
The Monterey Collector Car Markets always deliver a little higher than normal prices for models because of the venue and big money floating around. What millionaire wants to attend the auctions and not come home with something. There is something for everyone though, allowing the Porsche Classic enthusiast to still get into the market with a high quality Porsche model.