How to Price a Project Porsche
Buying a Classic Porsche at Half Price – Part 4
One of the big challenges as I search for the Porsche 964 RS America at half the market price is how do you determine the price of the car when the car has needs.
I am being a realist in my search: if I want a half-price Porsche it will not be perfect. So far I have found four different 1993 Porsche 964 RS America models that fit my criteria. Pricing in the $70,000 range, mechanically sound and visually appealing but with a driver quality exterior and interior meaning there are bumps, bruises and scrapes. I plan on driving this car so I will be happy with a good 10-footer (looks great 10-feet away but not so good up close) if it is mechanically strong Porsche.
The four models that I have looked at have these issues:
Silver Track Car: Salvage title and some rust - $65,000
Red RS at Porsche Classic Dealer: Badly cracked dash and bumpers and bruises all around - $79,000
White Miami RS - Higher miles with modified suspension - $80,000
Red BAT RS – Clean car in Canada with modified suspension – Bid to $83,500, I dropped at $70,000
In each case the car has not been perfect so I have had the difficult task of determining how do you value a car that has needs. The pricing guides generally based on what I would call a collector car or fine driver. Bring-A-Trailer (BAT) results are available which is good historical reference for what are probably driver quality cars that are mechanically and visually sound.
After speaking with several Air Brigade members who have taken on projects and analyzing the market this is the formula that I have arrived at to price from a strictly rationale standpoint: what would it cost to restore the car to the quality of that sound mechanical and visually pleasing BAT driver vehicle.
In 2019 there were seven sales of RS Americas on Bring-A-Trailer with an average price of $90,693. This set my baseline because it indicates to me what is the actual sale price of a driver quality Porsche 964 RS America. This compares to advertised prices on RSAmerica.net that averaged $96,800. If you assume the buyer probably negotiated 5% off that price when buying it means their selling prices averaged $91,960.
The Sports Car Market and Hagerty pricing guides put these cars in the range of $107,000 - $160,000, with an average around $136,000. These are quality collector level cars but yet often set the market price because owners all dream of getting these prices for their driver cars with needs. The final price source is Porsche Excellence magazine that reports the price of a 1993 Porsche RS America at $80,000 - $150,000.
So here is my Porsche pricing formula:
Average retail selling price
Cost of Repairs to put the car in driver condition
So for example, the red RS America being sold at a Porsche Classic dealer for $79,000 would have the following potential selling price to close the deal for me.
Average Selling Price on BAT: $91,000
Minus the repairs to bring the car up to the same driver quality level
New Dash: $5,000
New Seat: $1,000
Steering Wheel: $1,000
New wing: $1,000
Proper Radio: $1,200
= Purchase Price of $60,993
The repair prices that I noted might have some fat in them, but it provides an overall direction of what price I should buy the car. My own target for this car would be $65,000 -$70,000 since it is at a Porsche Classic dealer who has gone through the car and made sure it was mechanically sound.
As you can imagine the dealer did not want to even speak to me about a price close to $70,000 let alone in the $60’s. I think he felt insulted but I am not willing to overpay for a car just because I want it. Another Guards Red Porsche RS America will come on the market – patience is the key to buying right.
As an aside, the dealer just dropped the price of the car after a month on the lot by $2,000 to $77,000.
To review parts one to three of this buying journey here are the links:
Part 1: Buying a Classic Porsche at half-price.
Part 2: What is a Porsche 964 RS America?
Part 3: Reading the Porsche for sale ads