Look, I love old car manuals. Hell, I just spent $6 for a manual for a 1978 Volvo 343, a car I’ve never even seen in person. But when I look at Bring a Trailer and see that a 1974 Porsche Carrera RSR manual sold for $6,000, I can’t help but feel that nothing makes sense anymore and if we’re not careful, all of the world’s money will one day be trapped in a neverending transactional cycle of air-cooled Porsche cars and related items.
I’m not saying the manual isn’t cool—it is, deeply, and achingly so. It’s also very rare—only 54 3.0-liter RSRs were ever built, so there’s likely only around that many manuals made, too.
It’s full of great pictures and pages and piles of impressive-sounding German words spelled with moon-man letters like Impulszählmeßwerk. I mean, that’s worth plenty right there.
I mean, come on, look at this shit:
For many of us, this is glorious. But even for a sucker like me, it’s glorious to the tune of, maybe, at the most, $500. That seems like a reasonable amount to pay for an admittedly very cool 44-year old three-ring binder full of Xeroxed pages.
But six grand? That’s insane. I don’t want to hear any bullshit about what the market will bear, it’s objectively nuts. Here, look. You know what else $6,000 will get you, right on the same site? A car that’s almost exactly like an early Porsche 356:
Look at that lovely Ghia! It sold for $900 less than that manual! It’s much faster than that notebook full of Porsche shit! Sure, it’s no 911 RSR, but you know what? Neither is a fucking notebook.
But I should know better than to apply logic to old Porsche stuff now. I mean, look at this:
That very early 356 chassis—or what’s sort of left of a chassis—went for $100,000.
With that in mind, I guess a $6,000 manual sort of makes sense.
Except, it doesn’t. This is insane. Everyone needs to breathe into a paper bag, or something.