We’ve been writing a lot about the 2022 Porsche 911 because, well, it’s the new Porsche 911. Of course we’re going to write about it. One thing that caught my attention about this rear-engined mainstay is that the price for the car now starts at $101,200. The 2021 started at $99,200, which means this year is the first time 911 pricing starts at over $100,000 dollerydoos. That got me wondering—is this the most expensive a base 911 has ever been, or what? It ended up in these charts.
Charts and graphs sure are a time-and-effort-consuming way to answer simple questions, but they do provide good ways to visualize trends, so I’m not going to regret what I’ve done. And, luckily, I didn’t have to do everything—I asked our own Lawrence Hodge to do the un-fun research part and just give me some numbers, which he very ably did, so that was good.
The way I went about this was to just pick three years (near beginning, near middle, near end) from each of the six decades (plus one year from this current decade we’re in) that the 911 has been around, starting from the car’s market launch in 1964.
Then, I adjusted the prices from each year for inflation via a black magickal process I call “math,” or, more accurately, “using some online inflation calculator.”
Here’s the results:
The Porsche 911 was never intended to be a cheap car and Porsche kept up that promise very consistently. At the same time, for the level of sports car you got, I think it was pretty reasonably priced, especially considering the cars it tended to be cross-shopped against.
That very first decade of 911s was actually remarkably reasonably priced, especially for the peak affordability year, 1967, when its price of $5,990 translates to a shockingly affordable $47,836 today. If 911s had managed to stay at this level until today, I bet they’d be as common as Camrys out there, with four-door and wagon variants. But, that would be a pretty radically different world.
Here’s a graph so you can see how the 911 trended over time, both on original MSRP and inflation-adjusted prices. I was kind of surprised to see how the pricing tended to make huge jumps, then have periods of calming and decline:
I was also surprised to note the year of base 911 that is the most expensive (inflation-adjusted): 1991. That year, the 911 started at $60,700, which comes to a shocking $120,340 today.
My only guess about why the early ‘90s saw such a huge jump is that perhaps it had to to with the start of development of the first liquid-cooled 911, the 996, which was released in 1997. Maybe Porsche’s early experiments of just shoving a Vanagon Wasserboxer into the 911 and hoping no one would notice were clear failures, and they realized the enormity of the task ahead of them, so they jacked up prices a bit to have a bit of a war chest.
I hope this information was useful to you, in case you’re considering stopping by a Porsche dealership when you try out your new time machine. If you do, head for the earlier decades of 911 life, and skip the early ‘90s.
Unless you really want to get a pair of authentic JNCO jeans or something. Then I really can’t help you.