Vintage Porsche 911 Prices Seem Normal Again, Maybe

Image: Bring A Trailer

Is a decent driver-grade 911 selling for a sane price a sign of consumer confidence levels, a portent of a downward trending economic environment, or just a buyer getting a great deal? Today on Bring A Trailer this silver Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa—arguably among the most iconic sports cars of all time—sold for a price that I would call within the realm of sanity; $25,800. It’s been years since I’ve seen anything even close to this. It feels like the tides are turning.

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As a fan of the 911, I hope this kind of pricing stays around for a while, and doesn’t bring the vintage car market crashing down around it. This whole sports car bubble is a matchstick mansion, and all it takes is one little spark for it to all come crumbling down in a blaze. Maybe this is a fluke which has played out to the detriment of the seller. Maybe this is the world we live in now.

This particular car, based on the description, photographs, and documentation provided, appears to be a good quality piece. It’s had lots of recent service, including a transmission rebuild and a new brake master cylinder. It presents well, maybe not with the best paint, but certainly good paint. It doesn’t appear to have any bad rust or big leaks. I’d feel reasonably confident getting in this car and driving it across the country.

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A few weeks ago, I’d have thought this car would have brought at least into the mid-30s.

Perhaps there are some factors playing against this car. One big one being remarkably poor photography by Bring A Trailer standards. Another being the car’s strange combination of a polished aluminum Targa bar, undesirable [acquired taste?] “sugar scoop” headlight surrounds, and 15" phone dial wheels. Those wheels look great on 944s, but out of place on a 911. Most 911s in 1986 were optioned with 16" Fuchs.

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Maybe this particular car isn’t the best example. It’s got a weird options list, it’s not particularly low mile, and Targas have always been the less desirable body style of this generation. Does that mean this data point is irrelevant? Not necessarily, it just means it’s a small dot in a huge chart of other data points. Can this one influence an entire market? It’s possible. Can my words influence the market as well? Of course they can.

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I’m not sure this car’s option list and driver-grade condition are worth this massive of a deduction in value. Are values returning to a pre-bubble level of sanity? The invisible hand of the market is wobbling back and forth. It may as well be a shrug.

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I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but check this out. Bring A Trailer usually has very good, easy to read, and comprehensive record of its sales in chart form. I wanted to see if there were any trends to spot in the Impact Bumper 911 market, so I went to its segment of the website and got a 404 error. Hmmmmm. What are they hiding?

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Looking elsewhere, (eBay, Craigs, etc.) I see lots of high-dollar listings that have been around for significant temporal units, lots of Reserve Not Met, and lots of big Buy It Now prices unbought, and more than a few “best offer accepted”.

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Is the world of 911 prices becoming more sane? Only time will truly tell, but for now I’m betting on yes. If you’ve had your eye on an impact bumper 911 from 1974 through 1989, your time might be coming. If you’ve been banking on selling one, maybe you’d better get out before it all drops out.

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About the author

Bradley Brownell

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.