How Good an Investment is a Classic Porsche 911?

WealthinAsia

A classic Porsche 911.

If you are a petrolhead, the Porsche 911 needs no introduction. But if you are new to car investment, this is one automobile model you should keep in your rear-view mirror.

In 2013, Porsche celebrated the 50th year since the launch of its 911 model in 1963 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. To date, close to a million units of the 911 have rolled off the German automaker’s factory line.

No surprise then that this car is a hit among collectors, especially models from the 1960s to 1980s. Lim Tiam Hai is a Singaporean collector who owns two 911s — a 1967 Porsche 912 coupé and a 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera (993) cabriolet. To him, the model is every man’s dream car. “All 1960s Porsches are extremely rare and hard to come by, but the 911 has the finest design and is the most iconic sports car, a champion racer in that era.”

Investment value
To date, practically every edition of the classic 911 has appreciated in value. For instance, at the RM Sotheby’s biennial collector car auction held in Monte Carlo in May this year, a limited-edition 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution sold for €2.72 million, well within its valued amount of between €2.7 and €3 million.

This uptrend looks set to remain. Demand for classic cars will continue to be strong because of the limited supply and gradually increasing number of enthusiasts. According to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, classic cars have reaped nearly 500 percent returns over the last 10 years, outperforming art and wine by more than 100 percent. And Porsche, with its vaunted reputation of building cars to last, will continue to hover at the top of that list of car brands.

Upside
Yuey Tan is a professional race car driver who competes in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. He says that the 911 has many strong points. “It is a good performance car, reliable and relatively affordable to maintain in comparison with other classics, has plenty of heritage and an awesome history behind the brand.”

Downside
Depending on who you purchase the car from, there might be further outlays to restore it to mint condition so that it is usable. For instance, Tiam Hai spent more than $120,000 restoring his 1967 Porsche 912 despite only paying close to $100,000 for it. However, he believes he can sell it for $300,000. “It’s now a showroom piece and I’ve been told that there are only two native (not imported) 912 models in Singapore, making mine quite rare,” he explains.

Be selective when choosing a mechanic to work with. Ask about their experience in doing such projects, including which make and models they are familiar with, whom they source spare parts from and where their expertise lies.

History
The origins of the 911 can be traced back to the Volkswagen Beetle, which Porsche’s first production car, the 356, was modelled after. In 1956, the automaker tasked the grandson of its founder, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, to design a new version. The outcome was the 911, with a silhouette that had a long bonnet and sloping roofline — something that it has retained until today.

Throughout the decades, Porsche has tweaked and adjusted the 911 to keep up with the times. Among the more significant developments include the Turbo model unveiled in 1974 with a three-litre 260hp engine and an enormous rear spoiler. Another was when it was installed with a water-cooled (to replace the characteristic air-cooled) engine in 1998.

Then, in 2011, the company launched a model that elevated performance and efficiency to new levels with lower fuel consumption and a lighter curb weight, thanks to its hybrid steel and aluminium construction.

But it is the models launched earlier this year that boast the greatest technological leap, contributing to enhanced driving experiences, comfort and pleasure. The improvements include a base model with 370hp, a rear deck lid with vertical grilles to increase air intake to cool the engines, and the Porsche Active Stability Management that improves stability during fast cornering, among other benefits.

How to get one
Regularly peruse well-known second-hand car companies and classic-car dealers. Alternatively, joining the Porsche car club in your city is a great way to keep up with the latest happenings. Word of mouth is a common way of learning about classic Porsches for sale and it is good to move within these enthusiasts’ circles to stay updated of potential cars being put up for purchase.

Our expert says
Talenia Phua Gajardo, founder at Luxglove, says: “The Porsche community is very strong, both locally and internationally, and there’s been a massive increase in interest for vintage/classic Porsche cars over the last few years. This has helped to drive prices higher, especially for the air-cooled 911s, for example. We had a beautiful 911E at our Classic Car event in 2016 and it got a lot of attention. It’s a relatively safe bet that a good classic 911 will be able to hold its value over the years.”

This article originally appeared on WealthinAsia.com, Asia’s marketplace for investors. For more information click here.

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