Exposure to a Performance Car review of the Lamborghini Countach 5000QV at an impressionable age set Dan Trent on course for a life-long obsession with cars. As editor of PistonHeads.com he’s got direct access to a classifieds repository of over 100,000 such vehicles to browse day in, day out. Temptation is never far away. He’s still some way off that Countach though.
2015 was the year I was supposed to buy a Porsche 911. But didn’t. The reason for this is simple – I didn’t crunch the numbers correctly and didn’t have the necessary free capital. Why change the habit of a lifetime. Doubly galling is watching friends with more liquidity than I make the most of 2015 being the year certain Porsche prices got really loopy.
Almost exactly a year ago I had the great pleasure of driving up to Scotland to deliver a Guards Red 964 Carrera 2 a mate had bought from Porsche specialist RPM in Buckinghamshire but was unable to collect himself. One of those selfless little things we do for our friends every now and then. Obviously I took the scenic route.
It wasn’t my problem but, as my contact at RPM advised me, 964s are tricky to value given even an ostensibly sound car could very easily be concealing a hearty five-figure bill up its sleeve, making classifieds comparisons with apparently similar cars very difficult. From the paperwork to the way it drove it was clear he’d got a good one though. Or, at least, someone else had spent the money so he wouldn’t have to. And the general direction of prices for solid, manual Carrera 2 coupes is rapidly outpacing that of the less desirable Tiptronics, cabrios and Targas at the realistic end of the price scale.
Conservatively I reckon my friend has effectively made a grand a month since buying his car, decent comparable ones now nudging £50K. Or three times in the case of this limited production Carrera 4-based ‘Jubi’ edition. Yes, £150K for a non-RS Carrera with little more than low miles and a special paint colour.
Mid-way through the year and with a house sale going through I glimpsed a momentary opportunity for quite possibly the Porsche purchase to top all Porsche purchases. This was a original-owner, late-model G50 3.2 Carrera, black, Fuchs, no wing and registered in Germany. Nice car full stop. But also the very first Porsche I ever actually got to ride in, aged a highly impressionable 10 years old or so and at a thrilling speed along a deserted night time Autobahn. It belonged to a teacher at the school in Dusseldorf we had an exchange arrangement with. And word through the grapevine revealed she still had it, was about to retire and was selling it. Sadly serendipity doesn’t always deliver and the car went to someone else in her family, sparing me the anguish that, no matter how solid an investment or emotive a personal connection I had with the car, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it anyway.
I hold out hope though. The mythical £10K 911 does exist in the shape of the (currently) unloved 996. I’d love an early orange indicator manual, cable-throttled 3.4 Carrera 2 coupe but when you start refining the searches even these are now starting to climb, leaving, again, the Targas, Tips and cabs. The only hope is the fact early 997s are now in the low 20s, hopefully placing a ceiling on these much underrated 911s.
Maybe should have bought a smaller house after all. One with a bigger garage.
Photography courtesy of Tom Shaxson and Pistonheads.