It pains me to write this one, especially given this column is meant to be about picking out the long-lost crushes and forgotten heroes of the classic and secondhand market. OK, I've always had a massive crush on 911 GT3s of any type. But I'm painfully aware of the hype machine currently pushing prices into the sillysphere, out of the hands of enthusiasts who'll use them as intended. And instead into those of who park them up, wrap them in cotton wool and wait for values to rise.
APR 12th 2016
Dan Trent – The bargain 911 GT3?
Because cars like this should be driven, and driven hard. On my many trips to the Nurburgring it's always been striking just how many GT3 and RS models you traditionally see. Not unusual to witness whole car parks outside Eifel B&Bs packed with such cars, typically fly-splattered, streaked with brake dust and with windscreens covered with track day noise test stickers. It'd be a tragedy if people stopped doing that for fear of damaging their investment.
At the unveiling of the 911 R at Geneva earlier in the year it was interesting talking to Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger and hearing him acknowledge the car was built to tempt those disillusioned with recent 911s back into the dealerships. He recognises a proportion of his traditional target audience are now buying older Porsches like these, having been left cold by PDK, four-wheel steering and other gadgetry. Which explains some of the daft prices being asked for them.
All things relative £70K or so for a first-generation 996 GT3 doesn't seem too outrageous still. It's about the same as an entry level new Carrera, give or take what it would cost if you could get hold of a Cayman GT4 with the 'right' options and perhaps just within the realms of usability.
On paper the first-gen 996 GT3 isn't much to write home about. A certain Chris Harris argued a very convincing case for the faster and seemingly much improved second-gen when writing for us on PistonHeads. This smart blue one for just £62,995 is rather tempting too.
I'll admit to being one of those romantic fools who buys the 'myth' Harris attempts to debunk in his story. I'm not hung up about it being 'slower'. I prefer the way the first-gen car looks. I like the fact it's not got any driver aids beyond ABS and it's the first of its type. I think flat colours work best on GT3s and this Guards Red one appeals but reading between the lines I suspect it may be a 'Comfort' model with a retrofit cage. This one with specialist JZM is imported and left-hand-drive but would seem to be a proper Clubsport. Sitting on the 'wrong' side would seemingly bag a helpful saving, doesn't bother me and means it'd be right at home on European road trips to places like Spa and the 'ring. See above for why that matters. In the context of current Porsche pricing £65,900 sounds like good value.
I hate to speculate but I can't see it losing any money either. Lovely thing liquidity. Shame I don't have it.
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