Porsche 911 996 Market analysis
When it comes to buying a 996 you’ve got options, even if your budget’s at the lower end of the scale. But don’t hang about – people are wising up to the car’s immense value for money…
Porsche 911996 at 25
Volume defines the 996 marketplace: the number available out there is far greater than any 911 before it. That’s been instrumental in keeping prices low, with the 996’s transitional status – its all-new look, water cooling and Porsche’s shift up a gear in sales – all impacting on how it performs in the market today. “Take emotion out of it and the 996 is a better car than the 993,” admits Mark, before highlighting it was safer, more comfortable and useable with less quirks. “We raced an early one and the chassis was amazing. It was so much stiffer. The 996 was a huge improvement.”
“But we can’t buy them,” says Paragon’s Jason Shepherd, at least not at the quality they’d like to. Mark concurs, saying if he sees 10 cars, there’ll only be one or two he’d be happy to take on. People are spending money on them again, though, with the 996 the only 911 that’s available to you if you’re on a budget. Mark explains: “If you want an analogue 911 and you’ve got £20,000 odd quid to spend, there’s only one 911. All the air-cooled stuff – even cars that might previously have been unloved – are £50k. A 996 is closer to the air-cooled cars than later 911s, too, being light, nimble and agile, and people are waking up to that.
“I’d avoid the first year of production, unless you find a cool, low mileage, absolutely standard car. Looking at the 3.4 I’d say go ’99, because I think there were a few updates that Porsche did unofficially to improve it, in relation to the interior build quality. Then it’s about buying the best car you can afford. The C4S is as pretty as they got – there’s a lot of love for that – but I think there’s something cool about a 3.4 Carrera, and I wouldn’t necessarily say buy low mileage, but buy one with a continuous history.” Everyone at Paragon admits the GT3/GT3 RS is always a good buy if they’ve not been accident damaged. They’re inexpensive when you consider their relative rarity and historical significance, not to mention how brilliant they drive. Another car that’s on the up is the 996 Turbo, with the best now commanding proper money. Even then, compared to their contemporary rivals, like Ferrari’s 355 or 360, they look like huge value for money. As Jason says of all 996s: “Just buy the best one. We’re at the early stages of increased interest from people not just capped by budget, but enthusiasts looking backwards for kicks. It’s got age on its side now, and that’s cool.” Here at Total 911 we couldn’t agree more.
“If you want an analogue 911 and you’ve got £20,000 odd quid to spend, there’s only one 911”