Sales debate - how much compromise is involved in finding your perfect Porsche 911?
Tracking down your dream 911 can be a less-than-straightforward process. In our heads it’s relatively easy to draw up a wish list of our ideal car, but then we have to find one in the real world. Inevitably, that perfect set of demands may not be for sale. How much compromise should we factor in when searching for ‘The One’?
Avantgarde Classic’s Jonathan Aucott is quick to point out that compromise is somewhat inevitable with used 911 purchases. “In air-cooled cars, you have to compromise, to avoid buying a below par or average car,” he says. “If driven by colour and spec, you’ll bypass the most important factors of assessing any 911: condition, mileage and history,” he adds.
Paragon’s Mark Sumpter says similar, but of the watercooled end of the market. Indeed, in recent years, thanks to the sheer variety of models offered by Porsche, the potential list of options, models and combinations of both air- and water-cooled cars can be bewildering. “If you come to me wanting a 997 GTS, but start by saying you don’t want black or grey – then stop there,” says Mark. “Equally, if you come to me with a long list of model, gearbox, wheels and seat belts, then I’ll probably stop you after the first two as you’ve given me enough to work with.”
“If you find your ideal combination of colour, specification and mileage, then obviously you’ll go for it,” says Jonathan, “but in the real world, remember you’re dealing with a vehicle that’s been out of production for a while – even 20 years or more. It’s a good idea to widen your parameters, to find a car that ticks the boxes on the factors that really matter,” he advises.
There are situations where many choices are made for you. For example, if you’re seeking a 40 Jahre 996 or a 997 Sport Classic, there’s no choice for alternative colours. “Remember that some items can be changed easily,” says Mark. “Seat belts are an easy change if you want a different colour, as are wheels and even some interior trim,” he adds.
Much like the book you really enjoy in a library isn’t actually the one you pick up first, but rather the title two or three away from it on the shelf, your perfect 911 might not be the one you’ve spent time drawing up. Sometimes random chance presents a 911 that, on paper, doesn’t appeal, but in the metal just hits the spot.