The Porsche 911.
I can’t think of any other car that can be described as undergoing continual development since 1963, but with little change to the concept over that time. Yes, the legendary 911 celebrates 50 years of existence this year, and Porsche has marked the anniversary with a special edition. If you can’t quite afford the $125,000 starting price for the retro-themed but modernly designed super-Porsche, why not celebrate by owning a piece of 911 history?
Each model has a unique spot in the car’s history, and many are affordable for just about anyone. Sure, older models won’t have the same 430-hp 3.8-liter flat six and PDK transmission that can lay down a 0-60 run in 3.8 seconds, but you will get that iconic 911 style and enough fun to keep you and your right foot entertained on city streets for years to come.
As of this writing, a search of the CarGurus used listings shows plenty of 911 listings from across the country priced between $20,000 and $30,000. Most of them are the 996 series, 1998-2004 models. Many have between 30,000 and 50,000 miles, which is surprisingly low. With the 996 series, Porsche moved from air-cooled engines to water-cooled.
Purists who prefer the air-cooled Porsches, and the original design based off the 1963 shell, can expect to spend a bit more, at least for the 993 series. The last of the air-cooled generation were the 1994-1997 model years and generally cost between $30,000 and $40,000, depending on mileage and condition, of course.
I have a friend, Cindy, who is an avid 911 fan. I asked what her favorite generation was, and she said, “I love the 1974 because it had an awesome 4-speed Sportomatic. In ’75 through ’77, they went down to a 3-speed Sporto. Those ran hot and leaked oil (not to say my ’74 didn’t leak). I loved the body style change in ’84 and everything after just got better. If I were to buy another Porsche, it would have to be after ’84. Mid ’90s were beautiful…”
If you want to celebrate the iconic run of the Porsche 911, there are some beautiful and exciting cars out there just waiting for your right foot…
After 50 years, which is your favorite generation of the Porsche 911?