Just looking – Porsche 911 (993) Carrera RS 3.8
With brand-new 991 GT3 RSs already going for nearly £300,000, classic examples now look great value…
That’s it then. The tipping point. The prices of classic and exotic cars have gone truly mad.
We’ve suspected it for quite some time, but with a specialist car dealer selling a delivery-miles Porsche 991 GT3 RS for £295,000 – 225 per cent of its original list price – it looks like the speculators have finally won.
There’s no doubting the latest GT3 RS is a fantastic car – and the sound it makes belting through the countryside is something to be savoured – but we fear such steep price rises will lead to people simply buying RSs and sequestering them, never to be seen on road or track.
Still, such high prices raise an interesting conundrum. If you’re prepared to spend such money on a brand-new RS model, what could you get from Porsche’s past portfolio for a similar outlay?
The answer, if RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction on August 13 sends buyers into a bidding frenzy, is this 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8, as seen on Classic and Performance Car.
As an example of the 993, aircooled generation of Porsches, it comes from a time before the RS badge was popularised by the 996 generation. It’s arguably even more special as a result, if perhaps not as usable as those watercooled RSs.
Slung behind the rear axle is a 3746cc, aircooled flat six, a fifth of a litre bigger than the unit in any other 993, and featured several differences to the Carrera’s regular engine, from forged pistons, to dual oil coolers and lightened rocker arms.
Its 300bhp output at 6500rpm didn’t match that of the Turbo models, but then as now, the Rennsport cars are all about low weight and dramatic aero.
At 1280kg it’s certainly light, the result of eliminating anything not relevant for performance – central locking, radio speakers, electrically adjustable seats, electric windows and mirrors, sound insulation, and headlight washers all slid from the spec list, while thinner window glass, an aluminium front boot lid and doors, and lightweight interior panels shed further weight.
The enormous Club Sport wing no doubt added a few kilos back to the car, while the owner of this particular example opted to re-specify electric windows, air conditioning and airbags. What it loses in race-spec glamour, it gains in usability.
That’s clear from its 42,000 miles, and this model also carries smog certification for all 50 US states, so the eventual owner should face little barrier to using it on the road.
And the price? An estimate of $350,000-$450,000 – between £225,000-£290,000 at current exchange rates. This may be the last time you’re able to buy a classic Rennsport model for less than the price of a new one…