Things used to be a lot simpler. We only had four television channels to pick from, our coffee choices were limited to a handful of drinks and if we wanted to play music in our house we had to actually press a button instead of arguing with a disembodied female voice because she doesn’t quite understand our regional accent. Before the advent of pumpkin spice lattes and television programs about people watching television programs, if you wanted to buy a Porsche your choices were simple and succinct, with a refined handful of models available, all of which were essentially pretty similar in the grand scheme of things.
Fast forward to today and the range is much more diverse with myriad models within each class; at last count there are no less than twenty-one different incarnations of the Panamera, for example. There is a Porsche out there for everyone, from the 4X4 Cayenne and the Macan SUV, to the brand new Taycan – an all-electric, four-door coupé, and the latest addition to the German auto manufacturer’s roster. With a list price of around £116,000 for the base model, rising to just shy of £140,000 for the Turbo S variant, which will get you from zero to sixty in less than three seconds, the Taycan is quick, but by no means is it cheap. With this new car hitting the market we started looking at some alternatives you could bag for the cash. So with that in mind, here is our list of five Porsches that you can buy if you’re lucky enough to have Taycan money burning a hole in your (rather large) wallet.
Genesis – Porsche’s very first production car. Continuing the rear engine, rear-wheel drive configuration of Ferdinand Porsche’s Beetle design, the 356 was a lightweight, two-door sports car created by “Ferry” Porsche, Ferdinand’s son. Made famous thanks to a host of motorsport successes, along with high profile advocates like James Dean and Steve McQueen, the 356 has become somewhat of an automotive icon and its DNA still resonates in the Porsches of today. It’s a truly beautiful car and exceptionally fun to drive thanks to its low weight and well balanced handling. Performance by modern standards is nothing to write home about but all models are a hoot behind the wheel. The Carrera variant is not only the fastest and most exciting but also the most expensive in the used market due to its rarity. The Carreras were complicated mechanically too and therefore costly where repairs are concerned. The lower spec models are easier to live with day-to-day but still provide a hugely enjoyable driving experience. Available in both convertible and hard top form but we prefer them without the roof.
Pro: Incredibly fun to drive and owning one will bag you major cool points. Get yourself a Triumph Trophy to complete the aesthetic.
Con: They can be expensive to maintain with some parts being stratospherically pricey.
Prices can fluctuate wildly depending on the model and condition, with a mint Carrera commanding up to £400,000 but lower spec variants can still fetch north of £100,000. This 356B is an original, matching numbers car and as well as benefiting from a full restoration in the past, it comes with a well documented history. We love the colour combination too.
The first production turbo-charged 911 produced by Porsche, the 930 Turbo was the poster boy for a generation of kids growing up in the 1980s. It was brash, loud and ostentatious in equal measure thanks to its 3.3-litre, 300BHP turbo charged engine and huge “Tea Tray” rear spoiler. Competing with the likes of the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach at the time, not only in terms of performance figures and sales but also for that coveted bedroom wall space, it was a special time for petrolheads, both young and old alike. These eighties 911s are pretty sturdy and have a distinctly mechanical feel to them. The power is visceral, and handling can be a little on the exciting (read downright scary) side if you’re not used to rear-wheel drive cars with huge amounts of turbo lag, especially in the earlier variants. All-in-all though they are still very competent cars and those classic looks never get old.
Pro: Exciting and rewarding in equal measure you really do get a sense of achievement after a spirited drive when you arrive home and realise you’re not in a tree. We think it’s still the most handsome of all the 911s too.
Con: A fearsome reputation for catching people unawares and depositing them the wrong way around. Treat it with respect and you’ll do just fine.
You quite literally get more bang for your buck with the 930 Turbo but prices can creep well over £100,000 for a low-mileage example in top condition. £60,000 – £80,000 will still net you a decent, well maintained car though. This late model 930 looks stunning in Guards Red with full black leather interior and is fitted with the more desirable five-speed gearbox.
The 924 was the first car Porsche ever produced with a front engine, rear-wheel drive setup and was introduced as their entry-level car at the time. Initially reviled for what most people regarded as poor performance, the 924 was actually a very accomplished car with robust reliability and positive handling thanks to even weight distribution and fully independent suspension. The Carrera GT was the homologation model, built so that Porsche could qualify for racing at Le Mans and this is why it’s in our list. Fitted with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing over 200BHP, the Carrera GT was fast, especially for 1981. It’s nowhere near as brutal as the 930 but the turbo lag is still ever present and the trick with the Carrera GT is to keep on boost as this is where the car truly comes alive. Still a genuine Porsche icon, the 924 Carrera GT is a cracking coupé steeped in motorsport glory and prices are on the rise.
Pro: Well balanced and still quick enough for most. The homologation kudos is an added bonus.
Con: A quick run to the shops is not this car’s MO and getting the most from it can be difficult. You need to be truly involved to really appreciate what the Carrera GT is all about.
Good Carrera GTs are rare and can therefore command good money and £60,000 to £100,000 is a fair appraisal. We think this one is a great example; it retains its originality and presents well overall.
You know we love a big V8 here at Car and Classic and that’s partly why the 928 GTS is on our list. The biggest engine ever offered by Porsche at the time, the 5.4-litre, eight-cylinder lump delivered 345bhp and 369lb ft of torque. Coupled with perfect 50/50 weight distribution it was, and still is, an absolutely cracking GT car, thoroughly suited to epic, cross-continent road trips. The GTS has more urgency about it than the less powerful and somewhat lazier models though and the car always feels ready to rock and roll at the drop of a hat with power and torque on tap in virtually any gear, at any revs. Initially intended as a replacement for the 911, Porsche thankfully reneged on that decision and the two cars were sold side-by-side. A magnificent car in its own right and a great used buy, just make sure you do your homework and find one that has been regularly serviced and maintained as repair and servicing costs can easily and rapidly add up to the gross domestic product of a small African country.
Pro: The GTS has bags of torque for effortless cruising, not to mention that sublime V8 exhaust note.
Con: Cost of ownership can be daunting, and fuel economy is woeful but then it does have a whopping great V8 that begs to be pushed at every opportunity.
Decidedly the cheapest Porsche on our list, generally speaking, a good 928 GTS will set you back anywhere in the region of forty to sixty grand. This 1995 car is keenly priced and although it has in excess of 100,000 miles on the clock it has been well serviced and maintained by specialists throughout its life.
We conclude our list with the quite frankly bonkers 996 GT2. The original GT2 was based on the 993 generation of the 911 turbo and debuted in 1993, built as it was to meet homologation requirements for racing. Skip to 2001 and the successor to the 993 GT2 is unleashed on the world. The 996 GT2 featured a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre flat six engine developing 456bhp (later rising to 476bhp), all of which was sent directly to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. A setup not for the faint of heart. An absolute beast of a car and properly scary to the uninitiated thanks to a distinct lack of stability control, although the turbo lag of older generation 911 turbos is pretty much non-existent. Clubsport versions were stripped of all unnecessary gubbins not directly related to going fast and replaced with all the safety features you could possibly need if you get it wrong at the track, including a roll cage and six-point harness. Strap in and prepare for a wild ride.
Pro: More at home on the track than the motorway, owning and driving a 996 GT2 is an exciting and challenging experience. A true driver’s car.
Con: Driver aids? What driver aids? Requires a certain level of skill, as well as funds, to enjoy.