Buying a classic Porsche 911: what you need to know

Fast, fun and engineered with Teutonic thoroughness, it’s an automotive cult all its own: witness the number of dedicated 911 magazines in newsagents. The 911’s unassisted steering and spindly gearlever demand measured, deliberate inputs, yet fizz with constant feedback. Those characteristic front wings follow the contours of the road, while the all-round disc brakes offer confidence-inspiring bite. Chris Lowe, lead technician at Canford Classics, is a big fan of the Carrera 3.2: “It has better brakes and a more powerful engine than the 911 SC it replaced, and larger wheels make it more drivable day-to-day,” he explains. A ‘tea tray’ rear wing was optional as part of the Sport pack, along with stiffer dampers and shapelier seats. Alternatively, buyers could go the whole nine yards with the 911 Supersport: a 3.2 with thestretched wheelarches and beefed-up brakes of the 930 Turbo. Rust is the fatal foe of any classic 911, so Chris advises checking bodywork carefully: the roof pillars and sills are the main trouble-spots. “Originality is key to value,” says Chris, “so ask for the Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche, which details the original specification – including any options fitted.” Also, be prepared to budget for mechanical maintenance: “Many 3.2s are due engine or gearbox rebuilds, and the same goes for suspension. Bushes will usuallyneed to be replaced.” It’s also worth noting that the post-1987 ‘G50’ gearbox – as fitted here – is slicker and more user-friendly than the original ‘915’ unit. Perhaps, even if the aforementioned rise in values means most owners now reserve their cars for sunny Sundays and special occasions.  Three decades hence, when scores of present-day ‘992’ 911s are written off due to software gremlins, one suspects the classic Carrera will still be going strong.