Popular Porsche Models
For most people, the term “vintage Porsche” instantly conjures up an image of a six-figure exotic car that’s off-limits to anyone other than the elites. That doesn’t always have to be the case, though. Admittedly Porsche had a few misfires over the years, but there are plenty of vintage Porsches out there that are solid, strong-running cars, and don’t require taking out a second mortgage on your home. Here are a few to consider…
The 911 model has had a number of iterations over the years, and the 911SC of the late 70s and early 80s, with its garish plaid interior, isn’t for everyone. The 911SC has a lot going for it, though. The galvanized body shell – the first of its kind – is pretty impervious to rust, and the 3.0 liter engine is a big improvement over the previous 2.7 liter unit. The 911SC (Super Carrera) was around until 1983 and also included a Cabriolet model along with Coupe and Targa. Parts are still fairly easy to come by, and solid examples can be found in the $15-25,000 range. It’s a strong performer too, with a top end of well over 130 mph and a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds or so.
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2
The successor to the 911SC, the 911 Carrera 3.2 had refinements like electronic ignition and fuel injection, a stronger, bored-out 3.2 liter six and the whale-tail and front spoiler of the classic 911 Turbo. The Carrera 3.2 can zip to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds, and tops out at 146 mph, and later models had a bulletproof 5-speed transaxle. A good 911 Carrera 3.2 can be had for around $20k, making them relatively affordable.
Porsche strayed from the formula with the 928, which debuted in 1978. The 928 was a true Gran Turismo, with a front-mounted water-cooled V8. By the end of its production run in 1995, the 928’s engine churned out 350 hp and its top speed was over 170 mph, making it a true supercar. Today, clean 928s can be found for the $10-15,000 range, with older models coming in at substantially less. Best of all, the V8 and transaxle on the 928 has proven to be pretty bulletproof over the years.
No roundup of affordable Porsche models would be complete without the fun, popular Boxster. In its final model year of 1999, the Boxster had a 252 hp 3.2 engine, which was able to push the roadster to 150 mph. The Boxster has amazingly sure-footed, sticky handling qualities and is an absolute blast to drive. A word of caution – although the Boxster has an overall reputation for reliability, many models are prone to rear main seal failure, so check over a Boxster carefully before pulling the trigger. This open-air machine generally comes in between $10-20,000, certainly not the nosebleed-inducing price range of many Porsche models…and it’s definitely a Porsche all the way.