Feh. Do I sell all the classics and just buy a modern?

Feh. Do I sell all the classics and just buy a modern?

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964Cup

Original Poster:

694 posts

182 months

Thursday 5th September
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I presently have three old Porsches - a RHD 964 widebody cabriolet; a LHD 964 RS and a 356 outlaw.

None of them are presently working, or at least working perfectly. The 964 cab - which I have been using over the summer - has just gone back in for the third round of its rolling restoration. Admittedly I'm trying to make it perfect, but the game of whack-a-mole is getting a little wearing. The RS is being refurbished by RPM to a similarly obsessive standard, with appropriately large bills and long waiting times. The 356 has an arms-long list of work needed before I can even drive it. [Although this would be easier if I didn't live in London and so need a cooling system that can cope with two hours at 6mph].

I like old Porsches (obviously) but I can't help feeling that while I'm pumping money into perfecting three examples of the breed, the clock is ticking quickly for petrol-engined cars. I already can't drive either of the 964s in central London without paying for the privilege (weirdly the 356 is exempt by virtue of being "historic"); I can't drive them in Paris at all. [Obviously right now I can't drive any of them anywhere...].

At the moment they're all worth decent money, in theory at least. The 964 cab is one of (I believe) 24 UK C16 cars, and rather fewer manuals - I think it's the only one in polar silver; the RS is a proper C00 car with fairly low mileage; the 356 is in reasonably good shape and has a Shasta race motor in it. They're supposed to be a blend of hobby, investment and driving pleasure.

The hobby seems mostly to involve writing cheques. I can afford it, but that's not a justification.

The investment depends on there being a market for collectable ICE cars in the future, which i'm beginning to doubt - do little kids even know cars exist these days, never mind have posters of them on their walls? My 11-year-old-son seems completely uninterested, where at his age I would have been pestering my dad unceasingly about any of the cars, had he had them.

The driving pleasure depends on a) driving and b) it being a pleasure. See above re: London, but even in France now they've dropped the D-road limit to 80km/h, spammed the country with zero-tolerance cameras and introduced all these pollution control zones you spend most of your time watching the speedo, the rear-view mirror and upcoming laybys rather than enjoying the drive.

I'm sorely tempted to execute a hurry-up on all three restos, sell them all, invest the money elsewhere and scratch my Porsche itch with either a 991.2 Targa (because there's no 992 Targa) or a Taycan. I'm not even sure about the Targa - despite it being the best-looking recent Porsche by some way - because of the general opprobrium directed at internal combustion. And the Taycan, while cool, is a four-door saloon and we already have two family cars - one electric and one PHEV.

Maybe the whole car guy thing is just over, and I should accept that cars are just a means of transport now, and that what matters in that case is low environmental impact, maximum comfort and minimum driver involvement.

Koln-RS

2,863 posts

157 months

Friday 6th September
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It's a fascinating question, and I believe that you have realistic grasp of the current scenario.

Personally, I think one old car is enough.

hman

7,285 posts

139 months

Friday 6th September
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Whilst not porsche specific, the situation in France (d limits) and London (6mph for 2 hours) are common in cities where I live - and the classic car market is very strong still check out this garage for examples :-

https://duttongarage.com/

Note they buy and sell internationally as well.

RDMcG

13,613 posts

152 months

Friday 6th September
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It is a very good question.

I do think that the era of IC engines is drawing to a close for many reasons. Obviously the immediate issue is the increasing number of cities with restrictions on older cars. However there is also the impact of the increasing environmental awareness among young people combined with a decreasing interest in cars at all. People are moving into the city and communicate and meet on line. Speed camera, much striker DUI laws, stiff fines and so on are reducing the fun of driving.

I genuinely worry who will want many of the cars in the future. I deliberately bought a Panamera turbo recently and pretty much concluded that it would be my last ICE daily driver. My few cars are fairly varied and more recent, but I have a 997.1RS among other things, about the last of the analogue cars. in heavy traffic in a city it is no fun at all.

My personal strategy is a bit wait and see, but I have given up the idea of buying a serious classic. I played with the idea of a 996RS, Burt as time goes by it is less and less likely.

Great selection of cars BTW.

highway

1,167 posts

205 months

Friday 6th September
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Still no end of threads of PH where people ask - “what’s the next modern classic”. As the OP rightly points out, this is the twilight of enjoying not just classics, but fast cars as we have known them.

Petrol will become increasingly seen as anti social as the electric change takes hold. Cities then councils will be keen to tout their green credentials by imposing charges for those who want to use a dirty car in their area.

Speed cameras and digital enforcement becomes cheaper and future in car tech will likely automatically restrict speeds.

Classics rather than historics, will become like horses and used as such. They will be very expensive to use. Oh, and again as pointed out by the OP, children are in general NOT enchanted by thoughts of car ownership.

There won’t be another generation clucking for air cooled. Values will not increase anymore.

We have a few years left at best.

blackmamba

553 posts

181 months

Friday 6th September
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Your problem seems to be the cars you have bought are probably marginal investments and you can’t drive them. Add to that the frustration of going through a cheque book restoration and
living in London and I see where you are coming from.

Why not consolidate and keep one usable classic? May not be an investment but at least you can have some fun if you still like cars and it will be less of a headache. I suspect there are better places to put your money for investment purposes. I doubt a newer sports car will hit the spot for you either unless you make a bit of effort to get out and use it for enjoyable drives, trackdays etc.

As people have said, the days for fast noisy fun cars might be numbered so make the most of them.

964Cup

Original Poster:

694 posts

182 months

Friday 6th September
quotequote all
It's interesting, isn't it? I've had a lot of cars, and a lot of fun with cars - including some fairly serious racing - but fell out of love with the whole thing about ten years ago and stopped bothering - we had a series of Discoveries and now a Volvo PHEV as family transport and an i3 as a city car, and mostly I cycle everywhere.

Then this year I found myself watching a lot of (pretty well exclusively American) car collector/restorer videos and coming back onto car forums like this one and I thought the bug had bitten again. I've always been a Porsche man, and have always had a soft spot for the older cars, and convinced myself that I'd enjoy the sourcing and restoration (okay, overseeing the restoration) of a small collection, and that I'd enjoy using them and getting back into the car scene.

I did enjoy tracking down and buying the cars, but I'm finding the restoration process more frustrating than I expected - because in the UK it seems harder to find restorers that really know their stuff, and those that do move very slowly - and I'm really struggling to enjoy the cars, both because driving a noisy IC sportscar now seems rather gauche and because driving just isn't all that much fun any more.Frankly, if it's a nice sunny day and the roads are empty, I'd rather get on my bike; and if I actually need to get somewhere that's too far away to cycle, I'd rather take the Volvo and enjoy the silence and driver aids without worrying about overheating in traffic.

The answer I'm closing in on is probably to sell the 964s - I should be able to make a little money on the RS, and might not entirely lose my shirt on the WTL cabriolet - and keep the 356. The trick with that car is probably to do a West Coast EV conversion on it. Then I can enjoy the styling without trying to make a 56-year-old drivetrain compatible with modern traffic. It's an outlaw anyway, so it won't be as if I'm desecrating a matching numbers car.

I think the whole IC car thing still has a long way to run, but not in Europe. American yoof still love cars, and they have a much more robust car enthusiast scene. I suspect that over here we'll ban IC cars completely within 20 years, and that the next ten will see them largely taxed and restricted out of use for most people.

Or am I reflecting a North London bubble here? I can't really imagine buying a new car that's not at least a plug-in hybrid (my unrequited affection for the 991 Targa notwithstanding), and in my personal circle it's wall-to-wall Teslas, i3s and PHEVs, but there still seems to be a strong market for modern sports and supercars; perhaps I just mix with the wrong crowd?

marky911

3,707 posts

164 months

Friday 6th September
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highway said:
Still no end of threads of PH where people ask - “what’s the next modern classic”. As the OP rightly points out, this is the twilight of enjoying not just classics, but fast cars as we have known them.

Petrol will become increasingly seen as anti social as the electric change takes hold. Cities then councils will be keen to tout their green credentials by imposing charges for those who want to use a dirty car in their area.

Speed cameras and digital enforcement becomes cheaper and future in car tech will likely automatically restrict speeds.

Classics rather than historics, will become like horses and used as such. They will be very expensive to use. Oh, and again as pointed out by the OP, children are in general NOT enchanted by thoughts of car ownership.

There won’t be another generation clucking for air cooled. Values will not increase anymore.

We have a few years left at best.
A few? As in 3 or 4?

Come off it: hehe
I guarantee I’ll be driving petrol cars in exactly the same way I do now in at least ten years from now.
Yes the change is coming, but only for those who want it, or who want to drive their old petrol cars into city centres.
Those of us who drive for fun off the beaten track will be doing so for years if not decades to come.

Classics may be done for as investments but they’re a long way from being done altogether.

There are so many aspects of why EVs cannot work for the masses yet. It’s best not to get too swept up in the hysteria. thumbup






964Cup

Original Poster:

694 posts

182 months

Friday 6th September
quotequote all
marky911 said:
A few? As in 3 or 4?
I think 10. But it'll be eccentric - or rural - to enjoy ICE cars within 5 years. They'll be banned from city centres across the country by then. It's more a feeling than anything I can really point to factually, but I think there's been a massive shift in sentiment, and it's moving very quickly.

It'll be more like 15 years in the States - perhaps longer - because car culture's much more embedded, and they have such large distances and so much empty space. Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands will all ban ICE entirely within the next 10 years, I expect. Norway (ironic, given the source of the money that lets them contemplate it) will probably ban them within 5 years.

Frankly, the cost of deploying a nationwide charger network sufficient to make BEVs suitable for everyone would be a fraction of the cost of HS2. Generating capacity, and affordability of the cars themselves, is another question entirely - but we're talking about the market for classics and sportscars, not the survival of the crappy hatchback for another decade while battery tech gets cheap enough.

What I can't understand is that there's still a pretty strong market. Porsche can still shift cars - especially less usable, more polluting track-biased specials (the 992 GT3 will inevitably sell out instantly if it hasn't already). The classic auctions I've been to have been well-attended, and the asking prices for classic 911s remain strong (although I can't speak for the transaction prices or rates). Hence my wondering how much of my current worldview is biased by where I live and the company I keep.

highway

1,167 posts

205 months

Friday 6th September
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It’s not just the local anti car rulings that will hammer the nails in. It’s the proliferation of average speed cameras as well.

aeropilot

18,593 posts

172 months

Friday 6th September
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964Cup said:
Maybe the whole car guy thing is just over, and I should accept that cars are just a means of transport now, and that what matters in that case is low environmental impact, maximum comfort and minimum driver involvement.
As far as daily driver is concerned, for me this is true, although I'm of the opinion, that least enviromental impact means actually not buying a new car, even building one EV is probably doing more enviromental harm than running one of your older Porsches for another 10 years!!

As others have said, one old car is more than enough fun as well as hassle. I'm more than happy trundling about in my X5 and having the '32 Ford to play with at weekends (well I will when its current rebuild is finished)

I'd probably keep the RS of the 3 and then sell the other two, if the RS is stock and original. It depends on how modded the 356 is though. I think modded 'historics' are going to be increasingly difficult to keep depending on how much newer stuff is used, but if its not using too much modern running gear, then I'd easily keep the 356 as they are just lovely things smile

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

156 posts

23 months

Friday 6th September
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964Cup said:
Hence my wondering how much of my current worldview is biased by where I live and the company I keep.
I think this is it. You just have to look at the instagram pages of kids under 30, or the young YouTubers and car spotters. Their content is stuffed full of high end motors. I know a fair amount of my friends teenage sons are obsessed by cars.

I agree that classics will become increasingly difficult to drive into city centres, but they're pretty useless at that in any case.

aeropilot

18,593 posts

172 months

Friday 6th September
quotequote all
964Cup said:
My 11-year-old-son seems completely uninterested, where at his age I would have been pestering my dad unceasingly about any of the cars, had he had them.
There's time yet.

My mate is seriously into old classics, and his son when into early teens was completely disinterested on old cars, and not that interested in newer stuff either.
But by the time he started taking driving lessons at 17, he was car obsessed, and not only that, much his Dad's pleasure, not showing much interest in modern stuff either and wanted a classic as his first car!
They found a lovely 2 owner from new virtually all original Triumph Herald which he's lovingly looking after, learning how to wield the spanners on under his Dad's tutoring, and has gradually period modded it with wider Vitesse rims, slightly lowered springs, period Nardi style wood rim s/wheel etc., etc. He's even found via social media a couple of other local lads similar age, that have bought classics as well, one Spitfire and the other a Beetle, so they are hanging out together and go off cruising around West London and stuff. They've worked out stylish older cars seem to be a big hit with the young girls as well biggrin


highway

1,167 posts

205 months

Friday 6th September
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My nephews are from are car family. Neither have the slightest interest in cars. It’s white goods to them. That seems common as a view among the young

RDMcG

13,613 posts

152 months

Friday 6th September
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When my son visits he just grabs the old Smart ForTwo or the Jeep. No interest in the
Porsches or sporting cars.

gwsinc

273 posts

25 months

Friday 6th September
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964Cup said:
Maybe the whole car guy thing is just over, and I should accept that cars are just a means of transport now, and that what matters in that case is low environmental impact, maximum comfort and minimum driver involvement.
This makes me sad. But I think ICE cars will be around for a lot longer than many people think. In 15-20 years they wont be our dailies, but tucked away in the garage for evenings and weekends. As long as there is a demand for petrol it'll be around, we may have to upgrade our fuel lines for increased ethanol content, but petrol stations will remain a common sight.

My theory is that electric cars aren't the long term answer, as soon as we are able to stably and safely store hydrogen in a car sized box it will become the fuel of choice, everyone seems to ignore the fact that electricity generation (for the amounts required to potentially charge all the cars in the UK) is a polluting process, unless we re-embrace nuclear power generation of course.

If I had 3 classics in London I'd probably keep the one I enjoyed the most and focus energy/money on that, or alternatively move out of London and keep and use them all :-)

Porsche911R

17,324 posts

210 months

Friday 6th September
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sell them, the people I know who have classic's like working on them at home themselves, not writing cheques.

Buy a modern classic and go drive the thing.

WCZ

7,006 posts

139 months

Friday 6th September
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how much money would it generate in theory ?

Glasgowrob

2,426 posts

66 months

Friday 6th September
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highway said:
My nephews are from are car family. Neither have the slightest interest in cars. It’s white goods to them. That seems common as a view among the young
my kids are the same,

daughter has a smattering of interest but that only extends as far as what badge is on the front, much cooler to be picked up in the jag than the Ford apparently.

sad state of affairs considering both Mum,Dad and Grandad are all massive petrolheads.


Penguinracer

834 posts

151 months

Friday 6th September
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It's odd how if you fly a light aircraft or run large motorboat no one seems to care about the fuel & emissions - probably because the hand-wringing liberal complainers don't often darken the door of an FBO/aero club or marina/yacht club.

Sell the 964's & get yourself a Pitts for some aero action or a nice Bonanza A36 to cart the family around Europe.