The world really started showing an appetite for retro 911 models with the 991 generation, a fondness that Porsche was only too happy to oblige. It's a miracle there was enough houndstooth for them all. There was the 911 Club Coupe, the 911 50th, the 911 R, the 911 Speedster and the 911 Carrera T, all in one way or another embracing buyers' interest in a more traditional sort of sports car. Maybe they had manual gearboxes, or less equipment, or just some really nice touches reminiscent of classic Porsches, but they all embraced the rose-tinted specs in some significant way. Clearly the demand shows no signs of abating, either, if the promise of more cars like the Heritage Design Edition 992 Targa is anything to go by.
However, there was a nostalgia heavy modern 911 before the 991 - remember the 997 Sport Classic? Back in 2010 it was the sort of new 911 from Porsche we hadn't seen before: faster than the Carrera 2S on which it was based (courtesy of the PowerKit), striking in a way no Carrera had been thanks to the C4S bodywork, double bubble roof and ducktail, more expensive than a Turbo at £140,049 and rarer than any 911, with just 250 made globally.
The Sport Classic was very well received, too, even with a supercar's price tag. Aluminium was used for the doors so that the extra weight of the C4 arches was offset, essentially making the SC a faster and sharper 997.2 Carrera 2S, thanks to the PowerKit and the standard sport suspension set up, which is some accolade. But it also a more accommodating 911, according to the contemporary reports. The ceramic brakes (also standard fit) shaved some valuable kilos off the unsprung weight, meaning the firmness associated with the stiffer chassis was minimised. It wasn't suddenly a GT3 with brown leather, but the Sport Classic was more than a cosmetic exercise and the best evolution of the 997 Carrera there was - as it might well have been, given the cost.
With 997 soon after replaced by 991, the Sport Classic was then in that odd used car purgatory where it was neither the exciting new model nor the intriguing older option. Now, with the car 10 years old and the 997 nicely established as a sweet modern classic compromise, the Sport Classic is probably more desirable than it's ever been. Which is saying something, because it's hardly like the car enjoyed a long period in the doldrums.
Now a Sport Classic like this one, a right-hand drive car and the only one currently on PH, is for sale at £190k, despite 35,000 miles having passed beneath its lovely Fuchs-style wheels. Arguably the mileage will be a boon to any future owners, too, as it means this rare 911 can see more of the world than just an air-conditioned barn without being worth significantly less (the last of the 997s isn't ever going to be a 911 for the scrapheap, let's be honest).
And while the prospect of a Sport Classic for £189,950 will send the casual enthusiast into apoplexy - here's a contemporary GT3 at half the money, and a lovely standard Carrera for £40k, to balance things out - it's an opportunity that seldom comes up. To complete the pair alongside Speedster that was around at the same time, or further build up a classic 911 collection, the Sport Classic would fit in just nicely. In fact, there's not a car collection it wouldn't complement, because that's what limited edition 911s tend to do. Best make sure you really, really like brown leather, though...
SPECIFICATION | PORSCHE 911 SPORT CLASSIC
Engine: 3,800cc, flat-six
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 408@7,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 310@4,200-5,600rpm
Year registered: 2010
Recorded mileage: 34,463
Price new: £140,049
Yours for: £189,950
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