David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/16/12 8:59 a.m.

The Porsche 911 is an automotive icon recognized throughout the world. That classic silhouette, still rolling out of factories today, dates back to the 1965 model year. Car enthusiast or not, just about everyone recognizes that shape.
Then there’s the car’s competition record. In short, the 911 has won everything, from local autocrosses and club races to the Paris-Dakar Rally and Le Mans. Whether it’s a stretch of asphalt or an expanse of desert, the 911 can conquer it.
The model is also associated with a list of legendary drivers. Our parents watched guys like Vic Elford, Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood deliver the 911 and its variants to the winner’s circle. Today, a new generation of 911 specialists carry that torch: Patrick Long, Jörg Bergmeister, Andy Lally and many more.
Despite all of the trophies and admiration, the 911 has gotten a bit of a bad rap: Supposedly parts are expensive, the engines are weak, and the cars are tricky to drive at the limit. (Don’t forget, some reviewers complained that the Miata was too loud, so always take automotive criticism with a grain of salt.)
So, what’s the true scoop on the 911? Is it just an object of admiration for collectors and fanboys, or can it make a reasonably priced daily driver for today’s enthusiast? As with most things in life, a little information goes a long way. In short, you have to know where to shop.
The early cars are getting more expensive by the day and have a tendency to rust. The water-cooled cars can be expensive and don’t quite have that classic feel.
That leaves a sizeable group of good, honest 911s in a fair price range. Specifically, we’re talking about the 1974-’94 cars, many of which can be found for about $10,000 to $20,000. These cars cost about as much as a brand-new subcompact yet offer head-turning looks, excellent performance, strong club support and a racing pedigree that’s hard to beat. Porsche built these cars to a standard, not to a price point.
One more interesting fact: Prices for these cars are fully depressed and preparing to tick upward. We can’t guarantee that you’ll make money on one of these 911s, but there’s a better-than-average chance that you’ll at least break even.
Welcome to today’s Porsche 911 scene, where the price of admission is lower than you think.

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