Will 911 Mania Ever End?

Will the bubble burst? Is it actually even a bubble? The more I talk about this subject, the more I’m hit with differing opinions. Whatever has been going on for years with the whole older Porsche 911 thing is something that I can’t fully explain, but I can totally understand it.

It’s all to do with nostalgia. There’s a select group of classic cars that every generation gets teary-eyed about, and once that group gets to a point in life where they can turn dreams into reality, they go for it. There are many classics that have this allure, and we just can’t get away from it. But, that said, the 911 is different.

911_discussion_dino_dalle_carbonare_02

Aside from the fact that the Porsche 911 has a massive history, and thus would be extremely hard to categorize into just one group, there are some aspects that make it distinctive. First up, the iconic silhouette; it’s evolved over the decades but not really changed. Then there’s the various guises, from different specs and trim levels to engines. With later models, the interchangeability of parts opens up new opportunities; owners can customize, back-date, forward-date, engine swap, transmission swap, convert and modify to their hearts’ content. Quite simply, there’s a 911 out there to suit every type of enthusiast.

One aspect of this current 911 trend is that it has turned it all into a fashion. There are people, shops and companies creating brands around how they stylize their own vehicles.

911_discussion_dino_dalle_carbonare_08

Then there’s the purist; the collector. This is where the hunt for the rarest and most original 911s becomes the game. And it’s a big money game right now with the most sought after models achieving dollar values that are barely believable. Turbos, RSs, GT2s, slant noses, RSRs, you name it – they are all cars of the moment that people are paying large sums for.

It all makes the 911 truly iconic, and people are being attracted to this model for its special allure.

911_discussion_dino_dalle_carbonare_06

The nostalgia is also very much about the way the car drives, handles, feels, and even sounds. It’s probably as unique as the car’s unmistakable design is, if you ask me. You either love it or you get scared by it because it commands a certain proficiency behind the wheel; you have to understand the physics of weight transfers and embrace that by putting the art of opposite lock to good use. It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure.

rwb_emirates_dino_dalle_carbonare_02

Lesser versions, and that’s not a word I like to use – but by this I mean the more run-of-the-mill base Carrera, are a perfect start point for ground-up transformations.

rwb_new_year_meet_17_dino_dalle_carbonare_12

Nakai-san is pumping out 60 to 70 cars globally every year. It might have just been an obscure style from Japan when the rest of the world first stumbled on it over a decade ago, but now it’s a proper movement.

rwb_new_year_meet_17_dino_dalle_carbonare_14

It’s turned the 911 into a blank canvas for modern day artisans to go wild on, Nakai and Magnus Walker perhaps being the most well known. Then there’s Singer, who I will be touching on in more detail later on this month, and of course all the others out there attempting to stand out with their very own 911 projects.

911_discussion_dino_dalle_carbonare_01

But what about the newer 911s, the latest ones? People can’t get enough of these either; it might be a different type of owner or exactly the same person that may have five to 10 other older 911s. It’s a car that just does it for so many enthusiasts and the new, special versions of today will be the collector cars our kids will lust over tomorrow.

But the main reason I woke up this morning and felt the urge to ramble on about 911s with you guys is because I wanted to make a point. When you get a car right, so right, for so many years, that’s when a legend is created. And the thing about legends is that everyone wants to have a taste, a feel of what special is. Call it my little nod of approval towards Porsche, a thank you to Stuttgart for giving us what we crave and for listening to enthusiasts.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

36 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

I think a huge part of their popularity just comes from them being good cars, to drive, to maintain, to look at, and ok value wise even if some are now getting silly money. Its the whole package! And the owner base seems to be a lot less opinionated and "poncy" then other collector circles, maybe because its part of the the VAG group?

I also read that the reason for this explosion is from the guys who grew up seeing the evolution of the 911 now have good jobs, and time and money to buy these Porsches, so some kind of generational switch of buyers!

2
Anthony Chang

Every 911(especially pre '00s models) will have its own, unique storyline.
"Will 911 Mania Ever End?" Nope.
(The awesomeness will continue for the next 50 years and on...)

3

"Porsche 911" has been steady on Google Trends since 04

Author4
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Well I certainly don't doubt that. They seem to be good at the whole evolution thing...

5

Fell in love with the shape and name at a very young age... Just bought my first one at 25 ('79 SC), and I can tell you that for me, this 'mania' will never end.

"You either love it or you get scared by it because it commands a certain proficiency behind the wheel" This is perfectly described.

Author6
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Thanks for sharing your thoughts as an owner. I'd love to get one too but fear I've waited far too long ...

7
Stealth_Phoenix

Hey, its never to late to save that 928! While not a 911, I think its begging for some similar attention.

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah I'll revisit that idea next time I'm in the area. In the meantime after not so much research it's obvious even starting fixing up a 928 will take a ton of investment!

9

The popularity may have been influenced by the rise of porsche celebrities like Magnus and Nakai, but i have to agree with everyone else that they're just damn good cars. They've been around forever, like the mini, the beetle, the Mustang, the corvette, the land Rover defender, and so on. These names have stood the test of time because they're fun cars.

Author10
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah it's definitely a combination of a lot of "good things" about them, plus how others have used them in their own ways

11

The 911 mania has been ever present since my childhood. When I was young, the early-mid '70s 911s fetched otherwordly prices. For the past 5-10 years, the same is valid for '90s air-cooled models. Even if you have the right amount of money, you don't just go and buy one. The search will be long and painful. I don't see that trend ending at all...

12

I bought mine before the boom so the car is worth a lot more than I have into it, but frankly I wish I could go back to when they were just weird old beetles with two extra cylinders. Don't get me wrong, I adore the car, but now that they've achieved some sort of mythical status, everyone assumes it's so fast. It isn't. Most of them aren't particularly fast, nor do they handle that great. The build quality is pretty good; the doors close with a satisfying metal thunk, the hvac system is a confusing mess of manual levers, and most tend to stink and smell, but with the rise in prices, the prices of parts has also skyrocketed.

A used 3.2 engine, which puts out only 280hp, is now worth $10-12,000. That is insane. $12,000, for not even 300hp. This is just getting ridiculous.

Also, RWB can suck a fat one. The modifications are done very poorly, and if someone did the same thing to honda civics you guys would all see through the bullshit for what it is: hackjob riced out bodykits, just like people were doing during the fast and furious craze. The only difference is it's a 911, so again, it achieves some mythical status. I don't mind the STYLE of the RWB kits, but the execution is so laughably poor, yet people jerk off to it constantly. ITS HACKED BULLSHIT. Literally cut off fenders and body panels screwed into sheet metal. Ugh. Whatever.

I miss the pre 911 bubble.

13

Agree 100% with you. RWB workmanship leaves a lot to be desired. I just don't get it - If he was a fella in a lock up in Croydon he would be laughed out of the industry.

Author14
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The "regular" ones aren't too fast, but still fun and satisfying as you have to approach driving them in a different way. I like that. As for RWB, everyone has an opinion, he's just doing what Porsche did back in the day with race cars, cutting fenders and bolting on flares. He's just put his twist to it

15

If i could have a talk with Nakai, my only constructive criticism would be to challenge him to evolve his style. Im on the fence about his entire style, but for all of the people who bag on him for "destroying" cars i just have to say that the PCA actually destroys more cars every year than he does. And thats just the north American club, Europe probably doubles that.

16

I would agree WHOLE-HEARTEDLY!

I cannot wait for this bubble to burst so I can get back into one! The likes of "Naki-son" have turned the 911 scene into a clown show rife with sheet-metal screw bodywork where paint and stickers have somehow taken the place of skill and common sense. IF there is a bubble I think we're going to find that it has been largely inflated by boy-racers with more money than sense who are encouraged to spend foolishly by "Naki-sons" everywhere.

17

That's horseshit and you know it. Much like saying AE86 values rose solely because of Initial D. The price rise has been fuelled largely by economic factors, and the ascendence of a generation who grew up with 911's as hero cars into a stage in their life where they are earning the money to buy one. It's a 2 tiered generation buying - the younger set have entered the workforce, qualified and are earning the right money to now buy a 911. The dreaded baby boomers are settling back on the spoils of their lifetime of work and buying some 'toys' for the garage. The globe's in a reasonable state economically also, so there is money to be chucked around. This probably affects classic car pricing more than any other factor.

18

just watch out what you say / how you express yourself. hurt one of the admin's feelings and your comments will be deleted without a trace. ask me how I know... :D:D:D

19

Of course, it will end the same way it started a couple of years ago. Then another carmaker will get the hype.

20

but they didn't get it so right and even they know it. the latest version of the 911 RSR is mid engine, for weight distribution and areo advantages.

Rear engine was useful in the early 911's because the cars were so light and the weight over the ass end assisted traction but even they knew it wasn't ideal which is why they toyed around with mid engined cars (904,906,914 and cayman) and all of their upper echelon race cars are mid engine (the Le Mans cars from p1's to the 962's and earlier).

That being said, the one thing that Porsche understands is heritage and to switch the engine layout in the 911's would kill the heritage in grass roots racing that they had already built. Their understanding of heritage also is shown by the ability to buy classic parts straight from Porsche and how most of their dealerships offer rebuilding services. This is also the reason why we as consumers will never get GT3 or proper 911 turbo spec engines in the cayman. Its just the way the automotive industry works and Porsche has a strategy which will keep them as a dominant player.

21

"but they didn't get it so right and even they know it", have to agree there. The really early 911's had weights in the front bumpers to counteract all the weight out the back.
"You either love it or you get scared by it because it commands a certain proficiency behind the wheel; you have to understand the physics of weight transfers", Possibly a bit harsh, maybe some get scared maybe some just have a nagging feeling that Porsche have spent 50+ years trying to get over the design flaw.
All that said, I'd still have one, I'd have a Renault Alpine too, and both could have you coming out of corners arse first. They're still great, they're not prefect but hey it's part of the experience.

22

I see a whole host of Rauh-Welt pictures but not one (that i know) of Magnus'. THAT guy is an artist, and there should have been more pics of some of the cars that he has built

23
James Dean's ghost

His builds are tasteful (at best), but artist is a strong word. Although, I did hear Britney Spears refer to herself as an artist...so it's probably valid nowadays.

At least in Nakai's case the cars are provocative and akin to pop art. They've resonated with the public because of their irreverence to the Posche mystique (and utilizes Japanese wheels, etc) . Obviously, he's also made them good-looking and desirable. The timing didn't hurt either...since most people managed to forget what an OEM 993 GT2 looked like.

On the other hand, Walker is famous primarily as a celebrity. He's the spawn of Jack Sparrow and Rob Zombie and happens to have a Porsche collection. He shocked the world by being able to own dozens of expensive cars without looking like an orthodontist. It's the whole rebel/rockstar thing that Americans eat up. He never actually says or does anything controversial (nor are his builds provocative in anyway...unless you count drilled door handles).

So, he's a little more biased on the Disney, Jack Sparrow side.

decom_78805a221a988e79ef3f42d7c5bfd418_5938cd1d31709.jpegdecom_78805a221a988e79ef3f42d7c5bfd418_5938cd1d31709.jpeg
24

So because it's not controversial it's not art? Poor reasoning on your part, that's for sure.

As for Nakai, while I do like his work, in my eyes it's the same body kit with minor tweaks, so hardly revolutionary. The first couple for sure, but it's getting more production line every day. Big wheels-check, over fenders-check, big sticker on the front window-check.

As for Magnus, who cares if he got his start as an imitation johnny Depp pirate, that doesn't lesson any of his builds or abilities. (Remember how big skrillex got? He started his career in an Emo band). Magnus takes parts he likes from other Porsche models and builds on a theme, and he does a great job at it. Take a look at one of the hoonagan build breakdowns for more info. It's the finer details that make a Magnus build, stuff only people who know Porsche would pick up, not big wheels.

But all of this misses my original point. We're talking about how the price of Porsche tin is going skyward, and only showing photos of one of big names in classic Porsche modification makes the article look bias.

Author25
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yeah well simply because I just selected what 911 related things I had shot this year. And since I live in Tokyo and not LA that's what I have. But you make a very valid point, I'm very much a fan of MW's approach, he does things very cleanly and loves the details.

26

All good, meant no disrespect meant, the photos just gave an illusion of bias.

27

Wow good point re illusion of bias. Not necessarily car related but in general, too often we accept everything we see without thought or question. (#1 offenders would be Tavistock fiction & propaganda fabricators aka 'news')

*hits blunt*

28

And I need to learn how to proof read

29
streetstatik.com
decom_93ed4cc7ee48233eb06804d7a0958b96_59388dde18f73.jpgdecom_93ed4cc7ee48233eb06804d7a0958b96_59388dde18f73.jpg
Author30
Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL

31
James Dean's ghost

I can get behind the Cayman/Boxster...and even the performance and aesthetics of the AWD/Turbo 911s.

However, it's really hard for me to love the RWD 911s. It's just fundamentally flawed in regards to dynamics. There are so many other cars that get the engineering RIGHT without being victims of over-inflated market values.

Plus, much like Corvettes, for every rich old guy who actually tracks the cars...there's 100 nouveau riche dweebs who just use them for posturing and impressing easy women. The preppy, yuppie stigma of the cars cheapens them...well, at least to people old enough to remember.

32

Having been involved in PCA track days, Id say its more like 1 racer to 10 posers in Porsche.

Im not saying that you are wrong, but the same thing happens with ANY sports car. The facts of the matter is that when you take it to the track you have to pay to play. Some people would rather spend their entire budget on the purchase of the car and look fast rather than buy a lower priced car an have the budget for going fast.

That being said, you do realize that the AWD 911's only really send about 20% power to the front wheels? they pretty much have the same driving dynamics as the RWD 911's. The newer generations (996 +) make up for a lot with the electronics but damn are the earlier turbos downright SCARY to drive. Especially the first few times until you learn to anticipate when the boost kicks in, ive seen quite a few drivers loop their earlier turbos because they didn't expect the boost kick.

33
JBfromSiliconValley

For the love of god, somebody please reissue a quality, galvanized body reproduction of the 911.

34

Dreams do come true, albiet with severe sticker shock warning - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruf_CTR

35
JBfromSiliconValley

For the love of god, somebody please create a full body repop of 64-89...galvanized and high qual please

36
Anthony Pedley

I've attached a picture of me and my last 911 (997 C4S) which I have recently sold to obtain a deposit on my next Porsche (991.2 GT3 manual).

I was always a JDM guy. My first proper car was an FD3S tuned by FEED. I've also owned an Abflug R34, panda AE86 Trueno and a Masa Stagea. All that changed when I upgraded my hire car one day to a Boxster S 981. It was unbelievable to drive! Responsive, fast and actually pretty comfortable. Unlike most JDM cars, the interior was a really nice place to be. I had it for a week and I was absolutely smitten. When I got back to Saudi I went to the dealer to see if they could get one. The dealer unfortunately only had the 2.7 and promptly offered me the keys to a 991 C2S. The rest is history.

decom_ca2529b44c585854f1771889c686ff75_593d716698b65.JPGdecom_ca2529b44c585854f1771889c686ff75_593d716698b65.JPG

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS