There are few car manufacturers in existence today which can claim to match the illustrious status of Porsche. Admired for perfecting engineering concepts which others couldn't, and respected as one of the most dominant brands in motorsport, the Stuttgart-based marque have produced a string of wonderfully capable machinery for both road and track.
Founded by Ferdinand Porsche, the company which bears his name originally operated as an automotive consultancy firm, most famously commissioned to design the Volkswagen Beetle. Post-World War 2, Ferdinand's son Ferry steered the firm towards creating cars of its own. The culmination of his work was the 356
, which became the first car Porsche sold to the public.
It was Porsche's persistence with the 356's (and indeed, the Beetle’s before it) horizontally-opposed, rear-mounted and air-cooled engines which has resulted in what is now considered one of the most successful and iconic performance cars of all time: the 911.
Buying a classic Porsche
Today, the significance of the 356 to Porsche's history is reflected in values. Coupes and Roadsters cost upwards of £60,000, but the most desirable Speedsters, introduced in 1954, command prices beyond £350,000.
One year before the Speedster's debut came the 550 Spyder.
The stunningly beautiful road-legal racer is one of the most valuable Porsches of all, with a 1955 example selling at auction for €2.74million in early 2016. Its successor, the equally stunning (and even more successful results-wise) 718 achieves similarly incredible values.
The Porsche 911
, however, is the model which truly cemented the company's place among the automotive elite. The most valuable among collectors is the Carrera 2.7 RS. Produced to satisfy Group 5 homologation rules in 1972, two variants, a refined Touring spec and the stripped-out Lightweight, were sold to the public. Both achieve prices of comfortably beyond £500,000 today, with the rarer Lightweight edging very close to seven figures. Special examples of both the 964
also sell for as much as £300,000, though less exclusive Carrera models of each start from a much more palatable £30,000 or so.
was originally designed to compete in Group B racing, but after the category's demise it became known as a car which has arguably set the blueprint for all subsequent supercars to this day. Considered one of the most technologically advanced road cars ever produced on its 1986 release, it featured adaptive four-wheel drive, twin-turbocharging and a suspension system which featured adjustable ride height and damping. With a 195mph top speed, it was the fastest production car in the world. Approximately 330 were built, and today examples fetch as much as £700,000 at auction.
Buying a modern Porsche
Porsche ownership needn't be expensive, however, even if flat six power is a must. The Boxster
may have switched to a turbocharged four for 2016, but earlier iterations offer a gorgeous naturally aspirated soundtrack and sublime mid-engined balance. Late nineties 986 versions are available for less than £5,000. The solid-roofed Cayman
followed with the second generation of Boxster, and a solid example can be had for less than £15,000.
Most affordable of all the Porches remains the 924
. The front-engined, rear-wheel drive chassis was lauded in period, though the VW-derived four cylinder engines were criticised for lacking performance an