A Buyer's Guide For The Porsche 911
Book Review: Classic Porsche 911 Buyer's Guide
Wie geht's? ... Over the past 20 or so years the ineffable Porsche 911 has become a much sought-after, top-level collectible and that makes it more important than ever for potential buyers to fully understand the car that they might consider buying.
By The Editors
Mon, Jul 4, 2022 08:28 PM PST
Images courtesy the publisher.
… And so, this amazingly-detailed and thoughtfully-written guide is hereby quite STRONGLY recommended reading (and heeding) for anyone who is even half day-dreaming about buying a classic era1965-1968 Porsche 911.
Randy Leffingwell's Classic Porsche 911 Buyer's Guide 1965-1998, a truly comprehensive resource that’s recently been updated and now available to aid new, old, and in-between buyers of the brand in the trek across the (expensive) terrain of any (and all) of the potential pitfalls that are likely to present in their pursuit of Stuttgart's all-time classic sports car.
This heavily-illustrated, colorful, year-by-year guide will help readers select the model and year that aligns with their ownership goals and aspirations, helping them to discern which features are timeless and which to avoid like Covid. The rundown pages are as brutally honest as they are accurate and (very frankly) helpful.
You pays your money and you takes your chances with any car, and even classics like Porsche 911’s can have had very hard lives especially here in Los Angeles where some owners intentionally mispronounce the car’s moniker just to sound (somehow) cool.
The buyer’s spirit guide and acknowledged breed emeritus Leffingwell, loves the cars, and here pulls no punches as to parts and places where Porsches are vulnerable to neglect and mistreatment.
There are charts, lists, ratings, and special information for each of the over 30 years that Porsche 911’s were (that word again) ineffable. And then, on a whole ‘nother level, just having the knowledge that’s provided in this cool little book, might be enough for some … bragging contests and bar bets are made from the sort inside info that one may happily acquire here.
Dreams are wonderful, but solid information about an (probably quite) expensive used car acquisition is the smart cornering line here. These cars are masterworks, knowing mission critical information about them before acquiring one is smart, and now pretty easy to do.
Randy Leffingwell wrote his first book, American Muscle, in 1989 while still a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times. Since then, he has authored more than 50 other titles, covering subjects from sports cars to motorcycles to farm tractors.
Leffingwell is considered one of the top transportation photographers and historians working today. Some of his previous best-selling (and highly recommended) Motorbooks titles include: Art of the Corvette, Porsche 911: Fifty Years, John Deere: A History of the Tractor, and The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Archive Collection (with Darwin Holmstrom).
Site-Tip For Daydreaming Of Your Purchase
You too can play the Porsche 911 $$$ game in the privacy of your own home. Just point your browser in the direction of bringatrailer.com - you’ll see a pretty good passing parade of Porsche 911s (along with a dazzling display of other very cool cars and stuff) all up for auction, which you can watch come down in real time.
Just remember the old caveat about making mental bets and loosing ones mind.
Sidebar: All That Glitters, Costs Gold
For a certain group of car people this book has a feature that can easily arm someone who has just about had it with "those" puffed-up Porsche People who are so damn proud of their little German cars. Two-page photos of each year's model covered in this book with like 10-15 problem areas to look out for - along with an educated guess as to the cost of the fix in some cases (hint: it’s a Porsche: none of 'em are cheap).
But in truth, the specs and speculations presented in this book are not as condemnations, but a far more and not-so-subtle bit of reality that warns to do your homework even as it cajoles.
So, for the do-it-yourself contingent, there’s an eye-watering list of prices for some of the most common replacement parts that will do just that. For example: An alternator for a 1987 911s is called out at $1073.65, a replacement windshield is $1011.43, and a shift knob is something of a bargain at (only) $97.42.
Yeah, I know oddball prices when just about every gadget on TV is only 'nineteen ninety-five'. Co-opted advice: "Forget it Kurt, it’s Stuttgart."
So … where are we then?
It looks like Leffingwell’s full takeaway is that there are consequences associated with Porsche ownership: most very cool, some (many, really) pretty pricey, but all part of the package. And all good to know about ahead of time, with clear eyes.
CLASSIC PORSCHE 911 BUYER'S GUIDE 1965-1998
By Randy Leffingwell
updated by Matt Stone
Paperback, 240 pages,
$32.99 US, $42.99 CAN
Published by Motorbooks