Tiptronic Sticker Shock: 1990 Porsche 911 Targa – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

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April 1, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this Porsche “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Many of us still remember the days when there were actually “undesirable” Porsches. Loosely translated, you could still get into a 911 for reasonable money if you could stomach the thought of owning a 964-chassis model. As the saying goes, “The horse has left the barn” because cheap Porsches are nearly extinct. Affordable? Well, that’s going away too, as this 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa goes to show, as the seller is asking a heady $72,500 when they originally listed the car in March 2022 on Craigslist in Doylestown, New Jersey for a car equipped with a Tiptronic transmission. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Price Guide, however, shows us that the seller is not far off from the current price structures. A 964 in “Good” condition is valued at $70,000, while one in “Excellent” condition goes up to $85,000.

There is no question an air-cooled 911 is a fine automobile. The sounds, the styling, and certainly the driving experience are rightfully considered some of the best in the business found in a modern-era sports car. However, like every long-lived product line, there’s a pecking order. For years, the 964 was at the bottom of the list. The Carrera 4 in particular wasn’t exactly a car that owners felt compelled to preserve for a variety of reasons, including that the early days of the factory all-wheel-drive system certainly had its share of teething pains. Of course, the usual rules applied, which is that targas and automatic cars were the least desirable of all. So what happened that we now live in a world where Hagerty values a car like this 1990 model at $70,000? Some people will call it the Magnus Walker factor, that he bought up all the good remaining examples, but that seems like a stretch; more likely, we’re seeing evidence here of the very obvious Porsche bubble.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel features this vintage test drive of a then-new 1990 911 C2 Carerra:

“Bubble” is a big word these days and owners of cars that are believed to be part of an over-inflated price class will defend their asking prices to the death. The seller of this 911 comes across like any other typical car collector, except for the fact that he plays up the angle of limited-production numbers owing to the fact that most buyers didn’t want a car with Tiptronic. I get it: everyone is looking for an angle these days. And some cars that came standard with an automatic or were otherwise heavily biased towards automatic transmissions aren’t necessarily dinged for only having two pedals. The 911 isn’t one of those vehicles, as almost every 911 shopper looking at cars of a certain age wants one with a stick. The 911 featured here does present well with relatively low mileage, and the seller claims its cosmetics are in outstanding condition. While it may be a survivor-grade car, I pity the owner who forks over seventy large to own an automatic transmission-equipped 911 with a Targa roof.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Selling my 1990 911 Porsche 964 Targa Tiptronic with only 60,010 original miles. Only serviced at Holbert’s Porsche of Warrington, PA since new, Rare only 316 Targas produced for US market and less than 45 with Tiptronic transmission. All tools, books, and original window sticker included. Always garaged since new, Original paint that has been ceramic coated to preserve amazing condition. Collector, show quality. NOT restored !! One of a kind, $72,500.

Playing the bubble: would you pay $70,000 for a 964 Targa with a Tiptronic transmission?   

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