The Porsche 997 is a Future Classic
There, we said it. Only 3 years after the last Porsche 997 left the factory, the accolades and respect for the Porsche 997 has come out. The Porsche 911 997 model range first came to the USA in 2005 and ended in 2012 (the last year with the Turbo model). In between there was two generations of the Porsche 997, the first generation termed 997.1 from 2005-2008, and the second generation termed the 997.2 from 2009-2011.
Even though many enjoy the current generation of the Porsche 911, called the Porsche 991 – its existence has caused many to examine and ultimately admire the role the Porsche 997 has carried in the past 10 years of its existence. Ultimately, the Porsche 997 will be seen as the truest version of the legendary air-cooled 911s, and their rightful heir to its sporting legacy.
What is a Porsche 911 Today?
The Porsche 991 is a true modern sports car. As per every generation, it improves itself on the previous generation – the Porsche 997 – with more power, better handling, more technology and ultimately – more girth. We cover in detail between the comparison of a Porsche 997 vs a Porsche 991 here. But the underlining theme and truth that has come out is that while the Porsche 991 on paper is a better car, its lost some of its soul to the modern age.
The Porsche 997 still feels like an analog car, and has the feeling of something mechanical in your hands, that you are controlling and not the other way around. While the Porsche 991 is faster, much is coming from the car and not the driver. With the Porsche 997 you still had hydraulic steering which let you feel the road. The engines, especially with the 997.1 generation, had some natural mechanical and exhaust noises that are sometimes only replicated in the modern versions with sound being pumped into the sound system or artificial gimmicks in the exhaust. Yes a Porsche 991 with PSE sounds brilliant, but sounds artificial when you compare it to the wail of the Porsche 997.1 with PSE. No fake hiccups or burps from that exhaust here. And truth be told, while PDK is amazing, nothing beats the connection one has with a 6-speed manual and using heel-toe and clutch to best drive the car on the track or curvy roads. The Porsche 997 was born in the era before PDK and shift paddles was preferred or even forced upon the driver (say hello to the Porsche 991 GT3). And then there is the size issue. The Porsche 997 was just ….right. It was bespoke to sit in, it perfectly enclosed your body and made it custom tailored to how you drove. The Porsche 991 is a 7-Eleven Big Gulp in comparison.
Special Models in the Porsche 997
Ultimately the Porsche 997 as a whole will not be classics. To be blunt, there were too many cars made for that to ever happen. But what Porsche did do, was create some special and amazing models in the 997 lineup that due to technology, timing and forces we didn’t foresee – will make them special and classics. And these cars will be legends in the making.
Porsche 997 Turbo
With the first generation of the Porsche 997 Turbo (2007-2008), you are going to have a combination that you will never be able to get again in a Porsche 911 Turbo. This is the combination of the Mezger engine with a 6-speed manual. This was also true of the 2009 Porsche 997.2 Turbo, but after that year the Turbos came with the new DFI engines and PDK. Due to this configuration and the limited models that was made in those years, these will be huge collectibles in the future and currently many enthusiasts are looking for these models now.
Porsche 997 GT3
While the GT3 first showed up in the water-cooled 911s in the Porsche 996 lineup, in the Porsche 997 configuration, the Porsche 997 GT3 cemented its standing as the sportiest and most desirable Porsche 911s to own. With its high revving, naturally aspirated engines matched to perfectly calibrated suspensions and then all wrapped up in the most eye-catching and inspiring body panels, the Porsche 997 GT3 was an instant hit. And that goes for its even advanced and higher output versions including the Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Today, all versions of the Porsche GT3 – 997.1 and 997.2 – are seeing escalating resell prices. This model has already proven that they are future classics.
Porsche 997 GTS
This one is going to be on the fence. While today, Porsche has taken the GTS brand and made it more of a marketing label (i.e. AMG or M from BMW), it was actually an interesting and note-worthy model when it came into the 997 lineup. The strategy of the GTS model is simple – take the best options in the S model, add some special features that can’t be added as an option (i.e. exterior lighting trim) and destinate it as the Porsche 997 GTS model with a special price. The Porsche 997 version ended up being so brilliant and highly praised that Porsche has now made it a staple of every car in its lineup. Yet, the first time it was done with the 997, it was magical. The options added more then the sum of its parts, and with the optional sport suspension the Porsche 997 GTS was claimed as the best handling 997 outside of the GT3. Only time will tell if the 997 GTS will take its place as a collectible car or just a valued and highly optioned model to look for on resell.
Making a Porsche 997 one to own
The Porsche 997 on the resell market is a great buy. The 997.2 are still holding their values very well, while the 997.1 are lower priced based on higher mileage due to age. But low mileage 997.1 are still asking at high prices, and at some point the market will stabilize and the 997 prices as a whole will stay and then increase with demand. With the high cost of the Porsche 991, and the yearning for the attributes described in the Porsche 997, more and more buyers are looking at the Porsche 997 as one to own in their garages.