Ed­i­tor Ben­nett pe­ruses the archives of 911 & Porsche World from days gone by. What’s changed? That will be ev­ery­thing and noth­ing...

911 Porsche World - - Classifieds -

Read it and weep: ‘Bar­gain-base­ment 911 – Buy this 2.4T for £6500.’ That was the scream­ing cov­er­line on the Dec 1998 is­sue, and even tak­ing into ac­count nearly 20-years of in­fla­tion the equiv­a­lent price to­day would be a mas­sive bar­gain. True, this was a ‘bar­gain base­ment 911’ for a rea­son, and it had a 2.7-litre en­gine in­stead of the 2.4, but even so, it was solid and a great drive, by all ac­counts. And it flew in the face of what we de­scribed as the 911’s clas­sic sta­tus push­ing prices in to the ‘strato­sphere.’ To­day, then, you would have to say that clas­sic 911 prices have gone be­yond the strato­sphere, wher­ever and what­ever that might be!

The 996 range was be­gin­ning to ex­pand with the launch of the Car­rera 4. We were there, of course, and de­scribed the new ma­chine as a ‘quan­tifi­able’ leap for­ward prais­ing – in par­tic­u­lar – the seam­less in­te­gra­tion of Porsche’s Sta­bil­ity Manag­ment sys­tem amd prov­ing that ‘it is pos­si­ble to en­gi­neer ac­tive han­dling aids that re­ally can be ser­vant and not mas­ter.’

A hot topic at the time was the demise of 4-star petrol, which was caus­ing nearly as much angst as the im­pend­ing mil­len­nium bug com­puter melt­down. Of course nei­ther came to much. As we noted, Amer­ica had been run­ning un­leaded since 1979 and as such all Porsches from that time on had the where­withal from a valve seat point of view to ac­com­mo­date the new mix. Of more con­cern, per­haps, was the weak­ened state of the fuel at 95 oc­tane, but, as we also pointed out, many Porsches were happy on this brew, plus 98 oc­tane was widely avail­able, too. Storm and tea cup come to mind, and as for that pesky mil­len­nium bug thing...

Turn­ing to the back of the mag­a­zine in the clas­si­fied pages, there was no shor­atge of bud­get clas­sic 911s to com­ple­ment the cover star. A left-hooker 1968 911T at £4495 and in need of cos­metic restora­tion seemed more than rea­son­able, as did nu­mer­ous other pre ’73 cars at well un­der £10k. Tur­bos seemed to be par­tic­u­larly unloved, with (as de­scribed) an im­mac­u­late 1984 LHD 911 Turbo up for £16,950. Even more ap­peal­ing, though, was a 911RS rep based on a 1972 911T at £18,500. If only time travel re­ally were pos­si­ble...

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