Northamptonshire, UK @jcx911
Model 997.2 Turbo
Acquired December 2015
I am in a Whatsapp group with a bunch of car-owning pals and today the chatter was all about values, but not in the investment sense. Today’s conversation revolved around sales volumes and values – both of which have plummeted recently. One of my mates is looking to sell his 996 Turbo and he’s having little interest despite it being a cracking car. Another pal is a serial car buyer, but he’s not looking to buy anything at the moment despite the theory that now is a buyer’s market. Stranger still. So, what’s going on?
Our political landscape in the UK is delicate at best right now and it is affecting many industries, including the used car market. An estate agent pal is telling me that houses are not selling locally and the national news is telling me that home values are dropping sharply in London – which is often an indicator for future activity across the rest of the UK as places catch up. I see values of the highly desirable 991.2 GT3 dropping quickly. They remain, of course, £30 to 40k above list, but that ‘inflation’ has halved in the past six months.
For many car speculators it may be easy to lose hope. But not for me. To redraw my smile I simply take my 997.2 Turbo for a ride. Before I even climb inside my mood lifts, my senses heighten and my adrenal glands prepare for production. I don’t care that the roads are covered in leaves. I don’t care that the shiny bodywork is about to dull as road dirt clings to its curves; dirt is like the wrinkles on my face and the chips on my car’s bonnet – representing the life lived and the pleasure enjoyed.
My 997 hasn’t been with me forever, although I hope it will be. But it is now the car I have owned for the longest in 31 years of driving. Exactly three years ago I sold my beautiful low-mileage 964 C2 manual Coupe in Guards red and doubled my money. Happy days, you may think; what a return! Yeah, but no. I bought the 964 to enjoy. To drive. It was intended to be safe money when they were relatively cheap; fun that was likely to lose little or nothing in value. And it was great fun for a while.
However, it shot up in value and it became too precious: an unintended speculation, an asset which became too fragile to drive. So the 964 C2 was sold and my all-wheel-drive 997.2 Turbo replaced it.
I’ll admit there was some man maths in play, but the logic was simple: the
964 profit would bridge a gap that would otherwise be too wide to cross – it was now or never. It’s probably gained and lost a little value in the time that’s passed since, but so long as I don’t need to sell it I don’t care.
Enthusiasts ask “What’s next?”, knowing that enthusiasts are forever buying and selling in search of the perfect car. But three years in I am in the market for neither. I know that the 997 is the sweet spot in the 911 lineage and the Turbo is almost without rival for its warp-speed cross-country ability. So, my answer is always the same. “What’s next?” Another drive! What else?