Not many sportscars in existence are more iconic, recognizable, famous, or successful as the Porsche 911. The brand stature, reputation, and unique design elements rank high on the list of the world’s most classic sports cars. Being one of the oldest existing sports coupes still in production, the 911 has transcended boundaries and generations. Born in 1963, this two-door rear-engine beauty has evolved and undergone technological advancements with the times. However, it has always stayed true to its basic concept.
But what’s with the craze around the special edition 911 R, the vehicle no one can get their hands on? Like folklore, whisperings are heard about random secondary market sales by owners privileged to own one, fetching two to five times the manufacture suggested retail price of approximately $185,000. A rare phenomenon in the world of cars. Few have reportedly sold for $600,000 and one for over a million, they say. Then there’s the rumor that the 911 R was comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s idea, he says.
To begin to understand the novelty, one must begin with the 911 GT3 RS, where the 911 R derived from. It’s widely hailed as one of the best sports cars to drive for motorsport lovers, having everything the most hardcore of sports cars fanatics could want in a car. A loud nasty sounding engine, check. Top line hardware fueling pure performance to make other sports cars owners jealous, featuring a 4.0-liter rear mounted six-cylinder natural aspirated engine while boasting over 500 horsepower, check. The looks, an intimidating design with provocative rear wing and titanium tailpipes, check. And speed, 0-62 in 3.2 seconds topping out at 194 mph, check.
There was just one problem. The car had one major flaw sports cars purists could not get over. It wasn’t available with manual transmission. Stick shift not included, and it rubbed people the wrong way. And just like that, the Porsche 911 R was born. A limited-edition version of the 911 GT3 RS with a clutch pedal and a classic six-speed manual gearbox. Porsche brought the stick shift back for this unique car plus made some minor enhancements including making it lighter on its wheels with the elimination of the rear wing and roll cage.
The catch? Only 991 of them were made, and only available by invitation to Porsche’s most dedicated clients. In other words, almost impossible to get your hands on one. When the 911 R was uncovered at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016, all units were already sold. Because no one could get one, interest in this rare, exclusive and elusive beauty skyrocketed. Its resale value followed.
In short supply, aficionados were and still are willing to pony up for the privilege to own one. Luckily for some, it seems as prices have cooled a tad off the going rates seen in 2017. Three Sotheby’s auctions in 2018 officially sold in the range of £230,000 to £331,000, about double the sticker price. For those with a little more patience to hold out a little longer, who knows, if the trend continues and luck is on your side, maybe you can find one close to its original sales price.See more from our Supercar Blog