Market Watch: What to Pay For Classic Porsche 911 Targa Models
More expensive than a coupe when new, the 911 Targa historically trends lower in the collector car market.
Hang around specialty car dealerships and collector car auctions long enough and you'll likely hear the phrase, "When the top goes down, the price goes up." That's certainly the case for most brand-new convertibles versus their coupe variants, as it is with many classic cars. Today, a classic Porsche 356 Speedster from the mid-1950s is worth multiples of what collectors will pay for a typical 356 Coupe. But how does that argument hold up for the venerable Porsche 911 Targa, the red-haired stepchild of the 911 lineup? We break down Porsche 911 Targa values.
Porsche 911 Targa Values: The History
The Porsche 911 Targa came about in 1967 due to pending U.S. legislation that could have ended the sale of traditional convertibles in this country without roll-over protection. The Targa body style was marketed cleverly as not just safe, but sporty. It took its name from the Targa Florio Italian open-road race, which Porsche won several times, and featured a stylish but also safe roll hoop that would provide a modicum of protection in the event a 911 Targa turned turtle. Today, Porsche says about 18 percent of its 911 Carrera sales are in Targa form, which puts the Targa well behind 911 coupes and convertibles from a sales standpoint. But how do the 911 Targa models fare on the used market? We used valuation numbers from Hagerty, a well-known classic car insurance provider and market tracker, to get an idea of where Porsche's previous 911 Targas stand in terms of value compared with coupes and convertibles.
1967 Porsche 911 Targa
Let's start at the beginning with a 1967 Porsche 911 S. In this model year, Porsche only sold coupe and "soft-window" Targa versions of the 911—remember, the whole reason the Targa exists is because convertibles were deemed unsafe. Hagerty lists the average value of a 911 S coupe from this year at an impressive $170,000, while a 911 S Targa's average value is $159,000. That is, a Targa model is worth 6.5-percent less than a comparable coupe. And don't forget, in 1967, the Targa option cost around $600 more than the near-$7,000 coupe.
1977 Porsche 911 Targa
By 1977, convertible fear still hadn't ended and even more automakers, including Ferrari, had jumped on the Targa-style bandwagon. Porsche even sold its entry-level 914, a collaboration with Volkswagen, exclusively as a Targa. We should also note that since 1969, the "soft-window" Targa had been replaced by a solid glass rear window. By 1977, a Porsche 911 Targa started at $15,500 before options, a $500 increase over a coupe. Today? In terms of these Porsche 911 Targa values, Hagerty says the average value of a 1977 Targa is $26,000 while a 911 coupe of the same year will bring $27,500—about a 5.5-percent difference.
1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa
In 1983, Porsche finally relented and offered a full 911 SC Cabriolet alongside the Targa model, which buyers had grown fond of. It was thought that perhaps the Targa would vanish after a few years of joint production with the more traditional-style convertible; instead Targas were still in the 911 lineup through the engine capacity change from 3.0 to 3.2 liters and the new "Carrera" script replacing the previous "911 SC" badging. According to Hagerty, a 1987 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera coupe should cost you an average of $40,000, a Targa runs about $38,000, and a Cabriolet about $36,000. Again, the Targa is worth about 5-percent less than the coupe in today's market. When new in 1987, the Targa body added about $2,500 to the 911 coupe's base price of $42,095. The Cabriolet added even more, with an MSRP of $48,550.
1997 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa
Porsche 911 Targa values don't change with this generation, when the 911's air-cooled engine was in its final throes of life in the 993-series. Porsche the next year debuted its all-new 996-series car which included, of all things, an air-to-water radiator to cool the flat-six. By now, the Targa looked different than before, re-styled as an extra-large sliding moonroof instead of a removable metal and vinyl panel. Porsche said this was a design for a new era, with greater ease of use than the old manual-style roof. With a base price of $64,515 for the 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera coupe, the Targa was now an even more expensive body style with an MSRP of $71,515. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet, meanwhile, was up to $73,765. Today, Hagerty says a 1997 coupe is worth an average of $44,500, a Targa averages $42,000, and a Cabriolet averages just $34,900. Again, we see around a 5-percent premium for the coupe over a Targa model.
For Modern Porsche 911 Targa Values ... Wait and See
This is where our valuation journey ends, for now. The 996-series through 991-series Porsche 911 models are young enough that outside of special GT models, they remain simply "ordinary used cars." They are still priced mostly by second-hand dealers and standard used-car value guides based on their original MSRP and options, without much influence yet from the collector market. This means that while newer Targa models may still be worth more than comparable coupes in the used market, we need to wait a bit to see how they shape up as neo-classics. Will Porsche 911 Targa values finally take a turn for the positive as a younger demographic enters the market?