My Car Quest

August 18, 2017

The Short Lived Porsche Carrera GT: Is It An Investment Car?

by Wallace Wyss –

The ideal, in choosing an old sports car, is one that, for all the time you own it, goes up in value. But choosing which used car that is available today that has this Upside Potential is a bear.

I would theoretically like to nominate the Porsche Carrera GT.

It goes back to the 911 GT1 and LMP1-98 racing cars. Because of FIA and ACO rule changes in 1998, both designs could no longer run so Porsche planned an all new LeMans prototype for 1999.

Originally they thought they would run it with a turbocharged flat-6, but later decided a V10 made it more of an all time great supercar. That pushed it back a year.

Porsche Carrera GT-art by Wallace Wyss

The V10 was already designed, built in secret for use by the Footwork Formula One team in 1992, but later put on the shelf. When considering it for the street car, they enlarged it to 4.7 liters.

But then the whole project got shelved because they needed to do a SUV first, the Cayenne SUV.

It was thought of at the time that the powerful VW-Audi chairman, Ferdinand Piëch, wanted Audi’s new Le Mans Prototype to be a superstar and didn’t want the Porsche mittelmotor spoiling the Audi R8 debut.

Porsche did put a 5.5 L V10 into a concept car shown at the 2000 Paris Motor Show, and got interest so decided to “green-light” it. They started to make them in Leipzig, Poland, in 2004. The price tag was an incredible $448,000. The first Carrera GT went into a showroom in the United States on January 31, 2004.

The car was a totally modern car in terms of construction–a carbon fiber chassis, dry sump lubrication, inboard suspension and a mid-mounted engine that was engineered to sit as low as possible to ground for a low polar moment of inertia. In addition to an aero topside, a lot of attention was paid to the undertray, controlling airflow.

Porsche Carrera GT-art by Wallace Wyss

Originally they planned on making 1,500 cars but announced in August 2005 that it would not continue production of the Carrera GT through to 2006, blaming changing airbag regulations.

Bad Ink for the Porsche Carrera GT

I think the bad publicity about the Porsche Carrera GT skewered it. First two occupants of one were killed in Fontana, CA when they pulled out in front of a speeding race car and got hit hard. Then much later Paul Walker, the film star of the Fast & Furious series, was killed with his partner in a car business, whilst showing their car off at a charity event.

Plus some car magazines tested Carrera GTs and I was surprised (in a field where there is a lot of “soft pedaling” of flaws to keep the test cars coming) to read biting reviews of how tricky the clutch was to use. Some testers blamed the then new-fangled ceramic clutch which delivered a reduced size and weight. The two-plate clutch was made of ceramic composites in order to reduce the rotational masses of the clutch by a factor of ten, but supposedly delivered less wear than a conventional clutch. Combined with a lightweight flywheel, rotational mass of the engine was exceptionally light.

Estimates vary on how many of the Porsche Carrera GT were sold. All the sources I read said, by the time the line shut down May, 2006, more than 1,270 Porsche Carrera GT had been sold, but there may be some difference in the distribution totals. One source says 644 units went to the U.S., 31 units to Canada, and 49 to the UK.

This production number in terms of “classic” cars is right on target, as the number of Ferrari Daytonas produced is around 1200 cars, and those are approaching a million dollars each. In my experience, that seems to be the “magic number” defining rarity—1200 cars. Witness the ’05-‘06 Ford GT was a little slow in appreciating as Ford made around 4000, more than three times as many as my “ideal” production number.

In value I have seen them advertised for nearly $1 million, then plummet to the $600,000 range and then go back up again. I would venture to see these will be future collectibles but it might depend on how they do at auctions that are Porsche only; if the regular car investors see that the cognoscenti is embracing them, they will be like gold; if they reject them, they’re just another used supercar….

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, besides penning this story, painted the accompanying portrait of a Carrera GT. For a list of prints available, write photojournalistpro2@gmail.com
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Summary
The Short Lived Porsche Carrera GT: Is It An Investment Car?
Article Name
The Short Lived Porsche Carrera GT: Is It An Investment Car?
Description
The Porsche Carrera GT will be future collectible car, says the author, but it might depend on how they do at Porsche only auctions.
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Comments

  1. Glenn Krasner says:

    This is a Porsche supercar, a limited-production exotic. It will definitely appreciate in value, no doubt about it.

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