For years we've been hearing the cries of Porsche purists that various refitting firms, usually Singer Vehicle Design and Rauh-Welt, are going to dry up the world's supply of 964-generation 911s. Until recently, we never thought that either of them would reach more than ten or 15 cars per year, but both Singer and RWB have dramatically increased production.
Along with that increased production has come an increase in pricing for road going 964s. Are they related? In the last year it seems the price for a decent 964 Carrera 2 has increased by at least 50%. At one point not long ago, a 964 was the last properly affordable way to get an air-cooled 911, generally trading hands below the $40,000 mark. We spoke to a friend who purchased what he says was 'the last Carrera 2 under 40K' just 16-months ago. As it stands today, you're highly unlikely to find a good example for less than $60,000. Less desirable models like Cabriolets and early Carrera 4s are just now cresting $40,000, whereas they used to be below the $30,000 mark.
Instagram post shows how many 964s are getting consumed
Thanks to a now-deleted Instagram post from the Russell Built Fabrication account (a sub-contractor to Singer Vehicle Design), we have a better idea of Singer's waiting list. If they've thus far built a few dozen cars for worldwide consumption, they're ramping up to build a whole lot more. We know that Singer has recently relocated to a larger facility, and this stack of at least 40+ Porsches waiting in the wings for their day to shine proves just how much demand there is for such a car. Singer and their customers certainly aren't going to be looking for Porsches with salvage titles, but in our opinion they probably don't need to be looking for the best of the best cars either; they replace basically everything. If Singer, or their customers, are buying up all of the entry-level 964 that come up for sale, then all that's left are the collector-grade models, which then drives up the average market asking price. It's simple supply and demand.
Porsche data shows that the company built quite a lot of 964s from 1990 to 1993, basically 30,000 standard-body coupes with about 3/5ths of those being Carrera 2s. We can't find any split on which countries those 964s were shipped to, but we know that America was in the grips of the early 1990s recession at the time, and did not buy Porsches with nearly the same vigor as the prior decade. Some estimates claim only about ten percent of production was shipped to the US, making 964s thin on the ground. If you agree with those numbers and Singer or their customers have purchased a total of 150 964s, then combined they've removed around 5% of the US market 964s from the buying market, permanently.
What does this mean?
Well, if you already own a 964 it's a great thing, as the value of your Porsche is finally catching up with how great it is. If you were hoping to get in on the 964 wave, your last best hope is a properly cared for Cabrio (which is not a bad option, by the way, we love cabriolets).
We've been convinced of Singer's affect on the market now for some time. That doesn't mean, however, that we would discourage anyone from commissioning themselves a Singer, because they're phenomenally well constructed and extremely cool cars. Just make sure you're leaving the Mint, Maritime, Rubystone, and Cobalt cars alone!