This car is a glorious driving experience — one that is being recognized at a time when depreciation pounds modern collectibles
Chassis number: WP0AC29917S793226
From the auction catalog: 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 2-door coupe, orange/black with a 4-cylinder, 3.6-liter engine and 6-speed manual transmission. A collector car with 1,009 actual miles. All original, beautiful condition with no damage history and no mechanical history. Dealer maintained.
|Vehicle:||2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS|
|Original List Price:||$123,500|
|Tune Up Cost:||No tune ups until 45,000-plus miles, then about $1,000|
|Chassis Number Location:||Stamping on front trunk, metal tag on pillar, tag door jamb|
|Engine Number Location:||On stand under fan (bring a flexible tube camera)|
|Club Info:||Porsche Club of America|
This car, Lot 667, sold for $110,000, including buyer’s premium, at Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas sale on September 24, 2011.
This sale of a 2007 911 GT3 RS affords us the opportunity to look into Porsche’s “modern classics” and to assess those cars against older, better-established, collectible 911s.
The GT3 RSs of 2004 through 2011 are Porsche’s modern iteration of the formula that built the firm’s reputation for high-performance production cars: lighter weight, greater horsepower and better handling.
It should be noted that some collectors prefer Porsche’s turbocharged street cars in whatever variant, 911-993-996-997. They generate greater horsepower, better straight-line performance, and often lower lap times, but they are not lighter weight or better handling.
911 high-performance history
It all started in earnest in 1967, with the iconic 911R, a Porsche “muscle car” with a 906-based engine slipped into a lightweight, largely fiberglass, body shell. Follow-ups included the 911T Rally and the 911ST.
Then in 1973, Porsche built the street-going (except in North America) Carrera RS to homologate the Group 4 race car, the Carrera RSR. The RS was an immediate sensation with road testers and the public. Porsche sold more than 1,500 units in both lightweight (M471) and touring (M472) trim, versus as few as 20 examples of the earlier lightweight performance cars. At about 2,155 pounds with a 2.7-liter, 210-hp engine, the RS was considered to be an almost perfect blend of speed, g-forces and mechanical noises.
A couple of low-production models followed. Porsche built about 50 examples of the 1974 RS, which was barely street legal in Europe, and the 1974–75 so-called “Euro RSs,” with the new, heavier, high-bumper bodies fitted with the 1973 Carrera RS Type 911/83 engines.
Turbocharged cars then became the darlings of Weissach, largely eclipsing the RS formula. There was the largely forgettable mid-1980s Club Sport, which was supposed to be the reincarnation of the ’73 RS but missed the mark and sold just 340 units — and only 28 in the U.S. Interestingly, it is a collectible today only because of its scarcity. Otherwise, the RS market was largely unfulfilled for about 20 years, despite constant clamoring from a small group of Porschephiles.
A slow, inexorable change began with the 964 and 993 RSs and RSRs, constructed in a range of street, street-almost-race, and full-race cars. Included in that range was the North-America-only 1992 RS America, advertised as an updated interpretation of the 1973 RS. Again it fell short, largely because the engine was bone stock, and the weight savings were minimal. Nonetheless, RS America prices have held up fairly well, in part because only 748 were built. The non-U.S.-legal, truly uprated 964 and 993RSs and RSRs are now avidly sought by a small coterie of RS-specific collectors who bring the cars in at ever-increasing prices, some of them on the U.S. government’s “show and display” regulations.
In the fall of 1999, Porsche re-introduced normally aspirated street überperformance with the lovable, road-eating GT3. In 2004, the firm debuted the addedperformance RS as the homologation base for Porsche’s updated race car, the GT3 RSR.
The 2004 RS was available only in Carrera White with red or blue GT3 RS side graphics, a throwback tribute to the 1973 RS. Sadly, the RS variant was not available in North America. Only two exist here now, both brought in on U.S. senators’ earmarks. That omission was rectified in 2007, when both the new 997 GT3 and GT3 RS were imported to critical acclaim and sales success. Understanding a good thing when it rings the cash register, Porsche has continued to develop and sell these models through the 2012 GT3 RS 4.0 of today. With 493 horsepower, the 4.0 is the ultimate and last of the 997-based RSs.
The base-model 2007 GT3 RS listed in the U.S. for around $123,000, but they were most often sold in the low $140ks, fully optioned. Standard colors were Arctic Silver or black with contrasting side graphics. Standard equipment included ABS, limited slip, electronic stability control, air conditioning/climate control, cruise control, power steering-windows-door locks, anti-theft system, adjustable steering wheel, AM/FM/ CD/MP3 with six speakers, leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The GT3 RS was the real deal: 415 hp at 7,600 rpm with a redline of 8,400 rpm. The car went from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and achieved a quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph, with a top speed of 193 mph.
The car weighed just under 3,200 pounds, about 50 pounds less than a standard GT3, due to lightweight rear window (glass in the U.S., plastic elsewhere), carbonfiber wing and plastic engine cover. The optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes were 15 inches by 1.3 inches vented and drilled front disks under six-piston calipers, and 13.8-inch-by-1.1-inch, vented and drilled rear disks under four-piston calipers.
By the way, those optional ceramic brakes denoted by the bright yellow calipers cost an extra $8,840, special paint (either orange or green) $3,070, navigation $3,080, leather $2,995, Bi-xenon headlights $1,090, and chronograph $690. That’s how the MSRP of circa $123,000 became a delivered price of $144,000.
Performance with the right sounds
What did that money deliver? Car and Driver said that the GT3 RS “turns in with laser precision and then carves arcs of such uncorrupted geometry, it’s almost as if the car were driving itself.” Porsche’s electronic stability control system enhanced drivability. Road testers reported it to be unobtrusive when on and totally benign when its most important feature was selected — the Off position.
Enhanced enjoyment came from the engine’s acoustics — reported by Road & Track to be loud and growling in mid-range and a thundering roar at full throttle, “raising every hair on the back of your neck.”
That noise was created by an exhaust with bypass valves that opened with load. Activating the “Sport” button opened the valves even sooner. The bypasses released back pressure and added power. A second contributor was Porsche’s “VarioCam” that used variablelength intake tubes with actuator flaps, going shorter about 5,400 rpm and even shorter at about 6,400 rpm, adding even more horsepower and torque.
It all added up to a glorious driving experience, one that is being recognized by strong after market interest now at a time, four to five years out, when depreciation starts to pound modern collectibles.
This Barrett-Jackson GT3 RS had only 1,009 miles and was reportedly in excellent condition.
Buy it for fun and drive it
It sold for $110,000, including buyer’s commission, which looks to be toward the low end of retail for such cars around the country. Brumos Motors in Jacksonville, FL, has an example in the stock color of Arctic Silver with 3,432 miles, asking $107,997. Richard Sloan has sold several of these cars in the past 18 months, most recently one in desirable and optional green with 3,800 miles for $112,000. Sloan’s other GT3 RS sales have ranged up to $124,000. A Long Island, NY, dealer has one in Arctic Silver for $119,957. Verdict: The Barrett- Jackson example was slightly well bought.
We will opine that GT3 RS prices will decline further as Porsche continually introduces ever better cars, but because those new cars also will be ever more expensive, future value declines will be moderated. Personally, we would recommend you buy one now and have all that fun sooner. ?
(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett- Jackson.)