On Modified Porsche Valuations

While my client work includes valuations for many standard Porsches, a high percentage of the original, unmodified cars I value sit outside the norm: perhaps they are low mileage/high mileage, left-hand drive instead of RHD or they may be restorations where the owner wants a higher percentage of the cost to replace taken into account compared to the one-size-fits-all valuation that a club or insurer might suggest.

Standard cars with minor deviations from average, run-of-the-mill examples are fairly straightforward to value. It is all about taking a view on the impact to the retail price of whatever change applies, putting that view into pound notes and deciding where the final calculation sits in the context of the market. Modified Porsches require a similar process, albeit the work takes place over several stages.

My earliest bespoke Porsche valuations were all for modified Porsches. At the time I was working for Glass’s Guide and had just bought my first 911. As an enthusiast of modified cars of all marques and the owner of several examples, I was spending a lot of time attending track days and modified Porsche meets, such as the monthly Ace Cafe German car night and annual Oulton Park RS day. This allowed me to meet and speak with owners of modified cars and understand just how exposed they were to serious financial loss in a write-off scenario.

Back then, Porsches were changing hands for much lower prices. I had a 964RS in my garage for six months; value was somewhere in the mid 30s. My modified 1976 Carrera 3.0 (which I still own today) cost me less than £20k and the higher mileage SCs that people were basing hot rods on were selling for less than £10k. A modified car based on the same SC with restored or upgraded bodywork, drivetrain and interior might have cost circa £30k to build, but, with no real data to go on, insurance companies were forced to look at selling prices for standard cars to settle total loss claims (all claims at the time verged on total loss, as the cars had such a low value).

My first valuation for a modified Porsche was over fifteen years ago, with a Ruf 911 Carrera RCT Evo. Based on a 964 Turbo-look Celebration/Jubilee model, this was a turbocharged car making 425 bhp and incredible to drive. The value was agreed with AON Private Clients in the mid-30s: the equivalent of a decent 964RS at the time. A few weeks later, the car went on a track day and was crashed. The repair estimate came back at well over £50k and so the car was declared a write off. To their credit, AON paid out the agreed value within days. The loss of such a great car was a sad event, but the owner emerged unscathed and everyone ultimately went away happy.

Valuing the Ruf RCT was not too challenging. We had recent market data and the car was well under six figures in any case. Nowadays, things are not so straightforward. Some cars can top seven-figure valuations. A number of my customers run modern GT3s with a list of modifications that can sometimes rival the car’s purchase price. I have hundreds of modified air-cooled cars on my books, from 356s right through pre-’73 911s and up to 964 and 993 retro builds. I also value cars with incredible history: calculating what a famous previous owner or unique race history may add to the value can be an interesting exercise.

While it doesn’t happen that often, I sometimes get valuation enquiries from owners who want to value their car based on a total receipted cost to build. In such cases, I will usually decline the opportunity to provide a valuation, as the desired or target number is simply too high. No market data exists for their aspirations and defending that statement in court in a total loss situation would be difficult. If your current valuation is based on that approach, just bear the overall market data picture in mind.

I work along the lines that there are three end users for every valuation I provide: the owner, the insurer and my own reputation. The client and the insurer are equally important: fairness will always be key to an amicable settlement. Even on modified cars where no similar examples have recently come to market, one must have some form of market data to support the valuation. If an insurer queries a valuation in the event of a claim, I want to be in a position to answer that query with links to data on identical or comparable cars.

All valuations for modified cars begin with a look at the base vehicle: what is under the skin of this machine.?Then we get into the list of modifications and the quality involved. ‘Who did the work?’ beats ‘what did it cost?’ As I work around these cars most days of the week, I have seen lots of examples of work by various specialists and they are not all the same. Modifications carried out by a technically proficient owner may have cost less than specialist prices but the work can be of a much higher quality. The quality of the build has a significant impact on any insurance valuation for a modified Porsche.

As so many owners admire the standard appearance of factory bodywork, modifications are often limited to purely drivetrain and chassis mods. Engine rebuilds are popular and they certainly do add value, whereas aftermarket wheels and track day tyres have much less of an impact. Changes to the interior such as a full retrim to rebuild the seats and delete tired body-colour piping can make a sizeable difference, but smaller, reversible changes such as the fitment of a Porsche Classic radio may only make a noticeable effect as part of a wider theme.

Porsche Resto-Mod Valuations

The appetite for modified Porsches has led to several specialist workshops emerging for resto-mod builds on air-cooled 911s, including SC, 3.2 Carrera, 964 and 993. These workshops build cars to a unique specification for private owners but not all owners hold on to their cars. Even when sold close to the date of completion, the selling price for a distinctive build can sometimes be well below what the car first cost to put together, so it is important to bear this in mind when valuing for insurance.

Owners who keep their resto-mod builds for a number of years might interpret this as putting them at a disadvantage, but every case is valued on its own merits. The beauty of escaping the one-size-fits-all mass market valuation methodology and switching to a more tailored approach is that what you end up with fits you and you alone.

My aim is to provide a valuation where your unique situation is covered to the very best advantage and where the insurer understands that time and effort has gone into achieving the right valuation. In claims for theft or total loss, this start point leads to hassle free settlements. That result is well worth the modest investment in a bespoke valuation.


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Porsche Owners Up to 90% Under-Insured

The Telegraph reports that some Porsche owners are up to 90% under-insured.

“An index of the most valuable cars compiled by the Historic Automobile Group International has risen about 500% in the decade to December 2013. Ten years ago, a 1974 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona” Coupé was worth approximately £76,000, for example. It is now worth nearer £450,000.

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Adrian Flux Insurance Services, said: “We reviewed our classic car portfolio, and noticed that a number of our customers had declared values that looked very low in today’s market.”

Porsche Values Increase by 1000% in 18 Years

The Telegraph spoke to one Porsche owner, Darren Campbell from Surrey. Darren bought a 1970 Porsche 911S some 18 years ago. he paid £8,000 but a recent insurance valuation put the car at a staggering £80,000: ten times his purchase price.

“I think if you’ve bought one of these quite recently you’re more likely to keep an eye on the market values, but if you’ve had it for as long as I have it’s easy to take your eye off the ball,” said Darren.

Under-Insurance could cost owners “Tens of Thousands of Pounds”

“Some of the cars have almost doubled in value since the owner’s last valuation,” said Gerry Bucke at Adrian Flux. “Under-insurance works on classic car insurance – where the premium is partly calculated based on the value – in a similar way to home insurance, so owners could end up only receiving a percentage of the car’s true value.”

“We suggest reviewing valuations every year. Otherwise, if the worst happens, you could lose anything from a couple of hundred pounds to tens of thousands.”

Get a Porsche Valuation

Porsche Valuations is the leading UK source of agreed insurance valuations for classic Porsche. All we need is some information on condition, a selection of photos and a phone conversation. The service costs £35 payable by bank transfer or Paypal. Visit our “Get a Valuation” page to start.

Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport Agreed Valuation

On a visit to Autofarm last week, Josh Sadler and I got talking about a Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Club Sport he had sitting in the corner of a barn. It looked a smart car: totally standard in very good nick.

The Club Sport was owned by Porsche author, Gordon Wingrove, and was famously featured in one of the mags as an accident repair on one side a few years back. With just 27,000 miles on the clock, this is a special Club Sport. The model has its detractors, who love to point out it’s a basic Carrera 3.2 with a lighter interior and a blueprinted engine, but those who have driven one know there’s something else.

Josh has heard all the Club Sport knockers but, as he asks: “What else is there from the 1980s? This is it.” I reminded him of the 5-speed 930, but I agreed on the affordable/available 911 road car side. There’s plenty of front-engined Porsche stuff from that era, but they’re not rare-bird 911s and the SC RS and 959 hardly count.

Coincidentally, two days later I was asked to do an insurance valuation on a different Porsche 911 3.2 Club Sport, one I’ve seen a few times (I value a number of the UK Club Sport cars ). I had talked money with Josh and used that conversation as a reference for the valuation on this other 911 Club Sport.

What’s the forecast for Club Sport values? I think steady, trending slightly upwards to match the base model. There were only 53 RHD ‘Clubbies’ made for the UK and only 29 of those are estimated to survive (possible urban myth). Standard Carreras in the best condition are £30k+ now, but there are many hundreds of those cars. So a factory hot rod in tip top notch has to be worth substantially more than a regular 3.2 Carrera Coupe. Try replacing a Club Sport after total loss: that’s not going to be pleasant.

Classic Porsche 356 stolen at the Nurburgring

While visiting the Nürburging in Germany, the owner of this 1956 Porsche 356 woke to find his car had been stolen from outside the Hotel Hohe Acht. Two more 356 models were also stolen at the track on the same night. German Police have so far come up empty-handed but that is hardly a surprise: this was carried out by professionals and there will be a plan in place to get these things out of the area as soon as possible.

This particular car was a peach. The owner bought the car in 1970 and, working as a 356 spare parts manufacturer in Denmark, it has been with him for 40 years of a life in Porsche. A €15,000 reward was offered for any information leading to the safe return.

This is not the first 356 theft we’ve seen this year. Certainly classic Porsches are getting ever-easier to steal: a quick colour change and a few bits swapped (including chassis number) and no one would be any the wiser on what it once was. If you’re not using security on your classic, then fix that quickly.

I use a high-end steering lock and good alarm on mine  – plus other unnamed measures – which would slow any potential thieves down a bit. The agreed valuation for insurance purposes is also up to date! Remember to always keep your agreed insurance valuation up to date for total peace of mind. It does not add much to the premium but saves a huge amount of hassle in the long run.

European Porsche Values: Essen Techno Classica

Another year, another Essen Techno Classica as I visited Germany with a pair of fellow Porsche nuts. The 2014 show weather was gorgeous all the way through, prompting a half day sitting by the Rhine, watching the world go by rather than slogging around seventeen halls of old cars.

In three days, we ate enough pork to fill a 911 and drank enough beer to sink one. We drove there in a Saab diesel estate, which did all the European miles on one tank of fuel: impressive. Even more impressive was the amount of Merlot crammed into it on the way out of France.

There are always Porsches at Essen, but the number of classic Porsche cars on show in 2014 was lower than in previous years. Some very lovely 356s, a handful of pre-1968 911s and not as many impact bumper (IB) cars as two years ago. I spotted one or two 928s, but 924s and 944s were thin on the ground.

A good showing of Porsche 964 911s this year. A yellow 964 Speedster below was tucked in one hall: seemed like a sensible Essen price circa €120k but I didn’t study it too hard after finding a few details lacking. One Lemon Yellow Porsche 911 3.2 Speedster was a favourite car this trip: on the lottery wish list.

You’ll need a lottery win if rising IB Speedster prices keep at it. One of my travelling companions owns a 3.2 Speedster in black with less than 20k miles and full Porsche history. As a low-mileage narrow-body 3.2 Speedster recently sold for £250k at auction, he’s overdue an updated Porsche 911 agreed insurance valuation.

Life doesn’t get much better than a road trip into Germany with beer-loving friends. I highly advise you to follow my lead.