Stalled and Stored: 1973 Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Container Find

Whenever I drive past the port in my fair city, I wonder what’s sitting in those shipping containers at the dock. Furniture? Scrap metal? Appliances? Vintage Porsche 911s? Yes, after reading this eBay listing sent in by Jim S, I have now added German steel to the rotation, but hopefully most storage-crated 911s are more complete than this ’73 that’s been stripped and stored in a shipping container outside of Denver, Colorado. As is the case with almost all 911s these days, it will be interesting to watch where this auction ends up price-wise to gauge just how much gas is left in the current Porsche bubble. Be sure to take a look at the seller’s listing here on eBay.

Porsche 911 Interior

The fortunate aspect to this latest Porsche project offering is it seems to have resided indoors for the majority of its time disassembled. The seller seems pretty straightforward about what’s been done, what needs doing, and the current state of the car. While I wouldn’t describe it as rough, the sheetmetal actually looks pretty good, there’s still a lot of work to do. As I mentioned a few days ago, tearing it down is the easy part; keeping track of each disparate components and putting it back together in the order it came off is the hard part! While it’s a nice change of pace to see a seller passing along a project before it’s too late, the haphazard nature of its current storage arrangement is a bit unfortunate.

Porsche 911 Engine

I once knew a guy who was doing a nut-and-bolt restoration of an older BMW. Literally, every nut, fastener, washer and more was coming off of this car to be replaced with new parts. Everything was labeled and enclosed in marked bags, which were then stored in drawers clustered together according to where the parts came off the car. This was not a high-end restoration shop; it was his garage. But it showed me that you can indeed do a top-flight job organizing your project even when you’re on a budget and doing it after work. Having witnessed that, I’m always left scratching my head when supposed “enthusiasts” leave projects in disarray with parts unprotected and scattered throughout a storage unit (or shipping container).

Porsche 911

The bidding action is already strong on this car, which seems to be on par for the course on vintage 911s . Equipped from the factory with Konis, sport seats and Fuchs alloy wheels, the original owner certainly picked the right options. Is it worth a roll of the dice to take on someone else’s project? For the right price, sure, but it all depends on your tolerance for risk. We’d love to hear about some projects you’ve brought home in the comments below, were they less complete than this 911, or do all of your projects require doors and glass pre-installed? Let us know, and then grab some popcorn and watch to see if the bids go higher on this port-ready Porsche!

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Comments

  1. cory

    I would take it on in a heartbeat. To me though it is a $4000 project. I guess I’m just another guy on the sidelines complaining about how expensive porches are these days

  2. RockabillyJay

    I’ve been looking for a 911/912 project, but these prices are out of hand! I’ve got 911 tastes on a 914 budget. Time to start looking at 944s.

  3. The Chucker

    With the craziness in the 911 market, more and more of these are showing up.

    Back in the early ’90’s, I dragged home a basket case 914 I had “won” at an estate auction for $400. After contemplating restoration costs all winter, I sold it for $700 the following spring.

    Those were the days…the game has now exceeded the capability of both my wallet and comfort level.

  4. shawnmcgill

    It looks like the Porsche bubble is alive and well… I just checked, and the bidding is at $22.5k, with a long way to go!

  5. rancho bella

    I love a good cargo container find. Can you folks believe the prices of these? My gawd, what the heck happened? I reckon I’m with some of you……..I now am simply a looker and not a buyer.

    1
  6. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Bid to $22.5K in less than 2 days. With 5 days to go this will sell for big $$ unless the reserve is crazy. Even at the sale price it could be OK since it’ll be worth double that in another year or two, then double that…..etc, etc. We thought a quarter million was crazy for ’60s Ferraris back some years ago, and they’re now selling for between $1.5 – $38 million…depending on model and condition of course.

    The SCM guide says it’s worth $55-$65K in excellent #2 condition. That value is definitely out of date, and close to double that would not be out of line today for a near-perfect car.

    The metal looks fairly reasonable but you have a big jig saw puzzle on your hands with this, and it will only be worth that doubled SCM valuation if you put every piece exactly where the factory put them back in 1973. And those pieces better be perfect or close to perfect, otherwise the car won’t be worth that valuation when it’s done.

    I hope this goes to a Porsche person who knows how to put this jigsaw puzzle back together properly, or it stands a chance of sitting like it is for another 17 years, stalled and going nowhere. If that happens I hope everything sits in a very dry place.

    • The Chucker

      Good words as always Dolphin, certainly time will tell the tale as far as valuations go. Yet wouldn’t you agree that to compare a relatively mass produced ’73 (non RS) 911 to the appreciation scale of their much rarer Italian counterparts an unfair comparison? Given the current market (I am a fellow SCM subscriber also) I feel that one has only to look back to the late ’80s when American muscle/Corvette values were going crazy…driven mostly by Japanese speculators at the time. With the exception of the rarest of the rare and/or vehicles with a great history associated with them, I’m skeptical current trends will hold.

  7. Trickie Dickie Member

    I am a LONG time Porsche enthusiast. I have owned four Porsches from my first one, a 1955 Super Speedster to my last, a 911 Targa purchased just before the price increases started. I paid $2500 for the used Speedster in 1959 and sold it six years later for $1500. The most recent auction I am aware of, a 1955 Super Speedster went for $355,000. That is Insane! I sold the 911 Targa after 4 years and got twice what I had paid for it. Very nice for me, but crazy. I do not understand the current prices being asked. This is not going to last. I am so glad I took the profit from my 911 sale and put it all into Beanie Babies. Wow, am I going to make out!!

  8. Robert Member

    Here’s a FREE Porsche 356 in STL.

    No, it’s not mine.

    1
    • Robert Member

      This was listed for less then an hour. Someone got a good deal it appears.

      1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Where was it listed Robert?

      • Robert Member

        Jesse, this was listed on CL, STL, “Free”.
        I couldn’t believe my eyes! I believe this was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

      • Robert Member

        Jesse, I sent this to you 12/12/14 at 6:28pm
        “By the time you see this I’m guessing it will be gone:
        “Free to a good home. As is where is. Don’t have time to mess with it. ”
        http://stlouis.craigslist.org/zip/4802722305.html

        All the best, Robert

  9. hhaleblian

    I don’t know how anyone can predict future values or why it’s even relevant. However there are a few folks making pretty nice careers doing so. All I can say is that in 45 years of screwing around with classic cars I wish I had every car I sold. From the first one at 15 a 63 326 LeMans to the 69 Ghibli, 65 275GTB, 73 Factory Light Weight RS, 246GTS, 67 427 Coupe x2. And guess what? All of them are worth far more than the sold price at the time. Now I can’t afford to purchase any of the cars mentioned. Well maybe the LeMans is doable. That said, I couldn’t afford to purchase the cars I own! Which is more than I can say about the women I dated between the ages of 15-33 and then again 44-47. That’s why I’m hanging on to my stuff and my lovely bride. Cuz I’ll never be able to replace them at any price and they all put a smile on my face when I round the corner. Back to the subject at hand. I sold a complete 70 S last year on ebay that needed everything for $30k. Went to Germany. Probably should have hung on to that one too. So now I’m cornering the market on early Miata’s. Why? Why not! What do I know? What does anyone know.

    1
  10. Tirefriar

    Is this a new category – “Container finds”? Cars in this category seem to fare much better than the “Barn find” examples. The P- bubble seems to be a phenomenon that no one can explain. The bubble tends to encompass all air cooled 911 and even pulling the 914 into its orbit. It appears that any fresh pile of 911 rubble brings even more crazy money than the one before it. Would I want an air cooled 911 – yes. But common sense tells me to hold onto my ducats and enjoy my Series 1 Alfa Romeo Spider.

  11. Horse Radish

    You just said it.
    For decades I too was eyeing the Porsche 911 cars. For a while they all but disappeared from sight in Germany (when they went to the US in various states of disrepair, because they were used cars and the Dollar was high against the German Mark), where that passion exists also, for obvious reasons – the Autobahn.
    And it’s what you said “would I want one ?, yes ” which is the common denominator for the baby boom generation on both sides of the ocean.
    That generation that is retiring and wants to fulfill a lifelong dream and has in many cases the money to fund it.
    Very simple economics: offer and demand.
    Limited supply of cars and too may buyers.
    .
    Those that complain about the bubble are the ones not willing to spend the kind of money that others do.

    and then there are other countries, Japan, Australia, Spain, France, Italy ….
    there just aren’t enough cars to go around….

    1
  12. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Horse has it right….more buyers than available cars. Same thing happened leading up to the 1989-90 recession. More buyers than available cars, so prices climbed until the recession hit, at which point collector car values tanked and took years to recover. That tells you that collectror cars have become commodities/investments for some people. Same thing happened, although to a lesser degree, when the 2008 meltdown hit, and the same thing will likely happen again when the next recession/meltdown hits. Values will fall, then gradually recover and increase.

    Why have Porsche values climbed so much, even for a car that’s apart and left sitting in a container for decades? Your opinion might differ, but IMHO it sure isn’t because of the driving dynamics. It could be the great look of the 911, or the very successful racing record, or the appeal of German engineering, or their attraction as something that you can drive that’s appreciating as you drive it. Relative scarcity plus affordability (about the same as many new cars, and way cheaper than a ’50s Ferrari race car or a Duesenberg) plus cheap money (interest rates have been at rock bottom for years) are the perfect storm for collector cars to appreciate. And when the very expensive ones appreciate out of sight the cheaper ones become appealing because, since many people are priced out of the high-end collector market, they now buy what they can afford. Which might turn out to be a disassembled 1973 911 that’s sat in a container for decades.

    BTW, Horse is also right about Germany. Some vintage Porsches are being bought and shipped there because a lot of them disappeared years ago, and now they are wanted in their home country. They use up their cars over there, at high speeds on the Autobahn because that’s what they’re for, not for putting in your climate controlled garage to admire. Porsches in No America tend to be kept perfect and not used up like over there. Then there’s the German law that says that a car can fail a safety inspection for rust perforation, and be taken off the road. Since Germany is a Northern country that uses salt on the roads in the winter, the early ungalvanized 911 cars suffered. Cars like that were often parted out/scrapped or sold out of Germany to a country that doesn’t have such strict safety laws.

    • Horse Radish

      ..what they’re there for…

      Just a couple of corrections:

      Porsches , at least the old ones are nowadays a good investment that you can still enjoy.
      These are not used up. When they’re restored it’s to like new condition and therefore you see the 6 digit sticker prices.
      The last couple of sentences is what I meant when they came to the US
      Americans tend to spend more money on aesthetics, while a German will spend it on all aspects of the car.

  13. rancho Bella

    At 22K and some change, I think this was well bought. Just the engines sell for 10K
    Money and certain cars have taken a new direction. For those of us living in the past, it is hard to understand, but not impossible.

    What does a good Lotus Elan sell for? A bunch. A plastic body with a sheet metal frame.
    I always try and remember…………they don’t make cars like this any longer and thus the prices. Are new cars better?………by far……………but where is the fun factor?

  14. Old geezer

    I recently sold an 85 911 cabriolet with 89k miles, one owner car to a broker. His client was in Germany and car as shipped back to Germany. I’ve owned 50+ cars and it was my first 911. They are decent fun cars but have been overlooked for decades by collectors. The market seems to chase undervalued cars and when their values crest,!the market moves on to other cars. There is no logical explanation or reason why the values skyrocket other than speculation fueled by auction houses and easy money from investors not collectors. Whether it corvettes, muscle cars, classic Chevys, ferraris or Italian Marques, speculation chases “affordable” cars then interest rises because of rising values and vise versa, until a bubble grows. Eventually this bubble affects all similar cars and model ranges.
    Ultimately the bubble burst because auction houses cant resell them any higher and interest goes to other cars.

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