There's no denying that Porsche race cars are associated with luxury, track racing prowess, and, above all, wealth. While they may not be the most expensive cars in the world, you need an expensive taste to own one. The average cost of a Porsche is somewhere between $60,000 and $120,000. Clearly, it's a car built primarily for wealthy collectors.
So, why do Porsche cars cost so much? Mainly because the German car maker has maintained a high standard of quality rally models since starting way back in 1931. The high-performance level of a Porsche is no fluke. Premium materials and a high standard of research and development go into each model that rolls out of the Porsche factory.
So, there's no wonder that Porsches fetch such a high price. But what's the most expensive Porsche ever to be sold? We answer this in our guide from the Ask Genie blog.
The Most Expensive Porsche Models Ever Sold
Porsche AG cars are guaranteed to sell for a handsome figure at auctions. All Porsches are sought-after, but some are extra rare.
Porsche may have only released a specific car type as part of a limited run, or the car may have been used in an iconic Le Mans racing event.
More than just a status symbol, many vintage Porsches carry historical significance.
Without further ado, here are the most expensive Porsche models ever sold as of 2023:
1. 1970 Porsche 917K
At $14.08 million, the Porsche 917K is by far the most expensive Porsche ever sold. This record-breaking exchange took place at Pebble Beach Auctions in 2017. As is to be expected, the estimated price for the 917K has only increased in the years since this auction. Today, the Porsche 917K is estimated to be worth over $18 million!
Once you know the history of the 917K, this near-priceless figure makes a lot of sense. It was the first Porsche model used to win a Le Mans title. Both in 1970 and 1971, the 917K was used by two different racing teams to take first place in record times. This secured Porsche's reputation as the ultimate high-endurance race car brand.
The advanced technology found in the Porsche 917K is what put the '70 and '71 drivers at an advantage over their competitors. The two 3.0-litre flat-six engines allowed this model to gain speed at a rate of 0-62 mph in 2.7 seconds. This is an impressive speed, even by today's standards.
Another reason why the 917K is pricier than all other expensive Porsche models is the fact that it was missing for decades. Yes, shortly after the Le Mans victories, the 917K went missing. In 2014, it was discovered in mint condition, locked in a Paris suburb garage.
2. 1982 Porsche 956
Before the 917K took the title, the 1982 Porsche 956 was the most expensive Porsche ever sold at auction. Only 10 of these vehicles were ever made, one of which went to auction in 2015 and sold for $10.12 million. This final price was way over the estimation, which was $9 million.
Much like the other most expensive Porsche cars, the 956 is so sought after due to its racing history. In 1983, the Porsche 956 was driven by Stefan Bellof around the Nürburgring north loop in record time. It took Bellof only 6 minutes and 11.13 seconds; it was 35 years before another race car could beat this record.
So, not only was this car ahead of its competitors in 1982, but it remained ahead of its competitors for decades after. The high speed of the race car is mainly down to its 2.65-litre turbo flat-six engine.
Besides the Nürburgring Nordschleife record, the 956 that was sold for $10.12 million was the only 956 Porsche to win first place at a U.S. event - the 1983 Can-Am Road America.
3. 1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar
The 959 Paris-Dakar rally car was seen as groundbreaking when it was first rolled out in 1985. Featuring a distinctly Italian and French influence, the car's overall look was a distinct departure from previous Porsche models. This is partially why the car sticks out in collectors' minds.
It was designed for Paris-Dakar winner René Metge in 1985. Although Metge did not win the Paris-Dakar race in the 959, the car model has many notable features. With 400 horsepower and a top seed of 197 mph, it's a mystery why the 959 didn't win first place. The 959 also boasts a 2.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine, which was a big deal in 1985.
This Group B rally car is also super rare. Only seven prototypes were made, and even fewer were used in a Paris-Dakar rally - just 3. The scarcity of the 959 is why it is one of the most expensive Porsche cars ever sold.
Besides Metge, the car sold was also used by some of the other biggest racing stars of the day, including the likes of Jacky Ickx.
4. 1972 Porsche 917/10 Spyder
The unique style of the 1972 Porsche 917/10 Spyder was what caused the vehicle to sell for such a high price in 2012. The interesting ramp-like front end makes it different from all other expensive Porsche models in this article. This design feature ensured the car was more aerodynamic than all other vehicles, allowing it to win races.
A combination of the shape of the car as well as the powerful engine secured it a top place in the 1972 Can-Am Drivers Championship. The 12-cylinder engine can produce 1,150 horsepower, doing 0-100 mph in 2.9 seconds.
Because of its high-performance level, it was widely dubbed as the vehicle "that killed Can-Am racing."
5. 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion
The Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion isn't that old, having only been released in 1998. Relative to the other sports car models in this list, the 911 doesn't really fit into the same 'vintage' category. The car wasn't even successful in the 1997 Le Mans competition it was built for.
So why did it sell for $5.6 million in 2017 at the Gooding and Company's Amelia Island auction?
The 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion sold for such a high figure due to the limited number of this model that exist. Only 25 are available, and only a few remain in mint condition.
The 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion was released to compete in the FIA GT Championship. One of the rules of this competition is that each car must resemble a road car. In response to this, Porsche made 25 street-legal GT1 Strassenversions.
Not only did this model meet Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) requirements, but it also stood as one of Porsche's most stylish contemporary cars.
For the street legal versions, Porsche was forced to detune the car's standard twin-turbo flat-six engine. Still, this motor can reach an impressive speed in a limited time. It features 443 lb⋅ft of torque and a horsepower of 536. This combination allows it to reach a speed of 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds.
With all this in mind, it's understandable why the GT1 Strassenversion is so sought after amongst collectors and avid race car fans.
6. Porsche 550 Rennsport Spyder
The Porsche 550 Rennsport Spyder sold for $6.1 million in 2015, which is unsurprising, given how iconic the car is. Ninety were made in 1953, and only a few survive today. Interestingly, the Porsche 550 Rennsport Spyder is probably better known off the racetrack than on it.
In the 1950s, sports cars were becoming popular for casual driving. No other celebrity championed this fashion better than James Dean.
Dean, an accomplished race car driver in his own right, was attracted to this vehicle for its high speed and slick style. It can reach 62 mph in just 10 seconds, and it reaches a top speed of 137 mph - which was extremely fast for 1953. This low-weight car features a 1.5-litre engine and a horizontal air-cooling system.
Rennsport Spyders today are extremely rare. Unfortunately, their heavy use on and off the racetrack has left many of the original models damaged beyond repair. The model that sold for $6.1 million in 2015 had never been used.
7. 1960 Porsche 718 RS60 Werks
The Porsche 718 RS60 Werks captures the simplicity of Porsche's 1960s models with a touch of 60s vibrancy. This sports car is undeniably attractive. The simple addition of black and yellow really brings the car to life. It also reflects the emerging creativity that Porsche would pursue in the decades following.
Many collectors seek out this race car as it represents a departure from Porsche's designs. It also competed in several notable races. This includes Le Mans, Nürburgring 1000 KM, 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Targa Florio.
The 1960 Porsche 718 RS60 Werks is a pure racing car from an exciting era of Porsche. For this reason, it was sold for 5.1 million in 2019.
8. 911 Turbo S Cabriolet - the most expensive Porsche you can purchase brand new
In case you're wondering what the current most expensive new Porsche is, it's the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. Most cars in Porsche's 911 series feature on lists of the most expensive motors. If you buy all the add-ons for the Turbo S Cabriolet, your total price could be well over $270,000 ($219,800 is just the starting price).
The 911 Turbo S Cabriolet showcases the very best in contemporary Porsche design. The engine is a 6-cylinder VTG twin-turbocharged Boxer 6, which gives it a total horsepower of 640. The vehicle also boasts silver tailpipes, an 8-speed transmission, power steering, a deviated stitching interior, LED Matrix headlights, and LED Matrix headlights.
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It’s also worth taking a look at some of our other motor-related blogs from Ask Genie:
- Top 16 Most Expensive Rolls Royce Ever Sold
- 9 Of The Most Expensive Dirt Bikes You Can Buy
- What is the Most Expensive Car You Can Buy in Canada?
- What Is The Most Expensive Car In The World?
- Which Are The Most Expensive Cars To Insure In Ontario?
What is the rarest model of Porsche?
Surprisingly, the rarest Porsche is the Porsche 968 Turbo S. Production for this model started in 1993 and halted in 1994. Within that timeframe, Porsche AG only made around 15. Due to the limited nature of the vehicle, it is now considered the rarest type of Porsche.
However, the Porsche 968 Turbo S. has not been sold at an auction for a high enough price for it to be considered one of the most expensive Porsche models.
How fast is the Porsche AG Turbo S Cabriolet?
The fastest speed a Porsche AG Turbo S Cabriolet can reach is 205 mph. To reach 205 mph, you'll need to fit your Porsche AG Turbo S Cabriolet with summer tires. With the Sport Chrono Package in place, you can reach 0 - 60 mph in 2.7 seconds.
Turbo models don't come with a sports exhaust or carbon ceramic brakes, affecting the overall speed of the motor.