Importing A Euro-Spec Porsche 911 RS Was A Really Good Investment

Car Culture / 2 Comments

Our stupid 25-year import law makes everything too expensive.

In the US, we cannot import a vehicle that was never sold here until it is 25 years old. In recent years, we have seen the R32 Nissan GT-R become federally legal in the US, and prices have doubled. In 2017, a lot of cars became eligible to be imported into the US, including the 964 generation Porsche 911 Carrera RS. This special edition Porsche was built in 1992, which means that it now meets the 25-year requirement. The floodgates have now opened, and we are starting to see several Carrera RS examples for sale in the US.

When we looked at the crop of cars that would be legal for import, we predicted that the Carrera RS would instantly turn into a collector's item in the US. This is a car for driving purists and 911 enthusiasts, which makes it highly desirable.

Unfortunately, now that the car is legal here, dealerships are taking advantage of the car's rare status in the US and are charging huge amounts for them. We did some searching, and we found a Ruby Star Red model for sale for a whopping $408,000. The car only has around 32,000 miles on the odometer, but this still seems like a large sum of money. The same dealership, Audi Fresno, has a second Carrera RS in a more tame shade of Polar Silver for a slightly more reasonable price of $365,000. So, could it just be the unique Ruby paint job that is making this car so much more expensive, or is it that stupid 25-year import law?

We thought that $365,000 still seemed like a bit much, considering that Porsche produced 1,992 examples in 1992 (based on the production figures for the 964 911). That is why we decided to see what these same cars were selling for in the UK, where they were sold originally in 1992. We found a Polar Silver model for as low as £130,000 and a Ruby Star Red with even fewer miles than the US car for £159,995. This means that you can buy a Carrera RS in the UK for around $176,000 to $217,000. We understand that importing a car to the US can be expensive and difficult, but these prices are insinuating that the process adds nearly $200,000 to the price of the car.

We still love the 964 Porsche 911 RS, but we aren't sure that it is worth the price, at least in the US. The RS used a modified version of the 3.6-liter M64 flat-six, producing 260 hp. The interior was stripped out in order to reduce weight. A stereo system was optional, but the car lacked power windows or seats, rear seats, air conditioning, cruise control and even sound deadening. All told, the RS was 345 pounds lighter than a US Carrera 2 model. As much as we'd love to own one of the cars, we think we'd save our money and just strip out a standard 964 and let the "collectors" spend their money on the Carrera RS.

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