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why were they expensive brand new ?

why when brand new were the air cooled 911 so expensive ?

was it an inefficient assembly process ?

were the engines unusually expensive to manufacture ?

baring the engine the car itself does not appear to be overly complex, quite the contrary

so what was it about the old air cooled 911s that caused the high cost ?
Old 03-19-2019, 06:08 PM
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The engine isn't complex, either - a very old school design that versions of have been around for a long time (in many different machines).

I'm sure they were so expensive because Porsche knew that buyers would happily do a toe touch for the privilege of owning a weird, dinosaur tech car (the same position we still perform today! ).
Old 03-19-2019, 06:30 PM
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and that whole hand made thing made the labor cost pretty damn high...
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:46 PM
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Because you are a motorist of a special breed.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:31 PM
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brakes suspension steering all seem (wonderfully) simplistic ....no a/c no radiator some even without an oil cooler or brake booster, cable clutch .....engine and trans relatively easy to install
profit per car must have been quite high ? but no scale of operations perhaps ?
Old 03-19-2019, 08:16 PM
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A certain type of person actually feels pumped when they pay super high prices for something and then are able to tell people about it; for example, a friend of mine is the service manager and shop foreman at Lamborghini Dallas, and he says that many of the guys that have work done there are happy to be able to brag about the high costs (like that automatically makes their cars, and therefore themselves, special).

When a business, like Porsche, is able to foster and maintain that sort of customer base, I guess they've scored.
Old 03-19-2019, 08:46 PM
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A certain type of person actually feels pumped when they pay super high prices for something and then are able to tell people about it; for example, a friend of mine is the service manager and shop foreman at Lamborghini Dallas, and he says that many of the guys that have work done there are happy to be able to brag about the high costs (like that automatically makes their cars, and therefore themselves, special).

When a business, like Porsche, is able to foster and maintain that sort of customer base, I guess they've scored.
Those are the ballers! They’re probably also the same guys that get them repo’ed as well.
Old 03-19-2019, 08:59 PM
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They were a labor-intensive production in a high labor-cost economy built in small numbers out of costly materials to a high standard of quality, performance and longevity, sold into a market with both means and increasing demand.
Old 03-19-2019, 09:08 PM
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Those are the ballers! They’re probably also the same guys that get them repo’ed as well.
Ha ha - probably so. Funny thing, too, is those happy to spend and bend, ballers don't drive their cars much. I don't know if you are a Lambo guy at all, but damn, the ones made in the past few years are absolutely spectacular machines (in looks and performance) - I couldn't imagine just having one for a garage queen (not that I could ever afford one, though ).

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Old 03-19-2019, 09:19 PM
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Ha ha - probably so. Funny thing, too, is those happy to spend and bend, ballers don't drive their cars much. I don't know if you are a Lambo guy at all, but damn, the ones made in the past few years are absolutely spectacular machines (in looks and performance) - I couldn't imagine just having one for a garage queen (not that I could ever afford one, though ).
I don’t own one, but I do really like the Huracan spyder. If my 930 addiction weren’t so bad, maybe I’d have another brand in the stable. Someday...I might need PA though, as in AA for Porsche addicts.
Old 03-19-2019, 09:46 PM
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The weak currencies of north america istarting in the early 1970s didn’t help compared to that of Germany

It’s why the mid year cars tend to be de-contented (standard items became add on packages) and money was taken out of the design (smaller cv joints for example)

Items like these were the best they could be by 1973, but in 74 they were now weaker cars component wise until they re-introduced the upsized components again towards the 80s

Most people do t realize that about mid years but that’s originally why they were less desirable as a used car

The economy also contributed the the cancellation of the 914 which had become too expensive in that lower market

By the 80s money and prestige we’re back but by the late 80s the factory was in trouble again and the risk of bankruptcy loomed on the horizon

Basically the cars were over engineered, hand made and took too many steps to assemble. The engines are particularly labour intensive

That’s why with the 996 they split the engine line into a street casting and a race casting
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Last edited by wayner; 03-20-2019 at 02:01 AM..
Old 03-20-2019, 01:58 AM
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Items like these were the best they could be by 1973, but in 74 they were now weaker cars component wise until they re-introduced the upsized components again towards the 80s
This makes no sense. The components that came along 1974+ were weaker?
Old 03-20-2019, 03:57 AM
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Supply and demand is always a critical or principle element in pricing; How many and what the marketplace willing to pay....

On the manufacturing or cost side of the equation; overhead or fixed cost absorption is another dominate price determinant. If you are building a niche product, units produced all absorb a percentage of overhead. Porsche did not build relatively many engines. They were not Ford or Chevy. Outside of actual cost of components as well as cost of assembly labor, these overhead costs including research, development, capital requirements are very sensitive to the number of units they are spread across.

Porsche could have created greater efficiency through more innovative manufacturing technology and practices but the invested capital requirement made for a poor return given the low cost of labor in the 60s & 70s and the small potential market they were serving. Greater efficiency would not create greater demand.

It was this philosophy or the inability to move from this philosophy that brought them to crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. Labor costs were skyrocketing and they were still a labor intense manufacturing process. (let's not even start a discussion on impact to quality) Porsche embraced Toyota's practices and the 993 represented the first model using an updated manufacturing process.

It is ironic, these are the same dynamics that caused Porsche to eventually sell to Volkswagen. Not enough scale to maintain a competitive product line.

Last edited by Macroni; 03-20-2019 at 06:33 PM..
Old 03-20-2019, 04:14 AM
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This makes no sense. The components that came along 1974+ were weaker?
It makes perfect sense in the context of what he is saying, cost cutting due to a poor economy.
Old 03-20-2019, 04:20 AM
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Look at the competition in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Essentially Porsche was competing against English sports cars here in the US. And they had to get them here. And they were better cars, better made and Ferry knew it. Plus, good ole' Max added his profit.

Ask the same question about the early Corvette or Thunderbird. People want what they think is unique, or the best, or both. In the 356's case, it was both.

Max Hoffman was a smart guy.
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:26 AM
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This makes no sense. The components that came along 1974+ were weaker?
Yes

Just look at the size of the cv joints for instance
Meanwhile the early turbo and later Sc models returned to the bigger ones

Part of people’s confusion when they say things like you just did is a naive belief that manufacturers are always trying to make products “better”

Actually, I suppose they are always trying to make things “ better,” but better can be in many different directions

Better could be:
-stronger
-lighter

But it could also be in a different direction
-easier to make
-cheaper to manufacture
-less material costs

To make sense of it you really have to understand the forces at play at the time, and at that time for German manufacturers where the currency of their biggest market just took hit, they had to find a way to pull costs out of their product in order to be able to appeal to the buyer. This was particularly evident with the 914 which was feeling even more price pressure

Btw, an upgrade for a 1974 911 is to install bigger stronger cv joints
There are other areas as well
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:27 AM
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It used to be easier to spot quality because the price was an indication

Compare VW and 944 parts, some of which are otherwise interchangeable but with different part numbers ( reflecting a different stronger part)

Or more obviously the stamped steel Japanese or later Chinese products vs machined parts of Porsche and high quality product manufacturers

While marketing always played a role ( and more so today)
Back then price was one indicator of quality since it had to be higher do to cost

Of course the Japanese eventually improved quality with the advent of nc milling machines, advanced manufacturering techniques amortized over large production runs

Meanwhile the Chinese became masters at tin stamped products as reflected by their prices
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Last edited by wayner; 03-20-2019 at 04:37 AM..
Old 03-20-2019, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
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...


It was this philosophy or the inability to move from this philosophy that brought them to crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. Labor costs were skyrocketing and they were still a labor intense manufacturing process. (let's not even start a discussion on impact to quality) Porsche embraced Toyota's practices and the 993 represented the first model using an updated manufacturing process...
I liked everything about this post especially this part
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:42 AM
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Simple answer, Porsches are not something for everyone, they're everything for someone!
Old 03-20-2019, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Macroni View Post
Supply and demand is always a critical or principle element in pricing; How many and what the marketplace willing to pay at corresponding price point....

On the manufacturing or cost side of the equation; overhead or fixed cost absorption is another dominate price determinant. If you are building a niche product, units produced all absorb a percentage of overhead. Porsche did not build relatively many engines. They were not Ford or Chevy. Outside of actual cost of components as well as cost of assembly labor, these overhead costs including research, development, capital requirements are very sensitive to the number of units they are spread across.

Porsche could have created greater efficiency through more innovative manufacturing technology and practices but the invested capital requirement made for a poor return given the low cost of labor in the 60s & 70s and the small potential market they were serving. Greater efficiency would not create greater demand.

It was this philosophy or the inability to move from this philosophy that brought them to crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. Labor costs were skyrocketing and they were still a labor intense manufacturing process. (let's not even start a discussion on impact to quality) Porsche embraced Toyota's practices and the 993 represented the first model using an updated manufacturing process.

It is ironic, these are the same dynamics that caused Porsche to eventually sell to Volkswagen. Not enough scale to maintain a competitive product line.
interesting...
the cost wasn't so much related to the components or materials but more based on manufacturing inefficiencies combined with economy of scale etc
safe to say the initial cost of the vehicles back in the day was based more on multiple economic factors rather then intrinsic

i could understand the resistance to assembly line manufacturing based on the simplicity of the 911 - i cant think of an easier car to put together
Old 03-20-2019, 06:18 AM
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