Revisiting our £100-a-week performance heroes

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Even the earliest R35s feel astonishingly fast today both in a straight line and through corners, and since the car has evolved gradually over the past 10 years or so, only the keenest observers will know it isn’t a more recent model. Despite Nissan claiming at the time that the GT-R would be untunable, the R35 spawned a tuning industry across several continents. There are, therefore, plenty of modified examples on sale, so only consider a car that’s been uprated by a reputable company. 

One we found: 2009 GT-R, 67,000 miles, £31,995

Porsche 911 Carrera (993)

“As the last of the air-cooled 911s, [the 993] was the ultimate evolution of the original 911 concept that created the world’s most fabled and enduring sports car legend,” wrote Andrew Frankel back in 2005. Today it’s strange to think there once was a time that a 993 could be bought for £25,000. In that article we reckoned such a car would be worth £20,000 five years down the road, which probably wasn’t an unreasonable estimate.

What we did not foresee was that in the years that would follow 993 values would rise like a hot air balloon with its burner stuck at full blast, so in 2018 you’ll need at least £35,000 to put one on your driveway. If you did follow our advice and buy a 993 back in 2005, however, you’ll be quids in today. 

One we found: 1997 911 Carrera 4, 99,000 miles, £36,000

Today’s alternative: Porsche 911 Carrera (997)

Those earlier 911S may well be out of reach now, but for £100 per week you’ll have your pick of its modern alternatives. In some ways the 997 was an echo of the 993, for it too heralded some 911 ‘lasts’; it was the last 911 to have hydraulic power steering and the last one to be truly compact, the way 911s used to be. For those reasons and more besides, the 997 is reckoned to be a high point in the five decade-long saga of Porsche’s rear-engined sports car. 

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