Lee Sibley By Lee Sibley 1 month ago

Wednesday Want: 991 50th Anniversary

Built to commemorate half a century of Porsche 911 production, the 50th AE is a highly sought-after 991 and worthy addition to the 9WERKS Classifieds…

If you view the Porsche 911 (991) 50th Anniversary Edition as a GTS in a retro 1960s fancy dress outfit, then you’ll almost certainly think it represents poor value for money. But the job of the 9WERKS Wednesday Want is not to tell you how to spend your hard-earned cash, it’s more to intrigue and entertain. So bear with me.
The '50AE' certainly pointed towards the forthcoming 991.1 Carrera GTS in its body and chassis configuration: it utilised the wider C4 body but was rear-wheel drive only, and the excellent Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) was specially calibrated to complement its increased track width and ability. Other spec highlights included Sport seats, Sport Chrono, Sports exhaust, and Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) with bi-xenon headlights and dynamic cornering lights – the things you want on a 991 – and things I concede you will find on other 991’s. Also common to other 991’s is the glorious 3.8 litre motor, and exemplary road manners and handling. They are brilliant cars to drive and the 50AE is peak 991 outside of the GT lineup

The retro touches which make this car special include Fuchs-style wheels finished in matte black paint with machine polished centres, high-gloss window frames, chrome trim strips on the front air inlets, the fins of the engine compartment grille and the panel between the rear lights; and a two-tone, 3D-effect badge on the rear lid with the numbers “911 50”.  The retro vibe continues with a unique colour palette made up of the darker Graphite grey seen on this example, and a lighter Geyser grey metallic. In addition, black monochrome was also available.
The “911 50” badging continues inside but the real highlights here are the instruments which feature green labelling with white pointer needles and silver caps on the instrument pivot pins, just like the earliest 911s. The centre panels of the leather seats, which are designed with a fabric pattern reminiscent of the Pepita design from the 1960s (or houndstooth as it is commonly referred to now) add further vintage throwbacks which makes the 50AE a great place to be.
Also worthy of mention inside is the limited edition number of the individual vehicle, and this really sets it apart. Porsche produced only 1,963 50AE 911’s and it’s believed just 101 cars came to the UK. This makes it a really rare car, and being individually numbered makes it even more appealing. This accounts for its asking price being so far in excess of a comparable C2S or GTS, as it really does garner collector appeal.

The 991 50th Anniversary could be the perfect modern 911. It’s great to look at, great to be in, great on the road, exciting on track, easy in town, a capable grand tourer, and very rare – what more could the discerning Porsche cognoscenti ask for?
Could it even be considered good value? I’m aware of the elephant in the room – a 991.1 GT3 for the same money. The latter is a dream car with an incredible engine and chassis. Usable yes, but not as easy to live with day-to-day, and quite 'shouty'. It also doesn’t quite have the same breadth of abilities, or the same scarcity value as the 50AE.
This Graphite Grey 50AE example in the 9WERKS Classifieds is number 1,538 and is available at Hertfordshire marque specialist JZM with just under 15k miles on the clock for £118,900.00. It's ready to be loved, admired, and enjoyed as a brilliant, modern 911 with heritage of Porsche's iconic model at its heart.

Written by Max Newman