Sale of the Week

What kind of star power does Denzel Washington's 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo have?

by Conner Golden
1 April 2022 2 min read
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Photo by Courtesy Bring a Trailer

We have to say, of all the celebrities we would associate with owning a rare, ultra-desirable aircooled Porsche 911, Denzel Washington wouldn’t be near the top of our guess list. Surprise, surprise—it turns out that for the past 25 years, the ten-time nominee and two-time Academy Award winner harbored a 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo in his garage, a fact that surfaced due to its listing—and successful sale for $410,993—on Bring a Trailer this past week.

Admittedly, Washington is part of a long list of celebs and actors who scooted around in rare automotive esoterica back when they were simply considered the latest-and-greatest expensive sports cars, but it’s not often they remain in long-term ownership after perceived obsolescence. Long after Michael Jordan gave up his Ferrari 512TR and Missy Elliott tossed the keys to her Diablo, Washington retained the black-on-black 993 Turbo he purchased new during its model year, putting 18,000 miles on it.

Most well-adjusted people would see the Denzel connection as an interesting bit of trivia and maybe spend a few minutes Googling quotable lines from Training Day. We did that and will soon be working, “It takes a wolf to catch a wolf” into casual conversation; however, we are also data-devouring, market-focused obsessives here at Insider, so let’s break down just how much star cash was pulled in by Washington’s association.

Scrutinizing the sale pictures reveals Washington kept a tight ship, with his (apparently) prized Turbo presented in Hagerty Price Guide condition #2 (excellent), although some of that is credit to a comprehensive detail job executed prior to the sale that included extensive dry ice cleaning.

The Hagerty Price Guide indicates a 1997 993 Turbo in condition #2 would claim an average of $219,000, so it appears an association with The Equalizer already doubled the cash. Maybe. Consider the fact that this is a one-owner, new-to-market car, regardless of what name is on the original title. BaT sold a similar black-over-black 47,000-mile 993 Turbo back in January, selling for a strong $253,993 final bid. Let’s cross-reference that sale with BaT’s 19,000-mile 1997 Turbo that sold for $310,000 back in February; that car wears rarer Midnight Blue Metallic paint over a deviated saddle-and-black interior, but we’re going to assume this didn’t skew the price too dramatically.

With this in mind, we reckon Washington’s star power eked out a solid $100,000 or so, give or take. Not bad at all, considering he’s not exactly a “car” celebrity—a McQueen, Leno, or Seinfeld type, as it were. Outside of his time behind the wheel of a 1963 Oldsmobile 98 in Malcom X and the 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from Training Day, this 993 Turbo is the only thing we have to go by.

And, just in case you thought the only thing the winning bidder takes home is some lousy old Porsche, seller “Wob” noted that Mr. Washington would be more than happy to sign the 993’s glovebox prior to the handover if the buyer so wishes. “My man!”

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