What to buy
I have dreamed of owning a Porsche 911 - and seek input here. Here is what I know,
want, and will do with the said purchase. I know I want a convertible. I will be using it as a
commute and pleasure car. I will be clocking with it at the very least five thousand miles a
year. This will be my last car purchase. I have budgeted six thousand dollars for
maintenance, excluding the purchase for four new tires perhaps a year. I do not intend to
re-sell the car. In five years, I shall be using it to putz around - no more commutes. I want
to avoid bearing problems - and known and or notoriously documented problems. My
budget will extend to at the most, 75 grand. I am inclined to buy a second hand low
mileage newer model. Given my specs outlined above, what would you suggest I should
hone in on to narrow my search. I have already got the driving gloves [(:-)], the cravat, the
Basque beret, and the Picasso sailor’s shirt! Respectfully yours.
Buy the newest model you can afford. For $75,000 you should be able to find a nice low mileage 2011-2012 car. S is more desirable if you can find one. Note that the 2012 model year included both 997 and 991 models with the newer 991 model demanding a higher price. Carrera 4 and 4S models will likely cost than $75,000
For that kind of money you should just about have your pick of low mileage newer cars. If you want to putz-around, any model will do. I don't recommended a manual for commuting because the car will becoming your commuting car and that's what they are least suited to do. The 911 is a great car. Some models are more desirable than others. If you drive in the snow, a 4-wheel drive with winter tires is fine. If you intend to autocross or track the car, the 2 wheel or 4 wheel "S" models are a little better. I have a 2000 conv. 6 speed and absolutely love it. And unless it has 3 pedals on the floor, it's not a Porsche. As far as maintenance, steer clear of the dealers, who routinely ask $300-$400 for an oil change. If you do it yourself, like I do, expect an oil change to cost $50-$75 using the best filters and Mobil-1 or any other good synthetic oil. A good Porsche speed shop is your best bet, they know old and newer models and can service your car better than a parts changer dealership. Check your local Porsche club for recommendations. If I had your money, I'd go after a '97 993 turbo. It's the last of the air-cooled models, but an absolutely beautiful and collectable car. Good luck, and welcome to a group of very lucky auto aficionados, you'll find them a good group of people who know how to drive a car the way it was meant to be driven.
You have a lot of choice with your budget. You can avoid the common problems with any year of car - there are retrofit solutions available for them, eg the LN Engineering bearings for the (relatively) common IMS problem in M96/M97 engines that were fitted to 911's and Boxsters between 1997 and 2008. You could pick up a 2007-2009 Turbo cabriolet which does not use the M96 or M97 engine, or buy a nice Carrera 4S cabriolet and get the LN bearing done at the same time as the RMS seal. Or you could go old school and get an air-cooled 1993-1997 993, which are still climbing in value.
Thank you for the three responses, very useful indeed. I now have a clearer and narrower choice on which to focus my efforts. It is clear at first blush that I ought to consider newer models unless I do want to go classical, which at present I am disinclined. I will though focus consider it as a B option. The next rider to my initial question is perhaps too idiotic to ask, but I will. What the hell. Without taxing your collective patience is there or are there URLs that I could go to to educate myself on Porsche engines so I can become familiar with its mechanics. Understanding these would give me the confidence of what I have. Again, many thanks for the response provided. Anientots
For modern engines, I usually read renntech.org or rennlist.com. For older cars, I use Pelican Parts or early911sregistry.org. These sites have individual forums for each car model and great DIY tutorials on how to most maintenance. Also Pelican Parts has a lot of useful tech info and sell most parts you will need for any age of Porsche. Bentleys makes a very good workshop manual for the 996 and earlier model 911's. I find them the best, Haynes not so good, but most info is freely available using google.
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