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Which Porsche to buy



  • skobolaskobola Miami, FLPosts: 207
    Well, I am not surprised with your opinion, as I went through a number of contrasting opinions, i.e., some people like it and some don't. I see it as making my Porsche different from others, and possibly not make it recognizable as an "old" (pre-1999) model. Also, my understanding is that Strosek also seems to increase the price of the car, so when one draws the line, it seems like a good option if one can get it for a reasonable price.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Actually I am surprised that they didn't discount it more...

    Back when I bought (September 2005), it was a lot easier to get a bigger discount on a loaded 997 than one with minimal options. And when you look at resale values, a base 911 holds its value considerably better than a loaded one, especially one with customized interior colors, etc.

    So I commend anyone disciplined enough to go for a black base C2 coupe at $67k. And if the Florida dealer had any sense, he might have looked at swapping it for a loaded, lighter color 911 up north. My dealer had a priswtine 2005 black/black C2 coupe with 20k miles with minimal options that sold for $59,500 as soon as it went on his lot. Friend of mine went to look at in on a Wednesday and by the time he took his wife back on Friday, it was gone.
  • trometrome Posts: 17
    Actually my car does have the power seat option and nothing more which is exactly as I would have wanted it. I can't stand the manual seat adjustments. The full MSRP was $74,959 and I paid $66,800 plus tax and tag. can't complain for a brand new 07' with zero miles
  • Thanks to all for your guidance on this topic... from what I have gleamed, for the 996 model, I should stay away from anything that is in the 99-01 years period. Since I don't want to spend more than say $40k, I guess I have only the 2002-3 model years to look at...

    One other question for this esteemed group: When I was at my local dealer looking at a 2003 911 cabo which was right next to a 96 911 cabo on the showroom floor, the dealer informed me that the cars were the same price - $50k... why would I want to pay $50k for a 96 911 cabo with 50k miles on it when the 2003 with 20k was the same price - what am I missing in the logic here?

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Many Porsche enthusiasts prefer the 993 to the 996. They consider the 996 too dumbed down - soft and comfortable at the expense of performance. I remember the first time I drove a 996, I thought it felt more like a Honda Accord than a Porsche 911.

    Many would also argue that the 993 is better built. Higher quality materials and sturdier (pre-CAD) design make for a Porsche that is over-engineered and will likely perform and last longer than the 996.

    Look at the used Porsche market to see how much in demand clean 993's are - they command a price premium over the newer 996, in spite of their age and mileage. The 996, like the Boxster, is something of an also-ran in the Porsche lineup - there are still a lot of enthusiasts who think that it isn't a real Porsche unless it's air cooled.
  • skobolaskobola Miami, FLPosts: 207
    Trome, where did you get such a good deal ($8k below MSRP)? Can you share the name of the dealership or whatever other information that you are comfortable sharing. Just for your reference, I would not even want the power seats, just a plain C2 with metallic paint, which MSRP would be $73,885.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    With all due respect to fedlawman, I think he is being excessively harsh on the 996.

    While it is true that many long time "enthusiasts" prefer the 993 to the 996, a big part of the resale value equation is supply and demand. I don't have the actual production numbers handy, but at the time they introduced the 996, Porsche also considerably ramped up production and export of the 911 to the US. It's a lot harder to find a pristine 993 than a 996.

    The 993 was the last of the air cooled 911's, giving it a sound and feel that is more "raw" than the 996. However, in actual objective perfomance, the 996 was hardly a step backward. In fact, the power and torque of the 996 Turbo exceeded what was possible in an air cooled engine, and allowed for modifications which further increased the output. A friend's former 2002 Turbo, with some "easy" modifications, had 550 hp and torque at the wheels. It was capable of 0-60 in the mid 3's and a sub 11 second quarter mile, both on par or ahead of a Carrera GT and well beyond what could be achieved in a 993 Turbo. Not much in common with a Honda Accord in that ride.

    Subjectively, the 996 got knocked for perhaps the worst design revisions of the 911 evolution. The "fried egg" headlamps, narrower rear end (on non-turbo models) and a few other design features made it look less distinctive and attractive than the 993 in the eyes of many, yours truly included. Fortunately, the 997 regains the round headlings, wider stance and a much improved interior over either the 993 or 996.

    As a classic, semi-collector's car, the 993 will likely continue to retain its value better than the more prolificly produced 996. But if you are looking for a car to drive daily rather than to take out on weekends to Porsche car club events, I think a 4-5 year old 996 (with an extended warranty) might be a better bet than an 11-12 year old 993. Especially if they are the same price.

    Lastly, the other urban legend is that Porsche quality suffered, post air-cooled 993. The 996 did have the RMS leak problem, but that should be able to be warranteed over, if you are considering a 2003 model. But, with an 11+ year old 993, as well built as it was, you are on your own for repairs. And it has only been in the last 2 years that Porsche replaced Lexus in the top spot on JD Power's IQS list.
  • ydvydv Posts: 2
    this may have been discussed before (my apologies). I am trying to decide between a 911 carrera and cayman s. A demo or slightly used carrera (07) is mid 70s it seems while a new cayman s is mid 60s or so (maybe a little less).

    curious to hear peoples thoughts on this.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My dilemma in September 2005 was between a 911 Cab and Boxster S. I ended going with a 911S Cab at about a $35k premium over the Boxster S. The 911 works for our entire family (2 daughters 7 &10 at the time), which was a big part of the decision. However, the 911S (355 hp) was also considerably more powerful than the Boxster S (280 hp) and you could really feel the difference. The Boxster S wasn't significantly quicker than my former S2000. The 911S was in a different league.

    The Cayman S is a great car. If you are single, and/or never want to carry more than 1 passenger, it would certainly be a fine choice. And now with 295 hp, it narrows the gap a bit. But the 911 is a great car and I have never looked back. Test drive the heck out of them. It's really a decision only you can make.
  • kelfkelf Posts: 83
    What are the exact differences between these two models beyond the price?
  • Hello,

    well after 7 months in my bmw 650, I still long for a more sporty feel. I am wanting to get into that 911 now.

    I have never owned a porsche.
    have had 4 bmw's and one MB.

    My question is which 911 is recommend. I need a daily driver and wanted the manual, if not too much a hassle.

    Also, don't like the convertible look, but am considering the targa versus C2.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    OK, when talking about "regular 911's" (not the turbo or GT3 models), there are basically only 4 different kinds.

    The Carerra and Carerra S are Rear Wheel drive, and the Carerra 4 and Carerra 4S are All Wheel drive.

    The difference between the S and non-S model is 30 HP and a few standard features.

    All 4 of these models are available as a Coupe or Cabriolet. Only the 4 and 4S can be had as a Targa.

    Spend about 10 seconds at and you'll find all of this info (plus a lot more).
  • tccctccc Posts: 13
    I am looking at a mid 1980 model 911 or 944 and would like to know anyone's feeling regarding the pros/cons of these two vehicles. It would be used for weekend cruising only. Thanks.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A neighbor down the road has an old 924 that has been sidelined for 4 months waiting for parts. When I was out waxing my 911 (2005) a few weeks ago, he commented that he should have bought an older 911, as they are easier to get parts for.

    I have no direct knowledge of whether the parts availability or reliability of one is better than the other. But if you are considering a 20+ year old car as a weekend cruiser, I would suggest researching it yourself, to make sure you don't end up with a 1+ ton paperweight in your garage. Maybe you could check with your local Porsche Car Club of America to get some info/referrals.
  • Hi there.

    I am in the market for a used 911 in the $35K range.

    Since I was a kid I always wanted one and now I have finally saved up enough cash to take leap but I do not know much about the various models and the pros and cons of each.

    I want one that I can drive on weekends and that will give me the least amount of mechanical problems.

    Can you please recommends which models I should focus on and the best places to look online for them?

  • Since I was a kid I always wanted one and now I have finally saved up enough cash to take leap

    How much of a "leap" are you prepared to take in terms of maintenance and potential repairs?

    $35k is a fair amount of money to spend on a used car. But that's only part of the story with a 996 model 911. You have fairly expensive routine maintenance requirements and the possibility of significant repair expenses. An earlier air cooled 993 model is a better "classic", and generally reliable, but still poses the potential of significant reapirs and parts are often a multi-week wait.

    My recommendation is that you budget $40-$45k for a car, find one to buy for $35k and put at least $5k, if not $10k into an unexpected repair fund. A Schwab or Fidelity checking account pays 4-5%+ interest. If, over the course of ownership, you do not deplete the fund, great - you can carry it forward to your next car. But at least you won't be dipping into juniors college fund or some other account to keep the car on the road.

    Saving up just enough to buy a used $35k 911 and then being upset when you have an expensive brake job or clutch replacement is no fun. You should be in a position to enjoy such a discretionary purchase.

    Last recommendation is to get on a first name, friendly basis with a good Porsche mechanic and have them do a pre-purchase inspection of the car. The first expenditure out of your repair account should probably be a case of beer or nice bottle of wine for the mechanic. Hopefully, you won't see him frequently, but it's good insurance to have someone in the wings that isn't going to take you to the cleaners.
  • fluid15fluid15 Posts: 60
    I've owned both a 1987 911 Cabriolet & a 1989 944 Turbo. Very different cars, each having positive attributes the other doesn't have. I used each as a "weekend" car also.

    I'll cut to the chase - the 911 was hands-down my favorite. The 944 Turbo was a better performing car - faster, easier to drive harder, great suspension/balance, etc. But the 911 had that rawness to it and all the other intangibles that you can't really summarize on paper. The one area I can quanitfy is the immediate torque of the engine while moving from a standstill as opposed to waiting for the Turbo to spool up on the 944 (but when it did ... !). As far as reliability, I sold each by the time they had 50k miles (911) and 80k miles (944Turbo - a lot of freeway miles and some DD use). I've owned two 911's and both have been bulletproof. The 944 Turbo pinged me to death. It was always a $300-400 bill for a motor mount, sunroof motor, window relay/motor, etc ... you get the picture. I don't know how the 20yr old cars will hold up, but i have to imagine the 944 will cost you a lot more. I advise purchasing from a private owner/enthusiest who knows the car's service history - that's your safest route to happy Porsche ownership!
  • chrisnickchrisnick Posts: 2
    I am about to finally buy a porsche and have it down to a 2009 911 4S. What remains is a coupe or convertible and I am really struggling with this decision. The convertibles look fun and I have test drove one and really enjoyed it. My hesitancy is the couple is a prettier looking car (in my view) and is more conservative. I do not want folks to think I am bragging or somehow think I am cool driving up in a convertible. I also think the convertible may be a bit louder and not sure how much I would have the top down going to work, etc. Have any of you experienced a similar dilema and how did you finally decide?
  • cardiohexcardiohex Posts: 9
    Interesting dilemma... I had a similar situation one year ago when I got my 911. Here is my 2cents:
    -soft roof= less security; although factory alarm has motion sensors... cool for when you lock the car with the windows down and someone reaches in your car to take something... less cool when it is you who does it on day#2 of ownership and you wake your 5yo from his nap... and can't find your keys to disable...
    -convertible is louder, but that is a big part of the fun (wind is your hair... great exhaust tone)
    -less room in back seats with cab due to roof mechanism.
    -cab is slower (0.1-0.2 on 0-60) due to the weight of roof mechanism. 4 is slower than 2 due to weight also... but S negates alot of that.

    For me, I like open air driving, but like sunroofs with window down and beastie boys blaring... so I got a 2009 carrera coupe. Only thing different I would have done would be to get an S.

    Good luck and happy trails.
  • Thank you for your detailed reply - I appreciate it. I am leaning towards the Coupe -mostly because I do not want to appear as some kind of show off in a convertible and also because the coupe in my view is a much better looking car all around. The 911 4S is what I am leaning towards - probably a 2009. I want to use this car all year around - hence the "4". Do you happen to know if more coupes or convertibles are purchased each year? Thanks, Chris
  • Coupe/cabriolet split on 911 seems to be 50/50 IMO. Here in North Carolina seems there are more cabriolets.
    You can always buy hardtop for winters if u get a convertible. Also, when I test drove 911s, the body of coupe and overall ride seemed stiffer than convertible.... something I liked.
  • Tough call. I've had a coupe, a targa (1973) and currently a cabriolet (2004). I dearly love the convertible, but. . . . I live in an area where top down season might be May to early October with a day or two in April and maybe November. So from that standpoint the extra 10k or so for the cab over the coupe is not worth it. Now that the car is out of warranty I am semi-paranoid about the top mechanism breaking and sticking me with a 4 figure repair bill. Rearward vision is compromised out the right rear corner of the car.

    I am leaning towards ordering a 2011 or trying to find a 2010 that has most of what I want. Absolutely torn between a coupe and a cab. One day it is the coupe, the next it is the cab. Maybe I'll just get the coupe and a used Miata for top down days!!
  • I also live in NJ and have driven a 89 Cab. for pleasure since 1994. Every once in a while I consider getting a Coupe, I do think they have nice lines...but somehow that thought always seems to get lost. The fact that I never drive with the top up must say of luck.
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