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Which Porsche to buy

philhillphilhill Posts: 3
edited August 2014 in Porsche
I've had 911's since 1970. All were air cooled with 6 speed.
Last one was a 98 cab. I am going to buy a 2008 when they come out. Price is not the primary consideration.

Which one should I get, 911, a turbo, 2WD, 4WD, Tip or stick.

I know it makes a difference as to what I want to do. Not racing, just as great car to drive aggressively, if I feel like it. I am an older guy so I think I've had all the clutching I need but will I be disappointed in the automatic? Is there really a big difference between 2 and 4WD? Do you need to be a real speed nut to go for the Turbo?

I'd like your comments. Any options I should get and those to forget. Also are you concerned that Consumer Reports could not recommend Porsche because of reliablity problems? Have you heard that the 2008 will have some body changes and maybe engine and transmission too?


  • beatfivebeatfive Posts: 10
    I'm an older fella myself and enjoy my C2 Cab with stick for the driving not the riding. In mho, Consumer Reports are meaningless since statistics are based on estimations of reports and those numbers become skewed in comparison to numbers of units sold. In any event, its a personal decision for your own enjoyment and pleasure. :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I have to ask, you aren't THE Phil Hill, as in the only American born winner of the Formula One World Championship?

    Phil Hill

    If you are, I am not worthy to respond.

    If you aren't, you might want to ask your namesake. If he isn't available, my opinion is that I certainly like my C2S Cabriolet and, given the choice, would only consider trading it for a C2S coupe. I would not use the power of the Turbo and I'm not a big fan of the heavier AWD versions. (And, if you are THE Phil Hill, you certainly don't need AWD in Florida).

    One thing's for sure, you should be able to use your name to get a hell of a discount. ;)
  • philhillphilhill Posts: 3
    Hi Habitat, I get asked that a lot. No I am not the Phil Hill. I as named after my father who was named after a famous Civil War general, Phil Sheridan. Sheridan is my middle name. Again no relation. Thanks for your thoughts. What about stick vs Tip?

  • slk32amgslk32amg Posts: 1
    Hi guys. I own an 02 Mercedes SLK32 AMG. I love the car but have really, really been wanting a 911. I bought a 912 when I was 19 and drove it every day for 10 years before hail destroyed it. It's been a long time since I have really kept up on 911s (almost 20 years) so I need to know what to look for. I really don't want to spend more than about $40 to $45K, and age isn't as important as condition and longevity. I heard that the 996 has some sort of engine problem that you need to watch for. What is it exactly and what other specifics are "must avoid" or "look out for" with particular models between 5 and 15 years old? Any help is appreciated!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    What about stick vs Tip?

    I have a 6-speed manual and have never thought for a moment that DC area traffic warranted a Tiptronic. A friend's 996 Turbo had a heavy clutch that was tough to modulate, but the 997 911S is smooth and easy. It really comes down to a personal decision and I've always driven sticks - now that I'm a few days from 50, I probably always will.

    I still think you need to use your name for a discount. Let the dealer take out an ad, "Phil Hill bought his 911 here, who's next, Michael Schumacher?" ;)


    The 996 911 (and comparable Boxsters) had a history of rear main seal leaks (RMS). Not sure of the frequency, but an out of warranty repair would be very expensive - in some cases requiring engine replacement. I've heard mixed reports of whether or not that was completely cured for the 997, my dealership has yet to see one come back for it. If you get a 996, you might want to either go for a Porsche certifeid used car or get an extended warranty. Also, from what I understand, the 996 GT3 and Turbo models were not affected by RMS leaks. But they would likely be above your price range. The 993 model was unaffected - but late model 993's cost more than older 996's.
  • bwedotnetbwedotnet Posts: 48

    I would not get the tiptronic - you will probably regret it. There is a great article on Inside Line about their test drive of a red C2 cab with Tiptronic.

    Hard-core but not for Porsche puritans:

    If you can, wait until the new F1 style clutch comes out if you absolutely do not want to shift manually. I do not know if it is planned for 2008 MY or 2009 MY. Rumor mill says it will be available on the 2008 MY Turbos.

    2008 MY is slated for the newly tweaked front and rear ends. There are photos on Rennteam. Nothing too dramatic but I do not like the changes (esp the rear) but judge for yourself. Also, you never really can tell from spy photos so I'll wait until I see it in the flesh before I finalize my opinion.

    Don't get the 4WD unless you plan on driving in bad conditions a lot. It adds weight which affects performance.

    If everyone paid attention to CR we'd all be driving around in Camry's and Prius'. I had my last Porsche for 6+ years and it was very reliable. My only problem with the 997 is that a spare tire is no longer standard. I added the spare tire option to my order so I can have it with me on longer trips where delays are not an option.
  • sullydmksullydmk Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying a 911, 1999 to 2003, but, never having owned one, I am not sure what to expect as to routine maintenance costs and expense of repairs. I have heard from some that if you make sure to do the scheduled maintenance the car will run forever without issue. On the other side, I have heard that even the cost of doing the routine maintenance is expensive. Can you shed some light?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    Habitat is absolutely right....on a 996, before you buy one, you MUST check for rear main seal issues. In many cases, the leak is not curable, so if you see a bad leak, don't count on being able to correct it---reject the car immediately. Ditto on a Boxster. Of course, many of these cars never develop the dreaded leak....seems like either it shows early in the car's life or you're okay.

    I haven't heard anything either on the 997. Too soon to know, but at least you'll have the full warranty if they need to put another engine in there.

    I think the Turbo and GT3 uses the dry sump engine which may not suffer from this possible issue. Need to check up on that.

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  • superk3superk3 Posts: 1
    I am considering buying my first Porsche! I have owned several M3's over the past 10 years and am ready for my dream car. I am thinking about a 996 Turbo (2001 to 2003) or a 2005 Carrera or Carrera S.

    Costs appear to range for a 50k-60k mile car around $55k to $65k for the 996 Turbo, and about the same cost for 35k mi Carrera.

    Which one would you buy if cost is nearly the same?

    If I go with the 996 Turbo...
    Reviewing the forum, the only key item to look out for is the "rear main seal leak"...what part of the engine is this actually on? Do you need to take it into a dealer to check or simply look underneath as soon as the engine runs and look for a drip?

    Are there any other key items to check or have a dealer inspect for a 996 Turbo(especially if the car is 1500 mi away)? How about the two turbos and intercoolers? These are expensive replacememt items. How long should they last if serviced properly and not abused? How do you check their condition?

    All advice is greatly appreciated to speed up my first Porsche find! Regards, Elmar
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A couple of thoughts:

    The 996 Turbo is faster than the 997 Carerra S, but up until about 80+, not by a huge margin. On the other hand I personally like the handling and RWD feel of the 997 Carerra S. The Turbo, with the sport suspension, may match the handling of the 997, but at the expense of your fillings. You should really try to drive both cars to decide which you prefer.

    The 996 Turbo does NOT have the RMS leak issue, as I understand it. The 996 Turbo uses a different engine, as does the GT3, and from what I've read, do not have that issue. On the other hand, out of warranty repairs on a 996 Turbo could cost you a bundle. Unless money is not an issue, I would try to find one at a dealer with a Porche certified extended warranty.

    The mileage you are quoting seems high - I've seen very few 4-6 year old Turbos advertised with 50k+ miles. More typically, 5,000+/- per year. Neither have I seen any 997's advertised with over 25,000 miles. My 2005 Carerra S at just under 14,000 miles is considered average, according to my dealer.

    Before you spend a nickel on anything, drive both cars. Very different, IMO, and a matter of personal preference.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Just curious, is it just the 996 Carrera's that are wet sump (the turbo and GT3 are dry sump)?

    What about the 993 and 997?
  • ringleader6ringleader6 Posts: 43
    Lets get one thing up front..... all of the 997 Porsch's are fast, real fast, including the base models. I cannot see any real world advantage for the all wheel drive unless you have a driver in a snow zone. Otherwise it is excess money and weight. As for the tip or 6 speed, do not be embarrassed to drive a tip, I have had two and love them. Now drive a 07 S. The tip is basically a four speed auto because it never uses first unless you really romp on it. But again, it is fast, real fast. It does take a little getting used to if you drive it hard due to it holding in gears, but you can drive it on the freeway, place it in manual, and kick butt without it being able to kick down into passing gear, just sheer power. They only produce about 4% in tips, so when you are ready to trade they demand a premium.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "They only produce about 4% in tips, so when you are ready to trade they demand a premium."

    I think that is geographic, because it doesn't appear to be true in my area (DC). The Tiptronic is a $3,420 option that, at my dealership and others in the DC area, seems to result in the car being worth LESS than a 6-speed on the resale market. At least with respect to the 997 911S and 996 Turbo models. Even the Cayman S with Tiptronic is a tough re-sell in my area.

    Also, I would agree with you that all of the 997's are fast. But, that said, the performance "penalty" for the tiptronic is about the same as the "gain" in going from a base model to an "S". I respect that for some, the convenience is worth it. But for anyone who has driven a super-stiff clutch 996 Turbo and thinks that's what a 997 911S would be like, you owe yourself a test drive. The 997S 6-speed is as easy to modulate and use as any I've driven.

    There isn't a bad (or slow) choice in the 911 line-up - just get the one that's right for you.
  • philhillphilhill Posts: 3
    Ringleader6 do you agree with habitat1 that a Porsche dealer should give me a big discount so he can advertise that Phil Hill bought his Porsche at my dealership? Do you sell cars in DC and work a delivery to Southern California or a drop ship?
  • ringleader6ringleader6 Posts: 43
    "Phil Hill bought his Porsche here",mmmmmmmm don't know about that. I have read this blog for a year now, and I have not seen a big discount anywhere. The best discount I found was 9% with no dealer fees, etc. You can surf inventory on Porsch's website, and see there are few dealers with much inventory. Hennessy in Atlanta carries a bundle. I really question how most make the numbers work with the overhead they have now with every one in new facilities. I know one dealer who sold one new unit thru April this year. I don't think you can cover the transport to Cal unless you purchase one prior to docking from an eastern dealer and have it diverted to a Cal dealer. That way you pay the same delivery as anyone. I think you may have about run out of time for a 2007
  • habuhabu Posts: 52
    I am looking at a 2000 C2 Cab with 42,000 miles and asked my local mechanic about the RMS issue. He works on all types of Porsches and took excellent care of my 87 911. He said if the seal has not been replaced he will do it for around $600 (6 hours of labor and $70 in parts). He has done several and feels even if the car is not leaking now it will sometime in the future. Does anyone know if this seal replacement fix he is selling will eliminate the RMS worry?
  • chrmdomechrmdome Posts: 107

    The old words of wisdom apply here " If it ain't broken, don't fix it ". If the RMS was such as easy fix, the issue would not haven been beaten into the ground here on this forum, as well as all the others. My understanding is that if the seal is not placed in perfectly " square " it will leak. The Porsche company has replaced complete engines under warranty on the RMS issue. Even if it leaked just a little, you'll probably burn more oil that you'd loose; I don't care how good your mechanic is, you never get the car back to original factory fit once things have been removed.
    These are just my opinions from varied experiences with mechanics... that's why I always change my own oil, Jiffy Lube won't cut it.. People will tell you that the 997 has resolved the RMS issue, ( I have an 06' C2S ) that will yet to be seen. Again , the little ditty about opinions....they are just like a-holes everybody has one. Good luck

    CHromedome...enjoy the car, they are a kick!!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "that's why I always change my own oil, Jiffy Lube won't cut it.. "

    A man after my own heart. Have you changed the oil in your 911 yourself? If so, can you refer me to any source for directions?

    As a side note, we were at our second home over Memorial Day and when driving my old 1995 Nissan Maxima, I got pulled over for an expired inspection sticker. As I was fumbling to get the registration card for the officer, he saw my "Mileage Log" book that I kept in the glove compartment and asked to look at it. As he looked at it, he commented, "My God, you've changed your own oil in this car 42 times??". With that he let me go with a warning, but only with my promise that I would call him first before I ever sell the car. (The car has 155,000 miles and runs like new) :)
  • chrmdomechrmdome Posts: 107

    Yep, oil changes. As my 2 children were in college and my wife and I were spending far more money on the " 2 girls " than we spent of ourselves ( we are now "two" and hense my Porsche ownership again...YES!!!), I had one car with 186,000 miles and the other with 165,000 both to charity as the result of religious oil changes. has a DIY section with complete instructions for 997 oil changes. Actually the easiest oil change I've ever done. Drain and filter are within easy access, the only necessity besides the correct wrench to remove the filter canister is a large capacity oil drain pan ( obviously ). The only issue of caution in my opinion is to center the oil filter sleve carefully and do not over tighten the oil filter canister housing, other than that it's easy. Renntech s direction supplies illustrations, so it's a no-brainer.

    Good luck,

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Thanks much, I'll check that Renntech reference out.
  • chanderchander Posts: 21
    Was all set to buy a new Cayman-s, but a low mileage C4S-'03 is available,would that be a better choice for the north east.appreciate your advise.Thanx
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A C4S would probably be better if you got caught in a light snow. But I still contend that, unless you get snow tires, no 911, Cayman or Boxster is a good winter snow car. And even with snow tires, an AWD C4S still has low ground clearance.

    Between your choice of a new Cayman S and 2003 C4S, there are a lot of factors to consider - new car warranty, comfort, preference for the way the car drives/feels, etc.
  • Habitat1 gave you a good response. But it will be difficult to compare a 03 to a 07 or 08. There have been some major upgrades. The Cayman is a great car, and shares a lot with the 911's. You really need to compare the Cayman with at least a 05 or newer 911. One thing to consider is if the used one is certified, you can stretch the warranty, actually longer than a new one, as the certified is a warranty and not a service contract.

    You should drive the Cayman or a Boxter for some distance to check the comfort, especially if you are 6' or taller. The seat simply does not go far enough back, and cannot recline like a 911. If the Cayman fits, you can find a heck of a deal on 06's.....they are taking a hit.
  • bulletheadbullethead Posts: 40
    Greetings: I have sold my 2002 M3 convertible and my 2003 530i sedan so that the wife could get a Volvo XC-90 V8 for hauling around the kids and dogs...I am left with a mint 2000 Toyota Landcruiser and a void in my heart for a nice toy car... I am looking into the merits of a late model 1999-2003 911 Cabriolet (I believe the "version" is called the 996 in Porsche parlance). I would be most appreciative of amy general guidance that I could gain from the learned members of this forum. Thanks in advance.

  • skobolaskobola Miami, FLPosts: 207
    Bullethead, I am in the same type of pondering! I thought that I will get myself a Targa, as it is not that common as the others, but then started reading about the 911-series, and have found that most Porsche enthusiasts think that the best one to have is a "plain" C2 with no additional stability controls, 4-wheel drives and such. Of course, there is a number of people who would gladly go for Turbos, which are insanely powerful, however, I believe that they are rather an overkill, because it would be very difficult to enjoy all this power in the US provided the traffic laws. Also, in that respect, even a "plain" C2 is plenty fast, powerful, that is, enough to put you in jail.
    Of course, there is a number of people who still prefer the air-cooled ones, which ended in 1998, type 993. Interestingly enough, the 993 looks pretty much close to the current 997 models, which are the 911-types from 2005 till now. If I would go for an old, air-cooled one, I would probably opt for the Strosek body, as it would add a very different look and thus make it more "special". Let us know what you have decided, or at least, I would like to find out.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I thought you were doing OK until you mentioned Strosek. They are beyond hideous. Why anyone would spend so much money to destroy a Porsche is beyond me...
  • trometrome Posts: 17
    I had been shopping for a new car for over 4 months and considered everything from a 335i, 535i, 01 911 turbo, G35 coupe and even an E350. I have owned 4 other 911's over the last 12 yrs and deep down I knew that was the only car I would be happy with. I wanted a 997 but finding one at the price I wanted to pay was challenging! I am in Miami and my local S. Florida dealers simply did not want to deal. As it turns out I found a black/black 07' 997 brand new and got it for $66,800 (74.8 msrp). I am thrilled with it and would recommend it to anyone. Dealers should be discounting 07s by 10% or so. If your local dealer won't, find one who will. Igot tired of looking on and seeing some dealers asking 65k for an 05' with 25k miles. Get real!
  • ehlehl Posts: 1

    In case you are still looking... Each 911 generation has its own personality and all provide a great driving experience. The 996 although a “water cooler”, is more comfortable and slightly bigger than the preceding generation. I would stay away from 99-2001 MY, Porsche had some difficulties with rear main seal leaks, an expensive repair if out of warranty! For 2002 and up the 996 was revised with a new front fascia (looks better in my opinion) wider track, turbo headlights, much better exhaust sound and more HP. I have owned several 911's and again, they are a blast to drive. I like my 02 for its looks comfort and power. By the way the 02-04 MY is not completely off the list when it comes to RMS failures, mine is on its second RMS. Whichever model you choose insist on a pre-purchase inspection by a qualified independent Porsche service center or dealer. Take your time looking , there are enough 996 models out there so can afford to be picky. Good luck
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    That sounds like a great deal. But I'm surprised you were able to find a car with virtually no options? The lowest MSRP price on a 2007 911C2 I've seen at my dealer is pushing $80k, and it was still considered a lowly optioned car, without nav, leather, sport chrono, or any of the other common options. About all it had was xenons, power seats, bose, metallic paint, from what I recall.

    I got about 10.5% off my 2005 911S Cab 2 years ago and have been happy ever since. Enjoy your ride.
  • Probably not a very safe assumption to assume that because someone ordered a C2 with a Base Price and Destination of $73,260.00 and Triple Black in Miami that all Dealers are quite as desperate to find a home for their Sport Cars...
    Actually I am surprised that they didn't discount it more... ;)
This discussion has been closed.