RE: Porsche 911 Carrera (996): Spotted

RE: Porsche 911 Carrera (996): Spotted

Wednesday 7th November

Porsche 911 Carrera (996): Spotted

All the decent, cheap 996s are gone - right? Wrong...



Remember that time, not all that long ago, when 996-era 911s looked like the fast car bargain of the century? Air-cooled values had gone ballistic and 997s were resolutely clinging to their value, with seemingly dozens of 996s languishing around £10k for those brave enough to take a punt.

Of course it couldn't last. Slowly but surely the market has woken up to both the significance and desirability of the first water-cooled 911. The 996s aren't suddenly now six-figure supercars, but they have appreciated recently. Put it this way: the best C4Ses are for sale at £35k, and there are Tiptronic cabrios above £25k. Which is rather more than they used to be. Perhaps the smart classic Porsche money really is in a Boxster...


Or perhaps not, as this example shows - there are still 996 gems at less than £15k! And while it seems like every other late-90s 911 in the ballpark is sullied by an automatic gearbox, additional driveshafts or a folding roof (or, heavens above, a combination of all three), this one is not. It's a manual, rear-wheel drive Carrera coupe, one that even comes with those delightfully retro orange indicators, and it's for sale at £13,995.

It gets better, too; much better. Goodness knows the 996 had its share of, er, mechanical foibles, but this car has had a good chunk of remedial treatment - £13k in five years - to address them. In 10,000 miles since 2013 it's had an engine rebuild at Hartech (following big end failure), which is the big one, but also a new clutch, a suspension refresh to factory 'MO30' spec, a new water pump and more, in addition to oil changes every 2,000 miles.  


It looks really nicely cared for, too, which of course you'd always hope for in a Porsche but which isn't always guaranteed as the values drop. There are small touches too, like refurbished wheels on matching tyres, mention of specific oil types used and pictures of an extensive service history (including work undertaken by the owner), that are all extremely encouraging.

And while the 996 may still be the runt of the 911 litter, let's not forget that this was a very well received car 20 years ago. It won evo's Car of the Year contest in 1998, as well as numerous other accolades, the drive more than making up for the fears about the styling and the water cooling. Imagine too, how nice that will feel today, with hydraulic steering, a naturally aspirated flat six, compact dimensions and a cable-operated throttle. Lovely.


Some may baulk at the six-figure mileage, though judged purely on condition this 996 looks in fine fettle. Some will tell you it should be cheaper still, but bear in mind that an E36 M3 will now cost the same money with similar mileage and it looks even better value. What more could you really want?

A 20 year-old Porsche is never going to be the cheapest car in the world to run, sure, but with many of the key problems addressed by the current owner there's no reason for the future to look disastrous. A 20 year-old anything isn't going to be all that affordable to run now, is it? With an MOT until next June and a host of fresh components, this 996 looks ideal for some relatively cheap, tremendously entertaining Porsche weekend fun. It won't ever be as revered as a 993, but the 996 still deserves more recognition that it currently gets - and this car looks like just the thing to prove it. 


SPECIFICATION - PORSCHE 911 CARRERA (996)

Engine: 3,387cc, flat-six
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 300@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@4,600rpm
MPG: 23.9
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1998
Recorded mileage: 122,000
Price new: £56,130 (2000)
Yours for: £13,995

See the original advert here.

Author
Discussion

just passing by

Original Poster:

8 posts

12 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Worst-looking 911 ever made. and this example is a shagged lemon that successive owners have tried (and failed) to sort.

walk on by..

Thornaby

112 posts

4 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Roseberry Topping, just outside Middlesbrough. UTB

STiG911

948 posts

102 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
just passing by said:
Worst-looking 911 ever made. and this example is a shagged lemon that successive owners have tried (and failed) to sort.

walk on by..
So you know nothing about Cars, much less Porsche then. Cheers rolleyes

2 GKC

430 posts

40 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
I think these are starting to age well, particularly the facelift version. I'd buy a good one of these over a 997 at the moment.

The leather on this looks like it's done a lot more than 122k though; and that ruffled loose fitting stuff is nasty

Hairymonster

347 posts

40 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
just passing by said:
Worst-looking 911 ever made. and this example is a shagged lemon that successive owners have tried (and failed) to sort.

walk on by..
What absolute rubbish.

This car has had all the major mechanical foibles of the 996 sorted out, it's had just about every suspension component replaced, it's had a gearbox oil change, it's a manual with limited slip diff, it's an excellent spec and should give no problems for some time. Were I in the market for such a car, I'd certainly go and see this one.

That's the sort of enthusiast/competent mechanic-owned Porsche I would love to buy.
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Ahonen

4,276 posts

214 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
just passing by said:
Worst-looking 911 ever made. and this example is a shagged lemon that successive owners have tried (and failed) to sort.

walk on by..
Did you gain that knowledge after the test drive or a lengthy chat with the current owner? Obviously no one would just make stupid sweeping statements without having extensive knowledge to back up their claim or they'd risk looking like a total pillock.

Ahonen

4,276 posts

214 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
2 GKC said:
I think these are starting to age well, particularly the facelift version. I'd buy a good one of these over a 997 at the moment.

The leather on this looks like it's done a lot more than 122k though; and that ruffled loose fitting stuff is nasty
The seats do look very tired - mine's on 113k and the seats still look pretty mint. Perhaps one of the previous owners was a bit on the portly side.

edh

2,537 posts

204 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
I have driven this car - belongs to a friend of mine. It goes very well & the engine is possibly even sweeter than my 60k mile 3.4 C2. Ruffled leather isn't to my taste either but it's in pretty good condition from memory and you can't see it when you're driving smile

Paddy78

112 posts

81 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
The real concern on these is the engine as the main bearings on the 3.4 do wear out (As would any high mileage engine to be fair). Having shelled out 5 figures myself to sort mine, the preference would have been a re-trim or new door cards / seats over this. Everything else looks sorted and should be relatively cheap to run for many years.

I'm glad these aren't as revered as 993's as I probably would never have been able to afford one, let alone drive it every day. A massive thank you to all the 996 haters out there!

pSyCoSiS

2,330 posts

140 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
I've been keeping an eye on these for a while, and they slowly seem to be creeping up in price.

I would love an example like this, just really not keen on the front-end looks. Much prefer the face lift 996 model, especially with the wide body.

Even the original, old Porsche Boxsters are now going up in price.


HoHoHo

13,328 posts

185 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Ahonen said:
2 GKC said:
I think these are starting to age well, particularly the facelift version. I'd buy a good one of these over a 997 at the moment.

The leather on this looks like it's done a lot more than 122k though; and that ruffled loose fitting stuff is nasty
The seats do look very tired - mine's on 113k and the seats still look pretty mint. Perhaps one of the previous owners was a bit on the portly side.
The ruffled seats looked awful when new, let alone after 100k or more!

I miss my 996, it was absolutely spotless when I sold it to Camtune (as was then) after three pretty uneventful years of service to me. Sadly had I kept it and simply left it in the garage driving it now and then it would now probably be worth as much as I sold it for in 2006 frown

Nothing wrong with a 3.4 996 aside from the yellow indicators............I suppose at least they identify it as stock rather than being played with too much.

sheepdip

364 posts

110 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
I know both the car and the owner and you will not find a more honest pair. Slag off the leather if you want but then look at every other car for sale and see how many take a photo of the seats from the driver side showing all the bolster wear! I have even noticed folk placing the seat belt over the bolster to try to hide the wear! At the end of the day buy a new interior from one of the many badly maintained examples that as been scraped due to engine issues. This is a great example of the mark.

Dale487

787 posts

58 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
HoHoHo said:
Ahonen said:
2 GKC said:
I think these are starting to age well, particularly the facelift version. I'd buy a good one of these over a 997 at the moment.

The leather on this looks like it's done a lot more than 122k though; and that ruffled loose fitting stuff is nasty
The seats do look very tired - mine's on 113k and the seats still look pretty mint. Perhaps one of the previous owners was a bit on the portly side.
The ruffled seats looked awful when new, let alone after 100k or more!

I miss my 996, it was absolutely spotless when I sold it to Camtune (as was then) after three pretty uneventful years of service to me. Sadly had I kept it and simply left it in the garage driving it now and then it would now probably be worth as much as I sold it for in 2006 frown

Nothing wrong with a 3.4 996 aside from the yellow indicators............I suppose at least they identify it as stock rather than being played with too much.
I like that its stock & how the 996 was launched - I was in the up date them to clear indicators front & back camp but not any more (keep it factory).

was8v

1,465 posts

130 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Looks fantastic value.

Lets not forget that when the 996 was released, it was lighter, stiffer, faster and better screwed together than any Carrera before it.

Everyone that drove the 996 rated it better than previous Carreras, and a 996 in some form went on to be Evo car of the year each year for many years after.

The 3.6 had engine reliability problems (reduced spec IMS bearing, and inferior piston coating leading to bore score).

The 3.4 this one included was never affected by these issues but got tainted by the same brush. Many 3.4s have gone onto 200k and even 300k miles without engine work.

As with any engine - main bearings wear out, but this can be detected with oil analysis and if caught before the crank scores it can be a fairly low cost fix.

HoHoHo

13,328 posts

185 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
HoHoHo said:
Ahonen said:
2 GKC said:
I think these are starting to age well, particularly the facelift version. I'd buy a good one of these over a 997 at the moment.

The leather on this looks like it's done a lot more than 122k though; and that ruffled loose fitting stuff is nasty
The seats do look very tired - mine's on 113k and the seats still look pretty mint. Perhaps one of the previous owners was a bit on the portly side.
The ruffled seats looked awful when new, let alone after 100k or more!

I miss my 996, it was absolutely spotless when I sold it to Camtune (as was then) after three pretty uneventful years of service to me. Sadly had I kept it and simply left it in the garage driving it now and then it would now probably be worth as much as I sold it for in 2006 frown

Nothing wrong with a 3.4 996 aside from the yellow indicators............I suppose at least they identify it as stock rather than being played with too much.
I like that its stock & how the 996 was launched - I was in the up date them to clear indicators front & back camp but not any more (keep it factory).
I would do the same, agreed yes

I prefer clear and specified those on my 996 but yellow/amber are correct now.

Paddy_N_Murphy

22,807 posts

119 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Thornaby said:
Roseberry Topping, just outside Middlesbrough. UTB
biggrin

rtz62

1,540 posts

90 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
I'm a big Porsche fan but I've ever been a massive fan of the fried egg headlights, and the seats look awful to me.
But you know what? Its better than the Porsche I don't own; my daily is an Octavia estate.
And lets face it, a decent Porsche breaker would be able to supply a set of compatible seats in good condition for relatively little money and then you would have a Porsche with (hopefully) all the major expenditure taken care of.
I'm sure plenty would swap the orange indicators for aftermarket clear ones, but there's a quirky sort of kitsch in keeping it OEM to me....

Paddy_N_Murphy

22,807 posts

119 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
But despite all of the content in the 'article' - as per the thread ... https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&... these don't run on shoe strings.

At least £1k a year IMHO

loveice

426 posts

182 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
just passing by said:
Worst-looking 911 ever made. and this example is a shagged lemon that successive owners have tried (and failed) to sort.

walk on by..
As a few has pointed out how well this car has been maintained, I'm not going to say anymore on this issue.

However, even though how things look is a very subjective topic, I must defend the exterior design from a more design oriented point of view. We all know a so called classic 911 front should include a pair of round headlights and a pair of secondary lights (eg, indicators, fog lamps...). What's more do we have? Shut lines, panel curvertures and of cause front air intakes. How do we combine all these together while following the natural curvatures of the wings, bumpers and bonnet? If you spend some time with a pen and paper (if you are ok with drawing), you will see 996.1 has really got the best lines, surfaces and shapes of all 911 (including 997 and 991). I personally think if Porsche could afford to do so, they should've had two lines of 911s, one is based on the natural progression of its design language, the other is the ever so popular retro look ones (ie. 997 and 991).

big_rob_sydney

2,157 posts

129 months

Wednesday 7th November
quotequote all
Okay so this is an opinion (yeah, and we know the old story about those), but my view is that this car, from the sounds of it, has been an absolute money pit. I'd be wary, simply because, if so many things have gone wrong with it, whose to say nothing else will? On the basis of the evidence so far, it seems to have been a pretty poorly screwed together car from the manufacturer, and my expectation is that more will go wrong.

Added to that, it's an old car, with a lot of miles on it. Not exactly a recipe for long term reliability in my opinion (although a guy who drives a Lexus which has had zero spent on it in 5 years barring consumables probably would focus on reliability, granted).