Porsche 911 (997) Carrera S: Spotted


Despite the numerous good points about the 997 generation of Porsche 911 - indeed many will tell you it's the best ever, more attractive than the 996, yet more involving than a 991 - its widely publicised engine issues do tend to dominate the secondhand debate. While the intermediate shaft bearing failure and bore scoring are rare issues, they are not non-existent; they have happened to 997-era 911s, and being told how seldom these engine woes occur will be scant consolation when faced with a huge repair bill.

So what to do? Take a chance on one of the 21st century's greatest sports cars, and hope yours isn't one of the few with problems? You could, and of course many have, with much success and enjoyment. The other alternative is a car like this 997 Carrera S, which has had its engine rebuilt.


Yep, this 911 suffered from bore scoring; indeed it was most common in early 997s with the larger Carrera S unit. Interestingly though, as part of the engine rebuild last year (see the advert pics for more detail) the IMS was replaced as well. There was a fair bit done, all told, with an invoice total for £9,696(!).

Now that has to have been a bitter pill to swallow for whoever paid the bill at the time, but it sounds like very encouraging news for any future owners. Because here is a 997 with the biggest (i.e. most expensive when they go wrong) issues sorted; there will of course be niggles here and there - see the PH Buying Guide for more info - but the main dark cloud of reliability hanging over a 997 has been tended to.


Which, in theory, leaves the next owner free to enjoy one of the great modern 911s. All that's whinged about in contemporary 911s - the bloated size, the electric steering, the switch to turbocharging, the merciless march of PDK - is nowhere to be seen in this Carrera S. By the standards of modern sports cars it's small and compact, with that lovely 3.8-litre flat six now back to its best and a great manual gearbox with which to control it. The car is well specced, has had three owners in 13 years and looks to come with plenty of receipts besides the engine work. While there will always be a glut of 997s to choose from, this looks especially nice even at the cheaper end of the market.

Don't forget, either, that the 997 was the era when the 911 dominated all in the sports car segment, and to some extent that appeal extends into its secondhand prospects. Because the R8, F-Type and Aston Vantage weren't around at this point (only just in two cases, granted), they're not as affordable used; you'd need at least £30k for a Vantage, for example. A BMW M6 might be an interesting alternative, but it's a much physically larger car. And good luck with the SMG...


There's always been a lot in the 997's favour, either new or used, with this expensively rebuilt car more appealing than most. It's hard to imagine the car ever being worth a huge amount less than £20k, with the security for whoever the next owner might be of those upgraded engine parts. Tempted? Good, glad it's not just us...


SPECIFICATION - PORSCHE 911 (997) CARRERA S

Engine: 3,824cc, flat-six
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 355@6,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@4,600rpm
MPG: 22
CO2: 277g/km
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 80,000
Price new: £70,360 (2008)
Yours for: £20,995

See the original advert here.

 

 

 

 

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (87) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ogrodz 30 Aug 2018

    I too have a soft spot for the 997.1 - mine also suffered from a main oil seal failure but Porsche stepped up and paid the labour costs to get this fixed.

    The drive is very rewarding and I do fondly reminisce those evening country road spins.

    However, it does indeed have niggles. The push button auto gear shift on the steering wheel is awful. For me a manual option was worse because you need a very strong left foot to depress the clutch pedal - and in UK traffic this very quickly becomes tedious. Surprisingly what taxed me most was the struggle to retrofit a decent stereo/nav unit in place of the awful standard piece of kit (which in Porsche's wisdom is an optical fibre system that is very difficult to deal with - mine also had Bose which added further complexity).

    For all these reasons, I think a 997.2 PDK with paddles is the way to go - C2S or C4S variant for me - but at circa £50K there are a lot of other cars that compete.

    At £20K this car looks attractive - but earlier this year I bought a new Golf R manual for similar (ish) money (£28K) and the Golf is definitely a better car for the money.



  • Burwood 30 Aug 2018

    Isn't it critical, who did the rebuild. I've heard of Porsche rebuilds going pop, again.

  • jezzaaa 30 Aug 2018

    Why so cheap??? You'd have thought he could get at least £25k. Having said that, the engine work appears to have been done by Southern Engines. Not heard of them. And the invoice has no detail or breakdown.

  • g7jhp 30 Aug 2018

    If the engine had been rebuilt by a Hartech it would be more comforting.

    The biggest concern would be why the current owner is selling for £20k, having had the work done.

    Could be they've just had enough and it turns out to be a bargain.

    Could be a lemon with more niggles.

    Certainly needs a full pre-purchase inspection by a reputable Porsche garage.

  • unpc 30 Aug 2018

    I nearly bought one of these cheap years ago which showed no signs of the usual trouble but the potential for major borkage put me off. Pretty shocking design flaws in something that people often claim to be a paragon of reliability.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment