If the looks weren't enough to upset purists, the new engine got tongues wagging. Instead of having an air-cooled engine, the new Boxster and soon-to-be-launched 911 would get water-cooled units instead. The Boxster received a 2.5-litre flat-six. It put out 205hp, which sounds a bit pedestrian today, and Porsche must have agreed because they added a 3.2-litre engine with 255hp was added to the range in 1999. That engine was more capable of challenging the excellent chassis balance the Boxster.
Of the engines on offer, it is actually the understressed 2.5 which is perhaps the safest option. Intermediate shaft bearing failures is rare on earlier Boxsters built before the year 2000, so this often mentioned issue is unlikely to occur on this one.
Once you have found a good one, which this one should be considering its full service history and evidence of expensive maintenance items such as a new clutch and flywheel. It also has four matching Pirelli P Zero tyres all-round which is a good sign the previous owner was on top of looking after it.
So buy it and enjoy the mid-engined Porsche Boxster before prices take off. We've already missed out on the £3,000 Boxster, let's not miss out on the £5,000 one. It may not be the most powerful version, but that just means that you're less likely to overdo it on the power as you learn how to get the best out of it. Just imagine, you'll be driving a Porsche for city-car money. And what's more, everyone else will know it too. It is yellow after all.
PORSCHE BOXSTER (986)
Engine: 2,500cc, flat-six
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 204@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 181@4,500rpm
First registered: 1997
Recorded mileage: 115,200
Price new: £33,950
Yours for: £4,995
See the original advert here.