“A garage without a Porsche 911 is an empty and boring hole,” said Walter Röhrl. The rally icon speaks to the soul of many car enthusiasts.
Form, technology and motorsport are the pillars on which the Porsche legend and above all the 911 legend is based. “For years, the 911 was a pure sports car from a sports car manufacturer, similar to Ferrari, and not a ‘sports car from a mixed car group like BMW or Mercedes, ”says Frank Wilke of market observer Classic Analytics. “Thus was born this myth.”
The 911 has been the epitome of the sports car for decades and is a dream car for many drivers. Since new ones cost a lot more than 100,000 euros, many fans with lower budgets choose a used one. It doesn’t have to be very cheap either.
From 1948 onwards, Porsche relied on the single model strategy for years: first the 356, then the 911. Race cars were also created. Only in 1969, with the VW-Porsche branded 914, did a second model series appear.
At Porsche, the design and the six-cylinder boxer form a unique combination. “This combination didn’t exist before and for many fans it still represents the pinnacle of sports cars,” says Frank Wilke.
Because it has remained essentially true to itself for the past 60 years, the 911 is also one of Henning Hinze’s popular sports cars. “Technically, the 911 is in step with the times, but still retains the charm of the past. It drives sporty, but is suitable for everyday use “, says the managing editor of” Auto Bild Klassik “.
Porsche 911 accepted and socially acceptable
With the six-cylinder flat engine at the rear, the 911 offers a unique engine concept and handling. A 911 always fits and is useful in every situation, says Hinze. “The 911 can be driven slowly around town and quickly over mountain passes. It is a special experience when the engine behind the passengers begins to throb and roar. “
Furthermore, 911 is accepted and socially acceptable. This means: unlike a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, a Porsche is barely noticeable on the road.
All of this comes at a price: Driving a Porsche has never been cheap and it never will be. According to Hinze, the air-cooled 911s are G-series models between 1973 and 1989, particularly models from the late 1970s and early 1980s with 2.7 and 3.0-liter boxer engines.
The first F series (from 1963 to 1973), on the other hand, is purist, expensive and sensitive. The later Tipo 964 (1989-1994) was expensive to maintain. The latest air-cooled boxer, the Type 993 (1993-1998), has never been cheap.
The cheapest entry into the world of the 911 currently offers the model known internally as the 996. It first came to market 25 years ago. The first water-cooled series six-cylinder boxer engine was initially frowned upon by diehard Porsche fans, but the type has since been accepted.
“Even though the switch from air to water cooling was the bane of the West for diehard Porsche fans and the mirrored headlights were criticized, the 996 still offers sporty and comfortable driving behavior today,” says Frank Wilke.
The Porsche 996 hit rock bottom
According to Hinze, the restyled models (year of construction 2001) are suitable for everyday use and offer “a lot of Porsche for the money”. Well-kept ones are available for under 25,000 euros. Automatic models are cheaper because there is less demand. However, the automatic converter is less agile.
However, after hitting bottom eight years ago, 996’s prices are rising slightly. Well-preserved models (grade 2) are worth around € 27,000 according to Classic Analytics.
Frank Wilke considers a Carrera coupe of lasting value in the 996, because only that offers the original shape of the 911. With a manual gearbox, conventional and discreet paint and black interior, a 996 could easily be resold if you don’t like it.
“Even though the 996 is the cheapest 911, that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Spare parts and repairs can be expensive on the model because repairs are expensive,” Wilke says.
Henning Hinze therefore recommends buying a more expensive car because it is better. The cheapest 20 percent of vehicles are often in poor condition. “There are no more bargains at Porsche, all cars are sought after and the market has been transparent for years,” he says. “Buyers don’t have to be under time pressure.”
It doesn’t always have to be a Porsche 911
The price difference between a good and a better car is small. “With an inexpensive car, the money saved upfront can quickly go into repairs and cover only half of the costs,” says Hinze.
As a general rule, he says that everything costs at least 1000 euros, regardless of whether the brakes, tires, springs or heating are faulty. An engine overhaul with extension costs at least 15,000 euros.
“Anyone who is not dependent on four seats can also choose a Cayman or a Boxster,” says Hinze. The vehicles are identical to the 996 down to the seat rails. “The models offer six cylinders and are fun to drive, but cost less to purchase and service than a 911,” he says.
The 924, 944 and 968 models are also very good sports cars, but due to the front engine and rear wheel drive they offer completely different handling than a 911. And those who want the classic 911 shape cannot surpass the 996.
Porsche enthusiasts who want a lively car are better off with the Boxster (986) and Cayman (987c). The value of well-maintained vehicles in condition 2 is around 14,500 euros (Boxster) and 23,000 euros (Cayman).
Revision of a used Porsche
Maintenance is particularly important for used models, also due to the high repair costs. For extensive repairs, there should be expert proof in the form of a photo and invoice.
A completed checkbook must be available as well as a well documented history. The maintenance and repair work does not necessarily have to have been carried out at a Porsche center.
“In most cities, there are specialists for older Porsche models who often have more experience,” says Henning Hinze. Their hourly wages are also lower than those of a Porsche center.
When looking at a used sports car, Thorsten Rechtien generally does not see any substantial differences from other types of vehicles. “But if a sports car is driven like a sports car, that is, sportier and often fully loaded, interested parties should carefully examine the wearing parts,” says the expert from TÜV Rheinland.
Tires, brakes, tie rods, handlebars or shock absorbers are subject to more stress when you drive faster and wear faster. The engine, transmission, axles and differentials can also wear out and leak oil during extreme driving. If you are not an expert, you should definitely bring someone with you who understands something about sports cars and their peculiarities.
Be careful when making changes to the Porsche
In the event of technical changes to the chassis, exhaust or wheel-tire combination, these must be noted in the vehicle documents or a General Operating Authorization (ABE) must be available for the components.
A completed checkbook is irrelevant to a major inspection (HU). However, it is an indication that an owner takes good care of his vehicle and that the car is regularly checked and maintained in addition to the legal general inspection according to the extended specifications of the manufacturer, then Rechtien. So that the Porsche not only fills a dark garage, but can also be reliably moved.
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