njansenv Reader
Nov. 8, 2009 6:56 p.m.

A post on here sent me to searchtempest, where I started eventually looking for an '80's aircooled P-car (as I am want to do when I'm getting bored and online :) ). I was STUNNED to see many reasonable mile (sub 100k) watercooled 911's were well under 20k, and as low as 14! What's the scoop? Seems to be a lot of car for the money, even if they don't (IMHO) have the panache of the older cars....

Nathan

Jay Dork
Nov. 8, 2009 7:00 p.m.

Does it matter? Buy one.

I'm guessing it's because of swine flu. Or the economy.

sobe_death New Reader
Nov. 8, 2009 8:21 p.m.

I'm still waiting to find one in cheap 944 territory. Basically I will never have one until the swine flu plots a terrorist attack on the economy.

Panzer82 New Reader
Nov. 8, 2009 8:32 p.m.

I've noticed the same thing across the board for a lot of cars in that 20k and lower price range. I was offered an '82 911SC (88k miles, all upgrades done, etc.) for $10k a couple of weeks ago after the seller had been trying to get $15K for it for several months with no luck.

If you watch Craigslist for a few weeks, pick a few cars and watch them, you'll see them start for sale at what I would consider reasonable market prices and over the weeks the prices will drop as a seller becomes more desperate.

I just wrote a column on my blog about this phenomenon... it's a rough time out there for a lot of people, and a great time to get a great deal if you've got the cash.

Feedyurhed HalfDork
Nov. 8, 2009 8:42 p.m.
Panzer82 wrote: I've noticed the same thing across the board for a lot of cars in that 20k and lower price range. I was offered an '82 911SC (88k miles, all upgrades done, etc.) for $10k a couple of weeks ago after the seller had been trying to get $15K for it for several months with no luck. If you watch Craigslist for a few weeks, pick a few cars and watch them, you'll see them start for sale at what I would consider reasonable market prices and over the weeks the prices will drop as a seller becomes more desperate. I just wrote a column on my blog about this phenomenon... it's a rough time out there for a lot of people, and a great time to get a great deal if you've got the cash.

Yep, starting to see some Craiglist ads mentioning must sell to make house payment. Pretty sad if it's true but the prices would tend to support that it is. Bottom line........might be a good time to buy the vehicle you have always wanted.

Nov. 8, 2009 8:59 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: I guess this answers the "Should I sell my '90 C2 or buy nicer seats and a decent radio for it?" question. Anybody got a nice set of Recaros for sale cheap? I'm partial to the style that come in the new Exige ;)

EDIT: Just noticed the "watercooled" in the original post. Hopefully I am immune to depreciation by virtue of the oil-cooled goodness behind my rear axle.

nderwater Reader
Nov. 8, 2009 10:10 p.m.

The 996's were produced in larger numbers than previous generation air-cooled 911's and shared components with the Boxster. As a general rule, 993's easily command more money than comparable 996's, which these days are priced about the same as 964's. Go figure!

ddavidv SuperDork
Nov. 9, 2009 5:38 a.m.

Not that air/oil cooled 911's are DIY friendly, but I imagine that the added complexity in the engine bay of the newer water boxers may also be a deterrent to the larger used car crowd. Having to take your P car to the stealership for everything can quickly make a inexpensive car expensive.

BoxheadTim Reader
Nov. 9, 2009 6:22 a.m.

IIRC, there were also a couple (I don't know how many) reported engine failures on the early 996s. Supposedly if you put the engine together right it doesn't happen again but it's an expensive amusement the first time around.

Plus, as has been mentioned there are a lot more of them around so they're more or less an expensive used car.

maroon92 SuperDork
Nov. 9, 2009 7:31 a.m.

yeah, 996 porsche's are crappy. They have the same catastrophic failures as 986 Boxsters. some die as early as 50,000 miles. Especially if the coolant system has not been bled properly.

Nov. 9, 2009 7:51 a.m.
maroon92 wrote: yeah, 996 porsche's are crappy. They have the same catastrophic failures as 986 Boxsters. some die as early as 50,000 miles. Especially if the coolant system has not been bled properly.

I think that its only the run-o-the-mill early 996 that suffered. I think you are OK after 2001 or so and it was never a problem for the dry sump cars - only the base. So... line me up for a GT3 or nuthin' ;)

njansenv Reader
Nov. 9, 2009 7:55 a.m.

Good tips! I was afraid the motor reliability would be similiar to the Boxster's, and thought I had heard that elsewhere.

I think we'll hold out for a nice air-cooled car down the road, I was just stunned to see that kind of depreciation.....

kreb Dork
Nov. 9, 2009 8:23 a.m.

Can't speak to the Porsches, but there are killer deals all over the place right now. It makes me want to pull a second and fill me driveway with vehicular goodness.

joepaluch New Reader
Nov. 9, 2009 8:59 a.m.

Early 996's suffer from 3 things.

1) Supply. Lots of these cars were made and that supply drives down prices. Also most cars are now old enough that they are being sold by either original owners or early second owners. Many of these are not enthusaist owners, but people who need the latest/coolest so just want to sell and buy the next latest and greatest.

2) Maintenance fears. Alot was made of the maintenance issues on these early 996's. I think of it is overblown as these cars have issue like all Porsche do. The 993 and 964 varianats are not without their own issues too. Many forget that.

3) Appeareance cool factor. Many Porsche folk dislike the addition of water cooling and from day 1 with 996 did not like its look or interior. Many felt it was mass produced junk compare to their "hand crafted" 993. As such it never garnered the love of the enthusaist communuty. It is that community which provides the stable long term value. If it does not exist the car will deprciate like any 10 year old car. The 944, 944 Turbo and early 928 all suffer this same fate. However these front engine watercooled cars have develop and entirely new following precisely because their value has dropped. The 944 Turbo for the last 10 years has been around 10k to buy and at 10k makes an amazing performance bargan even today.

So feel the 996 is underrated in the Porsche community the same way the early boxsters are. It is a great time to buy one, but still be ware they are expesnive cars and can require expensive maintenance. This should not scare you, but you MUST factor it in or else you experience will not be a good one. Now I can't say it is the best time to get a 996 and I still see prices dropping, but you car get alot of car for this money.

nderwater Reader
Nov. 12, 2009 7:42 p.m.

I've been price-checking 996's for five years now, waiting for the right time to pick one up. Prices are now in the right ballpark, but my insurance company wants my spleen to cover one.

YaNi Reader
Nov. 12, 2009 10:22 p.m.

The aftermarket is finally coming to the aid of the 996. Before the engines were basically use once and throw away (most of the parts were unavailable). They still aren't cheap and will never be Chevy 350 cheap to rebuild, but atleast you don't have to shell for a completely new engine anymore if they do pop. I don't like the headlights on them, otherwise they would be on my list of cars to buy when I graduate.

I can see a SPEC 996 series forming in a few years.

nderwater Reader
June 3, 2010 4:10 p.m.

I've started looking at used Porsches in earnest. Specifically, the two wheel drive coupes. What I would love is a good write-up comparing the Porsche 996 vs 993 vs Cayman S. Have any insight to offer?

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
June 3, 2010 4:19 p.m.

I was given a 996 for a week while on vacation. (nice friend!) Although it was solid and fast, it wasn't much fun to drive. It did what you told it to, but the car never seemed to be chomping at the bit to have fun. It was more like a very nice appliance. I was extremely let down.

Otto_Maddox Reader
June 3, 2010 4:36 p.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin:

Joe, could you name some contemporary cars that you consider to be a lot more fun to drive? How about a Boxster?

nderwater Reader
June 3, 2010 6:02 p.m.

I'm surprised to hear that concerning your 996 experience. I drove one back to back with an early Boxster and a 350Z and really liked it, particularly when driven in anger (my regular rides are an E36 M3 and turbo Miata).

Woody SuperDork
June 3, 2010 7:55 p.m.

911's in general can take a while to find a buyer. Not everyone has 20 grand in cash to throw at a ten year old used car. Sellers get anxious and the prices can come down.

The best cars do seem to change hands quickly, though.

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
June 4, 2010 9:25 a.m.

To be fair to the 996, I didn't get the chance to track it. I'm hoping it would have come "alive" on track. On the street it was almost too refined. It just wasn't as visceral as I had expected / hoped. Granted I was driving a friends car on public streets, so I couldn't really flog it. At a fairly spirited pace the car just seemed bored. I'm sure it would have been more fun near the limit, but the car's limits are high enough that probing the limits on public streets would have been foolish. I know it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, but there have been many fast cars that were more fun to drive at 5/10 to 7/10 speeds.

I've driven many fairly modern cars that were a lot more fun. ( RX-8, E36 M3, C5/ C6 Vette, STI, EVO)

AutoXR Reader
June 4, 2010 9:45 a.m.

reliability issues would keep me from a 996. If you look closely you will see that a 996 GT3 uses a 964 block , it's even stamped on the side.

We went from a 964 to a 997S , the 997S has had it's problems too , but I have heard horror stories about 996's. The quality feel of the 996 wasn't as good as the 964 , or anywhere near the 997.. Both the 96 and 97S feel very diluted in terms of "911-ness" in comparison to the 964.

So much so that my old man has looked at trading the 997S for a 993S

Air cooled or nothin!

Keith SuperDork
June 4, 2010 10:12 a.m.

There was a 1988 911 (sorry, I can't speak the insider chassis code coolness) for sale here in town for around $18. Looked like a nice car when I stopped by to look at it. It was on the lot for well over a year. I haven't seen it for a while, I miss gazing wistfully at it as I drive by. We got the M5 instead, and for less money.

If you want to get an idea of what the cars are really selling for, look at "recently completed" eBay auctions. That'll show you how many cars are actually selling for the asking price. When the E39 M5 prices cratered, that was very telling. Sellers were asking $28k, buyers were paying $19k. Lots of auctions that never hit reserve.

CLNSC3 Reader
July 17, 2010 10:34 p.m.

I went and test drove a 2001 with 50K that was going for 25,000 at local dealerhip. Loved driving the car but in the end I think I would rather own a C5 Z06...

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