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Old 03-17-2011, 03:28 AM   #1
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Seduced by another........not

For one reason or another, I've always had this feeling that owning a 986 Boxster (and maybe a 996 Carrera) is tantamount to being a poor relative in the Porsche family. You know the score - water cooled (ugh), poor man's Porsche, not the real deal, no retail value and, even worse, that reliability question........

Suitably seduced, I have over the last few months been looking out for a suitable "real" Porsche as depicted by, and according to, the Rennlist and Rentech Forums - and this means owning at least a 911SC, a 964 or a (wallet allowing) 993.

A couple of days ago, my local (Australian) dealer in all things classic (Jaguars, BMW's, Alfa Romeo's, MB's etc, etc) advertised a 1989 Porsche 964 Carrera 4, in a rare colour combo, minimal ownership with only 94,000 km (58,000 miles) on the odo.
Looked real good and my wife suggested I go and have a looksee. I'm pretty handy with the wenches and (I assume) I should be able to maintain such a classic, as I do with my current Porsche.
I drove my 2001 Boxster S to the emporium (just in case they wanted to give me a trade in price) and I started looking at this classic "must have" - last of the air cooled "real" Porsches. After checking out the oil leaks, non existant A/C, spotted history and questionable ergonomics, it was maybe time for a 10 mile drive.

To put this into perspective, I realise I am driving a 22 year old car.

I don't expect GT3 ceramic brake capability.
I realise that suspension and roadholding have improved, but.....
I didn't expect the car to be slower than my Boxster.
Wind noise...
Tyre roar.....
Ear plugs please!!
And I NEVER listen to my radio either so don't say I'm missing out on the flat 6 symphony.....

I have also driven 3 other 911's recently (a 1978 2.7 and 2 x 198* SC 's) before this one. And they all drove the same - noisy, slightly vague suspension, questionable ergonomics, very poor ventilation and basically that old car "cloth cap" driving experience....
Yes, the doors closed with a vault like thunk, the leather was very impressive for its age, the paint quality was really good, & the carpets / fittings made my 986 look low rent...

BUT - after the drive, do you know the best bit....

Getting back into my poor mans Porsche, twisting the key and that badmouthed unreliable engine stabbing into motion - I dipped that light actioned clutch, snicked into gear & without a hint of any hissy fits, eased into the traffic and was off......
To a mere mortal like me, the Boxster handles like dream, the performance is accessable, the S brakes are class leading and the driving experience is sublime....
What a relief
Cracked a beer when I got home and celebrated not being seduced by another...

In retrospect, don't believe everything that you read on the websites (including this if you are a dyed in the wool 964 believer), but, please consider the fact that the 986 / 996 is by far and away the best value for money Porsche that you can buy.

If you don't believe me, go and try an early model P car and come back and convince me differently......

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Old 03-17-2011, 05:54 AM   #2
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i love the look and history of the old cars but they are old cars ! my 03S is old , the newer the porsche the better in my opinion. never go back only forward .
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:42 AM   #3
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Different strokes for different folks.

I've driven a few pre-964 911s and always come away loving all of the sensations that they provide. The steering, shifter, and suspension are absolutely alive. The cars are so light, they are entertaining at any speed. I love the noises the car makes. It's all so mechanically unfiltered and pure. Modern cars don't come close save for maybe the Elise.

They have a long list of flaws, starting with scary handling traits, but to me, it only makes the car more personal and connected. It's very different and special.

I enjoy my Boxster alot. I've had it for 6 years and will probably keep it for a very long time. It's fast, smooth (once the tires roll for a couple of miles), sticks to the road like glue. But anyone could own this car and love it. My mother could easily live with this car every day.

It takes someone who appreciates that very unique mechanical intimacy to love the older Porsches.

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:14 AM   #4
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I concur with Steve, I have driven a couple air cooled 911s and I owned a 944. It's amazing how negative smears stick, the 944 is likely the most maligned Porsche except for it's bastard cousin the Audi powered 924. When you drive a 944, it's hard not to smile, I'll bet many haters have never driven one. I've thought hard about a gt3 before I leave this Earth. Given the forfeiture of chassis balance, insurance, maintenance costs (some have ceramic brakes) and at least 75K out of my wallet, I'll keep my Boxster. You can only legally drive so fast, the Box is plenty exhilarating for this old man, besides, when my disease is really expressing, I don't have to bend to get in, you gotta love convertibles.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:06 AM   #5
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Ive got an SC, and a 986 S. Family member owns a low mile 993 that I drive more than them . I like all three cars for very different reasons. I will say the SC and 993 feel special when I drive them, don't know why. The manual everything in the SC really livens up the driving experience to me. As hard as it is to get away with anything on the streets these days, modern cars are boring at the same speed as the old SC. I find myself taking the 986 S to the track, and reaching for the SC on the street. Just more entertaining to me. At the end of the day all three are real Porsches.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:53 AM   #6
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No offense, but these threads always crack me up.

There isn't any Law which states you can't like them both.

It's like some Loyalty Oath, or seeking affirmation/exoneration for buying a Boxster.

I loved my Boxster, but it was time to move on. Notice I didn't say move up or move down, simply move on.

I love my 964, the technology is older, though w/ only 24k mi. on the Odo, it all works perfectly. The technology and performance in the Boxster is newer (better if you will - not so sure when IMS and stuff happens).

I do have to say I enjoy driving the 964 more. It harks back to what a sports car always was, small, nimble, more visceral. Not loaded with driver aids and creature comforts, and definitely better built (as things from past eras often are).

I'm glad I owned a Boxster for so many years, but I don't think I'd have to do it again.

That may be the biggest difference, having owned an '83 SC in the past and loving it, it obviously left an impression and a longing to revisit the experience albeit in a future Gen.

IMHO, the lineage ended with the 993, the 996/997 aren't the same thing at all, at best a very distant cousin. It's a completely different car - 25% larger, 30% heavier, with old-time styling cues and an adopted name. Could have had an '03 996 (which I did look into, test drive, etc.) for the price paid for my 964, but it just wasn't for me.

Cheers!
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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I love my 986S but I will get a 964 or 993 within the next few years. I love the noise and manual feel to everything. I used to have a few 914s and I had more fun in those spartan little go carts than in my very comfortable Boxster.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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well, try taking a drive in the REAL 'poor man's porsche', the 914.
I absolutely LOVE driving the teener and it actually has a lot of the qualities that you described as unappealing about the older 911's.

The road noise, the thinner tires providing great road "feel", reliability?? lmao please..., and the VW jabs make it all that more charming.

I'd love a 993 though
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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Lil bastard, good to see you still visit your poor cousins website

I can appreciate exactly where you are coming from. I've owned 6 or 7 Alfa Romeo's over the years - all the old 1970's 105 1750 model GTV's. My son owns a "modern" V6 GTV which blows the socks off all of my old 105's, but somewhere Alfa lost the DNA of the older, a light, agile sportscar. Maybe Porsche have done the same over its morphing into the modern day 986 / 996 models.
But here in Oz (and I suspect in the US and Canada) you will pay double the cost of a good Boxster for a half decent 964 and even more for a 993.
Sorry, but a good air cooled car may be an intrinsically better built product inits day, but IMOHO its just not worth the premium to buy into the club. Maybe I just got unlucky with the 3 cars I drove, but.......
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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@Steve Tinker,

I agree but also want to point out that Porsche isn't necessarily totally responsible either.

Economic realities, a risk averse society have all contributed to a dilution of this 'DNA'.

CAFE standards, Safety equipment (like TPMS because some single mother couldn't be bothered to check the tire pressures on her Ford Explorer) and such, have made the cars heavier and heavier despite significant substitution of lightweight plastics and composites.

It is now Government's role to protect us from ourselves, all the while forgetting that every endeavor in Life has risks.

But, I think Porsche too has compromised quality (compared to yesterday) for the sake of profit and dumbed down the cars to appeal to a broader, less specialized or niche market.

Cheers!
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lil bastard
But, I think Porsche too has compromised quality (compared to yesterday) for the sake of profit and dumbed down the cars to appeal to a broader, less specialized or niche market.
Because the 964/968/993 almost ran the company into the ground, financially.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #12
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Have you noticed that the poor man's Porsche argument is always initiated by those who don't own a Porsche themselves? Just thought I'd throw it out there. I have 2 friends one owns an 04 turbo and the other a 03 C4S and they don't have that opinion at all they actually like my car.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:10 PM   #13
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Because the 964/968/993 almost ran the company into the ground, financially.
That's not exclusive to Porsche.

Porsche, Lotus, Alfa, Aston, Maseratti all spent most of their existance hanging just over the abyss.

Collectively, they pulled all sort of pranks to stay alive. Porsche used to swap VIN plates for higher serial #s when the Bankers came to indicate they were producing/selling more units than they actually were. Lotus used to park cars in an adjacent field under tarps telling shareholders and bankers that they had been ordered and already shipped.

But, they concentrated on making the best cars, not on keeping the company alive, they were lean and mean, not fat and bloated.

Putting priorities first is a large part of why they survived 6 decades perilously close to the edge.

Perhaps, staying just a little hungry is a key ingredient not only to making great cars, but also surviving.

Cheers!
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lil bastard
That's not exclusive to Porsche.

Porsche, Lotus, Alfa, Aston, Maseratti all spent most of their existance hanging just over the abyss.

Collectively, they pulled all sort of pranks to stay alive. Porsche used to swap VIN plates for higher serial #s when the Bankers came to indicate they were producing/selling more units than they actually were. Lotus used to park cars in an adjacent field under tarps telling shareholders and bankers that they had been ordered and already shipped.

But, they concentrated on making the best cars, not on keeping the company alive, they were lean and mean, not fat and bloated.

Putting priorities first is a large part of why they survived 6 decades perilously close to the edge.

Perhaps, staying just a little hungry is a key ingredient not only to making great cars, but also surviving.

Cheers!
And it turns out it was just delaying the inevitable for them all.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:59 PM   #15
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And it turns out it was just delaying the inevitable for them all.
Well, certainly that's one point of view.

Sorry to hj the thread, but each of these companies survived better than half of the automobile's total existance, not too bad. And, surviving is surviving.

But remember, in Porsche's case, it wasn't a sports car which pulled them back from the edge. It was currency manipulation in the mid-90's through '03 and an SUV with a Stuttgart shield on it, not the 986/996, 987/997 or the Cayman.

The vision was lost, for many of the reasons I've stated, but also through the generations' family in-fighting that shifted the goal from making the best performance cars to making the most money. There's nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that the focus shifted, and this is perhaps most visible when compared to past products.

I mean just imagine deliberately sabotaging the best platform in the company (986) in order to prop up and prevent overtaking an existing design (911).

Guessing 'ol Ferdinand's corpse was bouncing off the proverbial rev limiter on this one.

I'm truly not trying to be controversial here, but I guess I view these cos., in their time, as building and defending their reputations, not relying on them as is now often the case.

Porsche certainly isn't alone here, but Porsche is the subject at hand.

Cheers!
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by stateofidleness
well, try taking a drive in the REAL 'poor man's porsche', the 914.
I absolutely LOVE driving the teener and it actually has a lot of the qualities that you described as unappealing about the older 911's.

The road noise, the thinner tires providing great road "feel", reliability?? lmao please..., and the VW jabs make it all that more charming.

I'd love a 993 though
The Teenies are great cars, though wrongfully oft maligned... drove several back in the day, would love to own a 914-6 someday!

Cheers!
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:49 AM   #17
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To add on to Lil B's rant, Ferrari as most of you know just made a new 4 door. The realities of car making dictate a certain volume of production. Even if Porsche owned the sports car niche, it's not enough, hence the Cayenne and now Ferrari sedans. Hopefully, we won't be treated to a Lamborghini SUV anytime soon.

As for "back to the thread". After a visit to the doctor, I have determined I should drive a Ferrari as it's always been a bucket list wish, not own one, drive one. I know you can do it in Vegas but it's ludicrous expensive, then again I didn't expect it was going to be a cheap outing.. Old machines are cool, I'd love to have my first Fiat 500 or 850 coupe. I can relate to Lil B liking that 911 all day, I get it completely. The Fiat 124 can't win a race against anyone (well except a classic MG) but it's still an unbelievable blast to drive, really good fun with about 28 mpg.

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Old 03-18-2011, 06:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightsandaces
To add on to Lil B's rant, Ferrari as most of you know just made a new 4 door. The realities of car making dictate a certain volume of production. Even if Porsche owned the sports car niche, it's not enough, hence the Cayenne and now Ferrari sedans. Hopefully, we won't be treated to a Lamborghini SUV anytime soon.

As for "back to the thread". After a visit to the doctor, I have determined I should drive a Ferrari as it's always been a bucket list wish, not own one, drive one. I know you can do it in Vegas but it's ludicrous expensive, then again I didn't expect it was going to be a cheap outing.. Old machines are cool, I'd love to have my first Fiat 500 or 850 coupe. I can relate to Lil B liking that 911 all day, I get it completely. The Fiat 124 can't win a race against anyone (well except a classic MG) but it's still an unbelievable blast to drive, really good fun with about 28 mpg.
we had a Lamborghini SUV

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_LM002
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:57 AM   #19
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haha nice! if all goes right I'll be driving my 10 year old Mountaineer to the dealer today to pick up an Escape XLT
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:39 AM   #20
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Yep... Lamborghini LM002

Cheers!
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