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Old 06-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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Help me Decide

I'm new to the forum and have found the info contained here unbelievably helpful. I've looked at several Boxters for sale locally and have narrowed my search to a couple very different cars and I'm hoping for some guidance on figuring our which way to go.

Car #1:
2001 Boxster S, 58K miles, new clutch, flywheel, RMS and IMS seals, owned by a former certified Porsche mechanic (who personally did all the work), driven during the Winter (here in Michigan (owner installed snow tires on a second set of wheels)) for a couple of years. He's the third owner. Aside from some minor rock chips and a little bit of curbing on the wheels the car is in excellent condition. Silver on Black, two sets of Porsche wheels included. Needs tires.

Car#2:
2001 Boxster, 21.5K miles. Original owner, dealer maintained with full service history. 17" Porsche wheels. This is a classic 'only driven on sunny days' car. It's never seen snow and very little rain. It's black on black and in amazing condition.

Both owners are asking the same price for their respective cars. Both have also agreed to having their cars undergo a full PPI from a local Porsche dealer.

So here the question: If it were you, what would you do and why? Any info is greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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#1 No question.

It's an S. 60k is not too many miles. New parts = less worries. Owned by a P mechanic? Thumbs up!

I prefer black to silver, but #1 is the better car.


What are the prices? Normally low mileage cars (21.5k) demand huge $ ( I would think around $20k for #2). I would say you should pay around $18k for #1.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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First, we need more info - how do you intend to use the car? Daily driver or garage queen? Concours or a few track days? Summer only or year round?

With those answers, the selection will start to become obvious...

Daily driver/maybe a track day/year round = Car #2

Summer only/Concours condition/garage queen = Car #1
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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#1 No question.

It's an S. 60k is not too many miles. New parts = less worries. Owned by a P mechanic? Thumbs up!

I prefer black to silver, but #1 is the better car.


What are the prices? Normally low mileage cars (21.5k) demand huge $ ( I would think around $20k for #2). I would say you should pay around $18k for #1.
LOL, I wish I could have had you buy my car. If someone sells a 2001S with 70k for $18k please let us know how you can also sell ice to the eskimos.

Last edited by blue2000s; 06-24-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #5
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LOL, I wish I could have had you buy my car. If someone sells a 2001S with 70k for $18k please let us know how you can also sell ice to the eskimos.
Porsche : Boxster Boxster "S" Model Porsche : Boxster Boxster "S" Model | eBay

10k More miles than what the OP is looking at. Current bid is at $15k+ with 3 days left in the auction. No mention of new clutch, flywheel, or IMS & RMS fixes. OP's comes with an extra set of wheels.

Could I be wrong, sure, but probably not by much.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Try both cars. If u feel the need for power then the S may be the answer. I have a 2001 Boxster base black and have had it one year. It had low miles - around 40k. I drove it it in winter and so far has been perfect and spent about $2k on it. The above poster says what r u going to use it for - track , autocross or everday driver. That is a good question. Mine is black as well - a b---h to keep clean. I don't have the need for a lot of power so the base is good. I needed air cond. and heated seats. Make sure these work! Either one will likely make u happy but it is u who must decide. Make sure everything works - turn on ignition without starting. Make sure all lites light up especially the check engine lite. Ask to see receipts for work done. Get a PPI done. Don't rush into this . Take your time. The PPI may show deficiencies and if you can live with that, deduct from the asking price. I know the feeling - you are a kid in a candy store.
Do your homework. Enjoy
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
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Porsche : Boxster Boxster "S" Model Porsche : Boxster Boxster "S" Model | eBay

10k More miles than what the OP is looking at. Current bid is at $15k+ with 3 days left in the auction. No mention of new clutch, flywheel, or IMS & RMS fixes. OP's comes with an extra set of wheels.

Could I be wrong, sure, but probably not by much.
Here's how you can tell what the market will bare on ebay. You go by the green numbers.

http://motors.completed.shop.ebay.com/Cars-Trucks-/6001/i.html?LH_Complete=1&_nkw=porsche+boxster+s&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p4506.c0.m282

Even then, it's iffy if the buyer ever actually pays.

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Old 06-24-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Here's how you can tell what the market will bare on ebay. You go by the green numbers.

http://motors.completed.shop.ebay.com/Cars-Trucks-/6001/i.html?LH_Complete=1&_nkw=porsche+boxster+s&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p4506.c0.m282

Even then, it's iffy if the buyer ever actually pays.
I would guess that a very small fraction of the people who find cars on eBay BUY on eBay. Sellers are out the completed listing %. They would rather cut out the middle man.

Completed listings are good to find values of less expensive items, not cars.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #9
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I would guess that a very small fraction of the people who find cars on eBay BUY on eBay. Sellers are out the completed listing %. They would rather cut out the middle man.

Completed listings are good to find values of less expensive items, not cars.
You're the one who brought up ebay. If either of the cars the OP is looking at are sold for more than $15k, I'll be surprised.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
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Car#2:
2001 Boxster, 21.5K miles. Original owner, dealer maintained with full service history. 17" Porsche wheels. This is a classic 'only driven on sunny days' car. It's never seen snow and very little rain. It's black on black and in amazing condition.
Both seem to be in excellent condition and well maintained. Original owner is a big plus in my book, as are dealer service records. However, since the cars are so similar (year and condition) the real deal maker for me would be 20,000 miles vs 60,000 miles.

I vote for number 2.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback. In terms of use - I'm looking at a Summer-only daily driver, although some Driver's Ed track work as well as some some auto-crossing will likely be in scope. That being said it will likely see more trips to restaurants that laps around a track.

I guess the basic question comes down to: Are all the goodies that are included with an 'S' a bigger benefit than a car with half the miles?

I've driven both and while the 'S' has got a slightly more aggressive exhaust note (as it has no Cat and a Borla exhaust) I felt little difference in the way the cars accelerated, cornered or stopped.

Both sellers are asking $17K and while that sounded reasonable, both sound a bit inflated based on some of the posts received??

Heated seats are the only desired option missing from either car which is a bit of a bummer (who buys a care w/o heated seats in Michigan?!) and it appears that there's no inexpensive way of adding them. I guess I'll find a way with living without them. My wife on the other hand is a different story.

Based on what I just wrote I'm thinking that I won't be tapping into the need for the extra capabilities of an 'S'. Any additional thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #12
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I really like the heated seats and so does my wife especially in this part of the world. Is this a deal breaker for u? I used to have a 99 Miata and it had neither heated seats nor air cond. She was not happy in that car!
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the feedback. In terms of use - I'm looking at a Summer-only daily driver, although some Driver's Ed track work as well as some some auto-crossing will likely be in scope. That being said it will likely see more trips to restaurants that laps around a track.

I guess the basic question comes down to: Are all the goodies that are included with an 'S' a bigger benefit than a car with half the miles?

I've driven both and while the 'S' has got a slightly more aggressive exhaust note (as it has no Cat and a Borla exhaust) I felt little difference in the way the cars accelerated, cornered or stopped.

Both sellers are asking $17K and while that sounded reasonable, both sound a bit inflated based on some of the posts received??

Heated seats are the only desired option missing from either car which is a bit of a bummer (who buys a care w/o heated seats in Michigan?!) and it appears that there's no inexpensive way of adding them. I guess I'll find a way with living without them. My wife on the other hand is a different story.

Based on what I just wrote I'm thinking that I won't be tapping into the need for the extra capabilities of an 'S'. Any additional thoughts are appreciated.
Car #2 is your car: The difference in power wasn't a factor and that is the major difference between a base and S. The other very minor differences are even less noticable.

Car2 is low mileage and you can never change (once they are there, they are there forever). The old adage about buying the least mileage car always rings true. And lastly, Car2 has been treated the same way that you intend to care for it. Can't ask for much more than that.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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I'd wait for the car you really want with the options that are really important to you. Took me a year to find the right one and for me that had heated seats, windstop, manual trans and an "S", in any color other than black and with a light colored interior. Also a 2003 or 2004 because I had to have a glass rear window and wanted the glove box. I'm glad I waited and got the right car.
I'd say don't buy either car and wait for the right one. There are always tons of them for sale.
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:44 PM   #15
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I'd wait for the car you really want with the options that are really important to you. Took me a year to find the right one and for me that had heated seats, windstop, manual trans and an "S", in any color other than black and with a light colored interior. Also a 2003 or 2004 because I had to have a glass rear window and wanted the glove box. I'm glad I waited and got the right car.
I'd say don't buy either car and wait for the right one. There are always tons of them for sale.
No truer words. That is my frustration. Waiting. Wait for the right car, with the color and options you want. That's what I am doing. Expand your search if you can to other cities within a reasonable driving distance. Only you can say what is more important to you. New possibilities pop up almost daily.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #16
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These guys are right. My 2 Boxsters taught me that too. We purchased our first car a "98 Base locally. When we decided to up grade to the 2K S we took our time and finally drove 1,000 miles to get the "right" car at the "right" price. Well worth it. Patience is a virtue when shopping for this car.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:15 PM   #17
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I just bought my black 2001 S Boxster 3 weeks ago. 55K miles, w/heated seats.

It was listed by a private seller at $15k and I got another $500 off due to the rear tires needing replacement.

There were others similar S's available for 13.5k and up. I thinking 18k is too much except maybe for the extra set of good tires/wheels included

You will never have S envy if you buy the S now. If it will ever see a track, you'll be happier with the S.

Low miles on an old car is no guarantee of good condition as engines that don't run regularly may suffer from a lack of regular oil lubrication and in a moist state like MI some internal corrosion can cause accelerated engine wear.

A well maintained and regularly driven vehicle usually has a more predictable wear rate and lifespan. 60K is fine as the thing will likely go another 60k with no issues.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:57 AM   #18
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An engine is not the only consideration in mileage, every other component has wear. In general I'd look for the car in the best documented condition, that may not always be the one with the lowest odometer but often is. Regarding base versus S, you can get plenty of tickets and already have a powerful Porsche car offered in a base. To me the true difference is acceleration and a wider power band with the S. If you keep the RPM's up and run a 986 hard you can carry plenty of speed and pace. With an S it's easier to execute "get away from me" acceleration at anytime, you don't need a track to feel a huge difference. You will be far less tempted to go on the "aftermarket search for the holy grail of additional hp" a trip that IMO will cost more over time than just getting the S up front, of course putting all that stuff on can be fun too. As others have said, with the S it may be more desirable to the next owner when you decide it's time to sell.

PS If it's important to you I think the base drinks less fuel even driven hard, although the Spyder was around 32 mpg on the highway and traffic was running "brisk" to say the least.

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Old 06-25-2012, 04:04 AM   #19
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If you need a PPI done, I recommend Kern Serota from Fred Lavery Porsche in Birmingham. I bought my '01 S from my former neighbor in Michigan and Kern did maintenance on all his cars. Kern suggested that the brake fluid be changed which I had done before I drove the car down to Texas. Lavery charged $115 for the PPI. I would stay away from Michigan cars that were driven during the winter.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:30 AM   #20
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Update - I passed on both cars in favor of expanding my search (geographically) for a lower mileage, newer model year Boxster S. I have a very specific car in mind and am fearing that it's going to take a very long time to find it, but patience will hopefully pay-off in the long run. Wasn't it Tom Petty who said 'waiting is the hardest part'?

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