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Old 01-11-2006, 12:35 PM   #1
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Sanity check

Well after much searching I decided to buy what people on this forum felt was the "too expensive" car. I'd like a sanity check. The car is a 99 with 43K miles red with black interior, sport package, 18"wheels, traction control. It is being inspected tomorrow by the local Porsche dealer and the sale is contingent on that inspection. I'm paying $20k for the car which I know you guys feel is too much. However, its the best car I have found that I can actually see before I buy. Yes there are cheaper cars in TX, CA and NYC but I won't touch a NY car (I lived there long enough to know the toll those roades take on cars) and the other 2 are too far to go see.

OK, now the sanity check question. All the comments have been to buy a 2000 or newer for the bigger engine etc. I'm comming from a Miata so the 99 has plenty of power. Its also faster than my "real car" (an Audi A6 3.0). Can I afford a more expensive car? Yes and no. I could technically afford to buy a new 911 if I wanted to but that would eat into my rainy day savings. Thus in reality I can't afford a new 911. Even $20k for a toy is going way overboard, my original toy limit was $10k but I want a Porsche. Finally I look at the money I spend on this car as being thrown out. Its a depreciating asset and over the years it will dwindle down to nothing. It also has a lmited life expectancy.

With this background, and understanding that $20K is already pushing my limit, do you guys still feel I should spend another say 5k on a 2000 or newer car? By the way I will put less than 5k miles a year on the car (based on experience with my Miata). Understand that I don't care about the extra power. So the only reason for spending more now would be a lower cost of ownership. Will the newer car really require 5k less in maintenance over the next few years?

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:50 PM   #2
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rteichman, you sound like a very financially responsible person. I am sure you make great decisions, and you'll make the right one here too about your Boxster purchase.

The only person that has to be happy with the decision is YOU!

You will get a lot of great advice here. If you love the car and recognize the value to you, that's all that matters.

Price = cost + value!!!!!

Good luck...and post some pictures ASAP!
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:53 PM   #3
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I bought a 97 2.5 when I really wanted a 2000 3.2... I saved ten grand buying my car, but have put 7 into it so I could have had a newer one with a bigger engine waiting just 18 months.

Buy the car you know you want and don't settle for anything less. Then those 5000 precious miles a year will be spent enjoying the right car instead of seeing the right car pass you or in a parking lot and wondering why you didn't wait to get what you wanted.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:03 PM   #4
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If it's a '99, check the engine build date. I wouldn't touch one with an engine build of 10/98-03/99 because of the "seconds" blocks that were used. Those are the ones with an unusually high engine failure rate.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:06 PM   #5
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Was the 7 grand because it was a 97 or just a problem car? Could the 2000 S have been a bad car with the same problems? In other words is the 2000+ design so superior that the maintenance costs will be drasticly less? I'm perfectly happy with a 99 from a power/performance perspective. When I want acceleration and speed, I hop on my Triumph TT600 which will outperform any car costing less than a 100 grand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
I bought a 97 2.5 when I really wanted a 2000 3.2... I saved ten grand buying my car, but have put 7 into it so I could have had a newer one with a bigger engine waiting just 18 months.

Buy the car you know you want and don't settle for anything less. Then those 5000 precious miles a year will be spent enjoying the right car instead of seeing the right car pass you or in a parking lot and wondering why you didn't wait to get what you wanted.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deliriousga
If it's a '99, check the engine build date. I wouldn't touch one with an engine build of 10/98-03/99 because of the "seconds" blocks that were used. Those are the ones with an unusually high engine failure rate.
How do I find that out? The car was first delivered in 9/99. The VIN number is: WP0CA2989XS620293
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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I see your from PA.

I have one word for you: Manheim.

Porsches are sold there at Auction by Porsche to used car dealers all over the country. Find someone with a dealer auctions license and make a few trips out there to size up the buying power of your cash. The savings are Grande.

I'll def. be checking that out when I start looking for 996S in a year or two.
Need to figure where in this country I'm going to live first.
But my next car will definitely be another Porsche!
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Perfectlap
Find someone with a dealer auctions license and make a few trips out there to size up the buying power of your cash. The savings are Grande.
I know of such a man who will buy Boxsters (or anything else you may want) not charge a lot more than he pays. He is a pastor of a church nights and weekends and does this to pay his bills. He checks them out well with a mechanic and I will use him for my next car. PM me if you need his name and phone number.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for the Manheim suggestion, but I work in DC and I want to see any car I buy. Also, I am fairly far down the road with this seller and would only change my mind if the car has problems OR there is a significant design changes in the 2000+ years which impact maintenance costs/reliability to warrant not buying a 99.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
I know of such a man who will buy Boxsters (or anything else you may want) not charge a lot more than he pays. He is a pastor of a church nights and weekends and does this to pay his bills. He checks them out well with a mechanic and I will use him for my next car. PM me if you need his name and phone number.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:11 PM   #10
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Sounds like you have done your homework and know what you want.

Go for it!






Quote:
Originally Posted by rteichman
Well after much searching I decided to buy what people on this forum felt was the "too expensive" car. I'd like a sanity check. The car is a 99 with 43K miles red with black interior, sport package, 18"wheels, traction control. It is being inspected tomorrow by the local Porsche dealer and the sale is contingent on that inspection. I'm paying $20k for the car which I know you guys feel is too much. However, its the best car I have found that I can actually see before I buy. Yes there are cheaper cars in TX, CA and NYC but I won't touch a NY car (I lived there long enough to know the toll those roades take on cars) and the other 2 are too far to go see.

OK, now the sanity check question. All the comments have been to buy a 2000 or newer for the bigger engine etc. I'm comming from a Miata so the 99 has plenty of power. Its also faster than my "real car" (an Audi A6 3.0). Can I afford a more expensive car? Yes and no. I could technically afford to buy a new 911 if I wanted to but that would eat into my rainy day savings. Thus in reality I can't afford a new 911. Even $20k for a toy is going way overboard, my original toy limit was $10k but I want a Porsche. Finally I look at the money I spend on this car as being thrown out. Its a depreciating asset and over the years it will dwindle down to nothing. It also has a lmited life expectancy.

With this background, and understanding that $20K is already pushing my limit, do you guys still feel I should spend another say 5k on a 2000 or newer car? By the way I will put less than 5k miles a year on the car (based on experience with my Miata). Understand that I don't care about the extra power. So the only reason for spending more now would be a lower cost of ownership. Will the newer car really require 5k less in maintenance over the next few years?

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rteichman
How do I find that out? The car was first delivered in 9/99. The VIN number is: WP0CA2989XS620293
Here's the info based on the VIN:
W - Manufactured in West Germany
P - by Porsche AG
0 - Model Type Sports Cara
C - Cabriolet
A - Boxster 2.5L
2 - Driver & Passenger Air Bags
98 - First two digits of model type
9 - Checksum Digit (Matches per NHTSA)??
X - Manufactured in 1999
S - Assembly Plant-Stuttgart
6 - 3rd digit (986)
2 - Body/Engine Code (2.5 or 2.7L)
0293 - Chassis # 293 of the MY

Since initial delivery was in September of 1999, I seriously doubt it was built then held for 6 months before delivery. You're probably fine with that delivery date.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deliriousga
If it's a '99, check the engine build date. I wouldn't touch one with an engine build of 10/98-03/99 because of the "seconds" blocks that were used. Those are the ones with an unusually high engine failure rate.
Are you referring to the "slip sleeve" problem? I've never heard of it as the "seconds blocks".


rteichman: If you can find a good 99 that you can see for yourself, then I say get it.
I myself have a 99 and I have not had any problems with it in the few years I have owned it.
As to the "engine failure" and "slip sleeve", with 40K+ on the clock, I'm sure it has been taken care of by now.
ALso, just remember this: someone will always tell you to spend "just a little more" for something better. But once you decide on $25K, then whats another 5K to get an 03 right?? Then when someone conviences you on $30K, then whats another 10K for 1 year old 987? You get the idea??
Don't fall to peer pressure because you are the one that has to live with your decision. Trust your intuition. If you think that 99 is for you then get it. If not then wait a little longer for one that is.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tqtran
Are you referring to the "slip sleeve" problem? I've never heard of it as the "seconds blocks".
It was covered in the April '05 issue of Panorama magazine in the Tech Q&A section. "Not quite perfect blocks" is the description they used in the article. The manufacturer of the blocks' (Kolbenschmidt) casting machine broke down in their factory so they bored out and sleeved the not quite perfect blocks because Boxster production would have slowed tremendously. Liners were pressed in to repair the blocks and several were pressed in harder than the top retaining ring could handle so the ring would crack underneath. When the ring fails during engine operation, pieces fall into the cylinder, the piston rings grab the debris and that's all she wrote. The casting machine was down from 10/98- "early '99" so that's why I'd stay away from those build dates.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:01 PM   #14
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well its kind of like the 911, if you're considering between an 86 or 87 go with the 87 because of the drastically revised tranny. Same goes with the Boxster. The changes were significant enough that the price difference between a 99 and 2000 can't justify going with the "unrevised" Boxster.
From a resale point of view not going with a 2000 could cost you money.

btw, you can go with a dealer to the Auctions in Manheim. Its open to the public but bidding is limited to actual dealers.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:33 PM   #15
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If any of us were truly sane, we wouldn't be spending tens of thousands of dollars on a depreciating asset like a sports car anyway.
If you like the car and are satisfied with the price, go for it.
If you pay a dollar for it, somebody will say they can buy a better one for 50 cents, so ignore that stuff.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:46 AM   #16
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Sanity is in the eye of the beholder. Pull the trigger on this one since it meets your expectations. Always keep it in good shape. If you out grow it, sell and buy something else. Don't miss another moment of enjoying a Box. Life is getting shorter as we speak.
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:52 AM   #17
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How can you tell month a car was manfactured? The vin doesnt tell you month correct? My car was assembeled in Uusikaupunki, Finland anyway heres the vin
WPOCA2985XU624507 sorry not trying to hijack I found my build date......11/98 so I guess I have one of the seconds blocks, doh
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Last edited by ohioboxster; 01-12-2006 at 04:01 AM. Reason: Found build date
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Old 01-12-2006, 06:12 AM   #18
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"btw, you can go with a dealer to the Auctions in Manheim. Its open to the public but bidding is limited to actual dealers"

This is not accurate, as so far as Manheim on the West Coast.

Dealers only!

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Old 01-12-2006, 06:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioboxster
How can you tell month a car was manfactured? The vin doesnt tell you month correct? My car was assembeled in Uusikaupunki, Finland anyway heres the vin
WPOCA2985XU624507 sorry not trying to hijack I found my build date......11/98 so I guess I have one of the seconds blocks, doh
To put your mind at ease, they also said the problem shows up quickly if the liner was pressed in too hard. Usually within the first 10K miles. You have to take into account the stock of engines they had on hand and how far in advance they build them. I'd imagine with a build date of 11/98, your engine was probably made 2-3 months before that.

Please don't worry too much about the problem if you already have one within the build dates. The failure of problem engines usually happens early so you most likely don't have a problem 6 years later and many miles into the engine. I have a 2000, but the head gasket could blow tomorrow and engine seize, who knows. I just think somebody looking at a used car should have all of the info available to them and put the odds in their favor.

Whichever model you get, enjoy the heck out of it.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:39 AM   #20
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"Whichever model you get, enjoy the heck out of it."

Indeed! As my namesake once said--"Don't think, FEEL!"

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