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Old 11-04-2013, 09:54 PM   #1
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Question Poll: What to do with my '99 986: Upgrade, Modify, or get a 911?

Hey folks,

I haven't posted much in a while, but I've been keeping an eye on the forum for years. Anyhow, I have a 1999 986 Arctic Silver/Boxster Red with about 80k on it now. I purchased it five years ago with 25k and used it as a daily driver since. In general I love the car and I've spent a fair amount to maintain it. During these five years I've replaced the AOS, coolant reservoir, waterpump, clutch, RMS, window regulators, and brake pads/rotors. I also had the LN engineering IMS retrofit installed, as well as a LN engineering low temp. thermostat and a Boxster S oil cooler. So I've put some $$$ and TLC into maintaining her. I've kept her 100% stock partially to preserve value and partially because I haven't had much extra spending cash to let me get carried away. Not even a short shifter kit yet...

With that said, I still have some items that need attention. The front fender is looking pretty ugly after many parking lots and sloped street-side SF parking jobs. The rear fender recently gained some scratches as well from someone grazing it in a parking lot. The plastic window on my top is starting to look a big ugly too (it is still the original top). I'm told its time for a new motor mount and I know there is some plastic under-paneling that needs replacing too. The suspension is probably getting tired too.

What brings me to the point of this thread is I've recently had the good fortune of moving a lot closer to where I work and earning a couple significant raises. I'm itching to do something automotive with my extra income. I'm also a bit afraid of putting much more money into my '99 because it certainly isn't going to appreciate much anytime soon.

So here are the options I'm considering:
  1. Sell my '99 Boxster and upgrade to a new one, probably a 2004 SE 550. The only 987 I'd consider buying is the Spyder and it is a bit beyond my pay scale still.
  2. Upgrade my '99 with a new front bumper cover, restore or repair the rear cover, have some fun with aftermarket upgrades such as short shifters, exhaust, etc. If I do this I know I wont get my money out if I resell it, so I'd just plan to keep her around for a good long while.
  3. Sell my '99 Boxster and give a 911 a try. I'd probably look for one $35k or less, and I'd certainly need to take a loan out to help finance it. Possibly an 80s carrera or a rarer earlier model? I don't have much interest in the 996s and I think the 993s are beyond my price range. This route appeals in part because these cars would likely hold their value or appreciate some, plus they're Porsche 911s...
---------------------------

So what are folks thoughts? Would the difference between a '99 Boxster and the 2004 Boxster S SE 550 be dramatic enough? Would it just end up regretting the aftermarket mods and their expenses? Is it time to bravely jump into the rear-engine world? Any constructive feedback is welcome.

Thanks,
-Jeremy

Here are a couple of photos of her with about 50k miles less on her:


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Old 11-04-2013, 10:18 PM   #2
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I say go drive several examples of all your considerations. Test drive a few 911's and a few newer boxsters including newer base and S models. Keep in mind any older 911 without great service records can be a money pit you will regret.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:27 PM   #3
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lf you want work horse Carrera, I would look at a 2002 996S, enthusiast-owned with lots of the same repairs already completed. Drive that until the Boxster Spyder prices come down some. as for the leaky cars , the 964 is the best Carrera value while still being a non-antique modern Porsche. But your mileage is too high for the old stuff unless you have a lift.

Me personally, I'd get an FRS for daily driving, sell the Boxster and get the 964 as a weekender.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies so far. Test drives are certainly a must.

As a little bit more info, my move reduced my 50 mile roundtrip commute down to 7 miles. I expect to put less than 5k annually on my car now (whatever car that ends up being). I'm not crazy about going the two car route, but it is a possibility.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:27 AM   #5
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Test drives are certainly a must.
ehhh NOPE! Don't do that. I get to drive a lot of supercars incl the Pcars. And every single time I get to do so, I simply want to buy the car. ALL

I'd stay right where you are atm and keep looking at it from a spending perspective. Much smarter and mature
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:15 AM   #6
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964 values have shot up recently. They have closed the gap to the 993, which makes the 993 the better choice (in my opinion).

You will spend $5-$8K on a buying a "new" to you old Porsche to bring it to standard. Factor that in. You'll spend money in places on the 993 that you take for granted with your Boxster (headlights, suspension, etc.).

The Boxster S is by far the best value of all of them (expect maybe a 1999 - 2004 era 911).

Best advise - stay put and save some cash and maybe invest it (it's OK, your allowed).



ALSO - I am not trolling, but my 5 year old is looking over my shoulder and wants the troll:


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Old 11-05-2013, 05:04 AM   #7
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FWIW, I love my 550 SE!!

Great car, great year, great power. The perfect blend.

How fortunate was I to walk onto that car lot?????? It wasn't even listed yet!
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #8
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Oh if only 5k miles a year then I think you should jump on the 964, maybe backdate it or try strip it down like an RS. The 993's are nice but personally I find the 964 to have more feedback and aren't as mushy. I sat in an 964 RSA recently and its hard to even think that this car is the same model as a 997/997. It fit like a glove.

I guess the choice you need to make is do you want a car you'll keep for the long-haul or one that you'll be swapping out every three years. If you want a long-haul car I think the 964 is the ticket. If you want a short term car I'd look at the 2002 996S and test out rear engine while the Boxster Spyder comes down. Those last two cars will do nothing but lose value while the 964 will be like driving your savings account, provided that you find a well-sorted one. But I would still look into a beater car to cut down the daily mileage. Maybe Mini Cooper, S2000 or FRS.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fatmike View Post
964 values have shot up recently. They have closed the gap to the 993, which makes the 993 the better choice (in my opinion).

You will spend $5-$8K on a buying a "new" to you old Porsche to bring it to standard. Factor that in. You'll spend money in places on the 993 that you take for granted with your Boxster (headlights, suspension, etc.).

The Boxster S is by far the best value of all of them (expect maybe a 1999 - 2004 era 911).

Best advise - stay put and save some cash and maybe invest it (it's OK, your allowed).



ALSO - I am not trolling, but my 5 year old is looking over my shoulder and wants the troll:


/

This. Unless you stumble into a heckuva deal with updates already performed (Fatmike was close; $3k for suspension if you DIY, toss in $2k for misc items) a 964 or 993 won't be "a bargain". 964's are still less money but there's a reason 993's cost more, they're cooler . It's your money / car, buy the one you like best.

Air Cooled Cars; Upside is obviously residual value, most likely to continue appreciating while water cooled P-Cars will continue to drop like rocks in comparison.

My 2 takes;

-Don't unnecessarily sink more money into a depreciating car.
-Don't take out a loan for a toy.

Easy to state the above, I wish I would of followed that advice myself years back and invested more instead.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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Just remembered this, it may be interesting to the OP'er:

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Old 11-07-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I think I'm going to follow several individuals' advice to stay with the Boxster, minimize spending on mods, and avoid test driving any particularly tempting Porsches. I definitely don't want to sink money into a depreciating car with unnecessary mods. I also don't really want to take on some extra loan payments right now either. I'll focus on saving up for the right Porsche that may come my way in the future.

That said, I did just get an Agency Power short-shifter and shifter linkage for cheap on Craigslist so I'll see how transformational that mod is to my driving experience. I also have a set of 18" Carrera Lightweights with Boxster specs that need refinishing. I might finally get around to swapping those on in place of my 17" twists.

Thanks again folks. Keep on Boxstering.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RaisedOnPorsches View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I think I'm going to follow several individuals' advice to stay with the Boxster, minimize spending on mods, and avoid test driving any particularly tempting Porsches. I definitely don't want to sink money into a depreciating car with unnecessary mods. I also don't really want to take on some extra loan payments right now either. I'll focus on saving up for the right Porsche that may come my way in the future.

That said, I did just get an Agency Power short-shifter and shifter linkage for cheap on Craigslist so I'll see how transformational that mod is to my driving experience. I also have a set of 18" Carrera Lightweights with Boxster specs that need refinishing. I might finally get around to swapping those on in place of my 17" twists.

Thanks again folks. Keep on Boxstering.
I think you have made a wise choice. That said, it does not mean you cannot pursue some cool DIY projects that do not cost much. A heckuva way to learn more about your Boxster not to mention ad skills to your future car resume:

101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop): Wayne R. Dempsey: 9780760335543: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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If you're happy with your current boxster, then it makes to sense to keep it. Especially in the view of the fact - that you've already addressed many of the mechanical concerns that plague the M96 motor. However, aside from some slight mods and tending to the cosmetic issues that you've identified - leave it alone and enjoy it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Keep your dependable daily driver!
Remember 911 parts are more expensive, and you will be replacing 'worn and torn' parts on your 'new' 911 to get it as good as your Boxster was.
You lose in the end, plus your not used to braking prior to the curve to get the heavy rear-end to follow. 'You can always paint it a different color? BAM! new.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #15
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Cars are just tools.

Is your Boxster still the right tool for the job? If yes, refresh the little deferred maintenance issues and drive the wheels off it. Fresh suspension, new glass window top, new motor mount, and re-spray the nose and tail will be around $4k and the car will be in excellent condition again. If canyon carving in Norcal is your joy, you already own one of the best. If you are looking for more of a GT car experience, sell the Box and find a cherry 911. Life is too short to drive around in a car that no longer meets your needs.
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:49 AM   #16
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Regarding the 911 it is not a Boxster. It does not handle like a Boxster, it feels GT like. The only plus I see with a 911 is the occasional back seats. Expenses of running are higher.

I was contemplating an older Cayman and my wife who has more practical sense than I have says: we are just starting winter and you want to get a car that would likely need more work and money spent on it.

Of course you are the one making the decision but sometimes you don't know what you have got till it has gone. Don't sell your Box and have regrets but on the other hand life is short!
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:14 PM   #17
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Thanks again for the recommendations. I spent today driving my Boxster down to Hayward to visit Parts Heaven. I didn't go on a huge shopping spree, but I bought several parts that are necessary to remedy a few neglected repairs that have been bugging me for a while. (Replacing my workout fender liner, new shocks for the front hood, a new airbag mounting bracket so my horn wont honk at every pothole that I come across). I got the replacement liner on today. Tomorrow or Monday I'll get the other two repairs done and possibly drop in the short-shifter.

Its been a while since I've had the time and space to do my own repair work. I've been throwing a lot of money towards my new mechanic (with a higher hourly rate than my old mechanic, thanks to moving). It is easy to forget how satisfying it is to work your own car.

My first car was a vintage VW Beetle so I have some experience driving with a rear-engine configuration. Granted dinky 4-cylinder VW cannot compare with a Porsche 6-cylinder, but I did gain an appreciation for the physics involved in rear engine driving. My dad has owned many 911s over the years, which is part of why I'm drawn towards owning one.

Anyhow, I totally agree giving up one fun car where all the issues are known for another one with many unknowns is a gamble. It is expensive too. Maybe once I'm a little further in life and have one or two mini-mes running around, I'll have the proper excuse for needing a 4-seater Porsche. ;P
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:14 AM   #18
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Alright, so I'm back to waffling on this topic. I've spotted two alternate cars that are luring me in.
1) A 2004 Boxster SE550 for a very reasonable price (under $20k, manual transmission with 110k miles and one owner).
2) A very nice 993 Cabriolet (under $40k, 40k miles and several meticulous owners).

Option 1 appeals because I could probably sell off my '99 and all my extras (hard top, extra wheels, short shifter, etc.) to cover the majority of the cost. I'd gain over 60hp and all the improvements over the course of the 986 evolution. My factory car cover, roof transport system, and speedster humps would still fit it too. (So would the hard top, but I'd doubt I'd ever use it with a glass window soft top.) The SE would also hold is value more than my current Boxster would.

Option 2 appeals because the car is just so sexy. My dad had a silver 993 back in the day, and I've been pissed with him for years now for selling it rather than gifting it to me. The silver exterior and red interior just looks so great on a Porsche too. This 993 cab has low mileage, upgraded litronics, a new soft top, and appears to be impecable condition. It will hold its value or appreciate well. And those rear seats might prove useful one-day (briefly).

Option 2 would require $20,000 more. I'd have to finance it for sure. I'd probably finance Option 1 too, just so I wont feel pressured to sell my current Boxster too quickly and too cheaply. Either vehicle would require a quick plane flight to the seller and a scenic, coastal roadtrip home.

Thoughts? Fatmike, you made the 986 to 993 transition. Any regrets? I realize these models are a bit of an apples to oranges comparison.

As stated before, I primarily use my Boxster as a daily driver and for weekend get-a-ways and road trips. I haven't gotten sucked into the AX/DE world somehow...yet. I'm not opposed to picking up a cheap beater for my daily driving (like an e30 BMW), if I wind-up with an 'investment' car like the 993.

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Old 11-24-2013, 06:05 AM   #19
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ehhh NOPE! Don't do that. I get to drive a lot of supercars incl the Pcars. And every single time I get to do so, I simply want to buy the car. ALL

I'd stay right where you are atm and keep looking at it from a spending perspective. Much smarter and mature
Ha, that's why I never test drive cars I cant afford!
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #20
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I had a 964 for years before I had to sell it to fit my family needs. With the family grown I am now back in a Pcar again and I am very happy about that. The 964 and in my case a 2002 Boxster S are completely different experiences. Where I completely enjoy the S I loved driving the 964 (people would comment on the car all the time). I to this day regret selling it and it is the only car I every regret selling. The air cooled engine, the iconic shape, interior build quality just don't compare. When I sold it after 5 yeas I got more then I had paid for it and today it would cost another $10k. If you can afford the upfront cost of the 993 then go for it. It will be a investment that you can enjoy every day. The Boxster at least for know will continue to depreciate and have similar running costs. The Boxster may one day go up in value but I think it will be at least another 15 years and it will never be a air cooled 911.

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