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Old 04-19-2016, 08:59 PM   #1
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About to purchase 2004 50th anniversary

Hello all, this is my first post of hopefully many!

I have been looking for a 50th anniversary for about 6 months but nothing has surfaced in my area until now. A 2004 50th with 80k miles showed up for a decent price, $12k. I immediately started a conversation with the seller and arranged to see the car.

Unfortunately, after seeing the car first hand, there is some serious paint damage on the hood and front wheel arches, owner claims the paint just bubbled and peeled off! In addition, the drivers side seat is ripped to hell and the top won't go down! Now my initial inclination was to run like the dickens but then I drove the car I instantly fell in love with the feeling, handling, and ride and am now conflicted. I made a low ball offer on the car, $7k, but I really don't know if even that price will justify the work that needs to be done. Can someone chime in on whether its worth it to pursue this car even though the major defects are cosmetic only? I have not had a PPI done yet but would like to get it done. No IMS or clutch repairs documented, water pump, battery, oil change, new tires are most recent service reports.

Thanks!

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Old 04-19-2016, 09:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GTsilber View Post
Hello all, this is my first post of hopefully many!

I have been looking for a 50th anniversary for about 6 months but nothing has surfaced in my area until now. A 2004 50th with 80k miles showed up for a decent price, $12k. I immediately started a conversation with the seller and arranged to see the car.

Unfortunately, after seeing the car first hand, there is some serious paint damage on the hood and front wheel arches, owner claims the paint just bubbled and peeled off! In addition, the drivers side seat is ripped to hell and the top won't go down! Now my initial inclination was to run like the dickens but then I drove the car I instantly fell in love with the feeling, handling, and ride and am now conflicted. I made a low ball offer on the car, $7k, but I really don't know if even that price will justify the work that needs to be done. Can someone chime in on whether its worth it to pursue this car even though the major defects are cosmetic only? I have not had a PPI done yet but would like to get it done. No IMS or clutch repairs documented, water pump, battery, oil change, new tires are most recent service reports.

Thanks!
Personally I'd keep looking for the right one. If he says yes to the low ball $7k then I'd suspect something serious is wrong with it. They do turn up. There was a less than 50k example that recently sold in my area. Patience.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:42 PM   #3
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:20 PM   #4
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I would wait for a car with a better history. It's pretty clear this seller has not taken good car of the car. My main concern would be what kind of damage it has to parts that are exclusive to the SE. Do not assume any repairs will be cheap. You will not be able to source SE parts used, specifically the interior. If the interior is in rough shape, you will only have the option of buying new from Porsche, and those prices are ridiculously high. To give you an example, my leather wrapped dash speaker grills (not an SE) cost $900, and I have never seen one for sale used, ever.
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:36 PM   #5
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Walk away. The paint shouldn't just bubble up and peel off...smells fishy.

Last edited by particlewave; 04-20-2016 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:07 AM   #6
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Awesome cars, the very best of the 986's. Sounds like the owner didn't love the car (or take care of it). I'd continue the search but expect to pay $20 - $25K for a low mileage clean example. Good luck, they are out there but as time goes on becoming more scarce.
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the fast and insightful responses everyone. The owner accepted my offer of 7k.

I am considering this car as a project car, I wasn't going in with the assumption that the car would be immaculate. Now knowing that the SE has special interior parts, how do I go about sourcing them, Porsche directly? Can anyone point me in the right direction, Google searches have failed me.

If the mechanics and engine turn out to be ok should I still run? I don't think I will be able to find a SE for the same price. For comparison sake, $7k in my area will get me a rebuilt/salvage 97-2004 box with over 100k miles, better examples fetch around 9k. Basically, would any of you consider buying this car solely due to the fact that it's a special anniversary edition?


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Old 04-20-2016, 05:31 AM   #8
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Not sure if I should congratulate you or not. On your test drive, you fell in love with Boxsters but I'm not sure you should fall in love with this one. Kind of like dating a hooker and falling in love with women.

That said, are you mechanical? You may be able to do a lot of the minor jobs and find info via search. But if this is your first German car, you'll find part prices 4x normal American or Japanese parts. There could be lots of worn out parts on a 12 yr old neglected car.

You don't say where you live but you make it sound like it's near the middle of nowhere. Do you have a good upholsterer in your area?

If the PPI comes back with issues, you would be much better off walking from this one and expand your search and get a better one. As mentioned earlier, Porsches do not have paint peeling issues, so the guy is fibbing about that. What else is he fibbing about or not telling you?

It has been said here many times, so please keep this in mind: the cheapest Porsche you buy can become the most expensive one you'll own.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:32 AM   #9
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So, you're looking at $1500-$2000 for the paint/body work, $1000 for the seat and let's sat $1500 for the top (I'm estimating a little on the high side, pray the "Porsche Tax" doesn't get you bent over even more), for an approximate total of ~$4k. I imagine you'll find other things down the road that will need repairing (tires, suspension, brakes, AOS, etc.) so, I'd budget another $2750 in maintenance to be safe and don't forget about the IMS so, another $1500. You're total cost will be in the area of $15.5k and be prepared to experience down time as all the above is being performed on the car.

But you'll have a 986 in decent shape and feel comfortable driving it around in the end. Would I buy it? I don't think I would but the real question is: Are you comfortable with spending $16k on it?
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:42 AM   #10
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So, you're looking at $1500-$2000 for the paint/body work, $1000 for the seat and let's sat $1500 for the top (I'm estimating a little on the high side, pray the "Porsche Tax" doesn't get you bent over even more), for an approximate total of ~$4k. I imagine you'll find other things down the road that will need repairing (tires, suspension, brakes, AOS, etc.) so, I'd budget another $2750 in maintenance to be safe and don't forget about the IMS so, another $1500. You're total cost will be in the area of $15.5k and be prepared to experience down time as all the above is being performed on the car.

But you'll have a 986 in decent shape and feel comfortable driving it around in the end. Would I buy it? I don't think I would but the real question is: Are you comfortable with spending $16k on it?
I paid 15,500 in 2012. had 119k on it. BUT, it was well taken care of. immaculate interior and body.

Have both seats reupholstered in dark brown leather so they match. Not many other exclusive options.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:48 AM   #11
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Not sure if I should congratulate you or not. On your test drive, you fell in love with Boxsters but I'm not sure you should fall in love with this one. Kind of like dating a hooker and falling in love with women.

That said, are you mechanical? You may be able to do a lot of the minor jobs and find info via search. But if this is your first German car, you'll find part prices 4x normal American or Japanese parts. There could be lots of worn out parts on a 12 yr old neglected car.

You don't say where you live but you make it sound like it's near the middle of nowhere. Do you have a good upholsterer in your area?

If the PPI comes back with issues, you would be much better off walking from this one and expand your search and get a better one. As mentioned earlier, Porsches do not have paint peeling issues, so the guy is fibbing about that. What else is he fibbing about or not telling you?

It has been said here many times, so please keep this in mind: the cheapest Porsche you buy can become the most expensive one you'll own.
Thank you husker. I am mechanical, I have only owned German cars (Benz and Audi) for the last 15 years, and just recently purchased a 2005 Dodge Ram that I brought back from the dead. I live in South Florida, plenty of upholsterers around, just wasn't sure if it was worth it to go that route or buy a new seat? I have a friend that owns a high end body shop that I could work with on the paint. Very good advice though, you get what you pay for...in my circumstance, I would just rather pony up $7k now and "pay as I go" opposed to dropping $15-$20k on the car.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:50 AM   #12
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So, you're looking at $1500-$2000 for the paint/body work, $1000 for the seat and let's sat $1500 for the top (I'm estimating a little on the high side, pray the "Porsche Tax" doesn't get you bent over even more), for an approximate total of ~$4k. I imagine you'll find other things down the road that will need repairing (tires, suspension, brakes, AOS, etc.) so, I'd budget another $2750 in maintenance to be safe and don't forget about the IMS so, another $1500. You're total cost will be in the area of $15.5k and be prepared to experience down time as all the above is being performed on the car.

But you'll have a 986 in decent shape and feel comfortable driving it around in the end. Would I buy it? I don't think I would but the real question is: Are you comfortable with spending $16k on it?
Thanks for the breakdown. The issue with the top seems to be the motor and the passenger side window, it might be a cable? Is that a common issue? The car has new tires all the way around. I don't mind spending 16k on it over the next few years, I actually enjoy doing the work myself! Downtime is not an issue, I have 2 daily drivers.

Last edited by GTsilber; 04-20-2016 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:20 AM   #13
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They're great cars, it's a shame that an SE was so poorly cared for. These cars usually don't end up in that condition even in some of the worst hands.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:53 AM   #14
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They're great cars, it's a shame that an SE was so poorly cared for. These cars usually don't end up in that condition even in some of the worst hands.
When I mention paint peeling, I believe its actually clear coat not down to the base...not sure if there is much of a difference in terms of the repair bill.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:56 AM   #15
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If you're in South Florida you should consider taking it to Pedro for a PPI. He is in the Ft. Lauderdale area and is an expert on the 986 chassis.
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:36 AM   #16
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The top could be just the cables, unless they tried to run it with bad cables and bent something. Also, I have never heard of paint bubbling on a 986, my guess is that it is from a bad repair job. My general advice is, if a 986 costs less than $10k you are going to spend double what you paid repairing it. That said, I hope you don't encounter too many issues. No SE should be neglected like that, and it's great you plan to restore it.

To source parts, you will want to download the 986_Kataloge.pdf available from Porsche's website.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:06 AM   #17
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Well, pics or it isn't real???? jk

I am curious to see the paint of all things but pictures would help.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:20 AM   #18
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GT! Where in South Florida are you? I'm close to Coral Gables and me and ChrisZenithBlue get together and work in our cars! We should link up!
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:22 AM   #19
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If you're in South Florida you should consider taking it to Pedro for a PPI. He is in the Ft. Lauderdale area and is an expert on the 986 chassis.
That's exactly who I was going to take it to!
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:40 AM   #20
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I REALLY need to find some 986 owners in the Tampa area that like to work on their own cars. Everyone I've met has been a 911-snob or doesn't touch their cars. I'm amazed everytime I hear someone has never performed an oil change.

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