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Old 06-15-2018, 10:48 AM   #1
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Narrowed to three

We are in the market to purchase a Boxster and have it narrowed to three. I was hoping to get some opinions.

1. 03 Base, 59k miles, good maintenance. IMS Classic, clutch, coils, plugs replaced @ 30k miles. 3 owners, current owner for 5+ years, $12.5k

2. 02S, 52kmiles, hard top, clutch was replaced @ 22k (the IMS wasnít), ok maintenance records, essentially yearly oil with the exception of coils, plugs, brake line flush, coolant flush three years ago. 2 owners, current owner for 5+ years, $13k. I figure another $2.5k for IMS plus something.

3. 02S, 90k, IMS Classic installed 35k miles ago, very good maintenance. The car is very 03 like, new 03 top and all the lights have been replaced so no amber plastic. 4 owners, current owner for 5+ years, $11k

All the owners passed the Ďdoesnít seem like a jerkí test. I think Iím leaning toward #1 because I think the plastic window will make me crazy and I like the lower miles and it is an 03. I thought I read there were minor advantages with the 03 engine vs 02 engine. Base vs S doesnít mean that much to me, I want a fun convertible to drive around and enjoy. I really want to like #2 but the cost is getting higher than I would like.

I understand has different requirements for why they buy these cars but Iím curious about otherís opinions or if there is something I didn't think of.

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Old 06-15-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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buy the S. It will work best with the LS3 after the IMS grenades
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:29 AM   #3
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The low mile S then have the ims solution installed. More HP, better breaks and they are based off our general survey holding pricing better. If it has the plastic rear window and bugs yoy you could swap the top for a later model with glass or after market with glass, one complete is access to engine.

I have a plastic window, and frankly really doesn't bother me, and top is usally down any how.

Also get a PPI on the car before you commit.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:05 PM   #4
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I have bought a few Boxsters, most of them on the depreciated end of the scale. What I have seen is that the raw statistics of age, miles, and equipment don't always tell the story of which is a better car. If they are local, try them all out before you commit. For me the feel of the ride, smell of the leather, and sound of the engine makes one of my '99s stand out as a favorite. It can be hard to quantify.

I drove both a base and S today, same smile as I drove them.
For cost/expense, little things can add up quickly. Replacing old tires can add $1,000 to the cost if you go with a premium performance tire. If any of those cars have an original (or in my opinion over 5 year old) water pump, it should be replaced immediately - Up to $300 DIY or ~$1k at a dealership. Consider those type of expenses when you have your PPI.

They all look like good prospects. If I was considering the 02S with 52k, the value of the hard top would be a good plus, but the maintenance falls a bit short of what I'd like. Many owners who don't frequent the forums don't care about replacing the IMS. If it is a big concern for you discuss it with the seller and see if you can get by with a lower offer.

Enjoy the search
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:31 PM   #5
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I think the one concern is why the clutch at 22K seems a bit early for a clutch. If I remeber the coil and plugs are scheduled for 50K. I just had my indie do the plugs cause the car was running a little rough. Hard top probably about $1k so realistically car is worth about 11K based off the survey.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:03 PM   #6
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Buy the S which you like the best!
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:49 PM   #7
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These cars are at the bottom of the depreciation curve. An S will always be more desirable that a base in the long haul. Though, there are some features that make the 03-04 tempting. Dash configuration, and a few other things. The IMS is certainly something to consider, but keep in mind the actual failure rate is fairly low. Forums and the internet have created a true monster with the M96 engines. They all sound reasonable, and most likely will need things here and there. Drive them, buy the one that talks to you assuming the PPI is solid.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:21 AM   #8
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The rule is to buy the newest, lowest mileage, most well maintained car that you can afford.

That would seem to be the 03 Base. Low miles, IMS done, all maintenance up to date. I'd offer $10.7K and settle in the mid-11's.

This assumes that the PPI is very good.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:29 AM   #9
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Something I didn't mention is two of the cars are 4+ hours away and difficult to see. The 02S with 90k is close and I have driven it. Really nice car and the owner is a good guy. The only thing keeping from making an offer are the miles. From what I gather 90k miles isn't high and the car has plenty of life left. This car would give me a $2k headstart on the engine replacement if needed.

I have been looking for a couple months and surprised with the limited choices of decent cars. I do not want to rush into the purchase but this doesn't feel too bad.

So I guess i'm asking for advice on a 90k car. I know I can't buy miles but does my logic seem sound? I'm looking for some member advice because my wife is tired of me talking about it.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:20 PM   #10
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Like Tom said, buy the lowest miles, best condition car you can find. Shy away from advice that tells you to buy a particular model (S or Base) for any particular reason. There is bias in those comments that may not align with your particular needs. The cars are very close in performance and each will put a smile on your face no matter which you choose.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:23 PM   #11
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Personally, I don't let the miles sway me too much. I am also in the market for a Boxster. I have driven some low mileage cars that look like they have been put through the wringer and some higher mileage cars that drove extraordinarily well.

I would go with the car the speaks the most to you and has the best maintenance history versus simply seeking out the lowest mileage car. While its true you cannot "buy back" the miles, well not legally anyways..., you cannot undo abuse that a car has endured either...

Good Luck! Have Fun!
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:06 PM   #12
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The '03,'04 cars have a glove box and a glass rear window.

Porsche also improved the valve timing and FI systems, no fuel return line for example.

I would pick a 2003 Base over a 2002 "S".
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:39 PM   #13
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bought mine with 88k. 02 s with alot of worn parts by 95k. You really need a PPI no mater what...its the only way for guys like us.I can tell you that the car will suck up 2k dollars like nothing.No such thing as a good deal on a Porsche, they will always get you. But you will go thru waves of repairs. I found after the hump its pretty normal.Never left me stranded.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsy4771 View Post
Something I didn't mention is two of the cars are 4+ hours away and difficult to see. The 02S with 90k is close and I have driven it. Really nice car and the owner is a good guy. The only thing keeping from making an offer are the miles. From what I gather 90k miles isn't high and the car has plenty of life left. This car would give me a $2k headstart on the engine replacement if needed.

I have been looking for a couple months and surprised with the limited choices of decent cars. I do not want to rush into the purchase but this doesn't feel too bad.

So I guess i'm asking for advice on a 90k car. I know I can't buy miles but does my logic seem sound? I'm looking for some member advice because my wife is tired of me talking about it.
It sounds to me like you;re in "Analyzation Paralyzation". I've been there, only one cure: BUY A CAR! :-)

I'm a guy who buys the one I like the most... emotionally.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:45 PM   #15
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Paralysis by analysis.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:30 AM   #16
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I bought my 02 S with 52k miles, 2 owners. 6+ years ago and now I have 100k
Sooooo maybe that one????

There are other options that you don't list relative to these cars (Wheels, headlights, etc) that can be a big influence and can be big $$$ items and make a big difference in the driving experience of these cars

#2 has a hard top, that is a nice option if you plan any cold time driving, since you are PA based

One of your consistent decision factors seems to center around the IMS upgrade. So that may be your check box decision maker

I sure as hell can't tell you what car is better from a forum post, nobody can, It's up to you man, all you.
Suck it up, put your big boy pants on and buy one before it gets to cold to put the top down and get the Grin on.

Yes the Base and 'S' will both put grins on your face - The 'S' just might be a bit bigger
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:46 AM   #17
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I'd buy the 03 base. If you don't have the extra hp, you'll never miss it. They're all fun cars to drive! I would have a PPI, and a session of comprehensive maintenance.

I know this one is nowhere near you, maybe consider a road trip or having one transported?https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/d/2004-porsche-boxster-with/6602487146.html

Get it on, times a wasting!
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:29 PM   #18
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Negotiate #3 to 10K (or close to it) and buy it
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:34 PM   #19
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My advice is simple:

ALWAYS.....I mean never...
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gsy4771 View Post
So I guess i'm asking for advice on a 90k car. I know I can't buy miles but does my logic seem sound?
Yes, typically a 90K mile car will still have a lot of life left in it. Some mileage constrained components (like suspension) may need to be done a little earlier than a lower mileage car but its not the end of the world.

At this point, I'd say that there is no right or wrong; its whatever you want to do. Each of the three cars has plus' and minus'; you can make as many spreadsheets as you like but at the end of the day, you could "justify" buying any one of the three.

Most importantly, any of those three cars will put a smile on your face every time that you get in the drivers seat (and often you'll get that smile just thinking about it while sitting on the couch).


Quote:
Originally Posted by gsy4771 View Post
I'm looking for some member advice because my wife is tired of me talking about it.
In this case, you have found "your kind of people"! All everyone on this forum wants to talk about are Boxster's, Boxster's, and more Boxster's. We honestly cannot get enough Boxster.

Let us know what you decide.

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