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Old 12-17-2019, 04:24 AM   #1
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Returning Porschephile, the daily driver conundrum, Pt. 1

Hi guys!

I used to have two 1999 986s. One weekender, one work car.
I am a commercial photographer that averages 3,000-4,000 miles per month on his work car.
My Tiptronic Boxster weathered the daily abuse stoutly and reliably until the tranny started to go at 175,000 miles.

(Sordid string of car-drama follows)

Instead of spending the $5,000 on a rebuilt tranny swap, I sold the car and purchased a 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander. It was reliable but boring, and the new timing belt I put in it snapped in 41,000 miles trashing the engine (an $8,000 estimated repair). The timing belt recommendation is 40,000 miles, and I was just waiting for my mechanic to come back from vacation to get it serviced. Ridiculous.
Traded that for a 2010 Mercedes GLK. Wonderful vehicle to drive, but maintenance heavy, never leaving the shop with a less than $1600 bill for something or other. Still kind-of boring.
The monumental mistake came when I drooled over a 2019 Mustang Bullitt edition while accompanying a friend who was car shopping.
On impulse, I traded the GLK and the weekend Boxster for this beast. I now had a huge car payment and a car that was inexplicably not as satisfying to drive as my Boxsters has been, and was a huge LEMON. And not little stuff, but major stuff. After a huge battle with Ford, I finally unloaded that bloated mess of a car.
As replacement, I went back to my true love and bought a 2001 996 Carrera with 73,000 miles on it (what an amazing car! I love every second of my time with it) as a weekender. And for a work car, a beat up 2000 Toyota 4-runner. Both have been rock solid reliable for nearly a year.
The 996 reminds me of all the things I loved about my 986’s. Tight, silky, blinding-yet-controlled power delivered with a throaty echoing rasp...Essentially “sophisticated bombast”.
Ultimately, it would have been cheaper and much less frustrating to have just done the transmission and stuck with the car that I enjoyed in the first place.
(Sorry this is running so long, I’ll break it up)



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Old 12-17-2019, 05:27 AM   #2
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Hey! Look who the dog drug in! Welcome back Tim!

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Old 12-17-2019, 05:40 AM   #3
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Hey, Rick! Thanks! Good to see ya’ again!
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:37 AM   #4
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Here’s conundrum part 2:
I’ve sold my place in the city, and building a little A-frame out in the Arbuckle mountains.
This means a 60 mile commute each way to get to the city for most of my work.
I’d like to put the Toyota away unless it’s needed, and get a car that’s better on gas and makes the commute much more fun!
I’ve thought seriously about getting another base 986 Boxster, but also thought about a similar age Mazda Miata.

Boxster pros: sexy and fun, tough and reliable (based on past experience), decent gas mileage for the performance, two trunks and decent interior room for a roadster.

Boxster cons: reliable, but still expensive to maintain. Will have a shelf life of 175,000 to 225,000 miles before the major stuff starts to blow.

Miata pros: cheaper to buy and much cheaper to maintain, slower but still fun to drive, tons were sold, so tons of parts availability, it’s japanese, so major stuff can potentially last for hundreds of thousands of miles with proper care, slightly better mileage than Boxster.

Miata cons: harder to find a clean one, tuners have destroyed many of them, not as sexy or fun, noticeably more cramped interior and one tiny trunk, will be less safe and comfortable on long Highway runs.

I’d love anyone that could chime in with their opinions, especially if you’ve had experience with both of these cars.

Thank you for sticking with my long-winded update!
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:45 AM   #5
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Find a 987.2 base Boxster with a 6 spd and some miles (60K). Would probably cost around $19-22K, would be virtually bulletproof, and good for 100K more miles. Plus you'll get 30mpg on your drive.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/cto/d/redwood-city-2010-porsche-boxster-for/7029773552.html

If you go higher mileage, the price really drops.

https://southjersey.craigslist.org/ctd/d/farmingdale-2011-porsche-boxster-dark/7033857948.html
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:12 AM   #6
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Sold my 95 Miata to buy my 99 Boxster. Miata is amusing. Boxster is much more comfortable, exciting, quieter, satisfying to own, and really practical. No comparison really. Especially if you're going to be using it daily. Good time of year to be in the market!
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:53 AM   #7
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Welcome back Tim! I've missed your pictures and travel stories.

I'm sure that you know in your heart what you want, but I'd suggest an '03 or '04 Base with 50K to 100K miles and an LN IMS.
...but you might like this '02 near Wichita if it's still available. I think you'll look good in Yellow:
https://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/d/wichita-porsche-boxster/7024027247.html

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Old 12-17-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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Hi F350, thank you!
Thanks for all the encouragement and suggestions! Yes, I was leaning that way, just needed a little boost.
With the closing on my house and the begging of work is n the new one in a few weeks, plus the usual craziness of the holidays, I won’t start shopping until after the first of the year, but doesn’t hurt to do a little preliminary looking.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:45 AM   #9
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Nice to see you again!

I drove a 99 anniversary edition miata for a few years. Good fun, but I never felt comfortable on highways in that car. Also, be aware that some of them have a defective thrust bearing that could grenade the engine. I think that affected 99-01 years.

How about an E46 m3?
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Old 12-17-2019, 12:20 PM   #10
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Last summer I bought a NA Series 92 Miata to add to my current fleet which includes a 98 Boxster. As DC Jeff has said "no comparison"...

The Miata was fun and reminded me of the VW Beetles of my youth, simple, lots of accessories/parts and cheap! Good unmolested original Miatas can still be found for half the price of a base 986 Boxster. The Miata is cramped inside and has only a small trunk compared to the Boxster and it really felt tiny on the freeways and in heavy traffic. BUT, it was fun to drive and the simplicity was part of the fun.

Both cars were reliable and only required basic maintenance. The Miata was easy to wrench on, but so is the Boxster with a little help from this forum.

My Bottom line...I still have the Boxster and drive it regularly, the Miata is now in the hands of a 20 something as his new fun car...
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Old 12-17-2019, 03:03 PM   #11
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I can recommend the new Miata MX-5 with Club Sport option pkg if you are leaning towards maintenance free. Club sport option adds a nice set of BBS wheels & hi-po tires & suspension pkg that works very well. I have many miles thru out L.A. traffic in them. Performance is similar to a 99 Boxster. The RC has a powered hardtop.
Passenger compartment is narrower than boxster & not as comfortable, especially around tractor trailers etc. I usually pass them A.S.A.P !
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Old 12-17-2019, 03:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroman1969 View Post
Here’s conundrum part 2:
I’ve sold my place in the city, and building a little A-frame out in the Arbuckle mountains.
This means a 60 mile commute each way to get to the city for most of my work.
I’d like to put the Toyota away unless it’s needed, and get a car that’s better on gas and makes the commute much more fun!
I’ve thought seriously about getting another base 986 Boxster, but also thought about a similar age Mazda Miata.

Boxster pros: sexy and fun, tough and reliable (based on past experience), decent gas mileage for the performance, two trunks and decent interior room for a roadster.

Boxster cons: reliable, but still expensive to maintain. Will have a shelf life of 175,000 to 225,000 miles before the major stuff starts to blow.

Miata pros: cheaper to buy and much cheaper to maintain, slower but still fun to drive, tons were sold, so tons of parts availability, it’s japanese, so major stuff can potentially last for hundreds of thousands of miles with proper care, slightly better mileage than Boxster.

Miata cons: harder to find a clean one, tuners have destroyed many of them, not as sexy or fun, noticeably more cramped interior and one tiny trunk, will be less safe and comfortable on long Highway runs.

I’d love anyone that could chime in with their opinions, especially if you’ve had experience with both of these cars.

Thank you for sticking with my long-winded update!


NB Miata's aren't that much slower than a base model boxster. I know my wife has owned one of each in the past.

Boxsters are more refined in the cabin.

If you have need for space beyond a small bag; a miata is not for you.

Surprisingly you'll get about the same fuel mileage out of both cars.

The NB miata feels smaller for better or worse.

More shops are willing to work on a Miata... most shops will not work on a Porsche. (I know I turn down exotics)




^^^^Just food for thought.

If I were in your shoes I'd go with the Miata.
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Old 12-17-2019, 06:57 PM   #13
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Miata's are great bang for the buck. Fun to drive, easy and cheap to repair
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Old 12-17-2019, 07:54 PM   #14
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Tim - I really think you'd be happier back in a Boxster. Find a nice one that fits your budget. You're a lot more knowledgeable after owning two 986 and your 996 with what maintenance items are likely to come up, and you know you have two very good independent Porsche specialty repair shops in OKC if/when you need their help.

The Miata would be fun for awhile (I've had this same discussion to myself about Miata vs 986), but I think the fun factor of the Miata would quickly wear off - especially in OKC, I-35 and I-44/I-40 traffic.

Find yourself a cleaner version of The Beater Boxster and I think you'd be all set.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:15 PM   #15
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If I were in your shoes I'd go with the Miata.
Qingdao, who let you in here?
Mods? Can we take away his posting rights?
;-)

To me, a car purchase MUST be emotional. Which car would you covet if it lived next door?
Which car will you feel good climbing into?
Which car makes you feel heroic at the track?

Whatever your thing, if the car doesn't poke it for you, don't buy it.

The miata doesn't for me.
It's reminiscent of auto-x. Sure, they CALL it "racing", but we all know you're in a parking lot in 2nd gear. It's not REALLY racing.
And the miata is not a REAL sports car.



How many people'd I just piss-off?

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Old 12-17-2019, 10:02 PM   #16
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Welcome back!

996's are great cars, I really enjoyed the time with the one that I had. Its too bad that Porsche never offered the 986 with the 300hp 3.4L motor - that would have been a lot of fun.

I had an NB Miata and it was a great car. But I'd take a 986 over a Miata every time.
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:53 AM   #17
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Thank you guys so much for the welcomes and your input. I’ve actually never driven a Miata but only sat in a couple of them. I plan on driving at least a few before going into final shopping mode to be sure. As a high mileage runner I know that the Miata would be more practical in longevity and maintenance costs, the Boxster in comfort and utility.... did I just call a Boxster a utilitarian vehicle? LOL, I guess for a sports car, it is. But then I guess that’s what Porsche is known for: daily-driverable “exotic” cars.
I know Miata is no slouch in bang for the buck though.
I do already have long working relationship with a good Porsche shop and they will be brutally honest on PPIs, so that also helps.
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Old 12-18-2019, 05:55 AM   #18
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Qingdao, who let you in here?
Mods? Can we take away his posting rights?
;-)

To me, a car purchase MUST be emotional. Which car would you covet if it lived next door?
Which car will you feel good climbing into?
Which car makes you feel heroic at the track?

Whatever your thing, if the car doesn't poke it for you, don't buy it.

The miata doesn't for me.
It's reminiscent of auto-x. Sure, they CALL it "racing", but we all know you're in a parking lot in 2nd gear. It's not REALLY racing.
And the miata is not a REAL sports car.



How many people'd I just piss-off?

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All that true. Miata is a great value, but indeed it isn't a sport car.

If I lived next door to those cars... yeah... the 986.

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Old 12-18-2019, 08:10 AM   #19
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Honestly, I also have fond memories of past adventures, and testing the durability of a 986-era Porsche.










It lasted to 176,000 miles doing this, and if it had a manual shift, I might still be driving it. (although I probably would have had to do an engine by this point as it would have 300,000 miles on it).
It still drove like new when I sold it, but it was expensive to keep it in top tune for this. I think the total for repairs and maintenance during that 2.5 years ran something around $9,000.
To be fair, much of that was getting it in shape in the first place. It was a Southside 1 paycheck (okay, 2 paycheck) beater after all.

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Old 12-18-2019, 03:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by maytag View Post
Qingdao, who let you in here?
Mods? Can we take away his posting rights?
;-)

To me, a car purchase MUST be emotional. Which car would you covet if it lived next door?
Which car will you feel good climbing into?
Which car makes you feel heroic at the track?

Whatever your thing, if the car doesn't poke it for you, don't buy it.

The miata doesn't for me.
It's reminiscent of auto-x. Sure, they CALL it "racing", but we all know you're in a parking lot in 2nd gear. It's not REALLY racing.
And the miata is not a REAL sports car.



How many people'd I just piss-off?

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk


LOL I kicked the door in.


But honestly these cars are all getting up in age, and if you aren't willing to put in some wrench time it might be simpler to buy the cookie cutter NB.


Trust me as far as just a driving experience the Porsche wins hands down. Way better car, but that might come up and bite you when you look at a repair bill.



Oh I love a good miata bashing. BUY AN RX7 ALREADY. Miata's are like ridiculously slow RX7s. Reliability be dammed, but they are a hoot while they run.

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