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Old 06-23-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Boxster as a weekend warrior and track star?

I currently track my DD Subaru Legacy, and after 4 years now, the track time has put a toll on the car. So, I'm now in search of a nice car that can fill my track needs (road courses), but is also nice to drive on the weekend with the wife. I don't hit the track often enough (only 6-10 times a year) to justify a dedicated track car, and I'm not interested in one that I have to modify heavily to match my Legacy's lap times at the track (ala Mazda Miata). Thus, the Boxster S has popped up on my radar (not interested in a Spec 2.5 Boxster, as I want a nice car on the weekends).

Based on lap times posted on some PCA events, it looks like the Boxster S runs 2:09 to 2:13 laps out at HPR here in CO, which matches nicely to my Legacy (best is a 2:12). And it looks like you can pick-up some nice 01/02 Boxster S's for around $12k, which is what I've set my budget at for this project (which, btw, looks to be what I'd need to pay for a used Miata and modifications to match a Boxster S performance).

Anyway, all of this is to ask those that track thier Boxster's if I'm asking for trouble picking up one with 80k miles and throwing it on the track. (I would stay mostly stock - probably just good brake pads, filters, and maybe a swap to coilovers in a year or two.) My research says these cars need $2k in maintanance each year, but does that go up if I'm having it do light track duty as well? ($2k is close to what I have to spend on the Legacy just for track maintenance). I've seen several threads on oil starvation and cooling, but I doubt my skills will be hitting the limits of the car (at least for the next couple years).

If anyone has thoughts or recommendations (including saying the Boxster is the wrong car), it would be appreciated. I don't want to drop $12k on a car with 80k miles and find out it'll be killed on my first run at the track .

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
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Do you have a Legacy GT or the standard one??

We had the GT and I will tell you that our '03S is quite a bit faster. They both have around 250 HP but the Boxster is much lighter and better balanced and does handle much better.

Expect maintenance to be higher. Our Legacy GT was pretty much bullet proof.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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Actually I have a 09 Spec B, but with heavy mods (to be able to hang with the Porsche / M3s / etc). The mods are what create the maintenance hastle - big brake kit, suspension mods, large turbo, cooling, etc end up leading to more things to break . Thus, my desire to find a decent track car that does well right out the door (or 80k miles out the door).

What sort of maintenance is expected beyond oil / filters / brake pads)?

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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I bought my '99 Boxster (base) with 84,000 miles with the intent of using it for track driving (and a daily very short 8 mile commute).

In 18 months, I've done 40 track days and I'm at 110,000 miles now. Through this process, the engine has accumulated dozens of cumulative hours at/near redline. I had to replace the starter at 90,000 miles and the clutch/flywheel at 92,000 miles. Otherwise, all of my expenses have been maintenance (oil/fluid changes), track expendables (lots and lots of tires and brake pads/rotors) and track upgrades (racing seats, 6-pt. harnesses, roll bar extension, PSS9 coilovers, 996 GT3 sways, front 996 adjustable lower control arms, adjustable rear toe links).

I have also done some preventative parts replacement but that was at my own discretion (new rear wheel bearings, rebuilt CV joints, and new trans spider gear). The engine still has the original IMSB and still runs like its brand new.

I can honestly say that I have never, ever, ever driven a car this hard and its been as reliable as my NB Miata. NOT as cheap to operate as my Miata, but every bit as reliable.
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Last edited by thstone; 06-23-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Just remember that there is no such thing as a cheap Porsche. No matter what you spend to buy it. I've owned both a Boxster and a WRX. The WRX has been an order of magnitude cheaper to maintain even with more than 2x the mileage.

As an example, my friend just picked up a 2001 C2 for a track car. The car looked beautiful and the PPI only showed a couple of minor issues. Once he had the shop bring it up to snuff as a track car, he's almost doubled his purchase price in replacement of suspension parts already had tarett links and KW coilovers), transmission work, IMS replacement, clutch, tires, ect. Of course he's added a few things as well like LSD and a full roll bar. And this is a car with less than 80,000 miles on it.

These are fantastic cars and more than capable track cars. But they are NOT cheap to operate. Also, if you're anywere close to average height or over, the stock roll bars are not sufficient safety devices.

Last edited by blue2000s; 06-24-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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B2KS is absolutely correct about operating costs for a Porsche that is tracked a lot. Here are my cum totals for 40 track days:

Car purchase price: $10K

Track Upgrades: $5000 suspension, $2,500 racing seats/harnesses, $500 roll bar extension

Repairs: Clutch/LWFW $3,400, starter $600

Preventative parts replacement: $3,200 rear wheel bearings, CV joints, spider gear.

Safety equipment: Helmet $500, gloves $150, shoes $250, firesuit $1,400, $800 HANS, $400 Cool shirt

Expendables: $1,600 brake pads/rotors,$1,000 oil changes, $5,000 tires, $2,000 other general maintenance

Most of the work I do myself.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
B2KS is absolutely correct about operating costs for a Porsche that is tracked a lot. Here are my cum totals for 40 track days:

Car purchase price: $10K

Track Upgrades: $5000 suspension, $2,500 racing seats/harnesses, $500 roll bar extension

Repairs: Clutch/LWFW $3,400, starter $600

Preventative parts replacement: $3,200 rear wheel bearings, CV joints, spider gear.

Safety equipment: Helmet $500, gloves $150, shoes $250, firesuit $1,400, $800 HANS, $400 Cool shirt

Expendables: $1,600 brake pads/rotors,$1,000 oil changes, $5,000 tires, $2,000 other general maintenance

Most of the work I do myself.
I would say that this is an expensive hobby. At that price you gotta want to do it.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
B2KS is absolutely correct about operating costs for a Porsche that is tracked a lot. Here are my cum totals for 40 track days:

Car purchase price: $10K

Track Upgrades: $5000 suspension, $2,500 racing seats/harnesses, $500 roll bar extension

Repairs: Clutch/LWFW $3,400, starter $600

Preventative parts replacement: $3,200 rear wheel bearings, CV joints, spider gear.

Safety equipment: Helmet $500, gloves $150, shoes $250, firesuit $1,400, $800 HANS, $400 Cool shirt

Expendables: $1,600 brake pads/rotors,$1,000 oil changes, $5,000 tires, $2,000 other general maintenance

Most of the work I do myself.
That is a great breakdown - thanks!

Looks like most of the replacement costs (clutch / suspension / etc) are about twice as expensive as my Legacy. Safety items don't really count - they are expensive no matter what you drive .

Thanks everyone for the great feedback - still undecided on which way I'll go, but now I have a feel for what a Porsche will run me.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:58 PM   #9
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I would say that this is an expensive hobby. At that price you gotta want to do it.
To be honest, I am completely addicted. I still have 18 more track days on my calendar from now to December.

And I planned things this way. Originally, I was going to buy a 996 for around $35-$40K. Then I decided to buy a Boxster and put the rest of the money in learning to drive well on the track so my track budget started around $30K but its depleting fast!
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Last edited by thstone; 06-24-2012 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:01 PM   #10
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Originally, I was going to buy a 996 for around $35-$40K. Then I decided to buy a Boxster and put the rest of the money in learning to drive well on the track
You're a genius.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:03 PM   #11
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There is an old saying with Porsche... If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

thstone and I have been on a very similar path. Instead of dropping a wad on the car, we invested in the driver. Our expenses have been pretty similar although I spent very little on the car for the first 5 years of ownership. Only last year did I crack the piggy bank a bit with fully developed suspension, trans, clutch, IMS retrofit, waterpump, Tstat. Pretty normal stuff with 100k miles and 60+ track days I guess.

The Boxster is still the most fun car I have ever owned and I will continue to push it's performance envelope at the track as often as possible.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:52 AM   #12
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I bought my boxster almost 2 years ago with 77,000 miles on it for $9700. I tracked it last month at 88,000 miles and had a blast. I was keeping up with cars that had much more power like the 300HP BMW 335i's, 135i's, and more. My car took it like a champ. They were built with racing in mind. My slightly worn out tires did not screech once no matter how sharp I turned.

The balance and grip you get with a Boxster is amazing.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Topless View Post
There is an old saying with Porsche... If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

thstone and I have been on a very similar path. Instead of dropping a wad on the car, we invested in the driver. Our expenses have been pretty similar although I spent very little on the car for the first 5 years of ownership. Only last year did I crack the piggy bank a bit with fully developed suspension, trans, clutch, IMS retrofit, waterpump, Tstat. Pretty normal stuff with 100k miles and 60+ track days I guess.

The Boxster is still the most fun car I have ever owned and I will continue to push it's performance envelope at the track as often as possible.
Actually, the cost hasn't scared me (yet). In ~20 track events in the Legacy, I've accumulated:

- Brembo Brake Kit (used) - $2500
- Larger intercooler - $1000
- Front LSD - $800
- Clutch / LWFW - $1600
- Rims (to clear Brembos) - $2000
- Springs / sways / camber plates - $1000
- E85 fuel conversion - $3000+ (most of the cost is in tuning and tweaking)
- Exhaust / Intakes / etc - $2000
- And plenty of brake pads / oil changes / tires

I also blew up the original motor (not on the track), and thus have $7k invested in a built motor.

The Legacy is very capable - other than fully prepped race cars (or really skilled drivers) I can usually out-drive everyone at the track (just open lapping days for now). The problem I'm running into is that since this is also my DD, I can't push the car as hard as I'd like (had to be towed home last time due to split intercooler piping, as an example).

I also have the option of turning the Legacy into the track car and picking up a different DD... but a 4-door family car can only be pushed so far at the track. Plus, coming up with a nice DD that fits the family needs (car seats - ugh!) AND my requirements (manual, passing power, cost, etc) is a tall order to fill.

So far, the only additional expenditure I wasn't expecting for the Boxster would be the rollbar extensions - at 6'1", I'm guessing that'll be required for me.

Since I only plan to do up to 10 track events a year (at least for now), the rest of those costs get spread out over a few years. The only other item that I've planned for in the first year was a clutch (I'm guessing a Boxster with 80k miles won't have much life left in the clutch).

Thanks for all the advice everyone!
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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Thus, the Boxster S has popped up on my radar (not interested in a Spec 2.5 Boxster, as I want a nice car on the weekends).
..... um..... what.....? "nice car on weekends"? what are you saying about the 2.5s?
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #15
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..... um..... what.....? "nice car on weekends"? what are you saying about the 2.5s?
Hahaha - sorry, I didn't mean it like that . I meant I wasn't interested in stripping out the interior of the car for the track (I know, the 2.5 is still a very capable track car stock, but I wanted something that could keep up with my current car

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Old 07-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #16
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I bought my 2000 S 9 years ago with 15,K miles off E-bay hopped on a plane did a PPI & test drive myself, wrote the check & drove it 1,200 miles home. Since then it has been my daily driver,autoX & time trial car all in stock class. It just turned 101,500 miles & I do all the maintenance including electively rebuilding the engine at 88,K miles. Extra wear from racing is controllable by the driver to a large extent. Use it never abuse it!
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