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Old 02-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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986 or M3 Cab in Switzerland-what would you do?

I'm currently living in Switzerland on a 2yr assignment. Have been looking out for my first Box for my return. Was leaning towards an early 987S. Turns out, I will now be taking a local contract and staying here a few more years. Problem is, cars are damn expensive here. on average, this is what you get for your money here (adjusted for exchange rate):

used late 986S: ~$30k
early 987S: ~$45k
late 987: ~$60k
late 987S: ~$75k
New 987S: ~ $100k+ (there's no such thing as "buying at "invoice" here--just tiny discounts from MSRP at best)

'01-'03 M3 Cab/Z4M: ~$35k

Apparently, Porsche's are very "special" here and priced accordingly. Even '06/07 911s run in the 90's with new ones around 160s (no, that's not for a turbo!). Bringing car over from USA not an option (don't ask...).

So I can get a nice M3 cab or Z4M for relatively cheap..but just not as passionate about them. The thought of spending 30k+ bucks on a 986 makes me want to barf when I can get so much more from BMW performance wise. I think it's just principle of the thing. the ultimate goal of my purchase is to spend my weekend driving roads like this before I die:

Advice??? Would you bite the bullet and just get a 986? I suppose I could afford any of these, but not into spending my last penny on a car--not very responsible. I enjoy a pure driving experience with connection between man, machine and road. not sure if the BMWs will deliver that like a P-car. Oh, and I need the top to go down so I can enjoy the view

I guess there are worse and more important decisions one could be faced with in life. But I want to enjoy making this one before those other ones come around...


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Old 02-23-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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A neighbohr of mine has the M3 Cab in white with red leather. It has the ultra sporty seats with high bolsters, excellent trim and those great looking shadow wheels. That's hard to beat for the prices you're looking at.
As for driving, the M3 is almost a completely different car to the M3 coupe as far as my personal test runs. The M3 Cab really does feel like somone just sawed the roof off. The tightness in cornering completely gone... That being said I think its the only non-Boxster PRACTICAL (no Lotus suggestions please) soft top car I would consider. The 911 Cab looks like a bathtub with a big butt. The Z4 is okay looking I guess but it just reminds me that I would rather be in a Porsche Boxster.

The only problem I have with Bimmers is that they change the styling so dramatically that the cars tend to look out dated. The exact opposite of Porsche which always seem to look 'collectible'. Even the 944 and 928's still get looks.
But if you're only keeping the car as long as you stay in the land of funny bathrooms and free health insurance then its not really an issue.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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This might sound stupid, but what is the rental/lease market?
Since my family lives all over the US, I looked for a deal similar to what Harley dealers do. I don't know if anyone realizes this, but you can fly to almost any major city in the US and rent a Harley on a weekly basis.
Would that be a great deal to set up sportscar rentals by the week?
What can you rent in Switzerland for your weekend trips and vacations? Maybe something neat and different for every trip?
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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What are Porsches selling for in Germany? If they're cheaper there, why couldn't you "import" it to Switzerland? I'd check out the FatherLand first before throwing down a BIG pile of Euros.

Someone on this forum said it best when describing the Z4 - it looks like a clown's shoe. I agree.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:37 PM   #5
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you guys are hysterical!

Perfectlap: I agree--the 911cab has never looked right to me, but I test drove a 997S last year anyway and absolutely preferred the boxster. it just didn't feel balanced. Felt like a bulldog on a leash always trying to pull the leash out of your hand. I don't like the sound of the M3 cab--handling is absolutely priority 1. Top speed or acceleration not as critical. esp in Switzerland. They are serious about speeding tickets. My colleague just got mailed a speeding ticket for 4km over. it's rediculous. But I am just 10mins from the Autobahn

Husker: prices not much better in Germany, plus I would have to pay import duties on top of that. Let's see, I'm looking at a 2004 Spyder with 60k miles for 32k euros--which is roughly $45k. so...still pricey. then I'll have to tack on like 7% import duty on top I think.

Quickurt: Not stupid at all! In fact, something like 60% of people here lease cars. Probably due to the main cash crop here: cash. Lots of money in Switzerland so people enjoy new cars. They have the most ferraris per capita of any country. there are 3 in the garage of my flat. Car depreciation hit in year one is big. Plus, it's very common to lease used cars here. Not sure what one can rent for the weekend, that's a great idea. plus I wouldn't have to own the thing. A parking spot in my apartment's garage is $215/mo (ouch). But then my 2 bedroom flat is $3000/mo.

thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it!
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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i've been living in switzerland for 26 years

i've been in switzerland since 1983 and i'm swiss. i think that maybe i can help answer some of your questions.
first, the prices you quote are way high. the market in switzerland is very different than in n. america. first off, the cars are more expensive new. a new panamera turbo is $180K in switzerland and $130K in the US.
second, the private sale used car market is practically non-existant. people take their cars to the dealers and get reamed. then the dealer reams the buyer. buyers trust the dealers and who knows why. anyway, i could write a book on the subject but not for here. short version is stay the heck away from dealers.
you state "Have been looking out for my first Box for my return." if i understand this to mean that you want to take a european boxster back to the US, don't bother. it is expensive and time consuming.
you also state that bringing a car from the US is not an option. it is actually the most easy but since you seem to be already established there, it might be taxed.
another poster mentions buying a car in germany. since switzerland is not in the EU then you will have to pay sales tax and duty and go through the hassle of importing the car. easier to buy the car locally.
if you want to buy a porsche from a private party, the best bet is to check out the local porsche clubs. how's your french and/or german? check out the "club porsche geneve, http://www.cpge.ch/ and club porsche romand (the french speaking part of switzerland) www.clubporscheromand.ch
i bought my 2000 boxster s new in june of 2000. it has 70,000 km on it and in a garage near geneva. i just moved to vancouver, canada a few months ago. i didn't want to sell the car and it was the beginning of winter which would of made it more difficult. i either have to wait 5 more years to bring it to canada or just keep it for summer travels to europe. or i would sell it to the right person. if it's something that interests you, pm me.
even if it doesn't, i'd be more than happy to answer questions you may have.
and i can tell you something, driving the alps in a porsche is about the most awesome thing you can do. i've done the stelvio pass and many, many others and it is just incredible.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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I just looked up car rental prices. Boxster~ $650/day!

911 turbo: $1800/day

Sounds about right for this place. A pizza here from a restaurant runs about $25. and that's a pizza for one person. Yep..pizza dinner for two including beer will clean about 75bucks from your wallet. We Americans are pretty spoiled
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CRCGuy
I just looked up car rental prices. Boxster~ $650/day!
where was that? did you try www.europcar.ch? i don't think that they're that expensive there.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:53 AM   #9
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I didn't spend a vast amt of time searching. But couldn't find a Boxster at europcar. I got this price from http://www.autoeurope.com/guides/Switzerland/Switzerland_fleet.cfm

A honda civic is reasonable. I think all P-cars are considered exotics here

But an even cooler one is:


Check out the cars! Yes, it's a crapload of money, but for a once in a lifetime experience...plus if you were debating between some of these, it's not a lot to spend to get a full day with the thing. Less than a monthly payment. Much less in some cases.... Might have to try this one day. Would probably be a fonder memory than a cruise or disneyworld for me. Especially if you got to drive it in the Swiss Alps

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