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Old 03-17-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
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South Dakota Choice

Thank you in advance for providing me your input and opinion. I've gotten a couple of PM's on this topic before but I thought I'd open it up to everyone for their input and perspectives as I move forward in acquiring my first roadster.

Some background information

Live in South Dakota, so the driving season is about 8 months at best
Would be a second car but used as a daily driver whenever possible
Budget of 30M - 40M
No Porsche dealer in town, closest is Omaha or Fargo, both 3 hours away
Very solid Honda dealer with exceptional customer service
Honest and very solid independent auto mechanic with Porsche background
Always have wanted to own a Porsche, but no dealer close by has me cautious, maybe too cautious

So, given the above, here are my options

- Purchase a new 06 Honda S2000, have full warrenty and solid dealer in town. Cost approx 32M. Take the hit on depreciation, but no service concerns.
- Purchase best used certified Boxster or Boxster S available for $40,000, with factory warranty, but have to travel for warranty service
Some hit in depreciation, but try to let someone else take the first hit
- Purchase 96-98 Porsche 911 convertible for 35ish, have 5M for service / repairs. Little depreciation risk, but finding a good car may be tough and repair is an unknown

or some other option I have not thought of?

Again, thanks for your input. Know this is a Porsche forum, but have always felt the dialog is true.

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Old 03-17-2006, 09:51 AM   #2
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All good vehicles. But they are also all so VERY different.

My first advice would be to drive each first. Forget the name brand or badge. If you are so in love with the 911 or Boxster then you should consider going that route.

Obviously a warranty is a really nice thing to have. I don't think you can go wrong with either a CPO Boxster or a new S2000. Both are wonderful cars!

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Old 03-17-2006, 11:24 AM   #3
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I'd recommend the 06 280 SLK which can be had new for low 40s, I don't know what you could get an 05 350 SLK for, maybe close to the same, but probably north thereof. You'll get a new car warranty, but most importantly you'll get a hard-top that is an engineering marvel, which would be of value in South Dakota.

The SLK will keep you warmer than any convertible out there with the combination of small cabin/heater/heated seats/airscarf, and I'd imagine that there's some pretty chilly mornings and days in that 8-month driving season you mention. I could run the SLK top-down in temperatures in the low 40s and feel plenty warm. The OEM tires on the SLK are more conducive to driving in sub-50s weather and although I obviously haven't done so, if I had to drive in the snow in either the SLK or the Boxster, my gut feeling tells me the Box would be staying at home.

Keep in mind that the next 3 series convertible from BMW will have a hard-top, but obviously not a roadster and looking down the line a bit.

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Old 03-17-2006, 03:03 PM   #4
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If I were you, I would seriously consider the S2000 option.

You are already nervous about the "support" infrastructure for a Porsche in your area. Having the closest service 3 hours away is at least an inconvenience. If you're a DIYer, that puts any significant variety of Porsche parts 3 hours away as well. While it is true that just about any part you could want is available through internet sources, it is handy to have a dealer parts dept close at hand.

At some point, you are probably going to want to sell your car. Any buyer will face the same issues you are now facing, which is bound to reduce the pool of potential purchasers, if the car in question is a Porsche.

You are going to take a depreciation hit anyway, regardless of which option you pick. I know your point is that the new car hit is greater, but if you want a Porsche certified used Boxster, you will pay for that, too.

I have one friend that has an S2K, and he loves the damn thing. He is a vintage racer with a long history of sports car ownership, including Porsche, so it's not just a case of it being the only sporty car he has ever had.

Good hunting.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:18 PM   #5
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It'd be cool for you to share the joy of a Boxster, but in my opinion, it sounds like you'd be better off in the S2K.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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As a relative newcomer to Boxster ownership, I have to agree with what others have posted. If you want a fun, sporty car with a rabid fan base and local support, the S2K might be the way to go. But... if you're emotionally invested in owning a Porsche, and are willing to live with the associated idiosyncracies, they can be be very rewarding. I'd also suggest taking a close look at how much each will cost, not only in outright purchase but also figure out maintenance, repairs and insurance to see if they help with making your decision. Good luck, either way!

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