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Old 06-28-2015, 08:03 AM   #1
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The $5500 Boxster

Hi everyone,

I thought it was time to introduce myself and my car to the 986 Forum. Back in February I purchased a 97 Boxster after getting rid of my well used but much loved 968 coupe. I decided to title this thread with the purchase price because I did another thread on the Pelican Parts Forum for the 968 titled "The $3500 968". Here's the link if you're inclined.
The $3500 968 - Pelican Parts Technical BBS
Budget Porsche ownership is the only way I can enjoy the marque, and with a little luck and a lot of DIY experience, I'm happily into my second Porsche. I bought the Boxster from a local guy who had owned it for 11 years. He also worked on the car himself and did a great job keeping up with maintenance and regular oil changes. When I bought it, it had just under 140k miles, ran and drove great, and other than a very minor power steering leak, had no leaks. He was asking $6200 and with a little negotiation, I managed to score it for $5500.

Test drive day:



First wash at home:



The following weekend, my wife and I took the Boxster up to Santa Fe for Valentine's weekend getaway at a beautiful place called Bishop's Lodge. Here's the view from our room:


My first mountain drive in the Boxster. What amazing handling cars!



I've also done some upgrades which I will post soon.

Cheers!
Jeremy
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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So after driving the Boxster for a few months, I decided to swap out the exhaust for my first upgrade. Sticking with the budget theme, I went with an eBay exhaust by Beluga Racing. I doubt they made it since I've seen other companies selling what seems to be the exact same unit. Regardless, it was stainless steel and promised a more sporty sound. I had no expectation of a power increase. But it was hard to argue with $299, shipped.

When it arrived, I was fairly impressed with the quality. We'll see how it holds up over time:


So, out with the old:


And in with the new:


I like the exhaust a lot. On start up, it takes that great Porsche sound and gives it a nice snarl. Through the revs, it sounds really good and then even better as it approaches redline. Downside, of course, is that drone between 2200 and 2800 RPM. But at this point, it's not enough to make me go back to stock.

More later. Cheers,
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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Nice score! I really like the look of a white Boxster.

Welcome to the club!

Rick
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:03 PM   #4
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Try the secondary cat delete. Top Speed makes some on the cheap and they can reduce the drone. Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:16 AM   #5
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Holy crap! That's a beautiful car at any price and you have some great roads to enjoy it on!
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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Congrats man, that's a clean looking boxster.Looking forward to future upgrades.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:33 AM   #7
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Great to see you've joined a group of Boxster owners who know how good these cars are. Sorry to see the price keeps dropping through the floor on such a great Porsche.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:38 AM   #8
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'97 doesn't have secondary cats

Nice buy! It's the right color!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche9 View Post
Try the secondary cat delete. Top Speed makes some on the cheap and they can reduce the drone. Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:46 PM   #9
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Happy for you, but knowing you got a sorted 1997 for that little is depressing. I've dumped $40k into my 97 so far (since 2004 when I purchased it) and to think it's worth $5500 is not making my day.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour View Post
Happy for you, but knowing you got a sorted 1997 for that little is depressing. I've dumped $40k into my 97 so far (since 2004 when I purchased it) and to think it's worth $5500 is not making my day.
Budget Porsches do exist, but apparently yours is not one of those.

How in the world did you..............................never mind, I don't want to know. I have a 1999 on the classifieds right now for $5000, or $6000 with the hardtop. It needs a few things, but there is no way it's $40K worth of work.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #11
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Here's how you spend $40k on a 1997 boxster.

1. Buy it for $15,500 in 2004
2. Replace the transmission, coolant tank, odds and ends, top parts, etc. $3500
3. Buy new seats to replace the vomit-laden ones that were like cardboard $1200
4. New Wheels to replace heavy ROH wheels $2400 with new rubber on them
5. Replace exhaust and headers $1000
6. Replace all four wheel bearings and what the heck, while we're at it swap out the tired struts for coilovers and adjustable control arms. $3800 including labor.
7. Replace the ratty steering wheel with a 3 spoke and the center console (it was broken) and the shift knob. $1000
8. Replace the headlights with Litronics, and the side markers with clear ones $1200
9. Repair a bunch of other crap that went out on the car along the way (oil filler tube, water pump, front motor mount, yada yada yada)

I could go on and on but you get the point. Half of it was mods and half was repairs. I was thankful it had a new motor in it when I bought it or that would have been replaced along the way too.

986to986, read the above carefully. You may well be in for a $hitload of repairs in the future when all the suspension bushings crack and your wheel bearings go... unless the PO paid big bucks to have all this done along the way (doubtful unless you have paperwork to prove it).

Closing thought: I didn't dump the car years ago because I cannot replace it with another Pcar I like for less than $70k right now. So why not keep it and drive it instead of going Porschless? That's my thinking anyway.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:48 PM   #12
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I think it's easy to throw a lot of money in a Box. If you take a look at the Porsche parts price list you'll see that part prices raised extremely since the car is getting older than 10 years.

So, if you like to use new OEM parts, be prepared and sit down before you'll ask your P dealer for prices. And yes, there are after market parts and used parts available. But not always.

Don't forget that this car was a minimum of 50K plus when new. Mine was about 65K euro in 2003.

Regards
Markus
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Old 07-01-2015, 04:11 PM   #13
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Hey Randallneighbor I think I may be on pace.... $7500 for car plus the list below in 1.5 years and 7k miles. This with IMS, AOS, clutch and brakes that still need to be looked at.



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Old 07-01-2015, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 968to986 View Post
So after driving the Boxster for a few months, I decided to swap out the exhaust for my first upgrade. Sticking with the budget theme, I went with an eBay exhaust by Beluga Racing. I doubt they made it since I've seen other companies selling what seems to be the exact same unit. Regardless, it was stainless steel and promised a more sporty sound. I had no expectation of a power increase. But it was hard to argue with $299, shipped.

When it arrived, I was fairly impressed with the quality. We'll see how it holds up over time:


So, out with the old:



I like the exhaust a lot. On start up, it takes that great Porsche sound and gives it a nice snarl. Through the revs, it sounds really good and then even better as it approaches redline. Downside, of course, is that drone between 2200 and 2800 RPM. But at this point, it's not enough to make me go back to stock.

More later. Cheers,
How is the weight, are these lighter?
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:41 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the comments. I'm very fond of the white color too!

The exhaust is considerably lighter than stock, which I think losing some weight at the very back of the car is a good thing.

Please don't let the pretty looking car fool you! I think I got a good Boxster for the money, but it has plenty of things that will need to be addressed (and some that I probably won't address). If I took this car to my local specialist to fix it all, it would feel like a fairly idiotic buy. But this is what I expect for my budget purchase and I will spend many hours and hundreds, probably thousands, of dollars over time keeping it going. But in the meantime, I get to drive the hell out of it!
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:55 PM   #16
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I'm a fan of the 17" wheels that came on the Boxster, but I just think these cars take on a whole new attitude with the right wheels. I have friend who had a beautiful Cayman S with aftermarket wheels. He was selling the car to make room for his new Cayman GTS and I knew he had the stock wheels hanging around. I thought they were 18" inch Carrera wheels but when I contacted him, he told me they were actually 19" Carrera Classics (which I love), and that he would give me a smoking deal on them with good Michelin Pilot Super Sports if I would get them out of his garage. So, I did what you're not supposed to do on an early Boxster and bolted on big wheels. Still have the 17s though.



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Old 07-02-2015, 12:46 AM   #17
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Those look beautiful!
Now I've got to find a set.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:14 AM   #18
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on a beautiful Boxster I noticed you found the perfect parking spot in Santa Fe, a corner spot in view from the room How many times did you stare at it from the room? Those wheels look fantastic, congrats on another great purchase!
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:22 PM   #19
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on a beautiful Boxster I noticed you found the perfect parking spot in Santa Fe, a corner spot in view from the room How many times did you stare at it from the room? Those wheels look fantastic, congrats on another great purchase!
Thanks! Yeah I was definitely guilty of looking at the amazing "view" a lot that weekend. Luckily my wife loves the Boxster too, so she was understanding.

Another bit of work I did to the car was de-snorkeling it and adding a few touches:


Carbon fiber wrapped the vents with 3M 1080 CF:


Two of my favorite modern Porsches in white are the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 and the Boxster Spyder. They use silver accents which I think is very cool. So with that inspiration, I did the first silver accents by painting the duct surrounds:



The mirrors will be next with carbon fiber accents, and then I think Porsche script for the sides in silver.

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