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At $5,500, Will This 2003 Porsche Boxster S Totally Clean-Up?

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Will This 2003 Porsche Boxster S Totally Clean-Up?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Boxster says they need a bigger car. Based on the pics, what they really need is a coupon for a car wash. Could the car’s dirty disposition be overlooked for its down and dirty price?

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When the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony arrived in 1620, they set up their makeshift encampment on land already occupied by the Wampanoag people. The local peoples were none too happy with the English squatters and were bewildered at how inept they were at coaxing sustenance from what the natives saw as bountiful environs. They were even more appalled at the Puritans’ seeming incapacity for even the most basic personal hygiene.

Flash forward 200 years and today we consider the English to be the epitome of elegance and stately comportment. Well, at least their cars. That was evident in the 1994 Jaguar XJ12 we looked at yesterday. It sported a dignified wood and leather interior, elegant champagne-colored exterior, and a docile until it doesn’t need to be V12 under its bonnet. At just $5,000, that elegance was within reach of the masses as well. At least that was the opinion of the 56 percent of you who gave the car a Nice Price win.

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I think we have a lot in common with the Wampanoag. After all, most of us are pretty fastidious about keeping things clean and tidy, right? I know I try and shower every day and I wash my cars on the regular. There’s nothing quite as instantly rewarding as a freshly washed car in the driveway, amiright?

On the flip side of that coin, there’s something that’s just plain wrong about someone letting their car get crusted over with grime and other detritus of a life lived out-of-doors.

It’s not just dirt either. If you take a look at your car just a day or so after a bath you may spot some small yellow dots or spatters on the body. That’s bee shit, and it’s bad for your paint. Bird shit is even worse and should you live in an area like me where peacocks roam free (that’s an interesting story) then you run the risk of not just hefty pea-turds on your car but scratches from their claws and beaks as well. It’s all one can do to keep up with all the wildlife dropping deuces to keep one’s car clean. My god, it’s fatiguing.

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Will This 2003 Porsche Boxster S Totally Clean-Up?
Photo: Craigslist
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That, however, does not seem to be a concern to the seller of this 2003 Porsche Boxster S. As you can see in the ad’s pictures, this poor little Porsche has suffered ignominiously at the sphincters of a number of fine feathered fiends as well as from inclement weather.

Beneath the layer of grime and guano is what looks to be Cobalt Blue paint and complementing blue canvas top. Neither looks to be in terrible shape, but obviously the whole car could stand a thorough Hazmat suit-level cleaning. Borbet five-spoke alloys underpin and look to be just as filthy. Behind those sit cross-drilled discs with a patina of rust that indicates they haven’t had any action for some time.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Will This 2003 Porsche Boxster S Totally Clean-Up?
Photo: Craigslist

The interior suffers that same shame game, with a driver’s seat that exhibits broken leather and staining on the bolsters. The carpet is faded and dirty and there’s some chipping evident on the silver door trim. The electrical tape on the E-brake does appear to be a practical if a heavy-handed repair to that lever’s snood, but it seems par for the course here.

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On the plus side, the seller says the car is mechanically sound. There are 193,000 miles on the clock and if you’re at all familiar with the 986 you’ll know that high miles can mean good things as low mileage cars oftentimes don’t get the services they need.

This being an S model, the engine that lives over your shoulder is Porsche’s 3.2-litre M96 flat-six. That was good for 258 horses and could get the car to sixty in under six seconds when equipped, like this car, with the six-speed stick. It’s also known for a few foibles, but you already know about those.

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Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Will This 2003 Porsche Boxster S Totally Clean-Up?
Photo: Craigslist

The seller points out the car’s pros and cons in the ad, noting that “It runs, drives, and stops fantastic. Engine sounds very healthy and transmission shifts well.” and then warning that “It could use some little repairs.” Those would be to address a CEL that the seller claims calls out a secondary air pump issue, and an intermittent ABS/PSM warning that might be a bad wheel sensor.

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Both A/C and the convertible top are said to work as they should. There’s no word on maintenance history at all, or even whether it’s on its first, second, or third IMS bearing. That’s all important info when buying one of these as lack of maintenance is the Boxster’s worst enemy. The title is clean and the seller does boast that the car “has been well cared for by enthusiast owners.”

Illustration for article titled At $5,500, Will This 2003 Porsche Boxster S Totally Clean-Up?
Photo: Craigslist
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The pictures in the ad imply that the present company is excepted from that statement. In all fairness, there are perhaps reasons why the seller couldn’t be bothered to clean the car off so it would present appropriately in the ad. On the other hand, being so dirty it seems to warrant its $5,500 asking and maybe makes it that proverbial diamond in the rough.

What do you say, is this dirty and mileage-heavy 986 worth dropping $5,500? Or, for that much would you expect more shine and less grime?

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You decide!

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Fairfield, NY Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

ventogt3
SaltyIrishman

“well cared for enthusiast owned” being put up for sale in the most appalling of conditions, not bothering to spend an afternoon washing and barring it down, vacuuming the inside and having Christmas in July on the dash as visible in the pictures?

Yeah, no. These are a dime a dozen and you can get all manner of better ones for similar money. I’d be looking for ones in the Southeast to ship up that also haven’t had to deal with CT winters. IF there is a stack of receipts about an encyclopedia thick, I may reconsider my vote, but I am betting the “service records” consist of oil changes [every 12K miles], the last set of tires, and brake pads [if even that]

CP for one of the laziest sellers I’ve ever seen on NPOCP—when you can’t be bothered to throw away an old gas station receipt sitting on the driver’s floorboard, you can’t be the asshat that says “no low ballers” at the end.