Some Porschephiles shy away from the first generation of water-cooled 911s owing to its fated IMS issue. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 996 has already blown its IMS up and has a remanufactured engine as a result. Could that bad past make its price seem like a bright future?
When it was introduced in the early Eighties, the third-generation Camaro was lauded by Road & Track magazine as one of the most beautiful cars of its time. A decade later—which was when the 1991 Camaro Z28 we looked at yesterday rolled off the line—those handsome looks were masking some pretty long in the tooth underpinnings. A new, fourth-generation car was just two model years away by that time, and both drivetrains and looks would be paid notable attention with the new model.
We paid plenty of attention to our candidate Camaro, as well as to its $20,000 price. That just so happened to be $21 more than its as-new, fully-optioned MSRP, and despite it still having almost an as-new appearance, that was too much for many of you. In the end, the Z28 zoomed to a 76 percent Crack Pipe loss.
One of the complaints leveled in the comments for yesterday’s Camaro was that Chevy was only able to milk 245 horsepower out of its 5.7-litres of displacement. By contrast, today’s 1999 Porsche 911 Cabriolet gets a more impressive 296 ponies from only 3.4 litres. The Porsche is also two-cogs up on the Camaro in the transmission department, and the German car lets you row through all six speeds on your own accord.
Of course, every silver lining has an accompanying grey cloud, and in the case of this generation of 911, that’s long been the teething trouble with the model’s early run of M96 boxer engines.
The problems experienced by owners of these cars could include such nightmare scenarios as cylinder liner failures, and nasty scored cylinder bores. All of these issues would result in catastrophic engine failure. Another problem afflicting a spate of M96 engines is the failure of the forward bearing on the intermediate shaft that drives the cam banks. That externally-mounted bearing could leak engine oil in through a failed seal, seize, and then jump the chain, again causing catastrophic engine failure.
That has long made buying the 996-model of 911 a bit of a roll of the dice. The thing is, with this 911, those dice are fixed. The car has already gone down the road of IMS failure and has been fitted with a remanufactured engine with an improved bearing for (hopefully) a long and healthy life from here on out. It’s like the pre-disastered house in The World According to Garp!
That’s tough luck for the owner that had the engine go tits-up at 44K, but it’s cautious good news for someone looking for a 996 that doesn’t make you feel like you’re pulling the pin on a grenade every time you twist the ignition key. Also, with its bad rap rep, the 996-model 911 is one of the best values on the used Porsche 911 market.
This one comes in a lovely color combination of Ocean Blue Metallic over a Savannah Beige interior capped with a blue canvas convertible top. The ad notes that a hardtop also comes with the car, but we don’t get to see that in the pics.
Everything looks to be in decent shape, with no evident chipping or dents in the paint, and remarkably clear fried eggs up in front. The Turbo-stye alloys look to be free of any curbing and wear Michelin tires that the seller claims are “virtually new.”
The leather interior is likewise in seemingly serviceable shape. The only major downside evident is the fact that the view from the high-backed buckets on this model is shared with the lower-budget Boxster. If that doesn’t pee in your Wheaties all that much then it shouldn’t be a factor in the car’s overall desirability.
As noted, there are two tops that come with the car, and the convertible option looks okay, albeit with a swampy plastic rear window and some wrinkling evident from being down for too long. Also somewhat concerning, the passenger side rear window is wonky in one of the pics. That may be the result of it just not being raised fully, or it could be a sign of a problem. That is another pain point for 996 911s. The ad doesn’t make mention of it so it’s probably the former.
Other than that, the car looks ready to rock. It sports a mere 77,000 miles on the clock and is said in the ad to have a header to tip aftermarket exhaust from Fabspeed. A clean title provides a cherry on the top, and the whole thing could be yours for $16,995.
Yep, this is a Porsche 911 Convertible with four-season hardtop for the price of a Kia Soul or entry-level VW Jetta. Hmmm, which of those would you choose?
Never mind, we’re not interested in that kind of game. We’re here to decide if this pre-disastered Porsche is in fact worth that $16,995 asking price as it sits. What do you think, could it command that much? Or, reman-motor or not, is that just too much for a 996?
H/T to onlytwowheels for the hookup!
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