At $21,500, Is This Guards Red 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera A Guardedly Good Deal?

Nice Price or No Dice: 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Porsche heaps it with adulation, calling it a “Magnificent Excellent Rare Beauty” in the ad. Let’s see if terrific value can be added to that list of kudos as well.

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The Victorinox Swiss Army knife does a whole lot of things — cutting, twisting, opening and more. And while it can do all those things, it doesn’t actually do any single task all that well. In contrast, yesterday’s 1965 Jeep CJ-5 was built to do one thing really well and not much else. For many of you, that simply wasn’t enough to account for a $10,000 asking price. The result was a 60 percent No Dice vote. I’ll bet each one of you who voted the Jeep down owns at least one Swiss Army Knife.

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Photo: Craigslist

You couldn’t really call today’s 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet a jack-of-all-trades, but it certainly can do a number of things extremely well. The first and foremost of its accomplishments is to be stunningly good looking. The combination of its handsome alloy wheels matched with the Guards Red, aka Arrest-Me Red, aka Resale Red, paint makes it a real attention-getter right out of the gate.

Add to that the aero body kit as well as a convertible top that offers both open and closed motoring, and we start to see this as a true multitasker of a car. It should be noted, though, that the most important aspect of any 911 Carrera is its performance. Nestled beneath the fixed wing on the sloping back end is a 3.6-liter water-cooled flat-six. That offers 315 horsepower at a heady 6,800 rpm and 273 lb-ft of torque at a less raucous 4,250 spin cycles.

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Photo: Craigslist

Here that’s all channeled to the fat back tires through a six-speed Getrag G96 manual transaxle. The ad shows the car to have a clean title and 110,854 miles under its belt. That’s kind of mama bear mileage for a 911 — not too many and not too few. The seller further notes that the car has enjoyed proper service and maintenance, although there are no detail as to what specifically has been done over the course of ownership.

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It does look good, that’s for sure. Most notable is the paint, which remains bright and shiny. Beyond that, the cabin looks equally well cared-for. If you were around for the update on my Porsche earlier this week, then you’ll know that these aren’t the most durable of interiors. Laudably, this one still has its factory Becker radio and the little mirror covers on the sun visors. Those are two common failure points on these cars.

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Photo: Craigslist
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Let’s consider the other big failure point on these cars, which is the intermediate shaft bearing at the flywheel side of the engine. Yes, that can go south and it can take the entire engine with it. There are a number of aftermarket fixes to solve this problem, and it would be nice to know whether this car has been so protected. With more than 110,000 on the car, it would also be nice to know if the clutch has ever been refreshed. At the very least, any prospective buyer will want to take the car for an extensive pre-purchase inspection that includes chemical analysis of the oil and perhaps even cutting open the filter and giving it some side-eye for errant evidence of engine wear.

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Photo: Craigslist
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Or, you could just buy the car and hope for the best. After all, these are otherwise pretty sturdy and reliable sports cars. To make that leap happen, the seller asks for $21,500. That’s a far cry from the more than $70,000 this car cost new. While Porsche values do decline with age, at a certain point they almost always start to go back up again. That selling point is used by the current owner, who closes the ad description by claiming this 911 to be “Great investment quality.”

What do you think, at $21,500 is this 911 a great investment as it’s presented in its ad? Or, are there too many unknowns to pay so much?

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You decide!

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Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOND. 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.

DISCUSSION

shanemorris
Shane Morris

Imagine this for a moment: It’s summertime, and you’re pulling up to a stoplight. As you come to a stop, there’s an absolute certified dime next to you. She’s driving something boring... maybe a mini-lux crossover like an Audi Q3.

She looks at you, and she thinks to herself, “Wow, look at this dude driving a Porsche. He must be rich and successful. Plus, he’s handsome. I’m going to shoot my shot.” (She doesn’t know that your car is “nice used Accord” money, but let her dream.) She smiles, as you drop your Ray Ban’s over your nose, and give her a little wave. She rolls down her window, so this is your moment to shine. “Nice car!” she says, with HAIM softly playing in the background.

“Thanks!” you reply. “How do you feel about not using protection?” She gives you a funny look. “Oh, I was just asking, because if you’re down to hit it raw, that’s my style. I just bought this, and I’m into taking risks. This thing doesn’t have an IMS bearing replacement receipt. Let me know if you wanna pull off at that motel over there and do something risky.”

With that, she scoffs at you, rolls up her window, and pulls away. You’re left wondering why such a lovely woman won’t partake in your risky behaviors with you. But you? You know better. You know that there’s nothing like the feeling of saying no to condoms, and yes to whatever happens next.

Nice price.