The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice 911 is the kind you want to see: full of details, warts and all. That makes our job a whole lot easier, but will that make its price a slam dunk as well?
It apparently wasn’t rabbit season yesterday, as most of you ducked out on the 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI at its $8,000 asking price. A common theme throughout the comments pointed to the car needing to be more together — and not exhibiting the accessory and aesthetic issues it suffered — to reach that asking. That resulted in a decisive 78 percent No Dice loss.
As we discussed yesterday, the Rabbit GTI was the epitome of the hot hatch category. That class of car killed off many of the small sports cars that had previously been what enthusiasts of limited means gravitated to.
One sports car that has survived a number of mass extinctions is the Porsche 911. Now in its seventh decade, the 911 has outlasted not only invasions of cheaper (and admittedly less capable) hot hatches, but also corporate contrivances from inside Porsche that at one time sought to replace the rear-engine model off with the grand touring 928.
As you might have noticed, the 928 is no more, and the 911 soldiers on as one of the most coveted cars on the planet. The model is so well liked that older models can bring more cash than those that are far newer. The inverted bell curve of 911 values in fact slides forward a bit every year as appreciation grows for models that once were considered the least appealing. Right now, the bottom of that curve is represented by the 1998 to 2004 996 model, but those cars are coming into their own as their lower prices bring greater demand. The following 997 models, offered from 2005 to 2012, haven’t yet hit the low prices of their immediate predecessor, but there are some deals to be had.
Take for example this 2005 911 Carrera S. It has covered lots of miles — 156,000 — and is described in its ad as showing those miles in not being a pampered “garage queen.” By the way, is the term garage queen sexist? I certainly hope not.
This 997.1 version of the 911, in Dark Olive Metallic over a Sand Beige leather interior, possesses a fairly well-curated set of original options, including the Sport Chrono package and up-sized 19-inch Sport Design wheels.
While not a perfect specimen, and cautioned as such by the seller, the car still presents reasonably well. There are a few chips and scrapes in the paint, but nothing that should keep you up at night. Laudably, the headlight lenses are clear and un-yellowed despite their age. There apparently is an issue with one of the aftermarket LED tail lamps, however, which is chipped on the corner due to rough handling while shipping. The original lights do come with the car.
The interiors on the 997 are a dramatic step up from that of the 996, the earlier cars having some plastics that are alarmingly chintzier than a frat party kegger cup. That doesn’t mean the 997 escapes normal wear and tear, though, and this car does show use in its seat upholstery, shift knob leather, and some chipping of the painted surfaces throughout. By the way, the ad included only three pictures of the car. The additional shots are from the seller’s Smugmug, which is handily linked in the ad and more handily linked here.
That ad also offers a litany of the car’s pros (it drives well and exhibits only an occasional Check Engine Light), and cons (a dead DRL, a slow starting issue when warm and a bad front boot actuator, among other minor issues.)
Anticipating the pearl clutchers’ question about the IMS bearing, the seller notes that were it to have gone south on this car, it would have done so many miles earlier. It’s kind of surprising that it wasn’t upgraded or just replaced along with the clutch at 122,000 miles. Other plusses here include a working Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, fairly new Michelin Sport tires and a clean title. As this is a Southern California car, there’s no rust to worry about.
This daily driver 997 has an asking price of $22,900, which the seller suggests is cheap. Not just cheap, in fact, but VERY cheap according to the ad copy. The ad cautions that “the price and exterior condition is reflective of the mileage.”
What do you think? Is that in fact cheap? Should anyone pay $22,900 for this mileage-rich 911 as it’s described? Or, is that too much money for what may be the current bottom of the bell?
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