Mastery of the Porsche 911's handling is a well-earned badge of honor. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 996 is claimed to give you more to master, but will its price prove to be its master stroke?

Why is it that the unobtainable is often the most desirable? That which we cannot have we most want, and most of you - 81% in fact - wanted yesterday's JDM 1999 Subaru Forester ST-B Type A at its asking price, even though for most of us it represents a forbidden fruit.

Speaking of fruit, check out this orange over blue 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo. Those colors of course represent Gulf livery, perhaps one of racing's most famous color schemes. It's so venerated in fact that people, like the present owner of today's car, feel no compunction about swaddling their rides in the former oil company's colors, and serving as a free advertisement.

Fortunately, Gulf is long defunct, having been rolled into Standard Oil back in the MTV '80s. Still, we love seeing cars in the brand's iconic orange and blue because of the potential performance bonafides those hues imply. My car's a race car, vroom, vroom!

This 996 edition of Porsche's long-running 911 nameplate seemingly backs up those colors with the mechanical goods, or maybe even gods. The first wasser boxer for the model, the 996 shared much of its front structure with the Boxster, as well as some interior bits. Not shared was the Boxster's mid-engine layout, the 996 still tithing to the model's long-standing convention of being ass-engined.

That archaic layout has over the years both defined the marque and created cars with unique and, at the limits, vicious handling properties. Ralph Nadar may have thought the similarly designed Chevy Corvair to be unsafe at any speed, but he never even contemplated the speeds that the Porsche could easily achieve.

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This one is likely to be pretty damn fast, as not only is it is a Turbo model, but it's been further breathed upon by the aftermarket, or so says the ad. From the factory, the 911 Turbo for 2001 spun all four of its tires to the tune of 420-bhp. This one, owing to the addition of an EVOMS GT700 turbo kit, is said to offer 280 more. That kit - should you want to buy it sans car - will set you back twenty-four grand. Yeah, holy F-bomb is right.

Here, you get the kit and the caboodle, along with a GT2 nose and wing, rebuilt big-ass brakes, and bunch of other stuff to impress the gatherers at the next Cars and Coffee. The car sports 86,000 miles on the clock and looks to be in perfectly serviceable shape both inside and out. Oh, and that Gulf paint job is a vinyl wrap so when you get tired of pretending to be Steve McQueen, you can peel it off and go back in black.

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All that comes with a $45,500 price tag. Now, the 996 is not usually considered to be the greatest 911 ever, but the lack of love the model receives does make it one of the best opportunities to get into the marque. This one raises the bar on both looks and performance, if the ad is to be believed, and now I want your opinion on whether its price makes its also an above-bar deal.

What do you think, is this claimed 700-bhp 911 worth $45,500? Or, is this a Porsche with a price that's a gulf apart from reality?

You decide!

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