Do you know what you have if you own the worst Porsche ever made? That’s right, a Porsche. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 996 has a rep for being one of the least desirable iterations of the 911 ever… but it’s still a Porsche.
Oh dear, it appears that Donald Trump has his work cut out for him in making America great again. Of course the America of which we are speaking was yesterday’s 1968 American Motors AMX, which needed some work to regain its greatness despite its patriotic paint job. Also not great - at least for 81% of you - was its price, which earned it a Crack Pipe loss, our first of the week.
You know what’s great? The fact that Porsche still makes the rear-engined 911 despite the brand’s furtive attempts over the years to kill off both the model and the layout. Brand loyalty goes both ways, and for Porsche’s true fans, the marque’s premier model needs to keep its engine in da’ butt.
Here’s another question: what you call the guy who finishes at the bottom of his medical school graduating class? That’s right, Doctor. And while you may not want that guy touching you, he has still earned that honored sobriquet.
The same thing goes for today’s 1999 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, as while the 1997-2005 996 edition of the marque’s long-running nameplate is presently considered to be its least desirable, it’s still a Porsche, and owning one of those means something.
What it might mean is that you’re a dentist. Or, maybe a CPA. Whatever the life achievement unlocked, a Porsche is often the prize. Let’s have a look and see if this one is worth keeping.
The first thing you’ll note about the 996 is that, from the front on back to just behind the front seats, this model has a lot in common with the lesser Boxster - which I might point out is also a Porsche. That’s because the Germans decided to have the models share almost all their front architecture as a cost-containment measure. Remember, this was before the company had released their license to print money, the Cayenne.
Regardless of its provenance, this black on black beauty looks to be in great shape, with mar-free paint and reasonably clear headlamp covers. Roll around to the rear and things look equally tidy. The only possible complaint on the outside of this convertible 996 might be the wheels, which looks to be Porsche OEM, but may not be everyone’s cup of Meßmer.
Determining the condition of the interior is hindered by the seller’s inability to take a picture with the sun behind him - superstition perhaps? - although the couple of shots provided don’t indicate anything majorly untoward despite the glare.
Mechanically things get a little more interesting as the ad claims the car has a new “create” engine from the Porsche plant - one that has 89,000 miles on it. Huh? The description goes on to say that the original motor suffered a faulty knuckle (again, what?) and was replaced - along with the Triptronic transmission - at Porsche of Newport Beach.
Okay, so it looks pretty good, has either a new engine or maybe one with 89k on it, and a replaced transmission, all wrapped in what’s considered to be one of the low-water marks in 911 design… what would that be worth?
Well, if you track values on these cars at all, you’ll know that 996 prices keep dropping while all other models are higher than a hippie on welfare check day. Here’s the thing, it’s still a Porsche, and dynamically, these are not bad cars. I think this is the model to buy right now, and at $13,500 this one is within the realm of possibility for many.
Based on the description and the pics, what’s your take on this 996 and its $13,500 price? Is that a deal to be able to say “I drive a Porsh?” Or, are there enough red flags in this car’s ad to make you think its price is just the beginning of its cost?
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