The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice 986 has dubbed the car “Bruce the Boxster” and is leaving Bruce behind in a move across the country. Let’s see if this mileage-heavy Porsche is priced for a prospective buyer to make a move.
Based on the comments, the general consensus on yesterday’s $35,000 2013 Aston Martin V8 Vantage S was that the offering was a scam. Many of you even took me to task for presenting it as anything other than that. In my defense, I felt it important to let you, the jury, decide the ad’s veracity. And decide you did.
That decision was to ignore the high likelihood of the ad being a scam and awarding the Aston with a 51 percent Nice Price win. I guess enough of us just wanted to believe it was true, even if it may have been too good to be so.
They say to ask the man who owns one. I guess that phrase was coined before some men accepted the fact that women can own stuff too. At any rate, today we are looking at a 2000 Porsche Boxster and since I happen to own a 2001 edition, I’m going to sit this one out lest my enthusiasm for the model clouds the presentation.
These days, the base Boxster is the best (i.e. cheapest) way to rub elbows with the Carrera crowd. When you buy a Porsche — any Porsche — you gain a golden ticket into the Porsche Club of America, and that, plus a $46 annual membership fee, buys you access to a bunch of fun events and 12 monthly issues of Panorama magazine which is one of the most elegant and well-written marque mags around.
Okay, so we’ve established that there are tangible side benefits to owning a Porsche, but what about this particular one, and what is the cost of entry? Being a 2000 model this Boxster should have the larger, 2.7 liter pancake six sitting mid-ships rather than the 2.5 the model was given upon its 1996 debut. That means a bump of 16 horsepower to 217 ponies and more importantly a bit more torque to make it more tractable around town.
By this model year, the major issues with cylinder wall cracking and sleeve walking in the M96 engine had also been corrected. The question of IMS bearing still remains as the shift from dual-row to single happened around this time but no one knows exactly when the VIN break was.
According to the ad, this Boxster has 166,000 miles under its belt, so any issue with the IMS would likely have manifested (i.e. blown the engine up) a long time ago. At this mileage, the bigger question is more likely timing chain guide and crank bearing wear.
Honestly, there are a number of issues that an old Boxster can suffer. I mean, this is a car that’s more than 20 years old and that was intended to be used not pampered. The seller notes a few boogers in the car’s description including headlamp lenses that suffer browning from the heat of the bulb and a bit of curb rash on the otherwise lovely Turbo Twist wheels.
Other things to note are a few scuffs here and there, a slightly poorly-fitting (albeit later glass-window) top, and the typical broken Boxster badge on the rear boot lid. Perhaps most alarmingly, the seller says that Bruce the Boxster exhibits a squeaking noise that a mechanic attributes to “a pulley bearing that needs to be replaced.” Yeah, I think that sounds just as evasive as all of you do. You might also note how freaking full that master cylinder reservoir is in the photo below.
On the plus side, the car has new rotors and pads (which probably explain the over-full reservoir) and overall looks pretty sound other than the typical wear and tear to be expected of any car with this kind of mileage. The interior looks decent too and even has the original Porsche-branded Becker stereo which is a plus on these models. Sadly, it does not seem to have the three-piece wind blocker for the rollbars, which can cost upwards of $360 to add. Bruce does come with a clear title, however, and that’s probably more important at the outset.
The seller claims that a cross-country move is forcing the sale, and honestly, that’s a sad thing. As a 986 owner, I can attest to the joys of this model as well as to certain pitfalls. None of the latter should ever dissuade a purchaser from pulling the trigger on the model in general, but buyers still need to be cautious of specific cars since, like any car, they can be problematic if poorly maintained.
With a $6,200 price tag, Bruce is one of the cheapest ways actually drive into the Porsche club. Cheapest doesn’t always the best deal, however, and in this case, there is that mysterious “pulley squeak” with which to contend, as well as the dull as dishwater headlamps which will have to be fixed or replaced at great expense. Keep all that in mind while ruminating about Bruce’s fate.
What’s your verdict? Is this 986 worth that $6,200 asking as it’s presented in the ad? Or, based on his problems, does that price have you giving Bruce the boot?
H/T to S.R.Gooch for the hookup!
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