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Can $15K get you a RELIABLE Boxster?

My neighbor is looking, maybe wishing for a toy. He has always love my cars because I spend like a child without a care.

I think he might be getting close to letting himself have something. He mentioned a Boxster S he saw online.

My concern is that Porsche are not cheap to own and can bite hard. I thought maybe an S2000, but they have gone up like crazy.

I also thought Vette because nothing can touch the value and cheap to service.

I don't know 986's that well so I thought I would check to confirm my "it will bite" you concern.

Thanks for the help.

Old 07-28-2020, 03:46 PM
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Who will do the work on it - him, an Indy, or the dealer? For $15K, you're talking about a 986S or some early 987Ss. All are between 15-20 yrs old and will have 15 yr old needs that any car of that age would have. If your neighbor has to have the dealer do every repair, his $15K "investment" will cost a lot more because of the Porsche parts tax and the $150 / hr labor to install those spendy parts. On the other hand, if he (or you) can do 80% of the work yourselves, the cost of ownership goes down to just the expensive parts. 986Ss are not complicated cars and are fairly easy to work on.

The key would be to find the best maintained car he could afford. There's a chance the one he's found online has been maintained, but a better chance it hasn't. Don't buy anything that has little or no maintenance documentation. That's an open invitation to a very empty wallet and a negative ownership experience, esp if the dealer has to do the work.

Of course a Porsche will "bite", it's just a matter of it being good or bad.
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Last edited by husker boxster; 07-29-2020 at 05:08 AM..
Old 07-29-2020, 05:04 AM
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You can easily find a GOOD 986 Boxster S under $15k and a good 987.1 Base under 15k. For an S or a 987.2, pickings are slim under $15k based on a quick search. Like husker said, maintenance history is key. A solid history that shows proper maintenance will go a long way for insuring reliability. While the IMS is one of those iffy topics, depending on the mileage, it could be a deal breaker if it hasn't been addressed.

986's are pretty cheap to maintain, IF you do it yourself. Parts are plentiful and access is pretty easy. Stuff tends to get a little pricier with the 987s. I would avoid a tiptronic car like the plague, but that's just me.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:42 AM
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Owned two, both had Tiptronics auto trans. Still fun and driveable in heavy traffic. Been following the Porsche forums for years, not a lot of complaints about Tips.

Maintenance history. Pre-purchase inspection paid for by the buyer with a P-car mechanic doing the inspecting so you can predict what will need to be done.
Old 07-29-2020, 04:43 PM
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I found a 2000 S for my wife in California last year on Pelican for right under $10K. Flew out to the Bay Area to buy it and drove it back to Louisiana. It was well maintained by the previous owners. Has about 85K on it now and all I've done is fluid and filter changes. Had to replace the climate control LCD too but that was no big deal. Car looks and drives great.

Husker makes a good point - if he's not planning on doing work on the car then it will be $$$$.

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Old 07-30-2020, 05:34 AM
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$15,000 will get you a 986 S in great condition now & should go up in value in the future. Be sure to get a good PPI.
Old 07-30-2020, 11:16 AM
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Seems to me with a $15k budget, you could find a good $10k - $12k car and spend the other $3k - $5k on preventative / updating maintenance and have a pretty damn reliable car. I don't remember spending a lot on my 986 cars*, but to be fair, I had them at pretty low mileage so my experience may not be so relevant today.

* - oh yeah, there was that one time when my IMS failed and my motor blew and I had to pay out of pocket for a new motor. That was fun.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:43 AM
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I'm steering him toward either a fox body Mustang Vert, or C4 or C5 Corvette, so much more car for the money. Easy to enjoy, no stress over when is my overpriced German car going to break.

I thought s2000, but they have shot up a lot in price.
Old 07-31-2020, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geronimo View Post
I'm steering him toward either a fox body Mustang Vert, or C4 or C5 Corvette, so much more car for the money. Easy to enjoy, no stress over when is my overpriced German car going to break.

I thought s2000, but they have shot up a lot in price.
I had a new 1994 Mustang GT convertible when I worked for Saleen, it was fun but no where near a Porsche Boxster S like I've had 17 years. I test drove a S2000 before buying the Box, it's fun if you are ok shifting every 20 seconds to stay in the power band. C5 is fun & comfortable but you have to break the law to make it as fun as my Boxster S. The Fox body Mustang is junk in stock condition, Saleen motto for them is "Brace it before you race it!

Old 08-01-2020, 11:56 AM
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