Having owned several Porsches 911 Carreras, I always get the same question “what Porsche to buy?” The question is obviously loaded since each person has different tastes and budgets. With Porsche the first question that needs to be answered is your budget.
When I refer to a budget, I am not only referring to what you can afford to spend on the car but also what you have available annually to service the Porsche. Because what Porsche to buy depends on your ability to keep it in good running order.
Most Porsches are very reliable, with some exceptions, but a poorly maintained one will not be. This is why the first step in answering what Porsche to buy lies in your budget. I suggest creating a maintenance fund that accrues annually whether you use the money or not, since one good year of maintenance can be followed with a terrible one.
For example many years ago I owned a reliable 1994 Porsche 911 (964) Carrera 4 widebody and noticed there was some smoke coming from the engine bay at temperature although it was very slight, attention to detail is important with these mechanical marvels. After bringing it to the shop I came to find out the engine had to be removed and resealed. This problem is common in air cooled Porsches, so having the budget softened the blow.
Now with the budget in mind and hopefully on paper, the question comes down to what Porsche to buy. The most common answer among enthusiasts to what Porsche to buy is the newest one you can afford of the model you are interested in. Personally I believe this answer needs to be adjusted, since the newest Porsches are very different to the older ones.
Porsche 930 911 TurboI personally believe that what Porsche to buy should be the newest one in the model year series you have chosen. If you have decided that you are interested in the Porsche 911 turbo (930) from the 1980’s then look for a 1989 version, which was the last year of that style. The 1989 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo had a better transmission (5 Speed G50 verse the previous 4 speed) making the car much easier to drive around town. Keep in mind also that from 1980 to 1985 Porsche did not sell the 911 (930) in the USA, so if you see one in the USA for sale it falls under the grey market.
There is a caveat to the above advice, if you are looking for a Porsche 911 Carrera older than 1978 I would suggest really researching the different models. During the 1970s especially there were some model years that were better than others.
This brings us to the next important step in finding your Porsche. It is extremely important to research the model year series you are interested in. It is very important to become an expert on the Porsche you are looking for. Knowing the common problems helps you ask the right questions.
So the when considering what Porsche to buy, do your research and stay inside your budget. Buy the Porsche you want but within the budget you can afford and in the condition you plan to keep it in. DO A PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION!!!!!!!!!
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