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Relative car noob/new enthusiast here: After watching hours of Doug Demuro, I ran into a video where he praises 911 996 as the best Porsche. I went further along this rabbit hole and now I am starting to become interested in trying out Porsche ownership on a budget after watching Hoovie's garage score a 996 and praise the hell out of it.
Considering how old 996 is, I don't want it, I'd prefer something newer and cheaper so I started looking into Caymans and Boxsters. I personally prefer Cayman look to 911 look anyway (heresy, I know). I have also never owned an RWD car or a sports car (my GTI being the closest to something sporty), so I figured starting small makes sense. So far I have owned/driven a GTI, a Model S, Audi A5, a Fiat Uno (lol). Looking to dip my toes into something more serious.
I see listed on cargurus 2005-2008 Caymans and Boxsters for sale for between $14k-$28k depending on the mileage and trim. Are they worth it? What to expect if I buy one? Any serious issues I should be aware of? Are they reliable enough? With this budget, I do have enough money left to spend on a lot of servicing, but I would prefer not to if at all possible. Any other years or models similar to this that I could look at? I would prefer a Boxster since this car would be a summer car only anyway, and considering I live in Seattle, I would probably only drive it 4-5 months a year, but doesn't really matter much.
 

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I would say they can be a good deal if you know what you are getting. Do a lot of searches here on IMS bearing, bore scoring, oil starvation. The M96/97 engine is not one of Porsche's best. Saying that, I have a 987.1 Boxster with a rebuilt 3.8L engine. Handling-wise they are very good.

#1 piece of advice is to get a proper PPI by a good mechanic who understands the M96 enigne.

This is not to scare you away, but more to let you understand potential problems. If you don't track your car, are observant of doing scheduled servicing, and have some luck you can find a good car that will give you driving enjoyment for years. I bought mine with 114k miles but required a valve job. That's where I went with a replacement engine.

Things I've done to mine include - replacing engine and transmission, replacing the stock PCM (Porsche info-tainment system) with aftermarket, upgrading clutch, intake, throttle body, clutch. Adding DSC Module for my PASM (active suspension) is probably one of my most favorite mods. Now am currently changing bumpers to GT3-style and repainting from Arctic Silver to GT Silver.
 

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I have had both the 987.1 a 2008 Cayman S and a 987.2 a 2010 Cayman S, both great cars, if you do decide to track I would defiantly go with the 987.2 a 2009-2012 Cayman, the potential for problems is far less, and will most likely end up costing you less over time, one thing to consider with a 987.2 base non S version is the performance is very close to the 987.1 S model, good luck with your search, with a proper PPI there is no bad choice.
 

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Bryson - schell makes an excellent comparison of these two models. However, location and availability of the car is key. Many more 987.1 S models were made than other models combined, so buy the best one for your needs and have a PPI done. In Seattle, you can use your Boxster year around, it just takes more energy to keep it clean in the winter months. I have found that changing oil frequently (every 6-8 months) is key to the life of these early M97 engined cars. You get what you pay for. Amazon can supply you will all the engine oil/filers you need at very reasonable prices for the life of your car. I recommend Mobil 1 "FS" brand 0W-40, again changing it often per Jake Raby @ flatsixinnovations.
 

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I don't think you said what your budget. You also don't say what you intend to do with this car. Daily Driver, DE, AX, ??
Define your need and budget and you get better help.
I would not buy anything lower than an 987.1 and 981 would better still.
Take a look at them and see if you can afford one. If not save until you can or expect to have problems that will cost you the different anyway.
 

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Widen your search to nation wide. Then if you find one that fits your needs, google a Porsche Specialty shop in the car's neighborhood. Ask if they could do a PPI for you, then have the owner take the car over to them. You can ask a good number of questions directly to the mechanic who is going to do the PPI. Ask pointed questions about the car's running condition. The compression and the bore scope. Any signs of oil or smoke on the exhaust, etc. Pay the $250. and you are good to go if the report comes out well. I would look for PASM and SC as these two up grades may serve you well in the future (see slippery slope below). TPC makes a DSC for the PASM, which gives an older car great handling response, while SC adds more throttle response.

Say $22,000 for the car and $2000 for delivery and PPI. That leaves you $4000 for later. Get to know your car and expand your usage to include a drivers skills course by Porsche in Bremerton (May 2). This is excellent way to push the envelop and understand some areas of racing you might want to explore. PNWR is the web site. Look under at the track header. They also offer tours which are a blast as well. Look up tours headed by Bill Bauer, you will not be disappointed. These are of minimal expense as is Autocross, then HPDE costs more, $300/day plus insurance.

Upgrades to your car is on you though and can be expensive. Its called a slippery slope. You can make your investment into the sports car your truely love and enjoy. Take your time and do it wisely.
 

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I just bought a 987.2 base about a month ago. I love the car!!. This thread was extremely helpful to me........


Good luck.
 

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all good advice above...

decide what you want in terms of transmission & options that are important to you if you prefer fully loaded cars.
trust me though, even the most basic non-S cars are are a hoot to drive!

biggest differences are the PDK transmission from 2009/2010 onwards and revised engines.
if you want a flat 6 or a turbo 4 will also determine the model as the turbo 4's were only avail in the 718 generation.

these cars are probably 10 years old or more and at that age though you must be prepared to spend some money to do it up or put aside for a rainy day. Not necessarily major issues, just age and wear and tear.

happy shopping!
 
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