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Hi everyone -

I've been looking at buying this Boxster Spyder in NJ, it's listed for 39k - the reason the price is so low is because it has a lemon / buyback title. The dealership is one of those no-haggle places - but I've been trying my hardest due to the title & lack of the most valued options.

According to the dealer, the manufacturer buyback was due to the length of time it took for Porsche to receive parts to replace the rear quarter panel. I did some digging into this by calling some dealerships and none of them have records as to the exact reason why the car was bought back but none of them show the car had damage to the rear-quarter panel - what it does show is that the car hit a pothole and they replaced the wheel with a customer-supplied replacement.

Beyond that there are over 30 records of brake flushes, complaints about a soft brake pedal, dozens of track safety inspections, notes about brake failures on the race track, and comments from PCA instructors that the car isn't safe to use on the track - which what I suspect the buyback was actually for.

I do not plan on tracking the car and just using it on weekends.

So, I ordered a PPI from the nearest dealership and they came back with a list of problems:
  • ABS does not work at all! During test drive they took the car up to 50 miles an hour, locked the brakes down, and the car lost total control (they are still pricing the fix on this)
  • Has after market brake pads and rotors (awaiting quote)
  • Broken AC line (1k quote)
  • Brake wear indicators are not installed, and have been ziptied to another part of the car (awaiting quote)
  • Spacers are attached to calipers which have resulted in flex to the calipers
  • All 4 tires need replacement & alignment, one tire had a nail in it (2k quote)
  • All wheels have curb rash
  • Needs 40k miles major service (1.6k quote, never had any major service performed, as Porsche is aware)
  • Horn inoperable (600 quote)
  • Need replacement rear-left shock, suggest replacing as a pair (2.6k quote) (shock has 'more vertical play' than is normal, or when compared to the other shock)
  • Aftermarket battery
  • 997 GT3 master cylinder installed, which leaks (awaiting quote)
  • Aftermarket steel brake lines
The dealership said they would consider repairing the ABS but are unwilling to budge on the price of the car, nonetheless, and would rather just auction it off.

What's everyone's opinion on this car? Right now it looks like a No from me, despite it being about 15k more affordable than similar cars.

Thanks - John
 

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First and foremost, I love my 987 Spyder. Just my opinion here but this car sounds like a lot of problems. No horn, new rear quarter? Was it hit, maybe the bag deployed and it affected the horn? Let's say Mr Dealer repairs the car in his body shop, car fax won't know. Also, consider repairing the ABS = s____t dealer. Sounds like it was thrashed on the track too. Myself? I'd pass. Would it be an incredible deal if it was perfect? Yes it would but it sounds like it was ridden hard and put away wet. PS the repairs it needs in total sound like they would bring you to the price of an example treated like family. If you do decide to go for it, I'd comb that body with a strong light, search for panel gaps irregularities, tiny filler scratches, any telling fender liner damage and paint over spray. I bet it was hit. Any dealer who would sell a car with a leaking master, abs failing, AC out of service is well, see comment above.
 

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For that price, you can get a regular 987 Boxster S, replace the engine, upgrade the suspension, and have a better car than the Spyder. I would certainly pass. You'll probably spend 10k+ in making this car right again and then still have the stigma of a lemon title.
 

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No. Run away from this one. It has obviously been abused and poorly maintained.

Even if you did get it sorted out you'll have the lemon title which will tarnish its resale value forever.
 

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With what you have said and the never ending hangover of a branded title, $30K is about the max a rational person would consider(understanding that rational decision making is often not the car lovers strong point).
 

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Hi everyone -

I've been looking at buying this Boxster Spyder in NJ, it's listed for 39k - the reason the price is so low is because it has a lemon / buyback title. The dealership is one of those no-haggle places - but I've been trying my hardest due to the title & lack of the most valued options.

According to the dealer, the manufacturer buyback was due to the length of time it took for Porsche to receive parts to replace the rear quarter panel. I did some digging into this by calling some dealerships and none of them have records as to the exact reason why the car was bought back but none of them show the car had damage to the rear-quarter panel - what it does show is that the car hit a pothole and they replaced the wheel with a customer-supplied replacement.

Beyond that there are over 30 records of brake flushes, complaints about a soft brake pedal, dozens of track safety inspections, notes about brake failures on the race track, and comments from PCA instructors that the car isn't safe to use on the track - which what I suspect the buyback was actually for.

I do not plan on tracking the car and just using it on weekends.

So, I ordered a PPI from the nearest dealership and they came back with a list of problems:
  • ABS does not work at all! During test drive they took the car up to 50 miles an hour, locked the brakes down, and the car lost total control (they are still pricing the fix on this)
  • Has after market brake pads and rotors (awaiting quote)
  • Broken AC line (1k quote)
  • Brake wear indicators are not installed, and have been ziptied to another part of the car (awaiting quote)
  • Spacers are attached to calipers which have resulted in flex to the calipers
  • All 4 tires need replacement & alignment, one tire had a nail in it (2k quote)
  • All wheels have curb rash
  • Needs 40k miles major service (1.6k quote, never had any major service performed, as Porsche is aware)
  • Horn inoperable (600 quote)
  • Need replacement rear-left shock, suggest replacing as a pair (2.6k quote) (shock has 'more vertical play' than is normal, or when compared to the other shock)
  • Aftermarket battery
  • 997 GT3 master cylinder installed, which leaks (awaiting quote)
  • Aftermarket steel brake lines
The dealership said they would consider repairing the ABS but are unwilling to budge on the price of the car, nonetheless, and would rather just auction it off.

What's everyone's opinion on this car? Right now it looks like a No from me, despite it being about 15k more affordable than similar cars.

Thanks - John
Run away as fast as you can.
 

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Ended up getting a 981 CS! Thanks all.
Good move. Automotive Avenues (not far from me) seems to get a lot of Porsche sports cars that were lemon buy-backs. I don't know where Porsche Cars NA is disposing of the buy-backs, but I'm guessing an auction. They are probably reputable as far as telling you what they will and won't do - if you ask them - but AFAIK there is no warranty from AA, and certainly none from Porsche on a buy-back.

I was going to suggest RUNAWAY RUNAWAY RUNAWAY RUNAWAY
 

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Ended up getting a 981 CS! Thanks all.
Smart move. 981 far advanced from primitive 987 Spyder which you can't even use in the rain since the top doesn't seal.
For just a track car this type Spyder is usage. They are going for around $55-60k so after fixing all the many things wrong it MIGHT be worth it but for what you want the 981 is a much better choice.
 

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Never owned the 987 version but there is no auto start stop on the 981 Spyder and the tops fully seals for both the powered and manual top; not just covers the interior. Didn't personally experience it but going by Pano reports. Never saw a big different between 944 986 987 and 981 electric steering and I owned all of them. Porsche did a much better job with electric steering than others including VW GTI which is too light.
 

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There is no start stop on 981 Spyder and electric steering not a problem vs 944 986 987 which I've also owned.
Never had the 987 Spyder but reports in Pano said it didn't fully seal out the weather.
 

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Augie, my last last post on the subject, the 987 Spyder top is a bit laborious to put on but it seals fine. The spirit of the design was maximum weight reduction, the lightest production Porsche in decades. One reason the prices are as you stated is the uniqueness of the car and the hydraulic steering. It's not everyone's cup of tea, then again nether was a 550.
 

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Obviously miss reported in magazines then
 

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I would fess up to it if it leaked. Back in the day, the Fiat 124 had one of the most elegant top designs out there. I never had an MG but I heard the patchwork top leaked, not sure if that is even true. I will say if you ran the 987 Spyder through a car wash it's going to leak especially in contrast to the updated designs or 986 but I never ran the any of them through a car wash. All rag-tops give up noise reduction and a few niceties to hard tops or hard top convertibles. It's good to keep a towel in the trunk because where you're going to get soaked is a pop up shower you never saw coming.
 

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I just picked up my first P-Car and it is a 2012 987.2 Spyder. I did a ton a ton research, and even was on the list for the new 718 GT4 and Spyder. The top on the 987 absolutely makes the car! You have the option of running just the sun shade, fully enclosed, or topless. And it looks great in any configuration. Yes, there is a bit of noise, but if this is not a daily driver, that is a complete non-issue.

The only water issue I have noticed is that both front windows will dribble a tad of water to the inside when hand washing the car, even if you are super careful to only spray or pour the water from the top down. I just put a couple small microfiber towels between the top and each side window and that seems to have fixed the small annoyance.

In terms of pure enjoyment, this is the best car I have owned. Hydraulic steering, light on its feet, and great sound with the PSE activated. You cannot go wrong with a 987 Spyder, IMO. Just be patient for the right one.
 

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Should be a great one especially once do the top a few times. Light weight, responsive, decent power - fun drive.
Enjoy one of the top Porsches in the last 10 years. I know one in my region use to kick my 981 Spyder butt all the time
 
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