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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all. I have a modest budget of $20k USD. I am also setting aside $2k in repairs right off the bat just in case. So I'm wondering what direction I should go with my limited budget.

The vehicle will serve as a weekend cruiser and as such may see 4-5k miles a year. I'm fortunate enough to live in SoCal so it will see use throughout the year.

My first question is how much does mileage really matter? I've seen 987.1 Boxsters with 30k miles for $25k or more. 50-60K miles in the $17-20k range. Cars with 100k for $10-12k. Why does mileage greatly affect the price? Is this an indication of the durability of the car in some way? Or does it reflect the high maintenance costs? I'm hoping it's the latter. I don't mind a 100k mile car if I can get another 50k out of it. I can do service work myself. I can pretty much R&R any component but I can't rebuild rack and pinions, transmission or engines. I can change out suspensions linkage, water pumps or replace plugs so if the higher mileage cars simply require more maintenance then that is not a issue for me.

I am a bit scared of the 987.1 as it seems to have a number of issues that can cause the motor to complete fail. One guy in our local car club had a 06 Box S. He bought an Audi r8 and didn't drive the Box for 2-3 months. It subsequently had an IMS failure 2 months later with 67k on the clock. It could simply be coincidence. I was looking into buying his BS at the time but a used replacement engine was 12-16k. He wanted $6k so the deal fell through. I've looked at the standard 2.7L m97 engines and they were still $8-12k used. A 987.2 2.9 9A1 engine can be had for around $6-8k. I've found 981 2.7 MA1 for $5-6k. All used from salvage yards with a confirmed 50k miles or less. At the time I was wondering if I could have swapped in a newer engine but was informed it required extensive work. Each of the various vendors stated the prices were associated with demand and each new subsequent generation of engine seemed far more robust hence the much lower demand and price. As such and for peace of mind I would prefer to stick with the 987.2 which leaves far fewer options.

I've test driven the .1, .2 and 981 all in base and S form. While I do like the S models I found the base .2 and 981 engines to suffice. I might even have a slight preference for them as you can go flat out and still be under or within the speed limit.

The only option I really want on the car is ventilated seats. I have a slight preference for the PDK but manual is fine. I'm also open to Caymans but haven't seen any 987.2 at $20k. I'm in no hurry to buy and can wait until the winter if necessary as I haven't seen many private party ads so here's the two I'm considering.

2009 Porsche Boxster Base $18,620 85k miles
https://www.iseecars.com/used-car-finder#id=100311663462

2013 PORSCHE BOXSTER - $20500 53k miles but Salvage title
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/cto/d/2013-porsche-boxster/6240207545.html
Generally I'd stay away from salvage cars but the price is enticing and the damages appeared to be somewhat minor.
https://tempvin.com/lot/29885407

What do you all think? I'd even be willing to buy one from a insurance/salvage auction and repair it if the damage wasn't too extensive.
 

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There are some higher mileage 2009 Boxster base out there for less than 20k. Higher mileage isn't that much of a concern in the 987.2 cars as their engines have been proven to be pretty reliable thus far.
 

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987.1 engines are pretty good, too - there is a thread on high mileage 987.1's you might want to search for. The two big issues - IMS bearing and bore scoring - are real issues but rare. I think a PPI could inspect for bore scoring. My issue with higher mileage cars (I always buy used and aim for around 40k miles) is so often the interiors are pretty worn - depends on the owner. I have heard that suspension components are starting to show wear around 100k - don't know if that is accurate. Another option would be to go for a more pristine 986 Boxster S. They definitely have the IMS issue, but it is cheaper to replace, so if not already replaced you could budget for that. 996 911's are pretty cheap also due to IMS bearing issue and the ugliest headlights ever attached to a Porsche (you could try to always approach it from the rear :)).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are some higher mileage 2009 Boxster base out there for less than 20k. Higher mileage isn't that much of a concern in the 987.2 cars as their engines have been proven to be pretty reliable thus far.
Do you know of any good examples?

987.1 engines are pretty good, too - there is a thread on high mileage 987.1's you might want to search for. The two big issues - IMS bearing and bore scoring - are real issues but rare. I think a PPI could inspect for bore scoring. My issue with higher mileage cars (I always buy used and aim for around 40k miles) is so often the interiors are pretty worn - depends on the owner. I have heard that suspension components are starting to show wear around 100k - don't know if that is accurate. Another option would be to go for a more pristine 986 Boxster S. They definitely have the IMS issue, but it is cheaper to replace, so if not already replaced you could budget for that. 996 911's are pretty cheap also due to IMS bearing issue and the ugliest headlights ever attached to a Porsche (you could try to always approach it from the rear :)).
Worn interior parts is a minor concern for me. I have seen some bolster wear but again it's not too concerning. 987.2 also don't seem to suffer from peeling issues on the ac controls that previous models had.

And while my ideal mileage is around 60k I actually don't mind 100k if I can get 50k more out of the motor. I intend to replace the shocks anyways, perhaps with pss9s. If brakes and rotors need replacement perhaps those can be upgraded as well. So if I could find a 100k Boxster or Cayman that needs plugs, wp, suspension, brakes, tires, etc and it might cost that owner 6k then perhaps I could score a deal. I'm gonna replace components with my desired upgrades so if they are worn out and need replacement anyways then it's a better deal for me provided the price reflects that.

I did look at 996s and their motor replacement costs are closer to 20k. I don't mind the headlight design in the revised 2004 or 2005 models. But the interior is pretty dated and they just don't handle like the Box/Cayman do.

The 987.2 has a modern enough interior. It's aged well and doesn't look too outdated to me. And given the enhanced reliability of the power plant it seems to be ideal candidate for me. I like the 981 styling more but it's far out of my price range except for that salvaged one. Anybody see issues with either of the cars I've posted or perhaps know of better deals?
 

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I like the 2009 you posted, but I'm partial to red/tan. I agree with you about the 996's (and even newer 911's). I test drove several, but like the box/cay handling better.
 

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Now I'm no expert but I do work in the collision industry and while laws vary by state, at some point the car you mentioned that has a salvage title had enough damage for an insurer to consider it a total loss. I would seriously avoid it. It could have aftermarket parts which could compromise it's safety and naturally it's worth a lot less. I'd look for service records. People who care for their cars, keep them. I have a 987.2 Boxster base and love it.
 

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I totally agree with Snowlady. At some point, the car with the salvage title was considered a total loss. But the ad implies that everything is perfect... and that smells like something that came out of the north end of a southbound male bovine.

While I wouldn't have an issue buying a salvage title car, you need to know exactly what caused the write-off in the first place. If it's, say, water damage, then most salvage vehicles I have seen advertised make this explicit.

As for your other car, it seems like the price is a little high, but the 2009 base model should be capable of going another 100k miles easily if the engine is looked after.
 
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