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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I examined a 2007 Cayman S for sale by a private owner. The car was in very good condition, but was bothered by a few things that perhaps I should not concern myself with. Looking for opinions.

I was not given the opportunity to drive the car (have already test driven S models), but given this was in the heart of San Francisco, not sure I wanted to. I rode in it, and if anything, that was more illuminating than driving it . I got to see how the original owner treats the car. Perhaps I am very gentle, but I had to wonder about downshifts into first at 15 mph or so, relatively high speed over very rough San Francisco city streets, and what I thought was a general handling of the car that while not abusive, did not show a love of fine craftsmanship that my ownership would show. There are also shoe scuff marks over the door sill and inside of driver's door. The owner is middle aged, wealthy, and a professional, but got the sense that he was not really a car enthusiast. Drove BMW sedans before this. He never revved the engine high (4200 max), but did not really wait for it to warm up, just driving it the same all the time.

The limited use of the car (16k miles) has left it in good shape. No road rash on wheels, very few rock chips. 16,000 miles with Preferred Package Plus and auto-climate control. Warranty ends 1/2012.

Am I being too picky, or is the kind of driving I saw today normal and a non-issue for the Cayman?

- Phil
 

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Not entirely sure if you're being too picky. Granted some of your concerns (in regards to his driving style) are a little detailed but then again it is or would be YOUR car so you deserve the right to be anal about it. As for my opinion, since the car still has low mileage I wouldn't be one to be extremely worried about it.

However, and believe me, this is a HUGE however - the fact that he didn't allow you to drive the car isn't right. Especially since you said that he doesn't seem to be a car enthusiast. That just bothers me. I'd see if you'd be able to take it for a spin.
 

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Today, I examined a 2007 Cayman S for sale by a private owner. The car was in very good condition, but was bothered by a few things that perhaps I should not concern myself with. Looking for opinions.

I was not given the opportunity to drive the car (have already test driven S models), but given this was in the heart of San Francisco, not sure I wanted to. I rode in it, and if anything, that was more illuminating than driving it . I got to see how the original owner treats the car. Perhaps I am very gentle, but I had to wonder about downshifts into first at 15 mph or so, relatively high speed over very rough San Francisco city streets, and what I thought was a general handling of the car that while not abusive, did not show a love of fine craftsmanship that my ownership would show. There are also shoe scuff marks over the door sill and inside of driver's door. The owner is middle aged, wealthy, and a professional, but got the sense that he was not really a car enthusiast. Drove BMW sedans before this. He never revved the engine high (4200 max), but did not really wait for it to warm up, just driving it the same all the time.

The limited use of the car (16k miles) has left it in good shape. No road rash on wheels, very few rock chips. 16,000 miles with Preferred Package Plus and auto-climate control. Warranty ends 1/2012.

Am I being too picky, or is the kind of driving I saw today normal and a non-issue for the Cayman?

- Phil
Okay, let's see.

If you are serious about the car, get the service records from the owner. That will speak volumes about the care of the car. If they are not available from the owner, the dealership that services the car has them. It may make sense to pay a few bucks to have the car looked over by someone you trust.

It would help if you clarify why you were not given an opportunity to drive the car. I find that odd, but there may be more to it.

I am not too bothered by the downshifts into first. The tranny is pretty robust. (But I agree with you, I would not be doing that either.)

As to the shoe scuff, well all I can say is that I'm very athletic and while I try to be careful, over time that plastic piece of the door sill has taken a beating on my car too. I think it's hard not to scuff that area unless you execute perfect 10 entries every time. The part is easily replaced FWIW. I would not be bothered by that either.

Re the cold engine revving; if he stayed under the 4200 mark or so as you suggest, no problem. Does not sound like he was dogging it.

Overall, it's a low mileage car with a decent warranty left. If you like the car and the price is right, nothing you mentioned would make me run from this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can get the service records. It has been serviced once according to the owner, at around 10,000 miles. It has 16k miles now. I am willing to spend the $350 for a pre-purchase inspection at the dealer the car was serviced at.

I will see if I can drive. It may have been some confusion over the fact that I was driven by my daughter to see the car, because I am supposed to "limit" my driving following recent surgery. The owner knew this, and perhaps thought I should not drive at all. I will clarify.

Car has right options for me. Price is $40,000 and the seller said very little room on that. Has Preferred Package Plus, auto-climate, original tires and brakes. Tires are not worn out. Registration ($500 or so) just renewed.

- Phil
 

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I don't know if the price is fair or not since I don't keep up with that stuff; but it sounds like you have a good purchase strategy, so good luck with it.
 

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Okay, let's see.

If you are serious about the car, get the service records from the owner. That will speak volumes about the care of the car. If they are not available from the owner, the dealership that services the car has them. It may make sense to pay a few bucks to have the car looked over by someone you trust.

It would help if you clarify why you were not given an opportunity to drive the car. I find that odd, but there may be more to it.

I am not too bothered by the downshifts into first. The tranny is pretty robust. (But I agree with you, I would not be doing that either.)

As to the shoe scuff, well all I can say is that I'm very athletic and while I try to be careful, over time that plastic piece of the door sill has taken a beating on my car too. I think it's hard not to scuff that area unless you execute perfect 10 entries every time. The part is easily replaced FWIW. I would not be bothered by that either.

Re the cold engine revving; if he stayed under the 4200 mark or so as you suggest, no problem. Does not sound like he was dogging it.

Overall, it's a low mileage car with a decent warranty left. If you like the car and the price is right, nothing you mentioned would make me run from this one.
Ditto on the scuff marks! As hard as I try not to, I still hit that piece with my shoe as I get in sometimes. I get upset with myself when I do so, but it still happens now and then.
 

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FWIW I have highly optioned 2007 CS (PASM, SC, PCM, XPA, Adp. Sport seats, etc.) with 22K and would be lucky to get (maybe) just a little more than that. I did some serious looking when I was considering Gen II some months ago and could not make numbers work. Excepting possible regional differences, I would look further. Always pays to be patient. More sellers than buyers.
 

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Anytime you look at a used car you are either looking for a reason to buy it or looking for a reason to pass on it. Which instance is this?
 

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I don't get your question because overall, the reasons you mentioned should be reasons to buy it. It sounds like he babied the car.
 

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I don't hear much that would give me pause, but I would want to drive it before throwing down that kind of money. I would def get an inspection with DME from the local dealer.

Shouldn't it have had 2 services? One service in 08 and one in 09...annual service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
In response to a few posts....

I am not looking for reasons to buy or not to buy a specific vehicle. This particular Cayman S is good in many respects, and if I didn't see how it was driven, I would not be as hesitant on an offer. But, I do know how it was driven, and can not "un-know" that. Some may consider the driving I saw as "babied" treatment, and the engine was certainly not over-revved. But, avoidance of big bumps in the street, while driving at speed, was of little concern to the seller.

The seller has told me since the visit, that he will permit me to drive it. A real sticking point now is the pre-purchase inspection. The seller says he is busy and can only wait at the dealer for an hour. The inspection takes 2 -3 hours I think. I can not buy a used Cayman without that inspection. If he won't budge on this , any possible deal is dead, unless I can work out some travel arrangements for him and the car.

Are there annual services required...I did not know.

- Phil
 

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If you have any concerns at all you should pass. Why invite remorse later? Finding out that an owner is doing downshifts into 1st at 15mph on the street on a cold car would cause me to walk away. No explanation would be sufficient to get me to reconsider.
 

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Today, I examined a 2007 Cayman S for sale by a private owner. The car was in very good condition, but was bothered by a few things that perhaps I should not concern myself with. Looking for opinions.

I was not given the opportunity to drive the car (have already test driven S models), but given this was in the heart of San Francisco, not sure I wanted to. I rode in it, and if anything, that was more illuminating than driving it . I got to see how the original owner treats the car. Perhaps I am very gentle, but I had to wonder about downshifts into first at 15 mph or so, relatively high speed over very rough San Francisco city streets, and what I thought was a general handling of the car that while not abusive, did not show a love of fine craftsmanship that my ownership would show. There are also shoe scuff marks over the door sill and inside of driver's door. The owner is middle aged, wealthy, and a professional, but got the sense that he was not really a car enthusiast. Drove BMW sedans before this. He never revved the engine high (4200 max), but did not really wait for it to warm up, just driving it the same all the time.

The limited use of the car (16k miles) has left it in good shape. No road rash on wheels, very few rock chips. 16,000 miles with Preferred Package Plus and auto-climate control. Warranty ends 1/2012.

Am I being too picky, or is the kind of driving I saw today normal and a non-issue for the Cayman?

- Phil
Phil:

Scuff marks are part of having a car this low. Almost impossible not to have some.

If he keeps the car in downtown SF, I'd be concerned about the clutch with all the uphill starts. I'd also be concerned with oil starvation for the same reason. Sitting on hills can be murder on some engines. If the engine fails before warranty, you're probably OK, but Porsche doesn't play for clutch wear. If you also got a bad feeling from this guy, I'd keep looking.
 

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Sounds to me like your impression of his use and care was more like he treated the car as an appliance (nice means of getting a relatively comfortable, middle aged man from point A to point B) than a car you would put on a pedestal and care for as though it were something you craved your whole life. I agree with you. Even though I'm a middle aged man, I'm not of the means nor disposition to own and operate my "toy" like its an appliance. It means more to me than that. I think the price sounds a bit high. Doesn't sound like the car was loaded. The mileage was low but not crazy low and his unwillingness to move in price and helping you secure an inspection for your peace of mind I think would make me look elsewhere. You shouldn't enter into a deal to buy a $40,000 used car with any hesitancy on your part. If something doesn't feel right or give you the confidnece to move ahead turn away. There are plenty of great cars out there.
 

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Obviously this guy is not a true "Porsche owner" but someone who wanted to own a "Porsche". Usually someone like this soon becomes disenchanted with the car because it isn't a "typical" car. You have to truly want a Porsche to own a Porsche. (does that make sense?) Anyway, he made a mistake and now wants to sell it. If he really does want to sell it and realizes what a tough market it is, he'll eventually go along with the inspection. I'd give him my number and ask him to give me a call when he's ready to sell. In the meantime, look elsewhere. I'd, also, offer him less than what he's asking. What you need to find out is, how bad does he really want to sell it.
 

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Pass on this deal.
 

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You have enough information to make a decision - condition, use, maintenance. Offer the seller your own terms to buy - PPI & price. AFAIK it's still a buyer's market, don't be afraid to make a lowball offer and walk away. Do what's right for you. I would probably walk, unless the price was very good. Dave
 

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Be thankfull he is not a true car nut as he would not have the scuffs and want more$$ for his baby. He sees it as a commodity and means of transportation. Even with new you do not always get prefection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Everyone here has helped me out by reinforcing the idea that this is a lot of MY money, it will be MY car, and should not be bullied or otherwise pushed into something I do not feel 100% comfortable with. The seller of this Cayman is as someone put it, not a true Porsche enthusiast, does not put it on a pedestal (in an underground parking garage, next to other cars, but was ding free), and does treat it like an appliance, no differently than a soccer Mom driving a minivan in an urban environment. It is in excellent condition, but feel this is mostly because it is parked in the city most of the time in assigned underground parking, traveling on straight highways to another home outside the city. Its condition is not I think, due to any undying love for it. I have mechanical sympathy for the car when I see downshifts into 1st at higher speeds, or collisions with substantial bumps at speed. I did not see that with this owner.

The seller it taking a bit of a bullying attitude, which I will not tolerate. He says if he can not sell, he will keep. OK, he can call me if he is serious about selling.

- Phil
 

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Everyone here has helped me out by reinforcing the idea that this is a lot of MY money, it will be MY car, and should not be bullied or otherwise pushed into something I do not feel 100% comfortable with. The seller of this Cayman is as someone put it, not a true Porsche enthusiast, does not put it on a pedestal (in an underground parking garage, next to other cars, but was ding free), and does treat it like an appliance, no differently than a soccer Mom driving a minivan in an urban environment. It is in excellent condition, but feel this is mostly because it is parked in the city most of the time in assigned underground parking, traveling on straight highways to another home outside the city. Its condition is not I think, due to any undying love for it. I have mechanical sympathy for the car when I see downshifts into 1st at higher speeds, or collisions with substantial bumps at speed. I did not see that with this owner.

The seller it taking a bit of a bullying attitude, which I will not tolerate. He says if he can not sell, he will keep. OK, he can call me if he is serious about selling.

- Phil
Phil,

My twelve cents, and a bit of bigger-picture, no extra charge.

Buying any car in this price range is a big deal. Whether we -- or car dealers -- choose rosy language like 'pre-owned' it's still a used car. There is less information about the particular car than w/ any new purchase.

We try to gather more information from CarFax, dealer service records, inspections and the like ... And sometimes it still isn't enough and we wonder about the current owner, his driving style, and whether he's a true porsche enthusiast and if he treats his car like fine crystal or simply A Car.

At some point it can become less about the car in question and more a projective exercise as we throw our concerns on the shoulders of the seller and his car. Less about the car and more about the people involved.

Which is fine except when we consider these intangibles, the quality of the data decreases markedly. They are in-tangible ! Our objectivity can go out the window when we get personal.

I.e.: Is he a True Believer, or does he treat his Porsche like a car? Does he drive it in all weather, or park it most of the time in a private air-conditioned garage ... ?

At some point I hope to be a buyer (broker) of cars for clients ... and at least for porsches, there seem to be two types of owners - the first, to a greater or lesser degree, worship at the altar of Porsche, and treat their babies like a cross between fine wine and leaded crystal goblets. Albeit goblets wearing michelin PS2s.

Not criticising - it's one way to look at these beauties.

Others look at them as cars. Beautiful, incredible-to-drive, fast, fulfilling cars.

[ I tend toward the latter - I bought my '06CS 1 year ago w/ 12K miles on it -- it now has 34K. I have loved every mile and am keeping it forever !]

And there are sellers for both types of buyers.

Dealers typically offer more comfort and reassurance to the buyer in the form of hushed reverential tones, CPO, spotless service bays, and expensive architecture. All this costs which is why dealer prices on used Caymans tend to stay $5K - $10K above what other sellers want.

[late edit] - The Porsche dealers are also there to support the Porsche brand, handle after-sale issues for both new and used cars, and provide a solid reputation over time, something a private-party seller may not care about. My point was that all of this costs.

This works for them because some buyers will only be comfortable enough to buy from a dealer w/ all the (perceived) assurances. This also helps prop up the value of all Porsches.

In my case I bought from a *subaru* dealer who bought my '06CS @ auction. It was a lease return. No CPO, not even a first service. I bought it strictly from 6 pictures on cars.com and a couple of telephone conversations w/ the salesman.

On the strength of that, I booked a 1-way flight across the country. And by agreeing to show up, the selling dealer agreed to drive the CS to a dealer for a PPI, on my nickel.

There was enough risk to go around. But the PPI came up golden and the car was as stunning in person as in the pictures (more so, actually!).

I handed over my cashier's check for the pre-negotiated amount and drove her home.

For what I saved over what a Porsche dealer would have charged, I was comfortable with this type of transaction.

Phil, I don't suggest for a minute that this be your approach. What may actually be most helpful to you is to understand what influences you the most -- if it's the white-glove treatment, that's great!

You may be best cared-for by a great Porsche dealer. But you may have to revise your idea of what your Cayman is going to cost you -- the lower prices some are touting here come at the end of a buying process with more risk involved.

One year ago, my '06CS cost me $38K, including the PPI, oil change and plane ticket. Nearly identical cars were being offered at the dealers for $42K - $45K.

Here's hoping you find your beautiful baby and that the journey home is great!

-PM.
 
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