Let's Talk Porsche 911

Messages
3,385
Location
Nashville, TN via Memphis
I've had a fascination with these cars for a long time. It started when I was a kid in the '80s, and I noticed these strange little teardrop-shaped cars with the funny name across the back, that looked so different from everything else on the road in Memphis, Tennessee. Then, I can remember, in the late '90s, a buddy bought a late-'90s Mustang GT convertible, and he took a couple of friends and me out to drive downtown. At one point, we pulled up at a stoplight next to a black Porsche 911 convertible. It must have been air-cooled, because the noise that came from the aft of that thing when dude stomped the gas was beautifully mechanical and unmuffled as he shifted from 1st into 2nd, and then 3rd. My buddy and his Mustang had no chance. Not sure what year it was, but I don't think it was current. I've just always wanted one of these cars. I love the idea of the horizontally-opposed engine, for starters. And the fact that it's mounted out back. These cars are just different. The 911 seems engineered for sporty driving, and that's what I like to do. I sold my WRX nearly a year ago, (Porsche substitute I had for a few years), but, when I had it, my favorite thing in the world to do was to take it out to the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina and find the crookedest (is that a word?) roads I could find, and drive them as fast as I could. I just like that the 911 is different. I don't think I would want the Turbo. Just the naturally-aspirated model. 2WD. And definitely manual transmission. Hel, I'm not sure I could afford one. Definitely be looking at older models. I'm not sure what they go for. I'd want a nice example. If I got to the point where I was ready to get one, I'd plan to keep it for a long time, if not forever. It would be a toy for my soon-to-be-wife and I (she's a car enthusiast also) to take out on the weekends and possibly do a trackday or autocross event from time to time. I realize that there are faster cars out there for the money. I care more about handling and the experience of driving, than the outright number of horsepower. I mean, I do want some power. I'd say I'd probably want at least as much as my WRX had, which was 268. I want something that has a very mechanical feel; I don't care about lots of electronics and complexity; just give me a car with great driving dynamics. Great steering, great brakes, excellent cornering, great brake feel and a connection from accelerator pedal to throttle that feels almost telepathic. Obviously it needs to make great noises! I like the idea of a naturally-aspirated 911 for a few reasons, including an NA powerband that makes power in a crescendo to redline. Also reduced complexity and weight. And the exhaust note will sound better. Same reason I don't want 4WD. I don't need the extra weight and complexity and maintenance. The car will never be driven in snow/ice. I like that they put the ignition to the left of the steering wheel. Jump in, release parking brake, right hand on shifter, crank engine with left hand, GO! So, I guess I'm kinda daydreaming about 911s at this point, and just wanting to get a conversation started with some of the enthusiasts here on the forum. I did do a search for Porsche 911 threads. There are a few - mainly UOAs. Unless I missed it, we don't have a thread where we're just talking about the Porsche 911. Its ins and outs. The things that are fun about the car, the things that made it great and made it a legend in the racing and sports driving world, as well as its quirks, problems, shortcomings, etc. When I did my search, I came across forum member rooflessVW's thread about detailing his 911 (2003, I think?) and getting it ready to sell. Beautiful car. Why on earth did you sell it, man?! If I were rich, I'd buy one of the last air-cooled 911 Carreras from 1996 or 1997. But something tells me they're probably pretty valuable. So, I'm just kinda starting to do some research and get some conversation started. Learn more about the cars, all the different models, their quirks, what they go for, particular ones to avoid, best ones to buy, all that. I'd obviously want the most car I could get for my money. So who here owns a 911 currently? Who has had one or more 911s in the past? What do you think about them? Why did you buy one? What do you love about the car? Anything you don't like about it? If you bought one recently, do you mind sharing what you paid? How reliable was/is your 911? What problems have you had? Are there particular years that are best to avoid? Obviously I have a ton of questions! Please feel free to post photos of your 911s! Thanks guys. I included a few photos of some 911s I found in a quick search. I love that '79 911 S/C (black with tan interior). 78,000 original miles on that one. Currently for sale out of Campbell, CA. Asking $44,000. Wow.

1974 911 RSR 2.1 Turbo.jpg


1995-Porsche-911-GT2-V3-1536.jpg


1995-Porsche-911-GT2-V7-1600.jpg


black 79 911 sc rear.jpg


79 911 tan interior.jpg
 
Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
The best 911 IMO was the 964. Last of the aircooled engines, best proportioned and most attractive, not overly technological (no DI or electric steering rack or DSG) with plenty of driver involvement and feedback. Test drive a 964 and it will convince you to go shopping.
 
Messages
770
Location
North of you Idaho
Its late, and I'm going to bed, so here is my advice, Buy 1991-94 C2 1995-97 C2 If you hit the lotto, buy a 1996 Turbo S, and don't kill your self! I have had the first two, they were convertibles or I would have never sold the 96, 993, they are louder than I could stand. They give no warning when they snap the rear and do 360's, if your going too fast, well you might not fair to well. They are a true race car feel, but your going to need a second car! Maybe a third...Not Porsche's, daily drivers. They eat rear tires too. Chicks try to get in your car where ever you go, unless the wife is sitting in the pass seat. The Wife will be mad when you buy it, she will be happy when you sell it. She will think of something to spend the money on when it get sold, unless you sell it without her knowing and buy another one...lol
 
Messages
770
Location
North of you Idaho
Originally Posted by Olas
The best 911 IMO was the 964. Last of the aircooled engines, best proportioned and most attractive, not overly technological (no DI or electric steering rack or DSG) with plenty of driver involvement and feedback. Test drive a 964 and it will convince you to go shopping.
You have good taste. But 1995-97's are 993's and they are the last of the "Oil" cooled motors.

porsh.png
 
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Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
Originally Posted by KneeGrinder
Originally Posted by Olas
The best 911 IMO was the 964. Last of the aircooled engines, best proportioned and most attractive, not overly technological (no DI or electric steering rack or DSG) with plenty of driver involvement and feedback. Test drive a 964 and it will convince you to go shopping.
You have good taste. But 1995-97's are 993's and they are the last of the "Oil" cooled motors.
If you want a 993, you go buy yourself a 993. However, in respect to the thread title "Lets talk Porsche 911" I did exactly that. I talked about the most attractive and enjoyable 911. It doesnt say "Lets Talk 993/996 etc", and the OP states that a black 911 pulled up beside them - there were plenty 964s on the road in the 90s.. There was a golden time when Porsches were modern enough to be good but not so modern that all the goodness has been legally mandated away. that golden time was the 964 era.
 
Messages
602
Location
The ATL
It sounds like you've given this a lot of thought. Save your money and buy a manual 911. If you can save enough spring for a 964. I've had mine almost 19 years and it's been rock solid. I could repeat a lot of what Olas said but I'll just say I am 100% in agreement with him. I don't want or need technology to ‘help' me drive. There's nothing like driving a manual 911 with the windows down on a nice day.
 
Messages
5,187
Location
Atlanta,GA
I don't blame you. Driving Tail of the Dragon in a 911 would fun. There are some good books out there on how to buy a used 911. IIRC a former BITOG contributor by the name of Doug Hillary wrote a book about it. You could always send him a PM. Oh and don't forget that Porsche NA is located near Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta and they have a track ! https://www.porschedriving.com/atlanta/on-the-track
 
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Messages
10,318
Location
Jupiter, Florida
The only Porsche I've owned was a 914-6. It was a blast. However, I've driven a number of 911's during track days and in general goofing off. I've always LOVED the way they feel. I'm not proud of it, but I even went off the track (Homestead, FL) at speed, as the rear end came out and around I went into the gravel in the classic 911 rookie move. Could I have saved it? NOPE! Despite the claims that in a 911, it's a snap-action event, this was not. The rear lost traction and despite the countersteering, the rear kept coming out over what seemed to be a long period of time. Eventually, gravel and dust were everwhere, along with a big stupid grin, having survived a high speed excursion unharmed. A friend had a really nice 930 turbo with air conditioning. (the AC condensor was mounted flat under the belly of the car) I really enjoyed driving that thing, with it's huge turbocharger. Not a lot of boost, and not a lot of low end, but Soooooooo much fun when driven correctly. Lots of mechanical noise, and a really nice rush of power when the boost gauge hovered just under 1 Bar. It was a 13 second car due to it's good launch. But today, it's performance feels to me to be about that of a Civic type R. For all of their strong points, they are, in my opinion, all a little quirky. It's generally agreed that the quirky personality traits generate a lot of love, and I think that's right. The one thing I have trouble with is that they are quite small and I feel a bit cramped in 'em. I recently owned a turbocharged Honda S2000. While it was plenty fast, it was devoid of the personality I find so appealing. Porsche seems to get that right.
 
Messages
5,445
Location
Suburban Washington DC
The older models often bring more money than the newer ones. The trick is to find the sweet spot between depreciation and appreciation. i.e., the bottom of the curve, which for these cars seem to be in the early 2000's. With some persistance, you sould be able find decent ones under $10K. They might have over 100k miles or be rebuilt salvage, but they are out there.
 
Messages
34
Location
Sweden
Some thoughts from my experience. The older 911s are light, but not that great handling. It's not easy to use it's real potential without risk. Probably better than most american sports cars from the same age tho. The older 911s would have much lesser handling than the same age 924 and 944s. An older 911 with proper setup and a driver which knows how to drive a 911 fast would be ok, but then would require alot of setup tweaks and track days to get at. The 996 and newer suspension tech (at least the RoW versions) is a very big leap foreward compared to the 993, much more than the years will indicate. And btw, the water cooling is simply because it is better than air cooling... As on my turbo, I can switch off the ESP system with a button to stage one, and for leaving it completely off even under braking you just pull a fuse. So not really feeling the electronic intervensions disturbing alot. The Carrera engines is not so good as the engine used in the turbo/GT2/GT3. The older 911s is a good posers car, so I would think about what is the purpose of the car. And I would test drive the whole lot. The hunt for the right car is almost as good as getting it!
 
Messages
739
Location
GA
The best deals on the older models are 74-77, and you are looking at min of $20k for a good one. They maintain the slimmer appearance of the early cars, but they have the impact bumpers. The 2.7 is a decent engine if it has been sorted out, although the 3.0 and 3.2 in the later cars are much stronger. The AC's in these cars (pre-993) are just ok, and most of the 70's cars didn't have them. The absolute best deal is a 996. It's a modern car with decent AC and decent interior. The prices are still reasonable. No other car on the road drives, feels, or sounds like an aircooled 911 though. They are very unique and rewarding. They are awesome, but I'm biased.
 
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Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
geometry can be manipulated to provide more stability and sure-footedness at the expense of poise and finesse if you want a stable car, but, being able to enjoy driving a fast car on a track is entirely dependent upon it being reactive and adjustable. You cant have one without the other, unfortuantely.
 

CT8

Messages
15,399
Location
Idaho
One of my friends had a [around] 1977 930 and it was a really fun car loud and stiff suspension it really let you know you were going fast. That being said I would without a second thought buy a modern Hellcat equipped car or a super Mustang or Corvette before any Porsche and I like Porsches.
 
Messages
2,560
Location
wv
"It started when I was a kid in the '80s" about the same age as me... sounds like a mid-life crisis fun car.. If you can afford it, and willing to deal with with whatever goes wrong go for it. You are not alone, alot of us go with Harleys, Boats, UTVs, etc etc.. You are only this age once..
 
Messages
670
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
Pre 1978 911's have a magnesium engine-case. These need to have been "Time-serted" or cylinder/barrel studs will pull-out. 1980 is the first year of 3-way catalyst... and these get better gas mileage. Most robust aircooled engine is 3.0 litre 1978 - 1983 engine (911 SC)... as bigger displacement (later models) can be hard on the valve guides. Earlier than Carerra 3.2 litre 1984 have to have had the camchain tensioner upgrade!. 1999 to about 2008 "suitcase bottom" engine is susceptable to "IMS" - intermediate shaft catastrophic engine failure. It's only when the car went to DI that this issue was solved. Though you can pull many miles out of a 911 - you have to remember that just like any car, it too gets old. Rubber items degrade fast on a Euro car, in general. Big $. You should not underestimate the degree to which you will have to pull $ out of your wallet to deal with an aging car! Many can look beautiful and fresh on the outside; it's the insides that are aging like any car.
 
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Messages
19,685
Location
Sunny Florida
IMO you should drive something that interests you in some way. I like a car that has some exciting performance potential, and most 911's are like that for sure. But they have really changed from the 70's when I first noticed that 911's were almost the only car whose horsepower went up instead of down. But in those days they were very "VW" in their feel, just much quicker. Fast forward to today when their 4 cylinder turbo Boxter can whip up 350 hp and is really pretty darn quick with that nifty autobox they have that does better on the track than you can! The 911's are amazing, I really think they are at the peak for IC, they'll be hybridized soon and this may make them change in ways we cannot yet imagine...
 
Messages
34
Location
Sweden
Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
1999 to about 2008 "suitcase bottom" engine is susceptable to "IMS" - intermediate shaft catastrophic engine failure. It's only when the car went to DI that this issue was solved.
That only applies to the Carrera models of the 911 range, both 996.1 996.2 and 997.1. All the GT3/GT2/turbo engines doesn't have the roller bearing on the IMS. The other models have instead two slide bearings which doesn't fail. So it is the bearing that fails, not the shaft in it self. But when it fails it is used to drive the cam chains, so the result would be big breakage. There has been three versions of this bearing, while the version two is the one most suspictable to breaking. If one looks at the failure ratio it is not really a significant problem. Many change out their bearings profylactic. Some had cylinder liner problems too, but that might be because of poor maintenance and abuse
 
Messages
1,644
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Pic of my current car below. It's 2003 C2 coupe with a tiptronic. I purchased it almost two years ago for $22K and it had 81K miles on it. It's my daily driver and I now have 110K on it. This is my 5th Porsche, first 911. I like this one the best of all. My car is a 996.2. 1999 to 2001 are 996.1, 3.4 liter. 2002 to 2005 is the 996.2 with a 3.6. The differences between them is night and day. The 996.2 has a much stiffer chassis and too many other differences to list here. You can get a decent 2002 or 2003 C2 with around 70K miles on it for about $20K. Figure on $6K you'll need to put into it right away. Once you've done that it's normal maintenance. Don't be shy, do a lot of reading over on rennlist.com, look for the 996 forum. I hang out there as sasilverbullet. There's a ton of threads on what to watch out for on these cars. Get one, you'll enjoy the many, many smiles! approved [Linked Image]
 
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