Here is our List of Best Used Porsche 911s to Buy Today
So congrats, you’re interested in buying a used Porsche 911. You may know something about the brand and the car, or you may just be starting your search. Either way, part of the enjoyment of owning a Porsche is the journey itself. To help you, we created a list of what we believe are the best used Porsche 911s on the market today. Before we begin our list, we want to set some parameters on the cars on our list. First off, we have a cut-off of 30 years. So we are only covering cars from 1985 to 2015. Second we are going to go into some specific versions in a particular model lineup. We thought it would be fair to point out what particular years and models really make the grade.
With that said, here is our list of the best used Porsche 911 to buy. In no certain order:
Porsche 993 C2 (1995-1998)
This is an easy one. This model is the apex of the air-cooled 911, and prices on the market has reflected this. 2 years ago you could pick up a nice model in the $20,000.00 range. Now they are double that and still appreciating. Some believe its a bubble while others stay its a appreciating curve that is here to stay. Either way, this car is a great car and lives up to the hype. Very study and well made, these cars are bullet-proof. Plus for a 20 plus year old car, they have good power and great handling.
Porsche 997.2 GTS (2011)
We pick the 2nd generation of the great 997 model due to the major upgrades done at that time – new engine, Direct Fuel Injection and the appearance of PDK (Porsche’s dual clutch automatic). But the one we pick is the Porsche 911 GTS. While some may say the GTS has become a marketing gimmick for Porsche, this GTS was better as a whole then its parts. On paper the 997.2 GTS was a 997.2 CS with all the right options. But also included were special GTS features including a specific suspension upgrade, powerkit upgrade (30 more hp), exterior front and rear lights (blacken headlines and taillights), wider rear from the all-wheel drive models and upgrades to the interior (can you say Alcantara). Put all of these together and you get one hell of a driving experience. Pundits today say it was the best NA driving, handling car Porsche made in a long time. And we agree. While Porsche has come out with a newer GTS for the current 911 (the 991 model), it will never have that connection and feel of this GTS.
Porsche 997 Turbo (2007-2009)
Everyone loves the Turbo and so do we, but if you want a Turbo from the 997 lineup, you want these years. Why? Simple. The Mezger engine. The Mezger engine is a legend in the Porsche folklore. Its a race-breed engine that has won many of races, and is considered bullet-proof in the Porsche mechnanic circles. Porsche went to a different engine in all other Turbos after 2009, and also PDK became more prominent in these cars as well. If you want something that will be iconic and maybe even a collectible – you should look for a 997 Turbo in these years and with a manual.
Porsche 996 C4S (2003-2004)
Yes, this is an 996 and it will suffer from the dreaded IMS issue. But here is why you should consider the Porsche 996 C4S. Turbo body without the turbos. Ok, what does that mean? Porsche took a regular CS and gave the car the same suspension, wheels, brakes, and body from the 996 Turbo. But kept the regular M96 engine that produces 320hp. Why is that good? Well sometimes its good to have a NA engine, and Turbos in the long run takes more time and money to upkeep. Plus this car sold 30% cheaper then a Turbo when brand new and that is reflected in the resale prices. So while you have a car that handles, looks and brakes like a Turbo, you’re getting it a greater discount then the Turbo. Plus the greatest reason is probably the rear end. If you see the rear end of the Porsche C4S, you are looking at one of the sexiest asses ever placed on the Porsche 911. Now to the IMS issue, yes it has it. But a retrofit bearing will easily fix the issue. Not cheap (you’re looking at about $2,000.00 for parts and labour) it will give you a solid state-of-mind in owning one of these cars and the rest of the car is so good, that will still be worth it.
Porsche 996 Turbo (2003-2005)
Ok, if you need us to say what is the sleeper Porsche 911 to buy, this is it. Its a 400 plus hp super-car with all-wheel drive, goes 0-60 in 4 seconds and went brand new for $130k USD. Now 12 years later you can find great examples of this car for under $40k. Talk about a great buy. This car was basically the Porsche 959 sold to the masses as a 911 Turbo in the early 2000’s. So why is the Porsche 996 Turbo so under-appreciated? Many factors including the look of the headlights and the stigma of the IMS issue – which does not effect this car whats-so-ever. First the headlights. When Porsche made the 996, they wanted to make it different since it was the first water-cooled Porsche 911. So instead of going with the traditional oval headlights, they went to something that was just universally deemed ugly. Even if the Porsche 996 Turbo is the best looking of the 996 lineup (and it is, with the C4S), it still has the headlights that turns many old school 911 fans off. Secondly, the 996 shared many body parts with the new at that time, Boxster. Many 911 fans didn’t want their Porsche 911 sharing parts with the lower model Boxster. Finally the Porsche 996 has an issue called the IMS (Intermediate Bearing Shaft). This has hurt resale values on most 996 models but the Turbos does not have this issue. In fact the engine is totally different and the Porsche 996 Turbo has the famed Mezger engine (which is a big plus). But due to association as a 996, the Turbo had lagged in the used car market. This is a great thing for you, because if you can buy one of these very underrated cars for a low price. Sooner or later people will be wising up and these Porsche 996 Turbos will definitely appreciate in price.
Porsche 964 C2 (1990-1993)
The Porsche 964 was a major set of evolution for the 911, even though its been sort of forgotten with the 993. While the body look very similar the innards of the car showcased very modern technologies to the 911 including ABS, optional all-wheel drive, a rear-spoiler that automatically rose at 50 mph, airbags and power assist. The engine was also enlarged to 3.6 liters, producing 250 hp. Porsche claimed that 85% of the 964 was brand new. Many of these technologies were incorporated from the Porsche 959 super-car that came out at the same time. Porsche did something different and introduced the all-wheel driver version first in 1989, the C4. We say stay away from the C4. Not that it wasn’t a good car but the all-wheel drive system was as sturdy and refined as in the later models. The one you want is the rear-wheel drive model called the C2, which came in later. These cars are pretty bullet-proof as well, and have the famed air-cooled engine. The biggest issue is the head gaskets or the lack of them in the earlier years, leading to head-to-cylinder leakage. But at this time, most Porsche 964’s would have this issue fixed by the current owners. These were the forgotten brothers of the 911 for a long time, but due to the increase interest of air-cooled 911s the prices on theses models have gone up as well. But you can still find a good model to purchase if you look hard enough.
ARE YOU READY TO FIND YOUR PORSCHE 911?