Alright, maybe I’m being a bit facetious with that title – This morning I rolled into the Lowe’s parking lot to pick up some steel wool and caulk for a house I’m working on and saw another Porsche so I parked mine next to it. Then it struck me that these are fairly unlikely vehicles to be seen in this lot no matter what the Porsche commercials may say about picking up mulch with your 911…
I looked inside the other one (964 C4 model, not sure of the year since it seems to have the early style wheels but the late style door mirrors but produced between 1989 and 1994) and noticed that he had a construction level in his back seat so maybe he’s not just looking at paint swatches. In any case, it’s good to see these cars used as everyday transportation and not just garage queens. While mine is still filthy from the last time I went to Steamboat Springs and I have been too busy to take the snow tires off it, the 964 was hardly pristine either with some duct tape on a window frame, a very faded rear center tail light reflector section and overall looking a bit like the used car it is.
The 964 is the generation of 911 that I originally always wanted but in the end I got mine after reading lots about all of the different variants. I love mine, but when I was looking there were a couple of 964’s for about the same price. In the meantime those have appreciated at least 50% from that time, while mine has likely dropped a bit. No matter, I’m getting lots of use out of it and enjoying myself, so I’m just glad that others are enjoying their cars as well and not afraid to use them for everyday tasks.
Nice comparison of the two generation 911s. It’s not often that you see two parked next to each other in which the owners don’t know each other. There are several TSXs like mine at the gym, and I try to park next to one when I can. It looks cool. Once we had three in a row.
From the very first 356, Porsches were marketed as usable sports cars, less temperamental than exotics but equally capable. Pricey compared to a Chevy, but dirt cheap compared to a Ferrari.
Save for the mid-engined cars, they’ve always had back seats, the front-engine cars had hatchbacks, all with the intent that the cars be used every day rather than as toys.
Suck on that Cayenne!
That’s the wrong model Porsche for Home Improvement jobs. You need their diesel tractor with a 4,850 lbs towing capacity. Much to my surprise, I must admit.
Nice sight, using what you have available.
Funny, they are seen here quite often at the Tigard OR Home Depot. Being a stones throw away from Lake Allego, oops, meant Lake Oswego probably explains it.
Good point there and I am going to assume Home Depot’s trucks get more use there.
I’ve heard some of these 911s were designed for tradesman use. They came with a specially-designed tray over the engine to carry the payload and a widened rear-wheel setup to deal with the extra weight.
That’s the flatbed version. Mine and the 964 have the retractable flatbed. It’s more multi-useful…
I thought that was for cooking bangas outside Bunnings.
I thought that was the tailgate party version for Pebble Beach.
Must have literally and figuratively been fun driving that 911 from Texas. Wonder if using the AC is like tossing an anchor off the back?
Anybody have any insight on why the older 911’s are going crazy; price wise? Only reason I can see is the 10 years they made the grenade motors, which no one really wants, and means the only alternative is a post ’08 model.
They are air-cooled which are considered “classic” now. They were also made in far fewer numbers than the newer models. Leasing played up the numbers thing as well, many 996’s and newer were leased, very few of the 993’s and before were (driving up the production numbers as they were “affordable”). Early 996’s also suffer from the (real or imagined, I don’t know) Boxster stigma in that they look (pretty much are) the same from the front.
There is a vibrant market for 996’s, well-maintained ones still go for good money. I personally believe they are at the bottom of the depreciation curve at this time. A 996 generally offers more and better performance, better reliability, better every-day usability, and more modern creature comforts than the older ones. (which is generally true for any car obviously). Many publications are beginning to tout the fact that they are a fantastic value proposition.
As I wrote in the Macan post the other day, the water-cooled flat-6 motors (especially the early ones) are easily able to be retrofitted to eliminate the bearing (your so-called grenade) issue. Later ones (engines built post 2004-2008) don’t have anywhere near the same incidence of the issue due to a much larger, upgraded bearing. Many engines were replaced with newer ones by the factory at no charge, including mine but mine had a different issue. Thus there are many 996’s out there with newer, less-susceptible engines and also many more with the issue resolved. Not every source on the internet is willing to take off their blinders and actually report anything resembling the truth. Why is that? Who knows, maybe they have an ax to grind or believe it makes better copy.
996’s are beginning to be considered by many to have an excellent performance to value to reliability relationship. They are also considerably easier to DIY on than the earlier cars, each generation of which had its own set of issues that was eventually worked through. The newer (post 2008) are now being found to have some issues as well, go figure.
Interestingly Porsche itself is finally starting to recognize the 996 in its lineage, for many years they kind of ignored it, now that the earliest models are close to 20 years old (production started in 1997) they are realizing there is a large user base out there and by ignoring them they are leaving money on the table. In other countries (Britain for example) Porsche service centers have a different (cheaper) labor rate for their “classic” cars than they do for their current cars in order to compete more effectively against independent mechanics.
You may consider me to be biased in that I own one, however I did plenty of research before buying and am comfortable with my decision. I think the hype helped me to get one of my dream cars for a fraction of its real worth. At this point I think I have gotten more enjoyment out of my car than I’ve paid into it, it owes me nothing more. If for some reason the worst happened tomorrow I’d be able to sell the rolling shell for close to half of what I paid for the whole thing and move on.
The same thing happened when the 356 was replaced by the original 911, all the 356 drivers scoffed at the 911ers. The 964 like the white one pictured was for many years the red-headed stepchild of the 911 family. Funnily, many of those that denigrated them at the time are now on the bandwagon. The 964 is more rare than the 993 just due to the recession in the US in the early 90’s. The 993 is valued highly as it was A) the last of the air-cooled’s and B) it had the best performance of the air-cooled’s. But it has its issues as well.
Great read Jim. I don’t like the 996’s amoeba-like front end, but… the interwebZ shows that a 997 front end can be somehow retrofitted, solving the issue.
Since these are so much more affordable, they seem to make sense to still use as a daily driver (at least in the pre winter months) without having to worry about expensive mechanical problems. And to most people a 911 is a 911 without a clue of wondering if this is a more costly version. Nice car.
Near here, there’s a lady (IIRC) that DDs a wine red 964. I’ve seen it in the local supermarket a couple of times.
This suburb, like most of the Metro area, is filled with CCs.
Was the U-Haul dealer ever able to find a trailer hitch for your Porsche? I bet the wiring for the lights will be a headache.
No hitch. The spoiler pops up allowing greater load capacity. Bonus would be the additional downforce of whatever material is stacked there.
In all seriousness, plenty of people have hitches on 911’s and Boxsters and tow small trailers (usually with wheels and tires to the track) and even more often bikeracks. I’m sure in the Netherlands they tow 20-foot camping trailers. The Dutch will tow a camping trailer with a moped if they are given the opportunity…
Here you go. Your daughter would not have kind things to say about the back seat legroom on an extended journey to the campsite though…
She just cringed at the sight of it.
Seeing these pictures, combined with seeing a Prius pulling a respectable sized trailer this past week, has me thinking of Paul’s anti-towing conspiracy article. There is absolutely no way European spec models are tuned, built, or suspended so differently than American models to allow towing there with the discouragement seen in cars here.
No, the cars are not spec’d differently, but the trailers are and regulations are different. Which is better depends on your point of view. In short, in the US regulations allow us to tow at higher speeds with less instability.
Look closely at the axle location of those European trailers. They are more centered which results in less tongue weight which allows smaller vehicles to handle larger trailers. The downside is that kind of weight distribution becomes unstable at higher speeds. To offset this Europe implements speed limits on all vehicles towing a trailer to 50-60 MPH.
I’d say US regulations are appropriate for US roads. There’s no conspiracy.
Strange. A Prius is not allowed to tow anything here. As in zero kg.
Not because of legal regulations, but because Toyota says so.
Johannes, that was the exact same thing that shot through my mind when I saw the Prius. He was pulling close to 1000 lbs with trailer and contents.
Phil, you’re fully correct about the tongue weight and stability aspects.
That’s why these are getting more common to haul heavy cargos. It’s what we call a “schamelwagen”. What’s the English / American English name for this type of trailers ? The type of trailers that is also towed by big rigid diesel trucks (mostly the trailer has a single front axle).
Of course you can’t tow this with a Porsche 911. A Cayenne on the other hand….
California limits the speed of all towed combinations to 55mph and requires trailer brakes above 1500lb trailer weight. So, our legal restrictions appear greater than the UK.
After the Ford Exploder/Firestone Tire fiasco, the legal departments really cracked down. However, with the correct tire pressures, most sane trailer loading combinations on most (especially FWD) vehicles will not overload the rear axle/tires. The problem is that underinflated tires in a state with a 70mph speed limit for trailers and no trailer brakes could create a bad situation.
Towed by a bicycle, and not 20-foot…but it is a camping trailer.
Nice post, as always.
I have been aching for a 911 for forever. My brain has always won out, thinking (knowing) there are many other uses for my money. You’d think it was my wife who discourages me, but it’s the opposite. First 993s, then 997s, and now even 991s. Of course I’ve watched 993 prices go up while I haven’t pulled the trigger.
I’ve got two cars, one used regularly by my wife during the week and by both of us on weekends, and the other, which gets used only on weekends (I commute by rail), for a total of maybe 2,000 miles per year 2004 325xi with 38K miles).
Lately, I’ve REALLY been thinking maybe it’s time, and have been thinking about used 991s. But then I thought, if I’m only going to maybe put 2,000 miles a year (I don’t plan on selling the 325xi), on it, tops, maybe I just go for a 993, in spite of the run up in prices. While of course the 993 won’t be cheap to run, I suppose I really won’t lose any value in the long run, and it will likely appreciate. And this isn’t a small consideration, considering the “investment” angle can justify my purchase!
I’m going to go surf the net now….
I just came across this. A few Dutchies on their way to the Nürburgring.
(Photo courtesy of Autojunk.nl / yves007)