Buying a used porsche 911


I am considering buying a used Porsche 911. I have about $20,000 to spend, so I’m looking for something between 1982 and 1992. I’m worried because some people have told me that break down frequently and cost alot to repair. Any thoughts?


$20K my be a little low for the years you’re considering, but shop around and see what you can find. Definitely get a pre-purchase inspection performed by a good porsche shop before you make an offer. Personally, I like the mid-70s 911s better than the 80-90s, and they may be closer to your price range. Yes they break and they are expensive to fix, and they tend to attract speeding tickets; but if you want one, go for it!


You might also consider a 928 or a 914. I had a 914 4-cylinder. It was a lot of fun to drive. They were available with a 6-cyl., too.


Yeah, if he wants a Porsche VW :wink:

I don’t think 20,000 is all that low for a regular 911. If you’re talking a turbo, Carerra RS, or some other high-power Porsche then you might need to get more cash, but if you just want the standard naturally aspirated 6, you should be able to find one in your price range.

Porsches do break, especially the older ones. Porsches are freaking expensive to fix - the parts are costly and the mechanics know that a porsche driver can afford it, so they charge more.

If you’re on a repair budget, and you want something sporty and fun to drive, that won’t cost as much to own as a Porsche, I suggest looking for a 2nd generation Toyota MR2 turbo (you can get a really good one for around 14k or less, and it’ll beat the daylights out of the Porsche). It’s mid engined and RWD so you get the nice handling characteristics of a non-front engine layout, and it’s a toyota which means the engines are nearly bullet proof. If you get a 93 or newer car it’ll have a shorter shifter and better handling characteristics.

Or if you just want a Porsche, look at the Boxters. You can get 'em as new as 1998 - 2000 with around 50k miles for $20k.


The '80-'90 vintage cars are ALL smog nightmares. Patched up junk. I would avoid them. And for SURE, an emissions inspection, a fresh one, should be part of your negotiations…


For $20K you should be able to get something WAY newer than 1992.


It’s all about condition, if someone is selling a 90s 911 for $20K, you really don’t want it (take a look at ebay for current prices). I did see a 1970 911 for $20K in the paper (denver) this morning.


I still have my '73 914/4-2.0 in pieces in my garage, another of my future projects. They are fun and they are actually easier to drive on a track than a 911, but they are seriously underpowered.

I doubt you could find a good original 914/6 for under $20K these days. The Boxster is cute, but it’s not a 911 either. The best bet is still a basic 70s 911, but you still have to make sure it’s not rusty or in need of a $5K+ engine rebuild. You will also become a multi-carburetor expert.


This one seems about right…90% of the e-bay cars do not sell because the reserve price is not met. That means most private sellers are asking way to much for their cars…


That may be a fair price for that car depending on mechanical condition (I would want to see some maintenance records). It appears to be in fair/good cosmetic condition, not too beat up, but certainly not babied. I don’t think 84s are in much demand (early pollution controls were a mess), but I bet you could turn that into a decent driver for a few $1000 if you could live with the current paint job (it will never be a show car). It would definitely need a good inspection because the engine may well need attention at 100K miles.

I would not count on it being “reliable” in it’s current condition, but I wouldn’t write it off. I also wouldn’t expect an 84 to increase in value anytime soon unless it was in exceptional original condition, this one isn’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an auction car that found its way to an ebay “dealer.”

I would also be reluctant to buy a car from someone who doesn’t know the difference between 4 cylinders and 6 cylinders.


You never bought parts for a 914, did you? They are definitely Porsche parts. Many are sorta-kinda like VW, but aren’t interchageable. And very expensive.

It’s not as quick as a 911, but you can easily go over 100 MPH in one. Or would you prefer to go 150 in the 911? And where would you do either?


It’s a Hyundai dealer. I suspect that someone knows the difference, but the someone that wrote the ad. Unless there’s a replacement 912 engine it it. ;^)


You might also want to look at 944s and 968s. They are better to drive and a better bargain than old 911s.

The hard part with any car more than five or so years old is finding a good one. Turn up your nose at anything less than what the on line Kelley Blue Book calls “excellent”.


A liquid cooled porsche, surely you jest.

You may find some good deals on those, but be very careful, these things were generic yuppy-mobiles for a few years so many of the original owners were clueless.


Porsche switched to water cooling in the boxer engine in 1999!


Front engine, water cooled Porsches have been around for 30 years. The first was the 924 which appeared in 1976. I didn’t suggest it because it wasn’t very good. In 1982, it was succeeded by the 944 which was a 924 done right. The 944 became the 968 in 1992. The 968 was the fastest and best of the series. Throughout this period, Porsche also produced the 928 which was a very fast, V8 powered, GT car. I didn’t suggest the 928 because its maintenance costs are astronomical.


Yup, I’m pretty familiar with their history, including the later liquid cooled flat six. I’d still stick with the air cooled engine, but that’s just me (KISS). I was never a fan of the 924/944/968 series, but I do think the 928S was pretty impressive for the time (really a GT, not a sports car), I have been tempted to pick up a nice 928S on a couple of occasions (but my wife will kill me if I buy any more toys). I do agree that both the 911 and 928 will have very high maintenance costs. The best value is probably a old 911 or a newer used boxster (still not my favorite car but definitely a porsche).


(but my wife will kill me if I buy any more toys)

As long as you play with them from time to time, and make sure you put them away when you’re done… :stuck_out_tongue:


If I were looking for an old 911, I’d look for an SC. The 3.0 engine was virtually bulletproof. Many of them are still running strong with nothing more than a valve job at 250,000 mi. Avoid the 911S with the 2.7 engine unless you are absolutely certain the head stud pulling problem has been addressed. It probably has by now or it wouldn’t be running, but you never know. Remember, virtually all maintenance on these cars is very expensive. (Prior owner of 356, 911, & 912)


The 911 is one of the most fun cars to drive ever. At one point I swore I would always have one. Currently, I’m in violation of my little rule.

That being said, they can be very expensive to repair, especially for non-mechanical things. Electrical, trim, exterior parts, all very expensive. Porsche mechanics can be very pricey (and many are charlatans and thieves).

But, mechanically they are extremely solid and the engine, as previously noted, is nearly bulletproof. In the years you are looking for, you won’t be finding a water cooled nor are you likely to find a c4, so the problems those cars have are non-issues.

The advice to consider a 914 (ugh!) or 944/968 or 928 is interesting, as those cars are every bit as expensive (if not more) to maintain as a 911, but have higher maintenance requirements.

The 911 is probably the best car for your purposes you can get for the money.