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Talk of the 911 market is often ruled by the heady top-end, but this month we consider if exceptional cars are still available at the affordable end of the 911 spectrum? Philip Raby, of Philip Raby Specialist Cars, thinks there definitely are, but adds a few caveats: “A manual, early 3.4-litre 996 is becoming quite desirable. The problem is, finding a good one.” Philip advises spending £20,000 at a minimum. If you’re looking to spend anything less then you could be asking for trouble.
When it comes to buying a 996 you’ve got options, even if your budget’s at the lower end of the scale. But don’t hang about – people are wising up to the car’s immense value for money… Porsche 911 996 at 25Volume defines the 996 marketplace: the number available out there is far greater than any 911 before it.
It’s been well known for its issues around reliability, but 25 years on, what’s the real-world assessment of the 996’s mechanical underpinnings? Porsche built over 175,000 996s, and if you believed everything you heard about it, every single one is problematic. The 996 has issues, but they’re hugely blown out of proportion. The effect is exacerbated by both the information revolution and the increased production proliferation.
The PDK double-clutch automatic gearbox is so good, the decision between manual or automatic can be quite a dilemma for 911s from 997.2 onwards. But where does that leave models that have the previous incarnation of automatic technology, the Tiptronic models? Are they tougher to sell, and take up valuable forecourt space? “In short, no,” says Philip Raby, of Philip Raby Specialist Cars. “We had two in lately, both 996; a Cab and a Coupe. Both sold within 24 hours,” he says.
What better way to celebrate the first water-cooled production 911's twenty-fifth anniversary than buying an example of this game-changing Porsche to call your own?! Words Dan Furr, Danny Kaye, Emma Woodcock, Russ Stanley. Photography Dan Sherwood. 1997-2004 Porsche 911 996 BUYING GUIDEWhat to look for when considering a buy. Owning a 911 has never been a more attainable dream, primarily thanks to the current low prices and easy availability of the 996.