Porsche 911 Buyers Guide

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1964 Prototype 911 Type T8Ageless styling, sporting pedigree and handling to put a silly grin on your face. Go on, fulfil your schoolboy dreams... Everyone lusts after a 911. It’s the ultimate driver's car, stupidly fast, great round corners and with more kudos than a platinum Visa card. What you might not realise is that your childish dreams of powerslides on deserted roads and blowing off lesser sports cars at the traffic lights are surprisingly affordable. The 911 appeared in 1963 and took Europe by storm, but that was nothing compared to its colossal popularity in the States. Even during the economic crises of the Seventies the rest of the world had a waiting list as Stuttgart struggled to keep up with US demand. 1973 Porsche 911 CarerraNever before had a car offered the performance of a Ferrari in such a stylish, reasonably priced package. Until 1968 cars were two litres, then the engine size was increased to 2.2. But it is the 2.4, launched in 1971 that is the most desirable early 911 – as precursor to the more powerful 2.7, 3.0 and 3.2 litres that were to follow. By the mid-Eighties, the ‘yuppie’ image had taken hold of the 911. Wheelarches grew in accordance with City slickers’ salaries and a huge boot spoiler was added to help glue the wayward rear end to the tarmac, but what the 911 gained in performance and luxury, it lost in styling purity. It was still the ultimate sports cars, however, and remained so until its death in 1997. Today a decent 911 costs more than £20,000 right? Wrong. And that’s the attraction. Only the puffed-up supercars are going to make that big a dent in your wallet. An earlier car with its legendary, unmolested shape can be yours for well under £15,000. Its clean lines are broken only by a smattering of chrome, the interior has utilitarian appeal and its sober dash is uncluttered by the electro-gizmos found in Eighties models. 1967 Porsche 911S 2.0L Historic Rally CarThey’re not exactly sluggish either. A 1971-onwards 2.4S screams to 60mph in less than seven seconds and has a top speed of just under 140mph, while lower-spec2.4 Es and Ts are only slightly slower and better to drive in traffic. They’re only reliable too, if you maintain them, and many rust0free cars have made their way here from the USA over the past few years so numbers are up. However, people don’t tend to let go of their prized Pokers easily, so you’ll have to hunt extra hard for a good one – but it’ll be worth it! Body/Chassis A rotten shell can cost £25,000 to sort. Check the front suspension mounts in front of and behind the fuel tank. Patched repairs are no good. Also check the rear cross-member behind the number plate mounting panel. Rot in engine bay, directly under rear window is very bad news. Kinks in the chrome by rear quarter light signal accident damage. Steel wheels are unavailable; Fuchs alloys cost £800 each new. 1984 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera TargaInterior Many Trim parts are unavailable to ensure everything is there to enable repairs. Facias can be made to fit, but expect to pay more than £1000. Vinyl seats are rare and cost up to £700 each. Check the twin door pockets are present - £250 each to replace. Running Gear A puff of blue smoke to start up is no problem, so long as it doesn’t continue. Be wary of vibrations through the car indicating the car, indicating main bearing wear. Gearboxes are tough, but can cost more than £2000 to replace. Box noise is often caused by worn synchromesh or bearings but if you can live with the racket it won’t need replacing for several thousand miles. Watch out for bad tracking – a sure sign of accident damage. Tags: