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HomeCar CultureMy Top 5 Porsche Bargains for 2024

My Top 5 Porsche Bargains for 2024

Which are you buying?

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Porsche is a name that is synonymous with sports cars. Over the years the Stuttgart company has become the benchmark of what a sports car is and represents. This is due to the incredible racing heritage which includes a record 19 wins at Le Mans, 23 wins at the Daytona 24, and 18 wins at Sebring. This combined with the company’s continued effort to build truly great road sports cars makes Porsche a car that people dream of owning. As a result the prices for Porsche road cars, both classic and new, have risen significantly in the last 20 years, with quite a few commanding prices of several hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even Porsche’s newest entry level model, the 718 Cayman, has a starting price of $63,800.

That’s not a bad price for a car in 2024, but are there any options if you don’t have the money to spend 60k plus on a car?

Happily the answer is yes and this is true regardless if you are looking for a classic or newer Porsche. Here is a list of what I feel are the top five best values on the Porsche sports car market in no particular order. All of these can deliver on that dream of Porsche ownership.

1970-1976 Porsche 914

About 15 years ago you could easily buy a nice example of the Porsche 914 for as little as $3,500. Yes, those days are long gone but it may surprise you to know that while these cars have increased in value, they still represent the most affordable air cooled Porsche cars on the market. I have owned two of these cars and found them to be fun to drive, sporting, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive to service. The main thing to look for with a 914 is rust. Never buy a 914 with rust. I am sure that you will find some great deals on cars with rust, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can buy a rusty car and fix it inexpensively. Buy the best example of a rust free car you can afford and enjoy the car. Restoring a 914 is a losing proposition and will cost much more than the car is worth. You should be able to get a rust free driver condition 914 for as little as $20,000. Click here to see some for sale.

1982 911 Carrera S Coupé, G-Serie, 3.0 Liter, Generationen

1978-1982 Porsche 911SC

Of the 31 different 911 cars I have owned, the only model I bought twice was a 911SC. This is because many, including myself, feel that the 911SC was the best built traditional air cooled Porsche 911 ever. The engines are legendary for lasting in excess of 200k miles with only regular service required, and many have clocked 300k miles without a rebuild. With a 911SC you are getting the classic air cooled 911 in a bit more modern package. All the charm of a classic 911 is in place but with niceties such as working A/C. These are amazing cars and I always recommend them to prospective first time air cooled Porsche buyers. They do everything right and were built to a very high standard. Buy the best one you can find and enjoy the whole air cooled 911 experience. I think the secret of these cars is out, as prices have risen and low mile cars can cost more than 80k. My advice is to save your money and buy one with higher mileage that has been well taken care of. If you hunt carefully you should be able to still find a nice example of a 911SC for around $50,000, or a little less if you want a Targa or Cabrio. What you will have is the first, and possibly the last, classic 911 you will ever want or need. Yes these cars really are that good. You can see the 911SC cars we have for sale on ClassicCars.com here.

1982-1991 Porsche 944

To me, the 944 is the “easy button” for first time Porsche ownership. The 944 is a modern driving, classic Porsche and probably the best of all the water-cooled transaxle cars that the company built. The early cars share a dash with the 924 and have a certain charm, though the 1985 1/2 cars had an updated dash and more modern instrumentation and climate control. Either is a good choice with later cars carrying a higher cost due to the improved interior. The 944 went through various changes with an S model, and S2 model as well as Turbo and Turbo S models. I believe the easiest one to own is a standard 944. Things to watch out for are neglect, amateurish modifications, and accident damage. Have any 944 checked out and spend the extra money on a lower mile, all original car with service history that has not had a repaint or its interior replaced. A nice example will set you back around $15k making it a great deal on a vintage Porsche. The Turbo cars are more money to buy and run and, while quite a bit faster, can be a more expensive car to service. You can see the cars for sale on ClassicCars.com here.

1996-2004 Porsche Boxster(986)

The first generation Boxster is the car that saved Porsche in the mid 1990s, and without the introduction of the Boxster we might not have the Porsche we do today. These are terrific cars offering traditional Porsche flat six power in a mid engine configuration. This gives the Boxster a very race car like feel combined with a nice ride. The interior of the 986 Boxster is a bit snug, but I am 6’4″ tall and I fit in these cars. There are quite a few first generation Boxsters on the market and these cars represent what has to be the sign best value Porsche available today. The original version of the car had a 2.5 liter engine with 201 horsepower which does not sound like much, but a Boxster of this era will run circles around a 911SC or a 3.2 liter Carrera. The main thing to watch out for is the IMS bearing. If a car you are looking at has not had the IMS bearing replaced, you need to be sure it is not failing on the car, and then if not have it replaced immediately. Replacing the IMS bearing is a one time repair. Beyond that buy the cleanest Boxster you can find, and if you want more power opt for a Boxster S. The best part is that you can find a clean example of a standard Boxster for as little as $10,000 and a Boxster S for less than $20,000. If there is a better value out there for a Porsche sports car I don’t know what it is. Click here to see the Boxsters we have on ClassicCars.com for sale.

1999-2012 Porsche 911(996/997)

The 996 was the first of the water-cooled 911s, and it owed its front end styling to the Porsche Boxster which it shared parts with. Over the years, the 996 has received many negative comments from the Porsche community but these are a bunch of nonsense. Yes, it shares headlights and the front with the Boxster, but if the styling does not appeal to you then buy a 997. You see the 997 revised the front end styling of the 996 and created what is to my eyes the most beautiful 911 ever designed. With either of these cars you are getting what is truly the first modern 911 and the last 911 that I feel is still in line of what Porsche originally intended for the car. They are considerably smaller and feel lighter than the later 991 and 992 model 911s. The 996/997 era 911s were what Hurley Haywood called a revolutionary different and a better driving car than any 911 Porsche had built before. Like the Boxster, the biggest issue with the 996 and 997.1 era 911 cars is the IMS bearing. Find out if it has been replaced, and if not budget accordingly. Again this is not an expensive repair and is one you will only have to do once. On a positive note, the cars built after 2009 are known as the 997.2 and do not have the IMS bearing issue. They do cost considerably more than the earlier model, much more than just getting the IMS bearing replaced on a 997.1, if you get my drift. Beyond that, buy the best example you can afford in a color you like. You can get a great example of a 996 for less than $30,000 and a 997 is around $15k more. One of these amazing Porsche cars could be the last Porsche you will ever want to buy. They are truly that good. You can find them for sale on ClassicCars.com by clicking here.

So if you are on the hunt for a Porsche you might want to consider one of the models I’ve discussed here. They vary in budget, and the best thing about Porsche is that there is literally a Porsche sports car available at just about any price point. Try that with a Ferrari and see how it goes. As Tom Cruise playing Joel Goodson said in Risky Business, “Porsche: there is no substitute.”

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Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Andy: Hi! It has been a real pleasure reading your interesting, educational articles over the years — plus all the beautiful photos! I have always admired Porsche design and vintage. Two questions, please: (1) Which of these lovely bargains has the largest trunk? As an artist, sometimes I need to cart my photography to a gallery. (2) My mechanic has warned me of expensive maintenance costs for a Porsche. Do you agree with this: “Estimates from RepairPal put the average annual repair & maintenance cost for a Porsche at $1,192. per year, which is 83% higher than the industry average for all vehicles.”

    Thanks very much for your expert comments! And anyone else reading this, too, please feel free to chime in!!!

  2. as an owner of a 986 and 996 as well a someone who occasionally luss after a 944 I’d say either 996 targa or 994. the rear is the 996v tagra opens hatch style so if you drop the rear seats that should do it. you can drop the seats in a 944 too. if course is the art is really long, buy a boxster and drop the roof.

    service costs and parts such as water pump or belts aren’t expensive on 986/996. it’s suspension that starts to get expensive quite quickly especially labour for boxster rear springs.

    but they are fun

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