By on July 10, 2013

Coupe Confusion writes:

Sanjeev,

I currently own a 2012 Mustang V6 with a manual transmission. I’ve added Flowmaster exhausts and a cold air intake, so it scoots along very well, looks great, and has nice creature comforts. However, I’ve been offered an opportunity to buy a mint 1978 911SC that has been with its current owner for 25 years. In the last 10k miles/5yrs it has had an engine-out rebuild, $13k paint job, and all the great stuff done to update the transmission, cam tensioners, refinished Fuchs, etc. Economically I can basically sell the Mustang and buy the 911 and possibly have some money left over due to my connection with the owner.

I’ve always wanted an air-cooled 911 but am wrestling with the paradigm shift from a larger, modern coupe (great a/c, bluetooth, nice stereo) to a completely analog old-school sports car (where’s that lever to . I have a wife and 2 daughters (7 & 4yrs old). The Mustang/911 is/would be our second car; my daily driver to work (large urban Midwestern city, 20-30 minute commute) but otherwise generally for me to use running around one of the girls or for nights out with my wife.

I like the Mustang but am staring at depreciation on it, albeit modest since I keep it pristine and will average about 6k miles per year. The 911 would be a more fun daily driver with minimal depreciation.

What would you do? I only have a few days to decide before the 911 owner puts it out to the general market.

Sanjeev answers:

Not an easy answer.  I wish you were a single college student with one car that you depended on to get to work/class.  That would make this so much more entertaining…for me.  Furthermore, don’t ask Sanjeev what he’d do if he were in your shoes!

Sanjeev would obviously, immediately sell the fat Elvis Mustang, wish your Porsche friend the best on the sale, and get himself some delicious 5.0 Restomod Fox Body.  Mustang if necessary, but LTD, Granada, Cougar, Mark VII or Continental if possible.  But Sanjeev digresses…

Where is your wife in this equation?  Because it sounds like you are the only decision maker here…and that kinda makes me scratch my head.  Does your wife drive when you are at work?  Do you value the safety features present in newer/larger vehicles for the sake of your daughters?

I say keep the Mustang.  You are under pressure to buy the Porsche before it hits the buying public, and I don’t see it working out as an adequate second car.  Maybe if it was a third car…

 

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117 Comments on “Piston Slap: Sanjeev, New Mustang or Old Porker?...”


  • avatar

    You must be joking. Keep the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      My reaction exactly!

      The two cars obviously aren’t in the same class and I get the attraction to the Porsche but it is not for the feint of heart. It would be OK as a second car but not one to rely on everyday because you can’t rely on it. As a matter of fact, you’d need two Porsches, one to drive while the other one is being fixed.

      Yes, keep the Mustang!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “As a matter of fact, you’d need two Porsches, one to drive while the other one is being fixed.”

        I didn’t realize Porsche and Jaguar of the period were cousins.

        • 0 avatar
          rpol35

          Actually cousins, once removed. The only difference is that the Jag came with optional “Connelly Hide” gloves to wear when pushing the carcass off of the right of way if so desired.

      • 0 avatar
        Carrera

        I have, as a third car, a 1984 Porsche Carrera. It’s pretty much bullet proof. I have it since 2007 and the only thing I’ve fixed on it was the alternator…original. I say buy the Porsche, but not as a second car; As a third car yes. The old Carreras can be pretty tiring to drive as a daily driver. As a fun, week-end car is great. I drive mine about 3-4K miles/year, but this is not even close to Jaguar reliability…mine at least it has been great. Most Porsches of that era are solid vehicles. The parts are a bit pricy and major engine work is very expensive, but they normally don’t break down.

      • 0 avatar
        thats one fast cat

        uh, no.

        Those vintage 911′s are known for their robustness of build. After fixing a couple of shortcomings (air box, chain tensioners) these things will easily run 300K – just take a look at the PCA for sale ads of SCs in excess of 200K miles and their selling price.

        One of the giant misconceptions around Porsches is that they are expensive to run; post water cooled era that may be true, but most of the air-cooled 911′s (excluding the early 70s) are not all that bad, and because they aren’t loaded with electronic gimmicks they are pretty straightforward with someone with mechanical knowledge.

      • 0 avatar
        RaptorConner

        I have to sincerely disagree with you on that. I don’t think the Porsche will be any less reliable than a V6 Mustang going into the future. My mother daily drove a 1978 911SC from 1987 until 2004 when it had 175,000 miles on it and and was parked in wait for an engine rebuild, not because it was broken but only because it was burning oil. Porsches of the late 70s are really bulletproof and thats why alot of people still daily drive them. They couldn’t be farther removed from Jaguars of the same era. As far as a family car, the 911 worked fine for our family of four, though the back seats got quite small when I grew into a teenager, still not unbearable though and not that much worse than my 2004 Mustang GT. The only thing that really ever broke on the 911 was the A/C which never worked that great to begin with. You can make up for the lack of bluetooth with a cassette adapter plugged into the rather good 1978 Blaupunkt stereo.

        Go for the 911.

      • 0 avatar

        truth

        • 0 avatar
          porschespeed

          If by “truth” you mean myth. Thos uber-beetles explode on a daily basis once they do 40k miles.

          911s are a joke. They have always been and will always be a profitable one. But a joke none the less,

  • avatar
    cwallace

    TTAC’s succession strategy is similar to Cuba’s– in the event Sajeev can no longer fulfill his duties, his younger, mustachioed brother Sanjeev waits in the wings!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If you can keep up with the upkeep and you know the owner drove the Porsche regularly I would go for it. You only live once.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    First, can we please have mercy on poor Sanjeev and start calling him by his real name?

    Second, go with the 911 if you value automotive style and authenticity over sending your girls to college. If you have the means to maintain an older air cooled 911 without dipping into college funds, etc., then definitely live your dream and go with the 911.

    • 0 avatar
      jrhmobile

      Agreed on both counts. Although on the second I’d switch from a sex to drugs analogy. In some ways, Porsches are like crack. Both are highly addictive, but can be a helluva buzz.

      If you’ve got the means, and the inclination, to deal with the spectacular price for getting caught out on an infrequent but recurring basis, you can pay for either addiction ’til the day you die. Or when the price is too much to pay, you find yourself with motivation to get yourself on the road to recovery.

      But in this case, all you’ll be out is a perfectly good car that you’re happy with and serves you well on a day-in, day out basis. As long as you can afford to maintain your temperamental Stuttgart toy, you can probably get out of the Porsche for what you’ve got in it.

      Unless, of course, you’re bound by some agreement with your enabler that prevents it. The question is: are you getting this opportunity from the kindness of his own heart or is he just giving you a taste to get you addicted as he weans himself off his 911 intoxication?

      After all, it’s a lot cheaper to hang that addiction on somebody who shares than it is to carry that burden on your own.

      • 0 avatar
        thats one fast cat

        +1 from a 87 911 cab owner

        Son, your Mustang even in “pristine condition” will be worth nearly nothing in 10 years and will depreciate like an ice cube in the heat of an eastern shore day. The Pcar< on the other hand, wont go down in value. The depreciation is over, and the demand for them is not going to go away.
        Lastly, and certainly not necessarily the reason to own one (the drive is the thing) old 911s have mystique about them that a mustang, no matter how new, will never have. Park them side by side on a street and guess which one gets more eye. Besides,it will always stand out in a parking lot!

        • 0 avatar
          Carrera

          Amen to that!

        • 0 avatar
          blowfish

          the mustang’s residual value is dropping my the minute.
          No need to wait 10 yrs, even at 5 yrs from now it will only worth 30%?
          Then again is how much u have to keep putting in a P for next 5 yrs?
          Some of us are invariably lucky got away with very little funds from the pocket.
          U might wanna to buy a beater just incase the Escargot decided not to go as a hedge.
          We all wanna to have fun and no unlimited funds.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Aging, high-maintenance (but still hot) cheerleader, or the much less maintenance intensive, not quite as good looking, girl next door? The choice is yours.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Is there some loyalty/charity element to the present owner clouding Coupe Confusion’s mind?

    A former mentor, a noble old friend whose life is breaking down? Adding that to irrational lust for old feinmechanik could be hazardous.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    If you truly always wanted a 911 this sounds like your best chance. Enjoy the heck out of it. Stop being so practical.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      He has a family. He’s helped to build a family, actions affect them.

      Unless he has the resources for a 3rd maintenance-hungry car without affecting his wife and kids, the 911 is a no-go. It takes a big man to face the facts here.

      On the other hand, if he’s got the cash to buy the Porche, keep the Mustang as a daily driver and backup car, keep his wife happy, and send the girls to college, then there is no question! Go for it!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Current choice of Manual V6 pony car does not scream responsible husband and besides, families are overrated. Run the kids around in wifeys car and get the $99/mo POS lease later for DD if need be. The real question is: what is the Porsche actually worth? If you can get the car 20% *below* book it can always be dumped at book at some point in the future and give the plausible “family” reasons for the sale. There are plenty of rich guys who would pay at or over book for a cherry ’78 911 later.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Yeah, if he can trade the Mustang for the Porsche AND a reliable daily driver (base model Nissan Versa?) then maybe he could pull it off.

          The Versa that my friend owns has been pretty reliable, and peeking in the window suggests that the claims of best-in-class rear legroom (especially useful for kids) are mostly true. It’ll get him to work while he saves up the cash to get the Porsche back on the road after its next major repair…

          The Mustang sure isn’t optimized for commuting, but I haven’t heard anything to suggest that they aren’t reliable enough for commuter duty. German cars that are older than I am, on the other hand…. Well, let’s just say that I’ve been badly burned by newer VAG products with better reputations for reliability than a 1978 Porsche 911.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Is the picture of the same Porsche? Wheels ain’t Fuchs and its Targa. If its a 1978 911SC Coupe with original Fuchs wheels then go for it. If its the same car that is displayed on the picture then keep the Mustang.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    For several reasons, keep the Mustang.

    Old, high end German stuff will nickel and dime you to death. In this situation, a nickel is $500 and a dime is $1,000. The fact that you feel the need to ask tells me that your automotive budget is not unlimited and that’s what it takes to keep up an old Porsche. Consider what the current owner spent and ask yourself if you can afford that much.

    Due to the Porsche’s age, the Mustang will eat it for breakfast in every measure of performance. I looked at 1960s classics like Jaguar, Lotus and Mercedes and discovered that good ones cost as much as the Infiniti G37S I eventually bought but perform no better than a Dodge Neon.

    You need a year round commuter car. That means it must be reliable and the Porsche won’t be. If the Porsche is pristine now, it won’t be after a few winters.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I admit I haven’t lived a thousand years, but I definitely missed something somewhere, so would someone please enlighten me?

    Why in the hell are Porsches continually referred to as “Porkers?”

    Are they really heavy, or is it just a stupid nickname some auto journalist came up with back in the 80s?

  • avatar
    DougD

    Easy, in the midwest you don’t use a 1978 ANYTHING for a daily driver. You will find yourself embroiled in cascading problems (like rust!!) and wrenching on evenings and weekends.
    And waiting for parts. When you have to get to work every day you can not wait for parts.
    The only way this could possibly work is if you sell the Mustang, buy the 911 and use the extra cash to buy a 5 year old boring daily driver, which would probably not satisfy you.
    So keep the Mustang, and wait until your economic situation improves enough to buy a 911 for a third car, trust me they will still be around 5 years from now.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    I owe an aircooled 911. If the one you buy is in good condition, and you do your own maintenance, they are great cars and relatively reliable (just don’t confuse required maintenance with poor reliability or think high reliability means little maintenance). If it is not in great condition, they are not great cars.

    My 911 is my favorite car btw. I would never sell it by choice. I owe modern Porsche’s as well so I have a good base in modern cars to “ground” me. I’ve driven a V6 mustang. I’d buy the 911.

    BUT – I would not owe my 911 in place of my theoretical modern car for daily driving. Air con sucks (I ripped mine out to save weight), stop and go traffic sucks, things inevitably break on a car that age….

    If you really like it (drive it a bunch since it is your friend that owes it) buy it only if you can keep a cheap modern car for daily driving.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      …OWN…
      Jeez, I sound mentally handicapped.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “I owe an aircooled 911. If the one you buy is in good condition, and you do your own maintenance, they are great cars and relatively reliable (just don’t confuse required maintenance with poor reliability or think high reliability means little maintenance). If it is not in great condition, they are not great cars.”

      That’s great, but my Toyotas are both highly reliable AND low maintenance.

      I’m sure the old Porsches are more fun, but the above statement suggests you don’t appreciate how bulletproof and low maintenance modern cars are. Yeah, a lot of them are boring appliances, but they’ll start every day for a decade, with just oil changes.

      I enjoy wrenching more than most people, but taking care of my family requires that wrenching be an optional hobby for me. And so it is for a lot of family men.

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    If you want a car that will cost you a minimum of 500 just to look pretty in the garage and near double that if you drive it on a regular basis go for it if you hate things like money, college for your children and retirement accounts,go ahead

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I say get the Porsche.. in 20 years when the kids are exiting college and you hopefully have the coin to do it. I know you are asking about the here and now but have you ever owned anything of that vintage?

    Here’s my experience with engine rebuilds and repaints. 50/50. That’s a 50/50 shot of either giving you trouble (sooner than later). You would be going from a super reliable, easy to use machine to a potential maintenance monster. If you are that serious, get paperwork on all of the work done and expect to fix SOMETHING. Also, get it looked at by a pro if you have one accessible.

    I had bought a Lexus as a second car last year and thought it pristine.
    Until I brought it to my body guy to check out.. He pointed out things I would have never seen.. Nothing too severe but don’t fall for the recent engine rebuild and paint. Means nothing if they were not done correctly.. and even if they were, probs can still arise.. Good luck..

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    “The 911 would be a more fun daily driver with minimal depreciation.”

    The depreciation is going to be anything BUT minimal using it as a daily driver.

    Look, I daily drive a 78′ Chevy everyday. It’s great, I love living with a old car and it’s not that hard. But everything is far easier, and much much cheaper, to fix then on a Porsche of the same vintage (and far more reliable). But it’s doable. However, I still have two new cars, one in fact being a 2012 V6 Mustang.

    If this was a question of a 3rd vehicle, I might say go for it. But with a wife, and kids, you’re second car needs to be far better. We have six cars, and no kids, I’m a professional mechanic with well over $10k in tools, and even I would be timid on buying a old Porsche, and no way in hell would I think of using it as a daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This is the best response.

      The only reason that 78 is in such fantastic condition is precisely BECAUSE the current owner didn’t use it as a DD. And this guy is A) no mechanic with tools like CJ, B) has kids and is probably busy, and C) lives in the Midwest were rust WILL be a problem if he starts driving it about daily.

  • avatar
    bachewy

    The term ‘air cooled’ says it all. Have fun in the winter trying to defrost the front window or getting any heat into the cabin.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      Um, you have apparently never driven an air-cooled car or even looked at how they are designed. They provide heat via exchangers surrounding the exhaust. I have yet to see a car will low exhaust temps regardless of outside temperature.

      And for what it is wroth, cabin heat is NEVER a 911′s problem. They provide insane heat way quicker than any water cooled car. The problem is the opposite – cooling and defrosting in humid climates. There HVAC system fails in this respect.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Don’t listen to the naysayers, particularly any jabroney who knows nothing about aircooled Porsches. I’ve owned my ’86 Carrera Coupe for many moons. Contrary to what the armchair quaterbacks and Chevy mechanics say, Porsches of this vintage are day-to-day reliable and are fine as daily drivers with three caveats:
    1. While reliable, they are old cars and will need repairs and maintenance. They don’t take kindly to neglect. Have money set aside for this. Couple grand a year – you may not use it all, but it’s there if you need it.
    2. A/C is barely passable, and certainly won’t keep up with hot temps in most of the US. Defrost works fine – the windscreen is a gunslit.
    3. Be prepared to fall in love – and then reconsider whether you want to continue driving your baby in slush, salt, ice and snow. By Year 2, you’ll be on craigslist looking for a ’92 Corolla as your “bad weather car”.

  • avatar
    otter

    Did I miss something? Commenters are talking about things like midwestern winters, but the letter doesn’t indicate where the writer lives. And the writer does indicate that the Mustang is and the 911 would be the family’s second car, so his wife already has something to drive that presumably suits her and their needs.

    The writer doesn’t say what he would be able to buy the 911 for, but does indicate it would be below market value. Financially, the 911 is obviously going to cost more to maintain than the Mustang, but I doubt this factor will be as large as the depreciation factor – the Mustang is guaranteed to depreciate, whereas the 911 is probably at the bottom of its depreciation curve. A 911 like that is probably best considered as a $20k car – whatever part of that $20k you don’t spend on the purchase should be budgeted over the next couple of years for work. But it’s already had a rebuild with the usual (for those cars) updates. If the owner is good with car care, he can maintain it himself. If there is any older sports car that is suitable as a daily driver, it’s a 911. If he has always wanted one, there’s certainly a good case for getting one, but he shouldn’t rush even if it is a good deal. Obviously the car should get a good PPI no matter what. I take for granted that his wife has a say in all this. If it were me, I’d probably do it.

    • 0 avatar

      You missed the part where he said he lives in the Midwest. Furthermore, many other people are forgetting that he has another daily driver.

      All of this makes Sanjeev’s English teacher very sad.

      • 0 avatar
        DougD

        Yes Sajeev, but he stated the Mustang/911 would be his daily driver. He could use the other car as his driver, but ever tried leaving a wife with an old car for the day? Yikes.

        One other idea is forget the nice 911, find a really rough cheap one and park it in the garage, with young kids like that he’s not supposed to have any free time anyway, and just looking at the old car will bring a smile to his face. Worked for me for years.

      • 0 avatar
        otter

        Whoops, reading comprehension > me! But when I read it again I see that he says that the Mustang/911 is _his_ daily driver and _their second car… I’m not sure I’d want to drive a nice 911 in the winter in the midwest (I live in Chicago) so perhaps budgeting a cheap commuter/winter beater would have to be factored into the math.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      @otter

      Your comment reminds me of a perverse symmetry I encountered in a friend’s family. Yes, our friend, a female teacher of typically practical Wisconsin values, has a Grand Cherokee as her DD.

      But her assiduously PC husband, mental captive of the DoE and NEA with a longer commute than hers, has bought a series of “green” vehicles that are utterly incapable of handling local winters so he constantly obtrudes upon the GC and forces her to beg coworkers for rides.

      After years of suffering his smart car’s inadequacies, she now has exactly the same situation with his new Fiat 500. Better the weak link of the family had been this Porsche; at least summers would have been a blast.

      As usual, the green weenie’s green is mold.

      • 0 avatar
        otter

        @Summicron,

        Filtering out the greens-are-just-weenies content, it sounds like your friend’s husband needs an attitude adjustment when it comes to paying attention to his wife’s needs! I’ve learned, over the years, to be more attentive to my girlfriend’s needs (I can be sort of myopic, and she is very, very good at being sensitive to other people, so I’ve got a good model to learn from; not to mention one that actually encouraged me to buy the old 911 I’ve always wanted!) and I can’t imagine taking her car from her because mine won’t do what I need from a car.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Exactly. You can’t imagine making your girlfriend pay for your foibles. But I’ve met few committed male progressives who haven’t or wouldn’t. In their private relationships their arrogance & sexism is as profound as it is camouflaged.

          Or maybe I’ve just spent too much time around academia.

          • 0 avatar
            otter

            Well, I’m committed, male, and somewhere to the left of “progressive,” so they’re out there. My GF is ABD on her PhD, so I know plenty of academics, and they’re not like that either! :)

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            I’m with otter on this one. I run with the same kind of crowd.

            I find d-baggery doesn’t strongly correlate with politics. But, like wave interference, a d-bag who is vehemently in favor of poorly considered political ideas (regardless of their orientation) is doubly insufferable.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            “My GF is ABD on her PhD”

            Now there’s a level of hell Dante never mentioned.
            Godspeed to her finishing.

          • 0 avatar
            otter

            Summicron, it’s not as bad as a circle of hell – she’s gone through it faster than average, she’ll be done by the spring, and she has been funded through the whole thing. Some of her friends are also in their 30s and have been in school their entire adult lives, but she worked as a journalist for many years.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    I have an unhealthy love for aircooled 911′s though I have never owned one. I would tend to agree with the majority here, the Porsche would probably not be the best idea as a daily driver second car.

    So, what I would do is find a way to make it a 3rd car. I would buy it, and then buy a beater econo-can with working A/C to drive to work everyday. That’s how you make this work. Do it.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    “Engine out rebuild” can mean many things depending on who did it and what parts were used. Same with paint. The 911 is a complex shape to paint well.

    Also, if you are the DIY type who can’t enjoy a car unless it requires some weekly attention using nothing more than simple hand tools, then the 911 might be the car for you if…

    you’ve a “salt car” for winter use
    you can budget some money for the unexpected
    you can sense by the seat of your pants what will need adjustment/attention by using the most powerful computer you own -your brain.
    you’ve a veteran Porsche friend local to you who can guide you. Not everything can be learned in detail via the interwebz.

    Sounds like getting out from underneath large monthly payments might be the issue here?

  • avatar

    The OP claims no depreciation on the Porche, but 6k miles a year add up, and regardless of how great these cars were, they do require more maintenance than any new car just on scheduled planned stuff. I’d also consider insurance, make sure that your insurance company does agreed upon values so that if something does happen, you can get another car. I tend to agree with the idea that this should be a 3rd car. If you have room, buy one in weaker shape and work it up to the levels you want. I wouldn’t have any trouble using an old car as a daily driver (I use an 83 malibu currently, and would love a model A), but there are real considerations. I don’t mean to make assumptions, but most folks who own a v6 late model mustang (and don’t already have a nice third car) aren’t rolling in cash, so a higher end classic might make a very poor daily driver.

  • avatar
    sgtyukon

    The OP has a wife, two kids, is in college and wants to use a 35-year-old Porsche as a daily driver? Same rule as V-12 cars: if you can’t afford a new one, you can’t afford an old one either.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Sanjeev should show up more often as Sajeev’s alter ego. Panther hate! DLO success!

    Oh and, ’78 911 DD? That’s crazy talk.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Do the kids have their own cars in college? They shouldn’t, so confiscate one as your DD, and go for the Porsche. You only live once…

  • avatar
    JD321

    Is he trying to attract a better class of psychopaths?

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I see a lot of people advising someone to do something they would never do themselves. It’s always easier with someone else’s money, and also his time, his energy, his wife’s patience, etc.

    I also see a lot of people acting like a MT 2012 V6 Mustang is one step removed from a rental Nissan Versa.

    Also wondering about Sanjeev’s wish to drop the 3400-lb. fat Elvis Mustang and get a svelte 3200-lb. Fox-body one (which, after adding the requisite strut-tower braces and underbody stiffeners will weigh 3300 lbs.).

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Sure, it’s almost as heavy, but you can get it with the 165hp V8.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Wasn’t he asking our advice?

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Gotta say, great point about never doing it. I owned a lot of cars (or shall we say “temporarily looked after”). Some were great, others horrible. However, when I was 16, on the day I got my license my dentist allowed my mother to take my picture behind the wheel of a 911 (vintage and model escapes me, but it was green). Now, in my forties, post-life experiences and without doctor/lawyer income, my chances to own one are pretty slim. As long as you don’t wreck it without insurance the depreciation is pretty much gone. So, if you keep the Porsche clean and indoors, if you get in financial trouble you can always sell it and still have the memories.

      I’ve had a couple of Focus/Civic/Corrolla-type vehicles that were used and dirty, but still quite viable at sub $2k values, so that’s always an option to use daily.

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    Why are you trying to decide between 2 obsolete noisy ICE cars? Buy a new quiet electric car that will allow you to talk to your wife. Maybe you will discover she is intelligent and interesting.

  • avatar
    Instant_Karma

    Get the 911, if you miss the Mustang that much you can buy one just like it in a a couple of years when it has depreciated much much more.

    You’ll probably never come across one of the heroes of yesterday in as good a shape as that one.

    Several years back I made the odd decision to buy a 71 MGB GT as a daily driver and found one freshly mechanically rebuilt and in great shape with a working AC system and I loved driving it, but it felt like I was killing something special by using it for the daily grind so I bought a cheap used Honda to drive into the ground.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    My first car was a ’75 VW Bug and it was quite a piece, it’d stall for no reason, burst into flames, no heat in the winter, akward weight distribution, and nickle and dimed me. The VW groups were of no help with greedy part vendors, cheaply made aftermarket replacement parts, mostly because my Bug wasn’t a 1963 sunroof deluxe.

    For an air cooled Porsche take those problems and add higher parts prices, even worse gas consumption, more ancient parts to break, and then theres safety.

    Or look at Top Gear UK where almost every fancy 70′s car ended up dead or costly, this is in the same country where the New Beetle is seen as reasonably reliable btw.

    Ofcourse, I’m saying all this because I don’t want to see a Porsche with flowmazter exaosts nor cold aer intayks.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Easy solution: buy the Porsche as a third car. I give this as my solution because if you’re even considering a 911, you aren’t concerned about fiscal prudence.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    I understand why you’d want the Porsche. But your problem isn’t the car — its the kids. Two of them. How can you honestly believe that you can get by driving around ONE of your daughters? It won’t be a week before you need to carry both of them somewhere together. Is the 911′s back seat an option for a 4-year-old’s car seat? I dunno. But as a parent, I know that you need seating in both your cars for at least four people– or how else would you pick up a kid’s friend for a sleepover?

    You can stick with the ‘stang, if that turns you on, for about five more years. When kid no. 1 hits her growth spurt, a Mustang’s back seat will get pretty small. Until then, keep stretching and fiddling with those car seats and know that you’ve got a cooler “daddy’s car” than 90% of them. And save your money for a Mazda 3, or an M3, or whatever…

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    The old, but thoroughly refurbished, 911 sounds great! It is through depreciating according to its age. Keeping it running properly will cost you at least $3K USD per year and $6+K USD in a bad year. Do you have or can you find a good independent Porsche mechanic? This is essential.

    Despite being a Porsche it is somewhat fragile simply because of its age. How rough are you going to treat it? Snow and salt and ice? Will it be garaged?

    Keep in mind that it WAS cutting edge technology 15-20 years ago. Versus a modern car it will suffer by comparison. I’m not saying it is worse than your plug horse Mustang, but over time even the new assembly line cars will catch up to it and pass it. You own a car like this for esthetic (or ego) reasons.

    To summarize, buy the 911 or else sell the Mustang and buy a Panther (good for 300k miles), and take the extra dough and send the girls to boarding school in Switzerland.

    • 0 avatar
      manbridge

      30K to 60K for ten years ownership? You must be thinking Ferrari 308.

      It will cost nowhere near what you state if you DIY. Even a good indy shop guy will save you a lot of money. Edmunds spent less on their long term salvage title 911 than they did on the highly-vaunted-for-its-reliability NSX.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        DIY on a 911??? Maybe to wax the paint and polish the chrome. LOL. Maybe one professional mechanic in 50 can even work on it without making a mess. It ain’t exactly your normal car.

        To put it another way. I live in a metro area of over 4 million persons. Most, if not all, of the local competent 911 mechanics know each other by name, or at least by reputation.

      • 0 avatar
        tooloud10

        Yes, some of these comments are hilarious. When I was in my 20s, I was faced with a similar decision as the OP and went with the Porsche, albeit a new watercooled 996. Absolutely none of the horror stories I was warned about came true. Costs me less than $500/year to keep on the road.

        Lots of people will tell you to wait until you’re older to own a Porsche, but when I was shopping for one I asked the only Porsche owner I knew (a co-worker in his 60s) what he thought about it. He kind of whispered to me “Do it now–you’ll enjoy it a lot more at your age than you will at mine.” And I think that’s been totally true.

        I don’t know if I’d get an aircooled 911 just because I like something more modern, but I keep waiting for all the bad things to come true and they just haven’t happened. If the options are another appliance car like a base Mustang or any kind of well-kept Porsche, I’d take the Porsche every time.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Ask yourself this: if this car is in an accident while you are driving your daughter, and your daughter is killed or seriously injured, and the injury would have been prevented in a modern, airbag-equipped car, how would you feel about your choice of Porche? It’s one thing to chose the risk for yourself. You are also choosing it for somebody else.

  • avatar
    Bandagraph

    I think this is a pretty easy choice. If it was a third car – not a daily driver, go with the 911. As a relied upon daily driver though, I think you will regret the decision to go with a 911.

    - My dad has an 84 911 which I drive pretty frequently. It’s fun to drive, but I’m not sure I would want to do it every day. It’s definitely more involved than a modern car. (I have only owned manuals in the 14 years i’ve had my license, so that’s not the issue)
    - His has been very reliable – so that’s a plus but it only has 50k miles
    - Air Conditioning is terrible – you might tell yourself you don’t care, but there will be some brutal months
    - Safety – I’m sure it’s much worse

    - The argument about depreciation definitely makes some sense, but you will probably put the same amount of money or more into the 911. And it will probably strand you a few times.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    This is easy… you currently drive a rental-grade Mustang that you pimped out with Flowmasters, so every middle school kid you drive by thinks its a cool car. You have always wanted to own a 911, one of the coolest cars on the planet, and you now have an opportunity to buy one that is basically perfect. And you are questioning what you should do??

    The Mustang resale value is dropping like wet toilet paper. I was harsh on you at first, the 2012 V6 is actually a pretty fast and capable car and it probably makes a fine sporty daily driver for you. But its not special, they sell them new for like $21k after rebates, they are available used all day long for deep in the teens and in 5 yrs you won’t be able to give it away. A Mustang GT at least holds good resale value, but not the V6. The Porsche on the other hand will at the very worst hold steady in value for at least your lifetime, and by looking at more recent for sale ads, they appear to be climbing in value lately. There are less of them around and people will always want one. They are reliable, fairly inexpensive to maintain, not too pricey to buy as a young family man, and one of the best drivers cars around. They are even decently safe and practical, your girls can ride in the back just as well as in the Mustang. And everyone will think you are the coolest dad around… its a win-win.

    You cannot go wrong getting the Porsche, so get it. If you hate it, sell it, probably for a profit, and then get yourself a new Mustang GT to replace the old V6. But you won’t hate it so don’t worry about it. And since you drive so little anyways, maybe you can lease yourself a decent commuter car to drive daily to work and have the Porsche as a 3rd car to keep nice for a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      As if there’s anything wrong with putting Flowmasters on a car…

      Way better than fart cans. Every time I see a beater Honda, Toyota, Nissan, or Subaru with a fart can, I cry a little inside.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I feel the same way, although I can tolerate the “ricer” nonsense a little bit I loathe fartcans.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Saying that, I have seen a very well done “ricer”-style fourth gen Civic hatch. But of course, this is a well-built custom and not a hack job. This green late 90s Civic some neighbors of mine had with the silver wheel covers spray-painted flat black and a fart can was a hack job. Fortunately a nice hard front end smack put that heap out of its misery.

      • 0 avatar
        ICARFAN

        I agree, the flowmasters and the CAI on that Mustang probably has the lowly V-6 car able to dip into the 13′s in the 1/4 mile on the stock tires. Nobody could possibly want a car like that and you are much better spending an additional 10 to 12 thousand dollars for that extra 100 HP in the GT because no self-respecting person would drive a 305 HP V-6 Mustang.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          I am glad you see my point! :)

          Flowmasters and a CAI wouldn’t change the 1/4 mile times on the V6 much if at all, its basically an appearance (and sound) modification. And with the performance pack, I am pretty sure the V6 will get in the 13′s on its own. And a GT isn’t $12k more, I see the base GT discounted to $26-27k or so.

          But I didn’t say the V6 Mustang was a bad car, its a pretty fast and fun car, and a good value if you stick to the base model. All I said was that putting Flowmasters and a CAI on it so it sounds like a GT is a silly thing to spend money on, and that the V6 car has lousy resale value compared to a GT. And that a classic Porsche 911 is not only a better car, its a cooler car and will retain its value much better, and if it is the OP’s dream car then he should go for it because his Mustang is easily replaceable.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I would only buy the Porsche if you really, really, really like it. If you kinda sorta think it is pretty neat the novelty of waking up early on a Saturday morning to replace a head gasket so that you can get to work on Monday wears off quick.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    Honestly, where have all the car guys gone?

    It’s not a space shuttle for Pete’s sake. It is a simple vehicle made with simple parts. Anyone willing to read and having a modicum of skill with hand tools can keep these on the road for a LONG time provided you take the right steps. Every 15K miles you check the valves with a basic feeler gauge being the hardest thing I can think of since one might have to (gasp) lie on their back.

    Thing is, most people just don’t want to apply themselves in 2013.

    • 0 avatar
      thats one fast cat

      + about 1 million.

      Seriously, an 80′s Porsche is just a car, and compared to the OPs current ride about as complex as a hammer. Yes, it will need some service (its old), but at least you can do most of the stuff with simple hand tools and some time. Try and do that with OCBDII cars – no laptop, no software, no sale.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        It’s not just about ease of repairs, it’s also about price and difficulty of obtaining parts.

        Which is where the Porsche loses big time.

        • 0 avatar
          thats one fast cat

          Pelicanparts.com (along with others) seems to have just about every part under the sun. Replacements aren’t the issue, although price is of concern (nearly $300 for a starter; ask me how I know). For an 80′s porsche, I cannot think of a single part that is unobtanium.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    It should be noted that I’ve been driving a 74 911 around for about 3 yrs. You know, the one with the self-destructing 2.7 liter. It was well maintained by the PO and as far as I can tell, only the valve guides having been replaced being the most serious issue with it. In the last 40 yrs. At about 90K miles so far. Some SCs go MANY miles before rebuild time if their owners on Pelican can be believed.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The Depreciation on the 911 will be much steeper than the remaining depreciation on the Mustang since you’ve already taken the big hit by driving it off the lot. The Porsche is currently a restored collector vehicle making it a daily driver will quickly change it to a car that has already been restored once and will be needing it again and possibly soon if driven in the winter where they salt the roads. The 911 sounds like a great Sunday driver/show car though.

  • avatar
    manbridge

    What parts? They produced thousands of these. Good serviceable used parts can be used when the dreaded “NLA” rears its head. Other improved parts continue to be made by the aftermarket.

    • 0 avatar
      DougD

      Don’t forget the time, everyone. Time. This is a family guy with a job and young kids, he has to be places reliably.

      I once had an hour to think about this while standing at the side of the road on a sweltering hot day, looking at my vapor-locked VW Beetle, wondering what was going to happen when my five year old got home from school to an empty house.

      I’ve had a couple of days to think about this while bumming rides to work while my “readily available” parts get FedEx’d from California so I can install them in the dark after the kids have gone to bed.

      I love interesting cars, but when you’ve got places to be and things to do there must be a separation between transportation and interesting cars. To do both simultaneously involves a lot of risk and/or expense and/or time commitment.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    If your vehicle is to be your daily driver, the 2012 Mustang will be more reliable. It is impractical to have a 35 year old vehicle as a daily driver, unless you have another vehicle as a back up.

    • 0 avatar
      ICARFAN

      I don’t know about being impractical if the 35 year old vehicle is in decent shape, my old Ford truck is 40 years old and does just fine with DD duty, surely a much worshipped vehicle like a 911 could match the bar set by an old Ford. ;)

      I also happen to have a 2012 Mustang and at 20,000 miles it has so far been perfect with no complaints and no trips back to the dealer for warranty work, again something that the far superior Euro models should be able to match easily.

      I would however get the vehicle that I wanted, not the reasonable or smart choice, it is how us car people roll. LOL

      • 0 avatar
        manbridge

        I would agree. It’s a different mindset. One that some will embrace but one that most will say, “no thanks.”

        I’d rather chew glass than go back to the dealer for fixes that should’ve been addressed during design (warranty work).

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          As a Wrench-in-Training, I want an old car that I can wrench on in my driveway. And I want an old American car because mechanical bits for a good old V8 RWD American car are cheap and plentiful. Body/interior bits? Well…depends on the car.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I find it absolutely hilarious that the folks who have actually OWNED/currently own one of these cars say “go for it” and the beige-mobile driving dullards who would never in a million years contemplate such a thing say “don’t be ridiculous” and come up with all sorts of made-up and imagined reasons not to.

    I have not owned an air-cooled Porsche, I do own a water-cooled one of similar vintage, an Alfa Romeo of similar vintage, and an even older Triumph. And some modern stuff. The modern stuff is far better of course. But properly maintained, the old cars are just fine too. And they are SIMPLE. Even an air-cooled Porsche is an anvil compared to just about anything modern. And while I agree that *I* would not drive it in foul weather, that is out of fear of some other idiot hitting it much more so than rust. These cars were among the most rust-resistant in the world by the late 70s, Porsche was a pioneer in that area. They are TOUGH cars. As for seating four, no front airbag means one rugrat gets to sit in the front seat. The back seat is not much worse than the Mustang – I grew up in the back of a 911 and I was TALL. But do get something cheap and cheerful as a second car, and use the 911 as a third car. As for the safety argument, you only live once. The kid could slip and fall and be killed in the bathtub too. Fatal car accidents are actually pretty rare events, for all the worrying about them. If we could eliminate idiots not wearing seatbelts and drunks they would be a lot rarer.

    One thing not mentioned yet is insurance. Agreed value classic car insurance is STUPID cheap assuming you can meet the requirements for it. Typically, it can’t be your “main” car, needs to be locked in a garage for storage, and you are not supposed to commute in it. How cheap? I pay <$300/yr for all THREE of my classic cars. That savings alone can pay for a lot of maintenance if the OP is in an expensive insurance area. I save $1200/yr roughly vs. having three moderns in a area with CHEAP insurance costs. As for the "no commute" rule, I have always used my cars however I wanted and was careful. No way for the insurance company to know why you were where you were if you have an accident. Maybe I just happen to like joyriding in downtown Portland at 8am on a Tuesday? Prove I wasn't!

    I also predict that the values of these cars are going to go UP. They will at least keep pace with inflation, and might just really take off. The big money now is in musclecars because those were what the Boomers lusted after. My generation grew up in the 70s and 80s and a 911 was top of the list in lust-factor for many of us. We are now getting to those top earning years when the kids are gone and toys become possible. Those sports cars are going to take off. The savings in depreciation vs. the Mustang will pay for that cheap and cheerful 2nd car, and probably the maintenance on the Porsche too assuming you keep it long term. My Triumph has more than kept pace with inflation, even counting maintenance costs over the 18 years I have owned it. Has it done as well as the same amount of money in a good mutual fund? Probably not, but it sure has been a lot more fun.

    As for the cost of maintenance, the expensive part is getting the car up to date on maintenance in the first place. It sounds like this car is there already. Keeping it there is not bad. Budget $1500 a year or so. As others have said, some years you might spend nothing, other years you might have a couple grand or more. My Alfa has cost me $200 in the past 4 years, and is utterly bulletproof, after ~$3K in initial maintenance. Learn as much as you can about the car, and do as much as you can yourself. Know your limits though, and when to seek a professional. I am a pretty intrepid DIY person, and have done pretty much everything short of an engine rebuild for mechanical repairs, have a garage with a lift in it, and a full set of tools. But I am not doing the timing belt service on my Porsche 924S myself. It is going to HURT to shell out $1500+ for that work, but the cost of getting it wrong is many multiples of that. I probably COULD do it, but I won't take the risk.

    • 0 avatar
      thats one fast cat

      +1. Very well reasoned; now let’s see a picture of the Triumph (TR6 in that cool flag blue colour, pls.)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Nope, Spitfire in Pimento Red. No way could I have afforded a TR6 when I was 26. :-) But here is a picture:

        http://flic.kr/p/aG3B5p

        Pic is from some years ago, when I had a bunch of older BMWs. That is the Volvo Turbo that exploded a deer too. All long gone other than the Spitfire, which looks exactly the same today.

        • 0 avatar
          thats one fast cat

          Sweet, sweet ride. +1.

          Oh, and I learned it isn’t flag blue (that is boat colour!). Turns out it is “Mallard Blue:” –Thanks BaT!!

          http://bringatrailer.com/2013/07/10/bat-exclusive-clean-1974-triumph-tr6-2/

          • 0 avatar
            DougD

            Nice car, a well done Spit & I particularly like your choice of wheels.
            However, you’ve only partially convinced me with your arguement. What I find hilarious is that all the people saying “Yes,I’m doing this, go for it” are doing the Porsche side of the equation, which is arguably easier than the family half.
            True you are able to run your Porsche successfully and reliably, but you also have at least two other vehicles to fall back on should you have a breakdown or have to wait for parts.
            You havent mentioned how you ran the Porsche as your DD for a whole year without backup and made it to work every day, and attended every one of your daughters soccer games, took the team out for ice cream afterwards, then left the goo on the seats until Saturday morning when you got up early to clean the car and do your weekly maintenance before ballet lessons at 10. Yes this isn’t “The Truth About Families” but this guy has to do both sides of the equation.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I don’t buy the argument that that because a car is 35 years old, it has to be unreliable. It simply isn’t true. I daily drive my old crocks all spring/summer/fall, and they are perfectly reliable. That is because they are maintained properly. I haven’t had a no start situation or a break down in eons on any of them, nor do I expect to. In fact, the last car that had to be towed was my then 4 month old BMW.

            People seem to think old cars are unreliable because they buy crappy examples and don’t do anything but fix them when they break. Which they will do all the time because they are unmaintained pieces of crap.

            As I mentioned, my Mom’s daily driver was an old 911 back when it was just an old used car, not a classic. And not a particularly nice one either. She managed to get me to school and herself to work in it for many years, year round, and it did not bankrupt the family. More expensive to fix/maintain than my Stepfather’s Grand Prix? You bet.

            Proper maintenance is not changing the oil and checking the tire pressure. It is going through the car and finding what is GOING to cause a problem, before it actually causes a problem. Is it something that is old and can strand you? REPLACE IT if you need to depend on the car. You don’t wait until it breaks. It will break at the worst possible time. You have to pay attention to the little things before they become big things.

          • 0 avatar
            DougD

            Maybe you don’t buy my argument because you’re focussing on the car, and my argument is more about the life circumstances. However, you did just confirm that you yourself are not doing what you have advised this fellow to do, which I think is a consideration when interpreting the “Go for it” comments.

            So, any other midwestern fathers of young children driving a 35 year old Porsche as their sole daily driver out there?

            Didn’t think so…. Looking forward to hearing how this all turns out!

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    A V6 Mustang? Dump it for the Porsche. Now if the guy had a new V8 Mustang, I might struggle a bit to tell him to dump it. In my opinion, the Porsche is a “special” car. And there’s really nothing “special” about a V6 Mustang. But a V8 Mustang, while not particularly “special” now, will most definitely be “special” in the future when V8 engines are all but dead. In other words, when a V8 Mustang is as old as that Porsche is today, it will indeed be a car that is sought after in a big way.


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