By on May 30, 2017

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS, Image: Porsche

Guten Tag, err’body! This week, I have forsaken the bucolic paradise of Powell, Ohio, for the pretty much identical town of Nurburg, Germany. I’m in possession of a very fast and very green British car (you can see more details on my Instagram, if you care) and I’m already breaking the hearts of many a Porsche owner through the long curves and blind hills of The Favorite Race Track Of Everybody Who Has Never Actually Raced Anything.

Although I’m far from the only heretic in attendance — Corvettes are more popular than you would expect, in particular — this place is absolutely rotten with late-model Porsches, most of which have been repulsively festooned with a variety of wings and stickers and doodads. So this seems like a good week for an Ask Jack Double Feature, in which we will consider a pair of Porsche-purchase dilemmata. We will get all of this Weissach-centric silliness out of the way this week, and that way when I’m back in the States a week from today I won’t have to think about Porsches for a nice long time.

Let’s start with Jay, who is wondering: To GTS or not to GTS?

He writes:

I’ve had many cars over the years: ’84 Volkswagen GTI, Mazda GLC, ’88 Ford Mustang GT, and a ’94 Chevrolet Corvette. I kept the Vette for eight years, driving it to the factory three times for big meets at the museum, before selling it in ’02.

Starting in 2012: ’13 Ford Mustang GT (loved this car, but its ergonomics injured my hip), ’13 BMW 335is, then went to a ’15 BMW M4, which I mistakenly switched for a ’13 BMW 650xi to get better highway comfort. I dated a smoking hot blonde girl with Borderline Personality Disorder, which resulted in me switching to a ’16 BMW X5 with the big motor. The X5 suffered from terrible tram-line tracking, so I get rid of it when the relationship cratered.

Now I’m ready to get another sports car, but I don’t want to get rid of it in six months to a year. Basically, I want another version of my Corvette, a car that I can fall in love with for 8-10 years.

I’ve looked at Z06 Corvettes, but I can’t stand the Chevrolet dealers here in Albuquerque. The new Mustangs have the same ergonomics issue for me that my ’13 GT had. I don’t want another M3/M4, and I’m not fond of the BMW dealer in town.

I’ve always wanted a 911, so I went to the Porsche configurator and determined a rear-wheel-drive 911 GTS is what I want, but they are way out in nosebleed world in terms of cost.

I know you’re very knowledgeable about 911s. Do you think it’s worth changing my lifestyle to pay for a 2018 Porsche 911 GTS? I know I want at least a 2017 model to get the turbo motor. I feel confident I’ve learned my lesson and won’t throw away my life on another smoking hot chick with BPD (well, sort of confident) and genuinely believe it would be a long-term car for me. The dealer has let me drive a ’17 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and I loved it.

I’m obviously conflicted, and any guidance you could offer would be appreciated. At some point, I’d love to discuss why I dig crazy girls, but that can wait.

Like it or not, Jay, we need to handle this in the true order of importance. There is nothing technically wrong with dating women who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, just like there is nothing technically wrong with owning a Long Beach Staffordshire Terrier or whatever P.C. name we have to use for pitbulls nowadays. But in both cases, you need to set strong boundaries and enforce those boundaries with strict discipline. That means not moving them in with you, not buying cars to suit their whims, and not never! — as they say in Baltimore — putting too much emotional investment into them. It can be difficult to maintain that discipline when you are in what the ancient poets called “the season of hot blood.” But if you can, then you are on the road to some delightful and thoroughly satisfying part-time relationships.

Now that we’re done with that, we can discuss this idea of a 911 GTS. I’m going to suggest first off that you don’t need the turbo GTS. A pre-facelift, pre-turbo 911 GTS is a very good car and I was reasonably charmed by the last one I drove. The turbo car will have more power, of course, but I think the normally aspirated car will command a higher resale value in the long run. That’s particularly true if you start with a used 2016 GTS instead of a new 2018 GTS.

There are other ways to save money on a new-ish 911, of course. A rear-wheel-drive seven-speed Carrera S is cheaper, simpler, and offers a less pugnacious silhouette. Even the plain-Jane Carrera has enough speed to do the “911 thing” just fine. None of these cars will be as fast as a new Z06. Once you accept that, it might be easier to get something besides a loaded-for-bear turbo 2018 GTS.

With all that said, I will tell you how I would spend my money: I’d go find a pristine example of a 997-generation Carrera GTS six-speed. That car will eventually possess the kind of cachet associated with the air-cooled 911 of days past. They are relatively narrow, tasteful, and attractive when compared to the current model. It would be much cheaper over a decade or more to buy a 997 GTS, even at the already-swelling current prices, than it would be to take the resale whack on a turbo 2018 GTS.

Last but not least, consider stepping up to a 997 GT3. That’s going to be the resale-value champion and it’s also the most satisfying car to drive. And here’s an unexpected benefit: any woman who is willing to put up with the tooth-rattling ride of a 997 GT3 might just be the right girl for you!

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30 Comments on “Ask Jack: Pick a Perfect Porsche, Part One...”


  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    David Walton…white courtesy phone…..David Walton…white courtesy phone.

    Edit: Jack, does this GTS in ‘Lichrun’ change your view?
    http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/702705064/overview/

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    What’s your beef with wide bodies? Big girls need love too. I would look for a 997 Targa.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Who says you have to buy a Corvette in New Mexico? There’s got to be a decent dealer out there somewhere. Make the deal online, show up with a check and drive home. You can do a factory delivery on a new Corvette as well.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    If your life insurance is paid up, and you truly “dig crazy girls” you might look for a non-thrashed GT2. I’ve always had a soft spot for the GT2. But good luck finding one reasonably priced.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Why not a Cayman S?

    In my humble opinion, it’s more 911 than the 911. Allow me to explain. The 911 has gotten a bit too big for its britches. It’s kinda like a 928 with some junk in its trunk.

    I know it’s a turbo 4 vice a N/A 6 but I’d suggest taking a 718 for a test drive. No, it doesn’t have the cachet of a 911, but it is the best handling Porsche available and you’d save a significant chunk of change over a new 911 GTS.

    And with the money saved, if you don’t know how already, take fliying lessons. More adventure and the opportunity to participate in your own personal mile high club whenever and wherever you please.

    Just a thought.

    Oh, I’m curious. What exactly did she say and/or do to make you buy an X5?

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      Yeah. As someone who likely will never own a Porsche but likes them, the Cayman S seems really really nice unless you need the jump seats from the 911 or have money to burn.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      A used Cayman S with the flat six, instead of the turbo four, would be a very nice ride. Just be sure not to get one so old that it has the failure prone IMS bearing.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    This buyer sounds like he’s trying to impress the ladies; nothing wrong with that. Since women don’t know one Porsche from another, and they do like ragtops, I’d go with a 718 Boxster S.
    .
    .

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    From what I’ve read so far about our Asker, I’m pretty sure he won’t follow any rational advice Jack is suggesting, and will go off and buy his delusional automotive distraction of the week in hopes the next BPD hottie turns his world upside right.

    And no, Jack, a BPD cannot serve as a satisfying part-time plaything. Just like playing with a rattlesnake “just a little” does not make it a puppy.

  • avatar
    Cole Trickle

    If you are buying to impress a certain kind of girl (not that there’s anything wrong with that) the newest 911 you can afford will do. She’ll have no idea whether you paid $90k or $190k for it, but she will know it is new and it is not a Boxster/Cayman/other poor man’s Porsche. Alternately you can buy something old enough to be vintage, which she will hate riding in (which is how you’ll end up with an ES350 as a daily driver), and she will want to know what it cost compared to a new one.

    If she knows how to tell if it is a base 911 or a high-buck special edition and it matters to her, you can’t afford her anyway.

    If you want something that you love, go drive a bunch of cars and buy the one that makes you smile.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Alternate suggestion to impress that same kind of girl: Buy a Ducati.

      For the cost of a Versa you can get a bright red Ducati that looks and sounds like a million bucks. Anybody sufficiently shallow and dumb to be attracted by a 911 will probably fall for the Ducati just as hard.

      It helps that people who don’t really know motorcycles typically think Ducatis are much more expensive than they actually are.

      But really, it’s probably just a better idea to drive what you like and not stress about what other people think of it.

      • 0 avatar
        everybodyhatesscott

        It’s not bad advice but you don’t even need the Ducati. I’ve never had a girl ask what kind of bike I have but every other bro asks me why I didn’t get a Ducati (I’m cheap) A Sportbike will get you 99% of the attention of an expensive car at a fraction of the price. No one knows if it’s new or not either.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    Porsche made the huge mistake of starting to build SUVs, which fit its brand image poorly, and now the brand is irreversibly ruined. So a Ferrari would be a better option.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      As the Porsche brand image is largely “makes money selling expensive cars to status-conscious professionals who are in debt up to their eyeballs” an SUV is actually a great fit for them.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Porsche’s business profits beg to disagree.

      They are building bonkers 911 edition after bonkers 911 edition, and the SUVs help fund that obsession.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yes, their brand image would have been so much better off had they gone out of business. Goofball purists could have your rose tinted circle jerks. Never mind the fact that Porsche’s watercooled 911s are their best ones.

  • avatar
    craiger

    I dated a hot blonde with BPD and I had a Cayman S at the time, so I know of the things I speak.

    One time I had parked next to a 997, and I said to the girl jokingly “That’s what my car wants to be when it grows up.”

    She looked at me and said “Aren’t they the same car?”

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    The 997’s are a great deal right now, on my 2nd. Previous BMW fanatic and still love their early 2000’s and older models. If saving some money is worthwhile definitely take a look at the 997 GTS or GT3. You will find a video of me by the popular YouTuber “smurfinwrx” on his channel in a few days destroying a set of rear tires on my 997 at the skidpad yesterday, such a fun car!

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    So he’s basically looking for a dealer in his area he hasn’t pissed off yet?

  • avatar
    Zarf

    997.2 2009 Carrera S owner. Drove a 2014 prior to purchase and I thought it was much more fun to drive the older car. Saved a bunch of money as well buying used and at the time it still had warranty (still does until Sept.). So, I think Jacks suggestion of a 997 generation is a good one.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Well written as usual Jack, made me smile .
    .
    ? Buying any vehicle to impress/pick up Women ? are you kidding ?!.
    .
    The truly wild ones will go for you more if you follow your heart and damn what they think .
    .
    A Tip : when the terrific sex psycho-bitch lands you on the front page of the local newspaper, move on ,there’s better out there waiting for you .
    .
    Have fun ! .
    .
    -Nate
    (EDIT: Thinking back on the various air cooled Porsche’s I’ve owned and driven, the best one doesn’t belong to you so when it breaks or you wad it, not your problem )

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    Heh I impressed women back in my day with a beat up Fiat 124 Spider. Ran like a raped ape for its time and even Playboy had a survey that said the sexiest cars were ones that looked good and needed a lot of fixin…

    The sexiest car was whatever I was driving.

    Get the Vette.

  • avatar
    jaybread

    First, I want to say thanks to Jack and everyone for the responses…I can see I have a lot to think about…
    On the ABQ dealer thing…my issue with Chevy dealers is really about the dealer “experience”. I can recall dropping off my 94 Vette in Service and watching the “Lot Boy” ultimately trying to drive off with the parking brake engaged. (Does anyone remember how weird the 94 Vette parking brake was?) He couldn’t figure it out so he just decided to take off with it on. I can’t imagine lining up my new Z06 (or any new Vette) for an oil change with the 30 year old trucks and soccer moms in Suburbans…plus no dealer in town will let me drive a new Corvette unless I agree to do paperwork on it first. But, both the BMW and Porsche dealers offer to let me drive their cars without me even asking?? The Audi dealer offered to let me drive a $202K R8 on the showroom floor whenever I wanted?? But I need to buy a Vette to try it? I’ve been to Corvette factory 3x, so I’m on the team as far as the car goes, but no matter where I buy it, I will have to go to the dealer at some point for service, so that’s a no go.

    Did I piss off the BMW dealer? 7 out of 10 times I would leave a car there for service, it would come back damaged. Door dings, wheel scrapes, spoiler torn off, etc. I had one car that they took to the body shop to repair a fender scratch (they caused the scratch) come back with the trunk packed with masking paper, the interior smelled like weed and BO, fingerprints all over the non-touch screen display as they struggled to max the bass for the rap music, and it had 50 miles on it when the body shop was 5 miles from the dealer. It was like getting a stolen car back. The sales side of the ABQ BMW dealer has been outstanding, no complaints.

    I deserve all the abuse I get for getting too emotionally involved with the BPD girl. I lost my soul, violated all boundaries, and basically I had good friends asking me what my “bottom line” was…what had to happen to me before I could see the toxic nature of the relationship.

    Well…she saved me by cheating on me, turns out that was my bottom line. My BMW’s are gone, she’s gone, and I’m ready to start over.

    My reply is late as I’ve been out of the country…but I’ll be car shopping hard core now. Thanks again for the replies, I’ve got several books coming from Amazon that should help with my affinity for crazy girls…I just have to learn how to not get entangled by confusing sex with any emotional meaning. I have to follow the 3 “F’s”!!

  • avatar
    jaybread

    I forgot to mention, I’m no kidding not buying to impress any girl. My experience has been that my Corvette or my BMW’s repel as many girls as they might attract. What I did while I was under the spell of the BPD girl is a separate problem for me to solve, and way harder than picking out a car. But I appreciate the advice, you guys are repeating what my friends had been saying from day one. I lost my way, and I admit it.

    I’ve got several test drives of used 911’s and one 2016 AMG GTS setup. I’m going to have fun this weekend!!


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