Crapwagon Outtake: 2000 Porsche Boxster

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

A few weeks ago, I made the argument that there can never be such a thing as a “cheap” Porsche. Certainly, there are Porsches that are cheaply made, and certainly some that can be purchased cheaply, but considering the substantial sums of time and money involved in righting a car that is wrong, it’s a folly to even consider it.

Yet, here I am again, perusing eBay. As I write this, there are 155 Boxsters for sale, in various conditions. Quite a few sit under the magic $10,000 mark, including a part-disassembled car for a mere $3,200.

I know. It’s an illness. Talk me off the ledge, please.

That 1997 Porsche Boxster for $3,200 is tempting. Mostly because it’s a near-perfect platform for thoroughly pissing off Porschephiles. Yep, I’m talking about the Renegade Hybrids LSx swap kit. For under four grand ( plus engine), a lightweight, 400 horsepower V-8 will fit nicely — as if it were meant to be there.

Another option is a DIY IMS bearing replacement. Cliff Notes: Porsche built these early watercooled sixes (in the Boxster, the 996 version of the 911, and I think some early Caymans) with an inferior bearing on the intermediate shaft. A failure means a new engine. However, some geniuses at LN Engineering have developed a kit to retrofit a better bearing, and if done in your own shop, the parts run under $1,000. Pelican Parts has a nice writeup, and it doesn’t seem too daunting. This cars’ drivetrain is already out, making the work a bit easier.

Let’s say I were to avoid the greasy-nails method of buying a cheap Porsche. This 2000 Porsche Boxster, shown atop the page, has had the IMS replacement already, and is only $11,500. The burgundy color isn’t ideal, but for the price of a Versa I could buy a fun roadster without worry of catastrophic engine failure.

Just catastrophic regular maintenance bills. Like I said, there’s never a cheap Porsche.

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

More by Chris Tonn

Join the conversation
2 of 89 comments
  • Voyager Voyager on Nov 08, 2015

    It says a lot of a brand's popularity that such an ugly car is able to draw that much attention after all those years.

  • Joeb-z Joeb-z on Jan 04, 2016

    This discussion seems so ignorant. What other affordable mid-engine car is out there? What real sports car can match it for less than $15K? For over 5 years ownership my Boxster S has cost me oil changes and an IMS alarm system. In the IMS lawsuit settlement there are exact serial number ranges and failure statistics for 1-row vs. 2 row bearings. 10% failure rate vs. less than 1%.

  • Mia Hey there!I recently stumbled upon the Crack Eraser DIY Windshield Repair Kit (check it out here: and decided to give it a shot on a small chip in my windshield. I have to say, it worked like a charm! Super easy to use, and it saved me a trip to the professionals. If you're dealing with a similar issue, this kit is definitely worth considering. 😊
  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.