Crapwagon Outtake: 2000 Porsche Boxster
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.
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%.
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