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.
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.
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