By on November 6, 2015

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.

1997 Porsche Boxster

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.

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89 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: 2000 Porsche Boxster...”


  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Here in FL, the whole center console on these tends to get all melty and gummy. If you’re cool with that, I say have at it.

    • 0 avatar

      There in Florida, don’t the roads get melty and gummy for half the year?

    • 0 avatar
      Senna3X

      First of all, the LS swap is as expensive as buying a nice condition Corvette. The kit and labor runs about $10K, a donor engine will go to $5-$10K if you want the 400 HP(and assuming your own DIY time, your own tools, and your own space to work in carry no value to you and you got all of the above for free). So that’s $15K before you get about upgrading the braking and suspension so that the thing actually handles like a Porsche. I’m not sure why people always bring up LS whenever a engine-less Boxster or 911 is discussed. It’s not remotely an inexpensive option even if you wrench on your own. Granted, it is the only way you’ll get GT3 levels of power in the lightest and best handling Porsche without spending $90K on a new Boxster Spyder.

      As far as catastrophic regular maintenance bills…you should stop spending your time looking for unicorns if you already they know they don’t exist. The idea that there’s no such thing as a sub $9K Porsche is not just true of Porsche, it’s true of any expensive German brand. They all require overpriced parts, specialized labor and none were engineered to be bullet proof like so many Japanese cars. Yet everyone still wants to believe they find a cheap Porsche. Buying lottery tickets have a better success rate.

      P.S.
      You should spend less time going on about the IMS issue which isn’t really an issue now that there’s been a solution for many years. Instead advise readers to have the water pump replaced as a first order of business. Engine experts in this brand all agree that a neglected water pump is far more likely to be the culprit of an expensive engine repair bill than the IMS.

      P.P.S.
      If that “unfortunate” burgundy color were on a 1997 911 Turbo enthusiasts would still be bidding $100K for it. Go figure.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Too bad about Porsche repair costs, I’ve always wanted one. For awhile it seemed that 944s were a frequent sight in the U-pull-it yards, so I was giving it some serious thought.

    How about a cheap Corvette? Such a thing?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      C4s are reasonably cheap, if you can live with the Camry-level performance and the PBR-fueled assembly quality. Early C5s are starting to get down to fun-car prices.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Who cares about assemble quality when you’re gonna rip the stereo and speakers out and other dead weight, and drive it like it’s frickin’ stolen, right into the ground??

        The problem with C4 Vettes is the ‘final-drive’ they came with stock. Most around 3.00 and many as low as 2.59!!

        3.73s would wake one up, sure as Sh!t. But 4.11s would be a rockin’ good time!!!

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Or you could just buy a Z convertible, have the same level of fun and not worry about the Porsche tax man coming.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    This era Boxster is generaly considered a gem. Reliable, fun, light, affordable. Most importantly, a fantastic driver’s car. I think it’s pretty difficult to find a list of best cars under $20k that doesn’t have a Boxster listed.

    The bearing failure really isnt as big an issue as some make it out to be.

    • 0 avatar
      tooloud10

      Everyone says the IMS isn’t a big deal, until it happens to them. I’ve got a $13k bill for my 996 that says it is quite a big deal.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        You can research the IMS bearing failure issue on the internet. There is a ton of information from the law suit depositions.

        To make a long story short, the earliest 996’s had double row bearings – no serious prob. Later 996’s and, as I recall, ALL Boxters had single row IMS bearings – no es bueno. A $1000 fix for this sounds great. I was quoted more like $2000 by a really good indy Porsche shop.

        The suggested small block Chevvy conversion sounds intriguing. There is no substitute for cubic inches, particularly when gasoline is selling for $1.99 per gallon at the pump.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          The $1000 fix is for parts only. $2000 for the whole job sounds like a decent price; certainly less than I expected.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            BUT – you have to fix it before it breaks. Which is an anathema to the average American car owner. What, spend money on a car that is running fine??

    • 0 avatar
      Atomicblue

      I live in central Florida and my daily driver is a 2001 Boxster S. I bought it two and a half years ago for $11K with 89K miles and I now have 115K. While it hasn’t had the IMS changed, it does have the IMS Guardian warning system from LN Engineering. I change the oil regularly and don’t worry about the IMS. It has been as reliable as the Miata with similar miles that I drove the six years before this car. However, as others have mentioned, when something does need fixed, it’s a more expensive. I knew this going in.

      I have a good Euro indie mechanic that has all the proper diagnostic equipment and years of experience. Much of the routine maintenance is easy to do yourself. People talk about access with the mid-engine configuration, but you can get to the front, back, top and bottom of the motor from the access panels.

      The car is a blast to drive, plenty of power for the weight it carries. The handling is superb. It’s in great condition and I’m constantly getting compliments on the car. Most people are shocked when I tell them it’s a 2001 model.

      Would I do it again – yes. Just know that it will cost you more to maintain (an oil change takes almost 10 quarts of synthetic oil) and repair. With a good mechanic and basic maintenance skills, it’s not that bad. But yes, there is no such thing as a cheap Porsche. But it’s worth it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It doesn’t seem worth it to me, for all the trouble. They clearly aren’t reliable or cheap to own, the styling hasn’t aged well IMO, and you’re the low class “poser” of the Porsche crowd in your older and non-911 vehicle.

    Spend the money instead on a tidy early 90’s MR2 with the roundy awesome body!

    • 0 avatar

      Does the 1st-gen Boxster today hold the same stigma as a 1st-gen 924 did in the days of the final 944 Turbos?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I wasn’t really aware of cars at that time, but I can say this:

        Every time I see a gen 1 Boxster, I think “Ehh, lame.” Those who know anything about cars know it’s old, and was the bargain basement Porsche option at the time.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Open your mind a bit. The regular Boxster of that vintage may be the best “slow car fast” in existence. The S is just quick enough to be legit. They are good driver’s cars and I won’t judge anyone I see in a reasonably well-maintained one.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The issue as I see it, is that most of them you see look like the silver one, rather than the maroon one. Very yellow headlamps and all.

            And how far does a good driving experience take you, when it’s in a very expensive shop for a large portion of the time? It’s off-putting.

            Either way, the styling doesn’t look good to my eyes. I look upon someone in a same era Miata in a much more favorable light. Twenty years from now, the rare remaining and totally rebuilt 4x over Boxsters still won’t be design classics like a 928 or 944.

          • 0 avatar
            Senna3X

            Every time you see a gen 1 Boxster you say lame? Why? Have you spent much time a race tracks and autocross? they are fixtures at these venues where people who know how to drive all agree its the perfect model for a Porsche spec racer.
            And I don’t think you know as much about cars as you think, certainly not about this brand. For starters the Boxster “at the time” was VERY expensive to build. It wasn’t a “bargain basement” Porsche, and it never has been. Very few people in America could afford to buy a fairly new one and that’s still the case. The car was so expensive for Porsche to manufacture that they had to bring in experts from Japan to figure out how to improve their assembly line efficiency because the Boxster was going to cost more to build than the 993 which they could barely sell more than 1,600 in all of North America in that particular 911’s last year. As originally designed the first gen Boxster could not be profitable for Porsche if sold for less than $80k. The interior took the hit on cost savings but since when has anyone raved about the cheap plastic found in air-cooled 911, 928, and 944? As far as your comment of it being “old” since when is being old a problem for a Porsche? The the history of the Boxster (a.k.a. 550 re-incarnated) is significant, the very first Porsche ever assembled by Mr. Porsche, 356A#1 had: only two seats, mid-engine platform, a boxer engine, rag top, was lightweight with a short wheel base.. Basically a carbon copy of the entire design of the Boxster 50 years later.

            Did I mention the Boxster sets the bar in its categorY since the day it was sold in 1996?

            As far as reliability, again you don’t know much about Porsche. The build quality of the Boxster and first water cooled 911 have made them very popular with DIY mechanics. Yes they are not durable, which is not the same the same as saying they are unreliable (there are a few Porsches that do fit that label however). But show me an expensive German car that doesn’t require overpriced parts that is as durable as an old Volvo. Doesn’t exist.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do apologize Senna. The Boxster is the greatest, best handling and most reliable Porsche in the history of mankind. The Camry looks upon the Boxster with envy at it’s build quality and reliability and headlamps. Other cars were only downhill after the Boxster.

            Often I read stories online of owners of 911s and Corvettes and GT40s becoming so besotted with the Boxster that they sell their old cars at a loss, just to drive this piece of automotive Jesus-on-earth.

            I am reborn.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      You say “stigma”, I say “fun”.

      There is nothing closer to the proverbial “shooting fish in a barrel” than pissing off snotty 911 owners at a car gathering by showing up with a 914/924/944/968/Boxster. And in this case its usually “fish packed very tightly” while you’ve been handed an MG42 for your weapon of choice.

      Admittedly, the Boxster gets some grudging respect (almost) from the “it’s not a 911, it’s a 9__ because I know the codes” bunch. Unlike the front engined stuff which really causes nausea.

      I’d like either another front engined model or a Boxster. Admittedly, though, I like the 924/944/968’s best of all. And I’ll make a point of showing up at every Porsche gathering.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        Just for the record, and as a 911 owner that attends similar Porsche owners club events.

        I’ve met very few 911 owners that look down on other Porsche’s in the lineup. I love the Boxster/Cayman and will talk with those owners all day long. Not sure what groups you are part of, but I generally find the Porsche and 911 owners love all things Porsche no matter the model.

        • 0 avatar
          MK153

          Agreed – I just went through this very thing in the last 2 weeks. I was searching for a few months for a clean $10Kish Boxster and couldn’t find one – I ended up buying a $12K 996 because it was a great deal – but I don’t look down on the 986 Boxster at all. Very cool cars and I 100% agree on the fun “slow car fast” descriptor.

        • 0 avatar
          SomeGuy

          @energetik9 I feel like this people who own X model makes fun of Y model is way overblown.

          On the forums? Absolutely.

          In person when it is time to run the cars on the track/autoX or at a Cars & Coffeee?

          Unlikely.

      • 0 avatar

        despite what my comment above may convery, I don’t see the 924 as a lesser Porsche. I would love to have one to fling around. The styling always appealed to me, and the lack of pretension is a virtue, IMO.

        Heck, I think a 924 would make an excellent rat rod.

    • 0 avatar
      Senna3X

      You think this this car below hasn’t aged well after 22 years since its design?
      Umm…we both know that car looks worthy of any car wax advertisement.

      Strip any modern era Porsche of its interior and exterior options, stick small 16″ wheels on it, neglect the paint and headlights and it will look dated. Or you could look after it and get compliments every time its out for a drive.

      http://986forum.com/forums/uploads01/2011+12+31_16+01+57_8881325478822.jpg

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Needs more powah

    I would buy the one without an engine, find an engine and build it up. Bore and stroke the hell out of it. Boxster 4.0 RS

  • avatar
    manny_c44

    At least don’t get a maroon one.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Pelican is awesome. I know several guys on the forum there and they are pretty up front about what it takes to won one. It isn’t as bad as you think for general maintenance but should you need to change a belt or something then there is a reason a lot of those guys are DIYers.

  • avatar
    omer333

    There’s a part of me that would own a Porsche, maybe a 944 or 928, but then I remember I balked at owning a second-hand turbo Subaru due to maintenance fees.

    A GM V8 swap makes it enticing though, but what about the transmission? Can an LS bolt up to the Porsche unit with an adapter?

    Oh and you know Sajeev would say “LS FTW”.

  • avatar
    robc123

    For $15k you can get a z3 or a z4 BMW. OR a mx-5. Those porches of that era are super ghetto. Porsche really cheaped out, the seats are thin bonded leather that never wears well and the whole interior feels like a early 2000’s economy car.

    I always chuckle when people are so focused on the IMS issue but forget how much a Porsche transmission costs or electrical or all the small stuff that goes wrong. OR that you have to drop the engine out to do anything. With that age of car you are also dealing with rust, seals, shocks, bushings, etc.

    stay away, far away these s boxes need to be crushed and made into toasters.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    For some reason these things *look old* in a way that 911s don’t. If you didn’t know they were Porsches they’d look like low-rent crap, and that just doesn’t seem worthwhile.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I had a 1984 911 Carrera (3.2) and it was truly a joy… simple, well built, reliable. I liked the level of performance (about 200 hp) and think it would likely be comparable to an early Boxster in terms of outright acceleration while the Boxster would likely be a better handling car and far more comfortable to live with as a daily driver. Yet, values for early Boxsters have truly fallen into used Hyundai territory and early to mid-eighties 911s have appreciated to levels where they are barely affordable. sadly, I sold mine years ago.

    I think the sheer simplicity of the early cars combined with amazing build quality, and a strong aftermarket that makes replacement parts pretty affordable has helped. On the flip side, questionable engine design issues on late 90’s Porsches combined with a design that basically requires the engine to be removed for anything much more than an oil changes are downright scary to me. They are great drivers cars, though, when they run.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Don’t real 901 engines have to come out regularly for valve adjustments? Even the most desirable Porsches have always had Achilles heels. Early 911s rusted to nothing if you didn’t wreck them first. Once they were galvanized, emissions controls killed performance until the SC, a car well known for its exploding air box. The Carrera 3.2s were pretty fantastic but high maintenance. Alternators fail often, leading to other problems. Oil leaks are common, and fuel leaks at this age. Everything 911 is expensive now, so even a brilliant home mechanic will spend real money keeping one running.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Valve lash adjustments – engine out at 30k mile service intervals. I think 993’s finally got hydraulic lash adjustment.
        The armature shaft of the alternator on my 1991 911 C4 broke clean thru – never heard of that before.
        The early dual mass flywheels would rupture and the damping fluid would take the clutch out too. Found that out the hard way.
        For some damn reason, early cars of the same series, Porsche didn’t put O-rings in between the case and cylinder heads. Engine out, grooves machined in and reassembled. That happened on Porsche’s nickel.
        Second distributor of the twin spark set-up was synchronized with the first with a little rubber belt. If it broke, the second distributor stopped but would still fire. Hello,detonation and a holed piston or two. Shades of IMS failure.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    By the way, with regard to the “cheap Corvette” comment, I owned a 1994 ‘Vette a few years ago. I found it on Craigslist for $8k with only 50k miles on it and bone stock. New tires cost me $1100, but otherwise it cost me almost nothing to run. It was reliable, the AC blew ice cold, and the 300hp/6-speed combo was great and even gave me fuel economy in the mid 20s.

    I wouldn’t be scared of long-term ownership issues if I were to look at another Corvette. There are other reasons why they may not be the car for you (noisy, crap-plastic Rubbermaid interior, image issues, etc.) but parts are mostly dirt cheap and nice low-mile examples are plentiful.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I’ve been noticing C4s all over Craigslist. They are so cheap that it’s tempting, and it’s not like they’ll depreciate any further. Plus, compared to most cars on the road today, the C4 is a pretty clean design.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I love the C4 exterior, especially after they cleaned it up for the LT1 version in 1992. Love it. But I don’t think I could bring myself to put up with build quality quite that lousy. Same problem with third-gen Camaros, which are equally gorgeous. GM’s sporty car teams got it right in the early ’80s.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Even through to the last versions of the Trans-Am. If I see those today (white WG-6 or what have you around here), they still look current to my eyes.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Corvette-sport-/181922745631

        This one looks pretty hot.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I could do without the cheesy body kit. Love the blue on this coupe:

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Corvette-Base-Coupe-2-Door-/161877058881

          I never liked the fourth-gen Camaro/Firebird as much as the third-gen, although the WS6 Trans Ams are the best of the lot. Here’s my favorite F-body ever (though I’d strip those silly side moldings):

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pontiac-Trans-Am-GTA-/321912739883

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I noticed that blue when I was scanning. Seers the eyes, I love it!

            What an odd trim package that GTA is. Never seen one before. Talk about crap interiors though, ew.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    That $3,200 Porsche doesn’t need an IMS upgrade. It needs a new engine, because the IMS bearing failed and all that’s left is a case full of shrapnel. $3,200 is optimistic, because there are Porsche service centers with identically decommissioned cars stacked three deep in their back lots. They pay hundreds of dollars for them from customers that can’t afford an engine rebuild. A guy I know that does $25K clutch replacements on Carrera GTs told me he wasn’t even willing to take any more of them for over scrap value, as he’s fully stocked on all the used parts that survive on a Boxster. He predicts the same fate for second hand buyers of PDK equipped Porsches when the clutches wear out.

    A friend has a Boxster. I warned him about the IMS failure mode, which he knew nothing about. When it happened, he shut off immediately and got away with only about $3,000 in repairs.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If I weren’t afraid of the maintenance costs — I have no good place to DIY, having access only to two small, cramped single-car garages — I would be very interested in one of these.

    But as it is, my toy-car tastes tend to the Japanese.

    I will say this: I think it’s always a bad idea to buy a raggedy car with the idea that you’re going to fix it up. If you are happy to have a raggedy car that’s raggedy, it’s easy enough to keep it in good mechanical condition and ignore the cosmetics. But reconditioning cosmetics gets VERY expensive VERY fast, and it’s almost always cheaper to pay even expensive prices for a cosmetically good car if that’s what you want in the end. Plan on $1000 for a top-notch reupholstery of front seats, several hundred for buying and installing a new carpet, the better part of $1000 to get and install a new convertible top of OEM quality, and of course prices in that same ballpark for even minor bodywork.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      A Boxster is not worth restoring to Concours condition. As you said, cosmetic restoration is an endless black hole. I am working on such a project, but the subject car is much rarer and has relatively low miles. Doing it right (minimising the disturbance to the car’s originality) is key, and that means it can often get expensive.

      Buy a cheap 986 Boxster or 996 Carrera that runs, make sure the IMS is upgraded, own a cheap Porsche. Regular maintenance is, however, in line with modern German cars. It’s not a Corolla.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I don’t understand the hate on the 986 Boxster. The M96 engine’s issues are known and permanent-ish fixes are readily available. What else is wrong that denies a relatively affordable sports car ownership?

    The IMS fix is not cheap–it can be anywhere from $3-5k including the mechanic’s sweat and blood if you can’t DIY. But it’s a one-time fix.

    Cosmetic issues don’t really count. Old car is old.

    My claim to credibility: I once owned a 987 Cayman with the M97 for four years as a DD. No major engine issues. I read up on forums for 6 long months before buying the car.

  • avatar
    EAF

    I’ve worked on two of these, while both owners loved them, I of course hate everything about them. Neither could be driven in the rain. Both needed body modules / immobilizer units because water would leak from the top, collect under the seat, into a basin that houses the aforementioned unit(s}.

    For 11,500 I’d find a very nice s2000 or Miata as was mentioned above!

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “I made the argument that there can never be such a thing as a “cheap” Porsche.”

    A 914 that someone else has already done a small-block V8 swap on, but is tired of it.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Never understood the Boxster appeal.

    Small, high-maintenance, not particularly fast, and not particularly high-quality. I’d rather have a convertible Vette.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This man, he gets it as well!

      C4 won’t do you wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I’m very picky about C4s though. I want the C4 my uncle owned when I was a kid. Not the exact one, but a perfect facsimile.

        Blue-green, hardtop, LT1, shiny sawblades.

        I have a picture of five year old me with that car.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Here you go.

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Corvette-Base-2dr-Hatchback-Hatchback-Automatic-4-Speed-/171987849843

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            That’s blue though! Wasn’t there a teal color option on C4s?

            Also that’s a lotta mileage! My wore out T-Bird has 85k less than that!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That is the teal option, ain’t it? The blue is darker than that.

            Here are two green-blues side by side. The further away one is like that ebay link, and is green blue. The closer one is straight up minty.

            http://www.smoothline.com/images/gallery/corvette/c4/C402c.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            The minty one is the color his was. I couldn’t find one colored like that on the Bay of E though.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It pretty much starts and ends with the steering. Good candidate for best steering in the history of sports cars. If that’s not important to you, you’ll find a Boxster a puzzling waste.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      What exactly do you find high-maintenance about the Boxster? It’s not any worse than a 3-series in long term maintenance. The big wild card is the IMS (and some waterproofing issues with ECUs, according to the comment 2 above yours), but those are one-time fixes.

      I suppose if you’re comparing to a C4, which hails from simpler times, any European sports car would be more expensive to maintain. Is that really apples-to-apples though?

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        It’s German and the engine is crammed into a tiny engine bay. Not my kind of thing.

        I also wouldn’t be able to take it to my family mechanic and get it fixed in two hours for 200 bucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Chan

          So you’re saying you can fix a C4 for $200, no matter how disastrous the problem(s). Worn suspension bushings? Brakes? Oil leaks? Belts and pumps? I have a hard time believing that, but if you can get it done that cheap, more power to you.

          Digression: The Boxster has a tiny engine bay, but the engine is also tiny relative to a ‘Murican V8. Being a flat-6, spark plugs can be done from under the car.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            If new rotors, pads, greased calipers and labor are less than $500 on a Porsche anything, it’s a huge shock to me.

            Of course any major mechanical problem is gonna cost more money, but even getting a new fuel pump installed in my T-Bird cost like 400 bucks, same for a new crank position sensor.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            If you’re willing to buy a $4k Boxster, you should be willing to get your consumables from a place like Rock Auto. You can probably do your Boxster’s brakes for somewhere in the $500 range if you’re not going to track it.

    • 0 avatar
      buffaloboxster

      Have you actually driven one? Because if you haven’t you never will understand the appeal.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Totally anecdotal of course, buy my 07 Cayman has been the most reliable car I’ve ever had (my other cars included a Saab and a Volvo though so that may not be fair). I do a roughly $200-300 end-of-year service on it every fall (regardless of miles), and that’s basically my yearly maintenance outlay. The only significant items were the TMPS sensors needing replacement (at $1k for the OEM sensors though, so not cheap) and this month I did an alignment ($200).

    Now it’s not a DD so it doesnt get the miles other cars would get, but I was actually expecting it to be more expensive to live with. My insurance too is about the same price as my wifes Volvo.

    My biggest outlays have been the winter storage, and needlessly fancy cleaning products.

    Watch my engine blow up the next time I drive of course….

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Later cars with M97 engines are unlikely to have IMS issues. The engine block encases the IMS and the LN Engineering fix can not be applied without opening up the block. The only active care you need to be aware of is not to lug the car in tall gears. You wouldn’t want to do that to any car, regardless.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      You can get (relatively) inexpensive 3rd party TPMS replacements. It is ridiculous that the batteries aren’t replaceable and the Porsche charges nearly as much for the sensors as the tires. I wish I could remember where I got mine (maybe Pelican?), but they were around $20 per unit. I decided to just go ahead and replace all four when I got new tires even though the existing sensors were working fine. Done for the next 5+ years.

      My 2008 Cayman is my daily driver and only car. $50k miles and my costs have been roughly $200 yearly maintenance, 4*$20 tires sensors, $1100 tires (lots of tread still remaining on new ones), and a $110 battery (from Pep Boys). It goes to service just once a year for a few hours at a local mechanic.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Discount Tire just quoted me $60 per wheel for el cheapo TPMS sensors for my winter wheels (which have Nokian snow tires mounted on them).

        I just looked at the guy and said “I really don’t mind the yellow TPMS light; it gives off a nice amber, warm glow in the wintertime.”

        *p.s. I like Discount Tire.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Will discount tire install winter wheels/tires without TPMS? I get my winter tires/wheels installed at a small tire place in just north of downtown Plymouth. He’s never even mentioned TPMS.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        $20 apiece for TPMS sensors is a bargain.
        Regardless of the car make, TitanTPMS.com is worth a look. Cayman 987 – Titan brand set of 4 $182, OEM set of 4 $330.
        Putting on winter tires today and then I’ll see if its just the sensors….

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    “The burgundy color isn’t ideal”

    That’s Arena Red, and it’s one of the nicest Porsche colors.

    Also, for this money, an S2000 is a far better bet. Lower running costs, cheaper parts prices, far, far less to go *boom* in an expensive way. Yeah, everyone thinks you’re in a Miata, but you get over that. Will also blow a 986 into the deep weeds, and competitive with a 986S.

    • 0 avatar
      Senna3X

      I seem to recall the lap times for the base 2.7 Boxster and low torque S2000 to be fairly equal at countless SCCA autocross events. And there’s nothing wrong with someone thinking you’re in a Miata, its the one car you are most likely to see at any track day or your local autocross. I guess there’s people who care about how cars drive and how they look sitting in a car. But overall I agree the S2000 is a tremendous value and has always been. But the Boxster still sets the bar in the roadster category which is why its the one still being sold in the most important car market.

  • avatar
    Kato

    A few years back when I was shopping for a roadster I test-drove one of these, the owner made the error of showing me all the repair history though, $1500 to fix the top, etc, etc. Bought a low mileage S2000 instead. Comparably fast, better looking, way lower cost of ownership.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Looks like a Leaf dreaming it’s a sports car.

  • avatar
    Jim K

    I’ve had two 986’s a 2001 and a 2002. While I am not blind to the problems with the IMS, they were both great cars. IMHO any enthusiast who bashes the first gen Boxsters needs to drive one first. The 2.7 liter cars are better than the 2.5’s, but if I was to buy another it would definitely be an S. Do the aftermarket IMS fix and you should be good if you’ve done your homework and purchased a well maintained example. However, here are a lot of used, abused Boxsters in rough shape out there that you should definitely stay away from.

    I tracked and instructed in PCA DE’s with both of mine and they held up great.

    I’ve owned multiple 944’s, 968’s and a 993 and still love and respect the 986’s. A used Cayman hopefully is in my future!

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    jump!
    jump!
    jump!

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Chis ;

    Pull the trigger ~ just DO IT .

    You know you want to…..

    Sooner or later you’ll understand why the most expen$ive car you ever own is a ‘ cheap German Car ‘ .

    Nevertheless I still buy , own and maintain three and love every moment behind the wheel .

    I imagine the dead engine one with the upgraded LS engine swap is the way to go , have some fun before you’re dead .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    only 524 miles to go before my somewhat pampered, one-owner ’97 986 hits 100,000 miles!

    its been over 18 years of almost pure bliss. [and i can’t say this about any other car i’ve ever owned]

  • avatar
    buffaloboxster

    The alleged high cost of Boxster ownership is in my experience a complete myth. As my username implies, I’ve owned a 2001 986 2.7l Boxster. I’ve had it since 2004. The only real problem I’ve had with it is a tear in the plastic rear window, which admittedly is an expensive fix. After that, routine maintenance is only extraordinarily expensive if you take the car to the dealer. Most of it can be DIY’d, and even if you choose not to, it isn’t horrendous. My Boxster goes in to a local shop every April when it comes out of storage for an oil change and to be looked over. Costs about $115, and it happens once a year. Other than that, I’ve had a few “older car” problems.. Oxygen sensor replacements and the like. That’s it. 92,000 miles of pure driving enjoyment and the best handling car mere mortals could afford to buy, bar none. 30mpg on the highway too.

    I helped my cousin find a 986 two years ago. He found a mint silver 2002 S with 32k – and a glass rear window – for under $17k. That’s an absolute steal.

    Take care of the regular maintenance and the Box will take care of you.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar
    joeb-z

    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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