2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S w/ X51 package

I can’t remember the last time I wrote up a 997, and like with the 996TT, which I have written about frequently, the 997 provides us with a nice value comparison for those interested in a 911, but for whom performance might trump long term value. As we will see with the car here, since these cars already have passed through their significant depreciation from new they can be had for reasonable cost while retaining some of that cost for any future sale. For those who can’t get past the 996’s styling a car like this one, a Black 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S with the X51 performance package and just 28,500 miles might be just the sort of thing to look for. Added to the power increase of the Carrera S over the standard Carrera, the X51 package raises horsepower to 381 and torque to 306 lb-ft appearing to push the limits of just how much Porsche can extract from the car’s 3.8 liter flat-six while remaining fairly comfortable and without reverting to forced induction.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: Porsche 911 Twin Turbo Cup Conversion

I’ve certainly been a big fan of the Porsche 911 Cup; today, it strikes me as not only one of the best deals going in racing Porsches, but perhaps the best all-around deal in the Motorsports world. The success of the 996 and 997 Cup chassis has to come close to the E30 M3 as one of the most raced and most winning German designs in history. They were so successful that they built a lot of them, making them today slightly devalued in the world of track cars. We’ve even seen full-blood, turn key factory race 911s up for auction below $50,000; simply staggering when you consider the original purchase price. Of course, also staggering are the running costs of the Cup cars; 40 hour engines are the max, and Porsche Motorsports recommends transmission refreshes as 20 hours. The costs add up; rebuilding your 996 or 997 Cup running gear will cost you between $15,000 and $30,000 – presuming nothing big is broken. Okay, so the purchase price is only the tip of the iceberg. But what if you took some of the aspects of the Cup design and incorporated them into the even faster and cheaper to run Turbo model?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Porsche 911 Twin Turbo Cup Conversion on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2007 Porsche 911GT3 RS

One of my favorite aspects about the Porsche brand is they have never been timid with color. Even to this day, you are able to tailor your Porsche specifically to your preferences via the Porsche Exclusive program, giving you the option of having one special Porsche. This orange 911GT3 RS is not the result of a Porsche Exclusive order, but is fetching nonetheless. This example for sale has over $60,000 in upgrades and while it appears to be a dedicated race machine, it is still street legal. It comes with a lot of extras, including a custom trailer, representing quite a deal for the next owner, especially if you consider what the entry cost is to a new 911 these days.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911GT3 RS on Rennlist

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2010 Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche’s announcement that their most track-focused, but road-going, homologation vehicles, the GT3 and GT3RS, would no longer be available with a traditional manual transmission was met with a fair degree of consternation among Porsche enthusiasts. Porsche’s reasons were straightforward: around a track, the natural habitat of these cars, a PDK-equipped 911 is faster than a traditional manual. That is all well and good and not an insignificant point for as track-focused a machine as these cars aspire to be. But it still leaves us cold. Rowing your own gears is part and parcel of the driving experience from which so many of us derive our enjoyment. That makes the 997-derived GT3 and GT3RS the last of the breed. Or at least for now. Here we have a Black 2010 Porsche 911 GT3, located in Ohio, with just 4,525 miles on it. First released as a variant of the 996, the 997 GT3 began as a 3.6 liter flat-six sending 415 hp toward the rear wheels before receiving a small bump to 3.8 liters and 435 hp all transmitted via a 6-speed manual transmission. These remain some of the absolute best performance vehicles Porsche has produced and are sure to have a long and devoted following.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Koni Challenge

Looking for a budget track ride? There are plenty of options out there for you, but in terms of sheer performance for value the Porsche 911 in 996/997 guise is still quite hard to beat. Especially when talking about the 997, the refinement Porsche had managed to build into the chassis is simply remarkable; 911s have a reputation as widow-makers, but the reality is that the 996 and 997 are very well balanced, easy to drive fast cars. They’re also long-lived when properly maintained and offer a driving experience that few sports cars match. They’re just good cars for the track – and quite fast. But are you really going to drop $90,000 plus modifications to alter a brand new 991 to be a track car? Not likely – a much better bet would be to check out some used examples, such as this perfectly liveried 997 from the 2006 Koni Challenge:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Koni Challenge on eBay

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2012 Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche is thankfully one of those car companies that still lets you customize your ride beyond what one normally finds in the dealer brochure…provided you come with the checkbook handy. For years, Porsche has offered a “paint to sample” option for buyers who are perhaps a bit bored with the colors in the back of the dealer brochure. This has led to a multitude of interesting liveries over the years, including the second to last 928GTS produced, in a questionable shade of Pearlglanz Metallic over purple interior trimmings. Thankfully, some of these special combinations are less offensive than others. Such is the case with this 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo painted in Gulf Blue with a subtle Espresso Brown leather interior.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo at Road Scholars

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Future or Now? 1998 993 Carrera 4S v. 2007 997 Turbo

This past weekend I caught a bit of the Mecum Auction action, and I was pretty stunned to see a fairly new 993 Turbo in Arena Red come across the auction block. Generally, when newer metal comes across the block at these auctions, the commentators break to commercial sponsors and don’t really pay attention. But the 911 market is such that this particular 993 – which wasn’t perfect, mind you – hammered for around $170,000 not including fees. The surge in air-cooled prices is amazing, and it seems that there’s a scramble to buy what good examples are left while they’re still affordable. Two cars were sent our way by readers last week that got me thinking more about this; one was the 993 Carrera 4S that you see here from our reader John, and a 2005 996 Turbo S in Signal Green – reportedly 1 of 1 – from our reader Michael. I’ve talked before about how the 996 Turbo is a screaming performance deal right now, and this one-off Turbo S wasn’t too far from the price of the 993 Carrera 4S offered here.

Obviously, despite being very similar cars in many respects the two have very different markets. Those in the 993 market are looking for a rapidly appreciating classic; a well proportioned, ultimate development of the air-cooled days of Porsche when limited production numbers, over engineering and sublime driving experiences ruled the day. Those in the 996 market are looking for the most performance they can buy, and a twin-turbo, all-wheel drive 911 is truly a car that now can be used all year long while lighting your hair on fire every time you hit the loud pedal. Unfortunately, that Signal Green example disappeared before I could get this article up; what I found to replace it might even be more astounding – a 997 Turbo Sport Chrono with less than 40,000 miles on the clock. Nearly a decade separates these two cars and there’s a substantial performance gap as well; which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S on eBay

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2007 Porsche 911 Turbo

With the introduction of the 991 series 911, one of the more talked about points was the fact that the 911 GT3 would be equipped solely with the PDK dual clutch gearbox. Purists cried foul, but the more progressive minded enthusiasts began to wonder if we have reached the point where the manual gearbox has been soundly surpassed by the automatic and automated manual gearboxes. Looking solely at the statistics, it appears the answer is “yes.” This 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo is for sale from our friends at Sun Valley Auto Club in Hailey, Idaho. For some, being equipped with the Tiptronic gearbox might be a vex, but however you slice it, this is still a seriously fast performance vehicle capable of forging long-lasting road trip memories.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo at Sun Valley Auto Club

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2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

As the 997’s model run slowly wound down Porsche released a variety of special models that showcased both its history and also its engineering and racing prowess. One of those cars is the car we see here: a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. The GT3 RS went through a constant evolution during the life of the 997, debuting with the 3.6 liter flat-six found in the standard Carrera and GT3, then enlarged to 3.8 liters with modified suspension, and finally the 4.0 liter 500 hp flat-six of the car we see here that featured further modifications to the body and suspension in an effort to reduce weight and improve overall performance. Needless to say, these were serious cars designed to showcase the limits Porsche could push the 997 chassis, without being a full-on race car. Only 600 were produced and with a price approaching $200K they weren’t cheap. But as a final send-off for the 997 the GT3 RS 4.0 was a fantastic display!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 on Autotrader

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2010 Porsche 911 GT3

For 911 buyers who want extra power, but without going the route of forced induction, the 911 GT3 (and its sibling the GT3 RS) makes for a fantastic alternative. Always considered more track-focused than the 911 Turbo, the GT3, through a combination of added lightness and added power, attempts to extract every ounce of ability from the 911’s already excellent chassis without going for a full track-focused setup. Performance with civility. While the GT3 only first debuted in 1999 as part of the 996 lineup, Porsche has long offered variants of this sort and they are consistently excellent and as equally revered. The car we have featured here is a Guards Red 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 located in San Francisco, which delivers its 435 hp to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 on eBay

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