1999 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Earlier this week I came across a Porsche Cayman S finished in the wonderful Forest Green Metallic. As much as I wanted to jump all over it, a bunch of things added up that probably had me passing on it. As luck would have it, a really early 996 happen to pop up for sale in upstate New York that of course had me taking a closer look. It is your typical 1999 Carrera 2 with the “fried egg” headlights, orange taillights, and maybe not the most opulent interior ever. Still, the value you can get from a 996.1 is there, so why not make the best of it with one in a good color combo?

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1999 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe

Two decades in, is it finally time for the 996 Porsche 911? Personally, I think so. Our negative feelings on things generally seem to wane over time, and after 20 years, that seems to be the case for the 996.1. Are we looking at 964 and 993 levels of appreciation? Of course not. But I do think that these will slowly become less of a black sheep of the 911 family and more of just an entry-level into the 911 family.

Today’s car, a 1999 up for sale Nebraska, looks most certainly to be one the prime examples to snatch up. It’s classic Arctic Silver Metallic over a Boxster Red special leather interior, and just to top it all off, it has just 29,000 miles. This one will be a fight.

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2006 Porsche 911 Carrera

The 997.1 Porsche 911 is probably my favorite “budget” 911. I wish I could put “budget” in size 82 font quotation marks given we are talking Porsche here, but in the grand scheme of things where a new base 992 C2 is $100,000, your buck doesn’t go very far these days. Now you are probably saying, “What about the 996?” And yes, you are right. But given the very small price difference between the 996 and 997.1, I think it is the perfect sweet spot of having a modern 911 without spending over $50,000 just to get a seat at the table. Today’s 997 has my favorite Lobster Fork wheels and isn’t a boring color. There’s only one problem though – the transmission.

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1989 Porsche 911 Carrera

The 1989 model year was the final year of the torsion-bar 911, and only 1,156 US-market Carrera coupes were made. If that number seems low, it is because the 1989 was a split model year, as the 964s were also sold as 1989 models. Given that the 911 basically looked the same from 1974 to 1989, I can’t imagine it was a fun job trying to sell these 1989 911s when new when totally new 964s were sitting in the showroom. Now some 30 years later, most seek these out for the G50 gearbox and special options like the sport seats. They bring a slight premium over the older 911s with the 915 gearboxes, but at the end of the day its all about condition, mileage, and options. This example caught my eye up for sale in Idaho is finished in classic Carrera White with matching Fuchs and blue interior. A fairly nice spec on its own. Mileage? Just under 121,000. So a potential nice driver-quality 911 for a decent price, right? Not so fast.

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2017 Porsche 911 Carrera

Miami Blue is an “all-in” color. Good luck trying to be low key in it. It screams “blue” and does so without looking like you just picked the brightest blue from the vinyl wrap place that just opened up two weeks ago at the abandoned gas station. As the years go on, more and more Porsches are coming in Miami Blue from the factory, including the Macan, so its not like you’ll be on your own out there. So while the exterior color is fine, what about inside the car? Just go with the standard black leather, right? Not so fast on this 2017 911 C2 up for sale in New York.

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2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S

You know why we are here. If there is a Porsche in a rare or interesting color, I’m taking a peek. Even better if color on the inside is just as cool as the outside. You can probably see where I’m going with today’s car, a 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S up for sale in Ohio. This example is finished in Radium Green, a color first debuted way back on the 356. As cool as this color is, not exactly something that would appear on the option sheet for a new car. Understanding that, I figured this has to be a paint-to-sample car given it is a historical color. Surprisingly, this is the much more expensive option than having Porsche spray the car for $7,500.

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2004 Porsche 911

Thinking back about last weeks 2002 Porsche 911 C4S and the reaction it got, I thought maybe it would be interesting to look at the other end of the 996 range for about the same price. The C2 was literally as basic as you could get with the 996 911 with the narrow body and rear wheel drive. At the time, maybe a bit boring, but now it seems to be a thing to have a basic, rear-wheel drive 911, and I even think Porsche realizes this too with their 911 Carrera T. Sadly, most of the C2s are well-used by now and often are found in disheveled condition. However, this 2004 up for sale California has thankfully be well-preserved. So is it this, or the C4S?

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2017 Porsche 911

The classic blues have been so popular on Porsche 911s, that the company actually wised up and offered as a standard-ish color for the 991 chassis. From a money perspective, it seems like an odd move seeing as they know they’ll get another $7,000 or so if someone orders it for paint to sample, but maybe it was a logistics thing of them selling more cars to begin with if they could sprinkle some of these cars throughout dealer lots around the county. The blue offered on the 991 was actually Miami Blue (not Mexico Blue) that had just a little bit of a teal shade to it if you look at it in certain lighting. Meanwhile, the Mexico Blue that I linked, is a much truer royal blue that you would associate the color of blue with. Now don’t confuse that with Rivera Blue, as that is a little lighter shade of Mexico Blue. Are we having fun yet? This photo explains it best with left to right, Rivera, Miami, then Mexico. Easy.

Naturally people want this color more than a black, white, grey, or silver, so of course Porsche charged more for it. You thought you were getting off that easy? A more standard color like Jet Black Metallic or Agate Grey Metallic is $710, but Miami Blue? $3,140. That bigger price tag just isn’t exclusive to Miami, a color like Lava Orange also carries the same $3,140 premium. So now that the 991 production is done for good, people are dumping their cars to upgrade to the 992 and these special colors are now on the used market. This 2017 C2 up for in, wouldn’t you know, Miami, Florida, just has 3,400 miles on it. I hope the extra money was worth it.

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1995 Porsche 911

What if I told you, in the year 2020, that you could buy a 1995 Porsche 911 for just $33,000? Yes, a black over tan leather example with just over 100,000 miles. It isn’t one of the bait and switch listings where the one angle looks fine but when you click on it and scroll through the photos you see the other side was hit by a runaway garbage truck at 55 mph. Nope, this one run and drives just fine, and even has Cup wheels. Even better, it is a 6-speed! After my recent run of automatic 911s, it is finally time get to get back a true manual gearbox. So what is the catch? Well, there is always a catch.

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1995 Porsche 911

A few weeks ago I took a look at a 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S that had one of the more severe cases of “sticker shock” I’ve ever seen. Nearly $600,000 is what you needed to pony up to drive home with that car and as crazy as that price sounds, and it is crazy, that is still without a doubt a car that is worth hundreds of thousands. Just probably not $600,000. That got me thinking, what could you get for a faction of the price but not the fraction of the experience? Well, I think you know where I’m going with this.

This is a 1995 Carrera 2 is also finished in white, although Pearl White, not Glacier White. It has the Turbo Twist wheels that everyone loves and just 52,000 miles. Is it a Turbo S? Of course not. Could you still have a ton of fun in it and save $526,000? I think I could manage that.

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