2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe

Naturally in my quest for better value among 911 models I began to turn to the 997. Last week that lead me to a ’05 Carrera S Cabriolet that showed plenty of promise. As mentioned in that post, the potential for IMS issues is elevated with that year of the 997 so this week we’ll look at one built just a year later, but which shows equal overall promise. This should also give us a sense of the possible value differences between the two model years, which I suppose we could think of as the price you pay for peace of mind. Here we have a Lapis Blue Metallic 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in North Carolina, with Sand Beige interior and 47,855 miles on it. As I’ve stated previously, the prices for these early 997s kind of snuck up on me. I spend a lot of time wading in the ever deepening waters of the air-cooled 911 market and when I suddenly turned my attention to these modern examples I was blown away at what your money might get. With the 997, later model years still seem to command much higher values – they are after all still pretty new – but for these earlier model years the prices aren’t too bad and you’re getting a lot of car for your money. Their styling is, to my eye, a bit conservative, but their relationship to the 911s of yore is clear and I don’t think anyone will confuse them with some other model.

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1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S

It isn’t hard at all to see the appeal of the 993 and why values barely seem to have ever waned. That these were the last of the air-cooled 911s is well known and carries with it ton of cachet. But it is its aesthetic qualities that carry the day even more as they represent an easily identifiable evolution of the design from the 911’s debut in the mid-60s. That the design of the 996, which followed upon the 993, has been so derided has only served to further enhance the already stellar reputation of the 993 itself. It is almost as if there is a sense that the 911’s evolution ceased with the 993; the 996 is viewed as a separate species that has branched off from the original and its genetic traits, while enabling the model to survive in renewed form, are actually deemed less desirable. All of this comes together to build an icon. While all examples of the 993 are in high demand it is the wide-body designs that really force buyers to submit to temptation. Of all the air-cooled 911s the 993 wears the wider rear better than any other. Most of the others look good, but the 993 looks completed. The wider rear fills out its curves better than on previous models and it all comes together in a package that is both aggressive and beautiful. There really is a lot to love. The example we see here is a Zenith Blue Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in Connecticut, with Blue leather interior and 50,500 miles on it.

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2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

I’ve been on a little bit of a convertible kick this week – probably just wistfully imagining summer weather before winter fully arrives. Why not continue the trend with this Black on Black 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, located in Florida, with 52,526 miles on it and the very desirable 6-speed manual transmission. The 997 sits in a really nice spot on the market these days, especially when considering these earlier examples. Porsche listened to many of the complaints regarding the 996’s design, particularly with regard to the headlights, and with the 997 we have a shape that is unmistakably a 911 when viewed from any angle. Admittedly, the 997 is not as curvy and sexy as the 993; on the 997 the lines have been smoothed and refined, but even if it doesn’t have the pure beauty of the 993 we’re a long way from the classic design. That’s not a knock on the classic design, but next to these modern 911s it is clear from which era each came. Add to the refined shape a 3.8 liter flat-six delivering 355 hp through a 6-speed transmission and you get a potent mix of performance and allure, but all for a price that is much lower. I would suspect given its asking price that this Carrera S would likely sell for less than the ’87 Carrera Cabriolet I featured on Monday. There are very good reasons for those price differences, but if you’re looking to drive the darn thing then the bang for your buck here is undeniable.

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1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Another interesting blue Porsche 911. Last week I featured a 911SC and a 964 in very different shades of blue and today we have a 993. I guess I just need to find a 3.2 Carrera and then something from the water-cooled generation to get some completeness! Blue is one of my favorite colors on a car so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that so many of them catch my eye. Like with many colors, over the years Porsche has provided nearly the entire landscape of possible variations of blue from which owners could choose, from wild pastels like Mexico or Riviera Blue to the very subtle like last week’s Glacier Blue 911SC. Whether light or dark the color tends to work really well providing an interesting alternative to any of the very common silvers, whites, and blacks, but without necessarily veering into showy territory. Here we have another rarely seen variant that this time drifts a little toward the purple side of the spectrum, though only slightly: a Zenith Blue Metallic 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S, located in Brooklyn, with Tan interior and 65,400 miles on it.

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Double Take: 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S or Carrera 4S?

The rebirth of the S provided some renewed invigoration to the 911 lineup, ironically just as the days of the 911’s air-cooled engine were coming to a close. It had been nearly 20 years since an S badged 911 had rolled out of the factory and Porsche chose during the initial re-entry into the market to offer it only as a Carrera 4. These cars were quickly dubbed the “Turbo-look” as they shared the wider rear body and braking of the Turbo, but retained the standard 993’s naturally aspirated 3.6 liter flat-6. A year later a Carrera 2S would hit showrooms, providing customers an abundance of choice when choosing their 911. At that point you could get just about whatever configuration you wanted. Here we will look at an example of each of the S models, which share some significant similarities outside of that basic model designation, though with one significant difference between them. Similar color, similar mileage and they appear to be in similar condition. We’ll start with the Carrera S:

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1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S

I tend to pay a lot of attention to exterior color. In some ways this is natural since we write about cars we come across online rather than in person and the exterior color typically is our first and most immediate impression. But the issue becomes most compelling particularly when trying to understand why certain models always stand out more in some colors rather than others. Much of this comes down to the accents created by trim pieces, headlight design, wheels, etc., but it does seem to be the case that certain models show better in some colors rather than others. And it tends to be the less exciting colors that this holds true for the most. For instance, I find this Glacier White 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S to be incredibly striking, even if most white cars rarely succeed in grabbing my attention. This is a case, I think, of the 993 showing really well in white in ways that I cannot really put my finger on and ways that earlier generations did not seem to replicate. Regardless, it’s quite eye-catching.

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Tuner Tuesday Super Trio: Three Generations of Supercharged 911s

Oh, how I do love the comparos! Today I’ve worked up a third tuner comparison, because frankly this interesting trio was just a bit too good to pass up – as were the other BMWs! But unlike the factory sourced Dinan and Alpina modded cars from earlier, this comparison focuses on some unusual Porsches. Supercharging isn’t the typical choice for the flat-6, but the bolt-on horsepower results are undeniable, bringing the normal flat-6 quickly up to Turbo levels of power. I have three generations compiled here, all popular in their own right but for different reasons. Which is the winner?

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Tuner Tuesday: 2005 Porsche Boxster Ruf 3800S

It seems like I’m often talking about what the best performance deal going in German cars is. That’s partially because I’m not partial to paying the “what’s new” tax on the biggest and baddest new car. Personally, I’d prefer to let someone else take the substantial depreciation hit and when it’s no longer new, swoop in for what’s still (to me) a pretty new car in good shape. The other part, though, is that I’m not flush with cash; perhaps if I had limitless resources I’d be at the Porsche or Audi dealership every other year signing on a new car. Regardless, there’s a huge contingent of our readership that I believe is in a similar situation to me – hence why we tend to look at older, more affordable (most of the time) models that represent good value, performance or collectability for a more modest investment. That brings us to the car at hand; in this post’s case, a 2005 Porsche Boxster. 2005 was early into the 987 production, having replaced the 986 in 2004. By most peoples’ measure, the 987 was a better looking car, mimicking many of the styling cues of the 997 as the 986 had mimicked the 996. Performance was also improved from some new motors, including an upgraded 3.4 liter engine in the S producing nearly 300 horsepower. That motor, however, did not appear until 2007 – meaning the top-tier S model in 2005 still had the 3.2 from the 986 sitting in the middle of the car. That motor was good for 276 horsepower, which by no means was a small amount. For some people it simply wasn’t enough though, and as expected German super-tuner Ruf offered the solution. The modified Boxsters went by the names of their engine displacement; in the 986, there was the 3400S, which was replaced by the 3600S. When Porsche introduced the 987, Ruf responded with the limited run RK Spyder and Coupe with a supercharged 3.8 liter flat six good for an astonishing 440 horsepower. That was in turn replaced by the 3800S, which it still available. With the newest edition of the 3.8 flat six producing over 400 horsepower (more than double what the Boxster had at launch), Ruf turned the entry level Porsche into a supercar killer:

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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.

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1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe

Most any wide-bodied Carrera is going to be immensely popular among Porsche enthusiasts and it only takes a few brief looks to see exactly why. Whether it is the full-blown RSR or simply an aesthetic difference like the car we see here, the enhanced shape of the stretched wider rear gets the heart racing. And of course it is the racing utility of that wider rear that makes these so desirable. For the last of the air-cooled 911s there were two naturally-aspirated Carreras, along with the 993 Turbo, to choose from for those who sought that wider rear body: the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S. The basic difference between the two models obviously lies in the number of drive wheels doing the work for each. For my money, the Carrera S is the one to have. Lighter and more faithful to the rear-drive design that lay at the heart of the 911 experience they are the ultimate expression of the air-cooled design. The example here is an Ocean Blue Metallic, 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in Chicago, with 39,790 miles on it.

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