2017 Porsche 911 Carrera

When is a “base” Porsche 911 good enough? The conundrum with the 991.2 911 is that while the base car, a twin-turbo 3.0L, is really good on its own, you have all the other models above it. And there are many. Carrera T, Carrera S, Carrera GTS, GT3, GT3 RS, GT2 RS, Speedster, Turbo, and Turbo S. Suddenly, at least on paper, the base model would seem inadequate. I’m here to tell you it is not. It is very much a pure 911 whether you get the PDK gearbox or the 7-speed manual, and the possibilities you gain by having that twin-turbo 3.0L are about endless in terms of making power. This 2007 up for sale in Texas is a perfect example why.

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1994 Porsche 911 Speedster

The 964 Porsche 911 Speedster has always been a cool novelty, but that doesn’t mean it is only that. I think these stayed true to the original 356 Speedster compared to Turbo-bodied 3.2 Carrera-based 911 Speedster, 997 Speedster, and 991 Speedster that is basically just a GT3. Porsche also blessed the US market with the fixed-back lightweight seats that were in the 964 RS for that extra feeling over the 964 Cabriolet. Only 936 examples were produced, with 427 Speedsters heading Stateside. These pop up for sale from time to time, but most are tucked away in collections given their rarity and the aircooled boom. This example up for sale in California checks in with 34,000 miles and some odd little custom touches that makes Porsche so unpredictable at times.

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2000 Porsche 911 Carrera 4

It’s hard to believe that just two years separated the end of 928 production and the beginning of the 996. Is there irony in the fact that the 928 was intended to replace the 911, and instead it was a water-cooled 911 that finally ended the reign of the air-cooled designs from Stuttgart? Perhaps. And in many ways, the 996 was immediately hated for it. It was too soft, too round, too….well, flawed – whether it’s from the exterior design, the interior quality, or the engine woes. But isn’t that what a 911 is all about? Maybe the 996 is the most 911-ish 911 there has been. Chew on that.

While you ponder my proclamation, let’s look at a pretty tempting example. Because let’s face it – flawed though it may be, the 996 is still a 911, still makes great noises, and still turns heads. But one thing it won’t do, generally, is break the bank – making them really appealing. And that’s exactly what we have here – a Guards Red 2000 Carrera 4, replete with the Aerokit and Sport Design wheels that make it an early Euro-spec GT3 clone. Sure, it doesn’t have the chops to back it up – but then, it’s also under $25,000:

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2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

For as uncommon as the color purple is to see on a car, the Germans weren’t shy about using it. We saw that last week with Carter’s 1995 BMW M3, Volkswagen with Violet Touch Pearl, and Mercedes-Benz with Almandine Black Metallic. Granted those colors are very rare and often by special request, but we are at a place where its so popular that this is a standard color on the GT3 RS. Today, we have a 2002 Carrera 4S in Paint-to-Sample Viola Metallic that, in my opinion, looks amazing. The wide body of the 996 C4S in this color? Sign me up. Although probably not at this price.

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2010 Porsche 911 Carrera 4

Last week I took a look at a very interesting 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo that garnered some discussion and even some people saying they really like it. Outside of the optional and very expensive carbon ceramic brakes, it looked like a pretty standard 997 Turbo. Then you peeked inside the windows and knew this wasn’t your typical example that dentist in the nice part of town leases every three years. No standard black leather here, this was Palm Green. Granted, a very subdued green, but still not something you’ll see everyday nor, for that matter, almost ever. Personally, I loved it. Give me the slightly-wild color combos everyday.

Wouldn’t you know, our friend at Switch Cars just happened to have another 997 in a seemingly restrained exterior color but a wild interior. Brace yourself, this one is a little bit more loud than Palm Green.

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2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S

In terms of value in the Porsche 911 world, where the “value” is a little bit of misnomer, I personally think the 997 is in a wonderful spot. You have a respectable amount of safety and performance, the unmistakable looks of a 911, all while not needing a six-figure income to buy or maintain. Yes, some of the more special 997s still bring huge prices, but for the more common 997s, its one of those or a new Honda Accord. The early Carrera and Carrera S cars are particularly appealing to me, especially when equipped with the 19″ lobster claw wheels. As luck would have it, this is what we have today in this 2006 Carrera S up for sale in California. The thing is, it isn’t equipped with the traditional six-speed manual transaxle, but rather the last of its kind five-speed automatic. Is this a deal breaker?

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2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

The 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS might go down as one of those “special” cars. Well, I guess it already is, but it is more of an end of an era. The 2016 model year was the last of the 991.1 cars before switching to the twin-turbocharge 3.0-liter with the facelift. That means this is the last of the naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter which admittedly has been around for a long time, but for good reason. You pair that with the almost-a-GT car GTS, and you have something special. Go even further and option with with the 7-speed manual and paint-to-sample in Mexico Blue? I’d say this one is “special”.

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2008 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Maybe just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Porsche’s paint-to-sample and Exclusive options programs has given us some real gems over the year, but every once in a while we get some real odd balls. Today’s 2008 911 C2S is bordering on that. This 997.1 is finished in the same green as the GT3 RS which isn’t the worst thing ever, but it is what happens on the inside that takes it to the limit in my eyes. Wait until you see for yourself.

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2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

The 996 Porsche 911 C4S generated a healthy discussion a few weeks ago when I looked at a very nice 2002 in Miami that surprisingly is still for sale. Wouldn’t you know it, another 2002 happened to pop up for sale and as you can see, this one has a splash of color on it. However, this example for sale in California isn’t as nice as the silver car from a few weeks back. This Speed Yellow C4S has almost 160,000 miles on it and by the looks of it, they were very hard miles. Still, Speed Yellow with matching hard back seats and a painted center console? Tough to overlook. And what if I told you that you could buy this car for under $20,000?

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2002 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

In my opinion, in terms of dollar for dollar value, there is no better Porsche 911 than the 996 Carrera 4S. It has all the looks of the 996 Turbo, but for about half the price. In terms of reliability, as long as you take care of the boogie man IMS bearing, these cars are solid. Inside, you can go as tame or as crazy as you want, as the “special requests” just started to gain traction with the rise of the interior in the early 2000s. Today’s car, a 2002 up for sale in Miami, is just about perfect in terms of the whole package. Arctic Silver over black, full carbon fiber trim, and some H&R lowering springs to get rid of the pesky wheel gap. Sign me up.

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