Shopping Notes: 2001 Porsche Boxster
As you my have ascertained from my last post, I have the itch something awful. Not THAT, no, the itch for a car. The theory I am specifically looking to put into practice is the old “buy cold, sell warm” convertible theory. I don’t know about where you are, but it has been butt cold here, and is looking to only continue down that wintry road. What better time to buy a droptop, right??
Truth be told, I have long been one of those guys who thought that Boxsters weren’t real Porsches – much the same way that folks have felt about 914s, 924s, and so on. To me, a real Porsche was a car with two ones in the name and the engine way out back. And I’ve driven my share of 911s from multiple generations, and I’ve loved every one of them at least a little.. But on my current quest I found two issues with the 911: first, I’m not crazy about the looks of 911 cabrios, with the exception of the most recent iteration; second: I can’t afford one, plain and simple. So I decided that if I was going to include a Porsche on my short list, I’d have to drive a Boxster.
And you know what..? I liked it. A lot. Actually, I drove two. The first was a catastrophe of epic proportion, but it ran well and made me realize that these cars – even in base form – have far more go than I would have given them credit for. Now I’ll admit that could be thanks to the fact that the vast majority of my 2-seat roadstering has taken place in modestly-powered 4-cylinders. In comparison, the Boxster’s 2.7 flat-6 feels downright muscular.
On the road, power delivery was smooth, the snickety shifter makes up for decades of vague linkages, and the car loves to be, no, needs to be revved. The clutch takeup is positive, and the steering is practically telepathic, but with feel.
This particular car is advertised for a reasonable $9,500. Frankly, the idea of a sub-$10k 6-cylinder Porsche that actually runs is intoxicating. But then, this car may have been ridden just a little hard and put away just a little wet. The car smoked a bit when first started, and I admit that I haven’t done my due diligence yet to figure out if that’s an issue, but it was a tad disconcerting. It also had a fair amount of wear inside, although the seats and carpets were in very nice condition. Most annoying was a windshield that had been absolutely thrashed by worn-out wipers and/or an unsympathetic owner. Not a great sign. I do like a little bit of fettling to occupy my spare time, but this may not be the ideal foundation on which to build. Still, with a little bit off the asking price….?
Bottom line is that I am totally smitten, and while a Boxster may paint me as a guy who can’t afford a 911 so be it. Frankly, I AM a guy who can’t afford a 911, so it is what it is. Now to find a really good one for $10k or less….
A common failure on boxster is air/oil separator. Easy to replace I believe. Small amount (puff at startup) of white smoke is normal though. Unrelated, also hear main oil seals can be quite “leaky” and obviously a big job. Windshield is replaceable but I suppose may speak to possible neglect of the previous owner. Maybe not. Boxster definitely has the rep you outlined…but they are great cars. Now that you have driven one, you know why. I was a Porsche hater until I drove one. They’ll win you over instantaneously. Good luck!
I gotta tell you – I was a Porsche convert the first time I drove a 911, but I never thought I could be a Boxster guy. Good point about the oil/air separator – I think I’d read that somewhere. Not sure about seals, the there is the IMS issue that seems like it can strike at any time….. Even so.
If you can’t prove it’s been done, it hasn’t. A new (wrecking yard) engine will cost more than you’ll pay for the whole car.
Supposedly an interesting solution to the IMS Bearing problem.