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How To Buy A Porsche 911 - A Guide

By raccars Published

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It's probably the greatest sports coupe of all time and last year celebrated its 50th anniversary. Nearly every car enthusiast wants to get their hands on one of these icons of the automotive world but the world of used 911s is a minefield. With seven generations having produced nearly a million examples, plus endless variations and special editions, which is the best 911 for you?

The history

The original 911 was released in 1963 under the designation 901. It started life with a 2.0 litre engine, later upgraded to a 2.7 litre. A decade later saw the arrival of the G-Series with a 3.0 litre engine and impact bumpers. It was redesigned as the 964 for 1988, with an all new chassis and the option of four wheel drive. By 1993, the 993 was updated with an aluminium platform and became the last 911 to be air cooled. The water cooled 996 from 1997 was the most efficient model of 911 yet.

The 911 got even better with 2004's 997 model, with even entry level models getting 321bhp out of a flat six 3.6 litre unit. The 991 version came along in 2011, with another platform redesign and a seven speed manual gearbox, the first of its kind in the world.

The options

Early 911s are collector's items and less usable on a daily basis than later models, so are best seen as an investment purchase. The 1960s short wheelbase versions are rare but in any case are less desirable than the 1968-1973 models, the best of which is considered to be the Carrera RS 2.7. As a result, prices are sky high, so a 2.4 litre model is a good choice between that and the slower 2.0 or 2.2 litre units.

1974-1983 impact bumper cars are good value for money but not always well cared for, so the 1984-1989 Carrera 3.2 is a useful classic that offers a very entertaining drive. The 1989-1993 964 was allegedly a very different car but prices are affordable, it's a nifty performer and well built. Cherished examples are also likely to gain in value over time.

The last air cooled model, the 993, is very collectable but by the time you get to water cooled models, it's largely about the budget. These are still new enough to suffer from depreciation but the sportier models, such as the Turbo or Gts 2 and 3, are the best bets for long term value.

On all older cars, beware of rust and check for regular maintenance - these cars need an oil change frequently.

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