With the prices of 996-generation 911s (1997-2004) climbing, how attractive does the model’s successor, the 997 of 2004- 2013, look? To find out, we stuck a pin in the price map at £30,000.
For this money you could have a 2003-reg 911 (996) Carrera 3.6 4S or a 2006-reg 911 (997) Carrera 3.8 S, both with 50,000 miles and manual gearboxes. The 4S would be more secure in the wet thanks to its ability to send around 40% of the engine’s power to the front wheels, allowing its driver to enjoy more of the power, more of the time.
However, that next-gen Carrera S has our attention. Back in the day, our reviewer declared the 997 to be 15% better in every area than the 996. Peter Robinson concluded: “In 997 S form, the 911 Carrera is faster, more stable, more precise and forgiving and an altogether superior – make that more efficient – sports car than the 996.” Praise doesn’t come much higher.
So, with his words ringing in your ears, what should you be looking out for on our find? With even the simplest problems extremely expensive to fix, being sure there’s nothing lurking in the woodshed is key to happy 997 ownership. It’s rather over-egged but check for leaks from the rear main seal.
Next, try the clutch. It lasts around 50,000 miles – or exactly the mileage our find has done. Does the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system work properly, with a clear distinction between Normal and Sport modes? Be sure the cooling system works (it’s vulnerable perched out there at the front) and that the body is rust-free. Finally, drive it and others so you can tell good from bad.
Toyota GT86 2.0-4D S, £12,295