The Porsche 911s you can afford - The £10k Porsche 911

We look at three 911s ranging from £13,000 to £35,000 that won't break the bank

My mate Dai Davies and I sing from very much the same hymn sheet when it comes to 911s. The want from childhood: the poster of the red SC with tea-tray rear wing, squeezing onto the Porsche stand at late-1980s motor shows, model 911s, the wonder of 911s in the movies with brick phones in the centre console, and that ludicrous black 935-alike in the hopelessly cheesy flick Condorman, with his 911-driving henchmen. In a way, the Porsche 911 has been an integral part of our lives, and as Dai says: ‘I always said, one day I will have one.’

‘Over time the 996 just grew on me,’ he reflects, ‘and I came to love its beautiful curves and compact proportions. It was unloved for a long time, but I think it now looks fantastic, and crucially, I could just about afford one.’

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So early last year the pursuit began for real. ‘The essentials for me were a coupe and a manual gearbox. Ideally I wanted a “2” [rear drive], but would compromise with a Carrera 4 if I had to. Worryingly, I noticed there were fewer and fewer such 996s coming on for around £10,000.’

Eventually Dai spotted this silver C4 on eBay. The mileage was high at 143,000 but it seemed like it had lived a good life, and he was down there before any of us could say ‘what about the IMS bearing?’

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‘At that point all the advice went out of the window!’ says Dai. ‘I looked it over in a train station car park; next thing I knew I’d bought it. For £9500. Driving it home all I could think was, “Oh my god, I’m driving my 911.” Followed by discovering the air con didn’t work, and thinking, “Oh no, what have I done?” It was excitement mixed with a bit of fear. Then I found a great stretch of road and thought “Yes!” Knowing it was probably worth £8k in parts was my get-out, but I figured if it had lasted this long it must have something right about it.

‘I put 2000 miles on it in the first week on a driving holiday in Scotland. It was brilliant, warts and all. And now I use it for everything – work, taking the kids to school. It’s done 155,000 now.

‘No, running it hasn’t been cheap. The first service cost £1200, and it failed its MOT on blowing exhausts and a shot damper. I had to find a cost-effective repair but we got there in the end, and I’ve never had a moment where I’ve wanted rid of it. It’s been a bit scary at times: it’s a cheap car to buy but still a Porsche to run.’

Any advice then, Dai, for the fellow enthusiast? ‘I’d say listen to your head. Do your checks. But overall it’s about how comfortable you are with risk – if you’re not, then the horror stories, the wondering about that noise it made yesterday, well, I don’t think you could live with it. But for me, every day I drive it, just walking up to it, knowing I have a 911 – that removes all of the worry instantly. Whatever the journey, I always take the 911: with my car every occasion is a 911 occasion. It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like at 200,000 miles.’

There you have it: 12,000 miles of 911-bred smiles in 12 months, for a third less than the price of the cheapest, most basic new Ford Fiesta. I’ve driven the car and it’s a beaut. The ten-grand 911 is alive and well. Get in while you still can.

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