The case against a 996
Over the years, 996s have gotten increasingly affordable, even surprisingly so. Yes, they are largely unloved, but still— their relatively attractive price points must surely tempt aspiring P-car owners. Well those looking to make the jump would be wise to read this takedown by Jack Baruth first. An excerpt:
The men from Stuttgart knew they had a loser on their hands, so the 996 was freshened in 2002 with a more durable, more powerful engine, interior revisions, and a facelift. The market’s opinion on these cars, however, is written in the resale values. If you had purchased two Porsches in a row — a 1998 Carrera 2S for $75,000 and a 1999 Carrera 2 for $75,000 — and put 50,000 miles on each, you would find that the 1998 car (Baruth presumably means a 993- Ed.) would command an easy $50K in PCA classifieds, but the 1999 would struggle to fetch $20K.
Now, in spite of these damning words, one can’t help but wonder if these things are nevertheless relative. In other words, though an early 996 may be crap (at least according to Baruth), at the end of the day, is a crap 911 still a pretty good (if not exactly great) sports car to drive and to own, judged on its own merits? That’s what we would like to believe, although admittedly, we’re in no particular hurry to find out.
We still wouldn’t turn down a 996 GT3, though— not a chance.