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Mart Fresh: 987.2 Boxster gem, clean slate 911 race car, or underrated 944S?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Photos by the sellers except where noted

A popular PCA member benefit is The Mart, the club’s classifieds section online and in each issue of Porsche Panorama. Mart Fresh is a bi-weekly column in which PCA media staff pick what they think are the "freshest" Porsches currently available, and then attempt to explain their reasoning. Only PCA members and Test Drive program participants have access to seller contact information. Always invest in a pre-purchase inspection for any Porsche you may consider, as seller descriptions and pictures don’t always tell the full story.

2009 Porsche Boxster - $24,850

I recently wrote a web piece discussing the fact that we should all be buying 997.2 base Carreras. A stream of comments served to remind me about what a bargain 987.2 Boxsters and Caymans are at the moment — base cars in particular. The big news for the 2009 model year was a pair of new engines. The base cars got by with an older port fuel injection system, rather than the DFI system in the 2009 Boxster S. But base Caymans and Boxsters did get a useful displacement bump, going from 2.7 liters to 2.9 liters and making a healthy 255 horsepower. The extra 10 hp allowed the base Boxster to break six seconds from zero to 60 miles per hour for the first time (5.8 seconds to be exact). Not eyeball flattening by any means, but certainly respectable for the time. The real advantage to the new 2.9-liter engine was the fact that it did not use an intermediate shaft for the first time in any Boxster. While I need the kid-friendly back seats of a 911, for those who don’t, a Boxster or a Cayman makes for a pretty compelling package. I tend to buy on condition rather than spec, so the fact that this is a base car doesn’t bug me. With just 28,000 miles, a six-speed manual, Sport Chrono, and in stunning Ruby Red Metallic, there’s almost nothing not to like here — including the asking price of under $25,000. Snap this one up for spring (assuming spring ever arrives). – Rob Sass, Editor in Chief and Director of Content, Porsche Panorama and

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1974 Porsche 911 Race Car - $19,000

Calling Speed Racer

Well here’s your chance. For less than $20,000 you can get into this pretty well-set-up track car. Note the 993-style body/aero, wheels/tires, interior safety equipment, etc. There IS a catch… sure, there isn’t a motor or transmission, but I see that as a plus. Depending on your driving skill, you can opt for the power level that best matches you. Say a 2.7, 3.0, 3.2, or 3.6 liter; fuel injection or carbs — you decide. Plan on spending at least $20-25k on a solid motor and transmission combo plus installation labor. I imagine it would be so much fun to pilot this analog beast. Did I forget to mention I love the looks and color too? The buyer should definitely go into this with eyes wide open and make sure to take someone with technical experience to evaluate the car. Looks like the owner probably has documentation they’d be able to share, too. The only downside to this ride is that the owner shouldn't get into this car for financial gain. Modified cars — especially race cars — can be quite a gamble in terms of reliability and future value. That said, whoever buys this should just focus on the apex ahead of them and let collectors worry about values of other cars. – Vu Nguyen, Executive Director, Porsche Club of America

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1987 Porsche 944S - $8,000

The 944S is underrated. A little more than a year ago, friends offered me the chance to drive their 2.5-liter 16-valve 190-horsepower 944S at an autocross, and I had some preconceptions going in. Longtime buff-book readers will remember the engine being described as “peaky” and without meaningful torque — just 170-pound-feet at a lofty 4300 rpm (!) — belying its clear 40-horsepower advantage that is felt by the seat of your pants. I’m not here to tell you it has the low-rpm immediacy of the 3.0-liter 944 S2, but during the autocross, I was impressed by the smooth power delivery, the hunger for revs, and concluded that no 8-valve naturally aspirated 944 I’d experienced had ever felt that quick or as satisfying to drive in anger. My takeaway is that for nice-944 money, say roughly $8,000, you could opt for a 944S like this instead of (likely) thousands more for a 944 S2. Decisions… I’d look for evidence of a timing chain tensioner replacement, or at least new tensioner pads, as a failure will cost more than the car is worth to fix. Be sure to read our model guide and get a pre-purchase inspection, as well. – Damon Lowney, Digital Media Coordinator, Porsche Club of America

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