Forty years after my Porsche daydreams started, they finally became reality. There is an arctic silver, 1999 Porsche 911 (996) parked in my garage. This is the short(ish) story.
Let’s be clear, this only happened because my wife got tired of my constant remarks and hints about owning a 911. So, to her my enduring appreciation for helping make a young man’s (now older man’s) daydream(s) come true.
Lost & found
As a kid I loved alpine skiing, watches and cars. In my teenage years, I covered my room with magazine pictures of Porsches (911, 944, 928). The highlight picture was the 911 (930) Turbo. There’s a fair chance that I’m not alone in that for many years the interests of my youth went dormant. Military, college, career hustle and building a family have all been priorities.
A few years back, I read an article about leaving too many of our childhood interests behind. I’m fortunate to have never lost the pursuit of my interests. Skiing returned as a family pursuit a while back. Building a modest watch collection happened over the last few years as well. Then the pandemic happened.
The light bulb
While scrolling through my YouTube feed in early 2020 (what else was there to do), I clicked on a video regarding the unloved Porsche 911 (996). That video spawned my research into the feasability of buying a 996. I could see that prices were rising for pre-owned Porsches. Yet, the 996 was still in reasonable territory. I do not mind the headlights or the known issues with the car (all cars have issues). To me, the body style of the 1999 996 is svelte and, let’s be real, it’s a 911.
At the time of doing my research I was driving a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. The supply chain issues of the pandemic sent used car prices soaring. In mid-2021, Carvana was offering almost $9,000 for my Jetta. This was close to half the cost of buying a 996 in good condition. The rest of the investment in the car would come from our brokerage account. My research showed that the early 996 values had bottomed out and were now rising. So, peeling some brokerage money off to put toward a 911 became diversification. Who doesn’t like an investment that you can drive?
With authorization from my wife in hand, the search began. I placed a want add on the Porsche Club of America’s site and got a good number of calls. My adventure took me to talking with folks from all over the country. I even had a sports car broker to NFL stars call. I got close to a 2001 996 C4 in Indiana but could not come up to the asking price. Then, one of the folks I talked with pointed me to a 996 on a dealer lot in Columbus, Ohio.
A few days of price negotiations, a slew of pictures and videos convinced me this was the car. A deposit made and a oneway flight booked, I was off to check the car. The dealer had a car pick me up at the airport and whisked me to their shop. This shop is a sports car dealer, repair shop and mini museum.
At this point let me say that I was not looking for a museum car. I was looking for a daily driver, forever car. This 1999 arctic silver 911 C2 had no accidents and was original down to the CD changer, Becker stereo. With only three previous owners and under 80,000 miles the car had lived a good life thus far but need some attention. The rev report showed no blow out revs and the body is in very nice shape. Sure there are paint dings and scratches. But, like any other vintage item, its patina. A test drive confirmed that this car would be it.
Not thinking I would find a much better unmodified version of a 1999 911, I pulled the trigger and drove the 911 home. Below is the first picture of the 911 before I pulled off the lot in Ohio.