With a production run stretching from 1964 right up to the present day, there’s barely anyone left in the world unfamiliar with the Porsche 911. Although there’s been seven distinct generations across that time, the basic concept of the 911 has remained unchanged: a 2+2 sports coupe with a rear-mounted, boxer engine.
The first 911 was actually known as - and presented at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show as - the 901 originally. However at that time, Peugeot held a national trademark in its native France for car names consisting of three numbers with a zero in the middle, so Porsche simply added one.
It was a true family effort too. Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche designed the 911’s exterior under the direction of his father, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, to succeed the successful 356, in the company bearing his grandfather, Ferdinand Porsche’s, name.
Although the car evolved over the intervening 30 years, gaining a turbo (and some notoriety) with the 930 model, and going through two further generations with the 964 and 993, it didn’t significantly change as a vehicle until 1998 and the 996 model you see here - a car designed in conjunction with the Boxster.
As well as growing larger, the 996 marked the switch from the traditional air-cooled boxer to the more typical water-cooled engine. This was in part necessary for emissions and cost reasons, but also for performance reasons - and while not entirely popular at the time among purists, it’s something that has proven to be the basis of the 911’s ongoing success.
The 996 you see here is from relatively early in the model’s life. First registered in September 2000, the 911 dates to the first two years of production. It’s a rear-wheel drive, Carrera 2 model, sporting the 300hp, 3.4-litre boxer six engine.
With just over 114,000 miles on the clock, the 996 has covered only an average of 5,700 miles a year in its life, and given its reputation as a reliable, everyday car that just also happens to be a Porsche sports car, it’s likely barely even broken in.
Although it changed hands every couple of years back when it was new, the current owner picked it up in 2017, from a previous owner who’d had the car since 2009.
The car’s MOT history is pretty healthy with only some minor blips. The owner tells us that the 996 has been maintained with everything it’s needed across his custody, and the new stainless steel exhaust, addressing an MOT issue from 2020, is testament to that.
There’s one insurance repair, as the 911 was hit by debris on a dual carriageway, puncturing the boot floor. The car has a new under-tray to match.
As befits a prestige car, the 911 has a pretty replete paperwork record. There’s a stamped service book showing work carried out from 2001 to 2017, along with various other dealer checks.
You’ll also find MOT certificates dating back to its very first one in September 2003, and running up to the most recent one.
Both previous owners have kept receipts for, as far as we can tell, everything. That includes the exhaust mentioned above, and new Conti Sport tyres fitted in 2018.
On the inside, the 996 is classic Porsche - blue leather seats over light grey carpets. All four seats are in generally good condition but, as you’d expect with a car that’s been enjoyed for 114,000 miles and 20 years, there’s some wear and marking.
There’s no tears in the leather, but you will find some scuffing in the traditional places - like the driver’s seat bolster. Similarly the carpet is pretty fresh, though you’ll spot what appears to be a small paint stain in the rear load area.
Some of the high-traffic areas of the interior plastics are a little worn and scratched too, again befitting a car of its age, but for the most part it’s stood the test of time and the buttons remain clearly labelled. The silver paint on the bonnet/boot release levers has worn away in parts, and the front of the original-fit radio is broken but still functions. The removable front fascia of the radio is cracked, and the seller advised us it can come apart however, is fully functional.
The “frunk” - the boot in the car’s nose - is clean and tidy, and contains the space-saver spare wheel and emergency toolkit.
As with the interior, the car’s exterior is of a generally good standard but with the occasional blemish that you wouldn’t be surprised to find on a 20-year old car of any kind.
Originally supplied in Ocean Blue Pearl Metallic, the paintwork has largely stood the test of time. One exception is the bumpers, which were resprayed a couple of years ago to repair some surface cracking; the owner notes that the finish isn’t great when you get up close, but nonetheless presentable.
Elsewhere there’s a chip in the paint on the sunroof, and a small dent on the offside rear, but again both are difficult to spot without getting up close. There’s some perishing on the rear window gasket too.
All four wheels are in good condition, benefitting from a refurbishment a couple of years ago.
All of the early 996 cars came with a 3.4-litre boxer six with VarioCam variable valve timing. The first models shipped with 296hp, before a mild power hike to 300hp in 2000. Generally speaking, it’s a reliable unit, but there is one notorious potential fault: the Porsche intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing issue.
IMS bearings have been the subject of class action suits, and an IMS bearing failure - which is still rare - can lead to catastrophic engine damage if not addressed. This car still has the original IMS bearing, and the owner notes that their local Porsche specialists have both advised to leave it well alone until it’s something that becomes necessary to address.
The exhaust manifolds are also showing some corrosion, as picked up on MOT tests this year. Again, this is something that isn’t necessary to address at present, but a new owner may wish to look at in the future.
Mechanically, the 911 is showing no real signs of concern, with the owner telling us that it starts well every time, and holds good temperature and oil pressure in operation.
The Porsche 911 is arguably the most enduring sports car in automotive history. Its unique layout lends to a characteristic drive that keeps people coming back to the 911 over any of its rivals, time and time again
*The pictures in this listing have been provided by the seller*
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