The 986 generation of Boxster S is rapidly becoming a collectable car as Porsche enthusiasts wake up to the virtues of a mid-engined two-seater with famous Porsche driving dynamics.
With a great number of mechanical parts shared with the 911 of the same era, it provides keen drivers with an affordable way into thoroughbred Porsche sports car ownership.
Its popularity in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s effectively saved the company from bankruptcy, further marking the 986 Boxster out as a hugely important vehicle in the history of the Porsche brand. It was granted classic status by Porsche themselves in 2018, guaranteeing supply of official parts and restoration services for the future.
In the late 2000s a former owner of this example read an article put out by the hugely well-regarded Porsche specialists Autofarm detailing their new Cayman ‘RS’, which was a Cayman S that they’d fitted with a 996 3.4-litre engine. With the Cayman and the Boxster so mechanically similar, he decided to commission the same engine conversion in this particular Boxster at great expense, despite LR02 MWJ having a perfectly serviceable standard 3.2-litre unit at the time.
Since then, it has passed through two more Lincolnshire-based owners to the current custodian, all of whom have kept the car garaged, only bringing her out for a thoroughly enjoyable blast on a sunny day. The vendor has enjoyed the car immensely for the past three years, but now wishes to reclaim some garage space as he doesn’t get a chance to use it as often as he would like.
The car has a full service history, primarily from specialists such as Autofarm and 911 Sport. The owner, an experienced engineer himself, completed the most recent oil and filter service at 91,000 miles.
All works for the engine replacement, tuning and exhaust fitment, plus the replacement hood, is documented. There are various old MOT certificates and a stack of previous invoices for replacement parts and servicing work.
The car also comes with the original owner’s manual and documentation, two keys and a printout from the Porsche option decoder detailing the optional extras fitted from the factory. A log book in the owner’s name is also present.
Interior-wise, this Boxster presents extremely well with black leather hard-shelled wingback seats (a desirable and expensive factory-fitted option) plus cinnamon door cards and an unmarked dashboard.
Overall, there are very few blemishes on the inside, with all of the switchgear in very good order, most of which has hardly any wear and tear at all, though the factory upgrade handbrake and gear lever do have some marks as you would expect.
Minor downsides include some wear to the driver’s seat bolster, and a score down the middle of the passenger seat, but there are no rips or tears. There are the usual scuffs/scratches to the optional decorative metal door sill covers.
The factory-fitted BOSE sound system functions correctly and sounds fantastic, but the LCD display has recently stopped working. Superb white instrument dials are the final jewel on the inside.
From the outside this is a gorgeous example of a 986 Boxster, with the well-cared for metallic black paintwork shining brightly in the sunlight.
The black-painted 911 GT3 wheels have been recently refurbished and really do set the car off nicely. Litronic headlights, another desirable factory-fitted option, not only look superior to the standard items, they perform better, too.
The roof was replaced 40,000 miles ago and is in fairly immaculate condition. Upgraded over the standard item, it features a heated glass rear screen instead of a plastic one.
There is a crack in the front windscreen but as it does not affect driver visibility it will not fail an MOT. Some light stone chips are present on the front end and the lower part of the rear wings (pictured), typical of a car of this mileage, while there is a tiny dent on the passenger side front wing.
The mechanicals are where this particular 986 Boxster stands head and shoulders above the rest you might be looking at.
The unique 996 911 engine swap was commissioned in 2009 and finally completed in 2011, at a cost of nearly £17,000. This was carried out by renowned Porsche Specialists Autofarm when the car had covered 51565 miles.
The engine was fully rebuilt at the time of installation with new pistons etc and has covered just over 40,000 miles since. Specification is as follows:
996 3.4 engine bored to 3.7 litres
Schrick performance camshafts
IPD enlarged throttle body
Steel lined cylinders (known as a silisleeve, to protect from the bore scoring issue)
Autofarm IMS upgrade
CARGRAPHIC exhaust system with equal-length headers
Racing catalytic converters
Current engine output is believed to be in the region of 350bhp and 300 lb ft of torque, resulting in exceptional performance and very strong acceleration in all six gears. The gearbox is slick and does not make any untoward noises. The exhaust system has been ceramic coated (right up to the headers) to keep it looking its best, and it emits a lovely raspy growl on full or even part throttle.
The full Porsche M030 handling kit was fitted at the same time as the replacement engine. Comprising uprated dampers, lowering springs and thicker anti-roll bars, this Boxster gets down the road incredibly well and is superb fun to drive.
The underside is very clean with the suspension arms and anti-roll bars in very good order. Brand-new Brembo discs and performance pads ensure that the car stops as well as it goes, while an extended additional capacity oil sump means that track day enthusiasts are well catered for.
The MOT history will note a misfire that caused an MOT failure earlier this year. New spark plugs, coil packs were fitted, though the actual problem was traced to a faulty Lambda sensor, so all were replaced.
On a run and driven steadily, 30mpg is achievable, demonstrating the efficiency and well-sorted nature of the engine.
Those looking for the combined benefits of a mid-engined two-seat Porsche sports car and the power of a 911 will be blown away by the performance of this particular 986 Boxster.
Desirable factory-fitted interior upgrades and subtle modifications such as the 911 GT3 wheels, Brembo brake discs and free-flowing exhaust, plus the fantastic M030 handling kit combine in tremendous fashion to unleash the true potential of the fabulous Boxster chassis.
All of the known 996 engine issues have been taken care of as well, leaving the new owner to enjoy what is a thoroughly sorted example of a brilliant modern classic sports car.
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