I have once again failed in my quest to keep this site even remotely up to date.  There has been quite a bit going on in the last few months, which is partially why nothing new has appeared here lately…. or at least that’s the excuse that I am going to use for now.

Anyway, last fall I decided that I had had enough of the BMW 850i that had been my daily driver for the last 7+ years.  It had been good to me as I racked up over 55,000 miles, mostly driving to and from work every day.  It still ran beautifully for a 20+ year old car with over 175,000 on the clock.  The 5.0L M70 V12 is an absolute tank and will probably run for another 100k miles with only basic maintenance being necessary.  It was a fantastic car to drive every day and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of ownership.

My replacement would have to be something that’s reliable yet fun to drive.  I decided that I wanted a manual transmission this time … just to make that evening commute on 202 a little more painful!  One of the first cars that I considered was the Porsche 911, more specifically the first of the water-cooled models known as the 996.  These cars were produced from 1999 through 2005 and featured 7 different trim packages: Carrera Coupe, Carrera Convertible, Carrera 4 Coupe, Carrera 4 Convertible, Turbo, Turbo Convertible, and Targa.  The 996 featured a few updates between the 2000, 2001 and 2002 models which included an updated front end and a larger displacement engine (3.4L to 3.6L Six Cylinder Engine).

My research showed that all off the 996 models would be good candidates, but I began looking for Carrera 4 models because they were cheaper then the Turbo’s and still featured all wheel drive.  I read up on Rear Main Seal (RMS) leaks and catastrophic engine failures due to Intermediate Shaft Bearings (IMS) failing or cracked cylinder heads.  With an average repair costing north of $10k this was a bit disconcerting.  It seemed like many of these failures happened to vehicles that were infrequently used and sat for long periods of time.  I would be interested in a higher mileage vehicle that has been well used and well maintained.

After a couple of months of searching, I came across a ’99 Carrera 4 Coupe on ebay located in South Jersey.  The owner was looking to get $19.5k but was willing to take $17k.  It took almost a month of phone calls and watching his numerous auction listings before we made a deal at $15,250.

The car is silver with a blue interior and has a few options that I was really looking for including heated seats and rear wiper.  Decoding the VIN shows the car to be equiped with:

Model year: 1999

Model ID: 996

Engine Code KW HP Liter Cylinders Model
M96.02 220 299 3,40 911 CARRERA +M620 C4

Options found on your vehicle.

Option Code Description
IXSC Porsche Crest embossed in headrest
IX70 Door entry guards in stainless steel with logo
IX71 Instrument dial painted/Aluminium Look finish
M032 Touring suspension
M058 Impact absorbers, front and rear
M130 Control and indications in English lettering
M139 Seat heating system, left seat
M197 Stronger battery
M219 Differential
M270 Door mirror -flat- driver’s side, electrically adjustable and heatable
M273 Door mirrors, electrically adjustable and heatable
M274 Vanity mirror illuminated
M322 Radio “Porsche CR 220”
M335 Automatic seat belt, 3-point, rear
M339 All-wheel drive
M340 Seat heating system, right seat
M369 Standard seat, left
M370 Standard seat, right
M399 17-inch Carrera-4 wheel
M421 Front cassette compartment
M425 Rear window wiper
M441 Radio preparation
M446 Concave wheel centers with full-colour Porsche Crest
M454 Automatic speed control
M465 Rear foglamp, left
M476 Porsche Stability Management (PSM)
M480 6-speed manual transmission
M484 Version for USA
M490 -MY 01 sound system MY 02 sound system Harmann analog
M535 Anti-theft lock 315 MHz
M539 Mechanical seat-height adjustment, left
M540 Mechanical seat-height adjustment, right
M553 Version for USA, Canada
M562 Airbag, driver’s side and front passenger’s side
M563 Side airbag
M566 Front fog lights, white
M567 Windscreen tinted, upper part darker coloured
M573 Air conditioner
M580 Non-smoker’s package
M581 Center console, front
M590 Power lid locking
M602 Raised stop lamp
M620 Electronic accelerator
M650 Electrical sliding roof
M651 Electrical window opener
M657 Power assisted steering
M659 On-board computer
M660 obd 2
M661 Stricter emission-control concept
M685 Rear seats, split
M692 CD autochanger “Porsche”
M937 Seat covers, rear, leatherette
M946 Seat covers, front, leather/leather/leatherette

Overall, the car appeared to be in decent shape but showed exterior wear including a couple of small dents, paint scrapes and rock chips which is to be expected of a car with almost 100k on the clock (94,900 to be exact).

A few things that needed attention right away:

  • The car came with bright red floor mats that didn’t match and were filthy
  • The engine lid wouldn’t stay open on its own
  • One wheel was missing a center cap and all were badly faded
  • The car didn’t come with cup holders
While parts were ordered, I jumped in and started enjoying the ride…. more to come!

1 Comment
  1. Tom told me about your new ride last year. How is it doing now almost a year later?

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