Apollo 911

What happens when you buy a 996 that’s got 243,000+ miles on the odometer?

April 13, 2017
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Allow me to introduce myself as the dumbest Porsche enthusiast in the world. I’m the guy who sold a nice 1966 912 for $9,000 a few years back, only to watch it triple in value. The same goes for a 99,000-mile 944 Turbo that I parted with for a pathetic $4,500. That one jumped in value practically the moment I sold it, too.

It never takes long after selling a Porsche for me to get withdrawals, though. My most recent search introduced me to a harsh new reality: The days of cheap classic Porsches are virtually gone! If I wanted to scratch my itch cheaply again, I had to go modern. After months of tire kicking, I took the plunge and bought the cheapest running 911 coupe with a manual transmission I could find for sale in these United States.

To further prove myself as the dumbest Porsche enthusiast in the world, let me detail the reckless abandon I had for my wallet when making this purchase. I found a 1999 911 (996) Carrera with 243,000 miles for $9,500. The car was offered with absolutely no paper service records. While the Carfax report showed it as a one-owner car, there was nothing else to note. Being a cheap idiot and ignoring the old adage “there’s nothing more expensive than a cheap Porsche” I took a used car dealer at his word that the car was in great mechanical condition and sent a deposit sight unseen.

I then flew 1,500 miles to complete the purchase and decided I was qualified enough to do a mechanical inspection myself…despite never having owned a modern 911. Any other Porsche enthusiast would think I am out of my mind.

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

The car was located in Southern California, which coincided with a business trip I had in the area. I flew from my hometown of Wichita, Kansas to Orange County, California and was picked up by the selling dealer. After a short test drive, my amateur inspection in the dark, and some paperwork, I set off for my two-week-long road trip. At 243,000 miles on the odometer, my Porsche had traveled farther than the distance to the Moon (it’s about 238,900 miles from where you’re at right now to the Earth’s natural satellite, for those of you keeping score at home), so a name for it came easily to me: Apollo 911 (after NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 manned moon landing).

Also from Issue 246

  • 2017 911 GTS Models
  • 1981 Autobahn Police 924
  • Market Update: 1974-1989 911
  • Well-Used 1969 Emancipation 911T
  • The First GTS: 1964 904
  • 2009 987 Cayman S GTB1 Racer
  • Long-Lost 1973 911 2.7 RS Safari Rally Racer
  • 5 Common Porsche Problems
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