Buying the cheapest running Porsche in the United Kingdom is a good title, but it wasn’t originally my intention. I initially wanted a low-mileage 2001 986-generation Boxster that looked immaculate in Arctic Silver with red brake calipers. Unfortunately, it was snapped up before I got to the garage it was being sold from in London.
Then there was a 2002 Boxster S that, at £3,600 ($4,848 U.S.), was a bit expensive but was obviously well looked after. There was already someone else on the way to see that car, so they had first refusal. That Porsche was also bought from under my nose.
When I called the owner of my third choice, another spotless base 986 Boxster for £3,400 ($4,477 U.S.), it had also gone, sold literally an hour earlier! And so I was running out of options. The last affordable one (the next one on the list was a 2007 987-gen Boxster for £7,500, or $10,096 U.S.) was a base 986 that was a four-hour train ride away up in a town called—I kid you not—Kidderminster.
The friendly-sounding seller agreed to pick me up from the station. He got there at the same time as the train, so I saw his Boxster running parallel to the platform as I arrived. I loved how the factory ‘swirl’ rims looked. Up close it did appear a bit worse than the photos suggested though.
There were glaze scratches on just about every panel, and one of the front indicator lenses was cracked. The photo on the car sales website was of the one good wheel, while the other three alloys all had varying degrees of aluminum corrosion. I also noticed what looked like a cigarette burn hole (albeit one that had been nicely repaired) in the middle of the roof. And 130,000 miles on the odometer was also a bit on the high side.
Once inside, though, looking at the immaculate beige leather with black trim interior, I instantly fell in love. Every electric button worked, there were no warning lights on the dashboard, and there was a brand-new Sony radio with Bluetooth.
The UK’s every-12-month M.O.T. (for Ministry of Transport) road-worthiness test is a multi-point inspection so thorough that if a car has a new one, it is a great indicator that everything is right with that vehicle. There’s even a section called ‘advisories’ which is a list of things that might need looking at before the next test. This car had none.