Maybe new cars aren’t your thing. In fact, there’s a beauty to owning and maintaining a vintage car. There’s absolutely no shame in letting someone else take the initial depreciation hit. However, finding a car that’s worth of the effort and cost of maintenance is a challenge. Only a few select cars get better over time. The Porsche 911 tends to be one of those cars. For the first edition of the Value Proposition segment, we’ll take a look at the Porsche 997.
The Porsche 911 resides in the super sweet spot of the exotic yet attainable. Luxurious and unpretentious, and practical enough for everyday use. Over a decade ago, Porsche returned to traditional aesthetics of the 911 and perhaps saved the legacy of the famed rear engine sports car with the 997. Beyond that fact, there’s a host of reasons to love this water-cooled Porsche.
Here’s the thing about water-cooled 911s, they come with a lot of other stuff like functional cup holders, countless variations, as well as a host of helpful electronics like PSM, PMT, PASM, and some with state of the art turbo tech – VGT. Not to take away from the golden age for Zuffenhausen, the 997 really builds on the foundation without unnecessary add-ons. Nevertheless, good arguments can be made for the 964 and 993 as the high water mark for the famed 911 nameplate. The fact is that values for both 993s and 964s have reached a point where is hard to justify them as daily drivers. The 997 fills that void perfectly.
My daily driver is a 2006 997 Carrera 4S and it hasn’t skipped a beat. It’s now a decade old car that just crossed the 100,000 km threshold without any residual depreciation in the last two years. More importantly, it puts a smile on my face every time I’m behind the wheel. Every time I pick up my niece or nephew up, the car evokes memories of me giggling in the back seat of a 930 as my father accelerated. Outside the pricey, but not unreasonable, visits to the service department the car is extremely well built. I’m amazed how responsive and stiff the chassis feels when you dive the nose into a corner.
The interior remains in outstanding condition with the tan leather seats and trim not showing much wear and tear. Outside of a few stone/rock salt chips and peeling lacquer on the front bumper, the entire body is impressively lustrous. Fuel economy isn’t great, but that has never really been my main consideration.
I think the journey is just as important as the destination. Compared to other four season cars of the same 2006 vintage, this 911 doesn’t show its age in the driveway or on the highway. Like a good pair of leather gloves or denim jeans it just gets better with age. I don’t think I’d ever consider selling mine, so if you have the means and don’t mind the additional cost of upkeep and gas, I think the Porsche 997 is a great value proposition.
Images courtesy of the author.