Want to own a Porsche 911 without the astronomical price tag of buying new? The 80s in my opinion were the best years for the Porsche 911. Why? Because they were the years of excess, when money flowed like water and Porsche buyers entered the market by the boatload. This is why you can still find a Porsche 911 in good condition today because they built to last and there are still plenty out there.
Reliable and beautifully designed german engineering is at your fingertips for a fraction of the cost – but more on cost later. First here are six tips that will help you make a better decision when buying a used Porsche 911. These cars are incredible and very reliable, but if you don’t know what you are looking for you might be in for a headache. This is why you need to equip yourself with the right information before you look, let’s get started.
How To Buy A Porsche 911 From The 1980s: Buyer Checklist
1. Rust. It’s a scary word isn’t it? Porsches were made with galvanized steel and 25 years later the Porsche warranty is a thing of the past. This is why it’s important you find a 911 that has been stored indoors. When you inspect it, examine the chassis and undercarriage these take the most beating on roads and highways. Especially look for paint chips around doors or wheel wells these collect rain and if not touched up immediately rust starts. Be on the watch for touch ups and if you see any, examine them for bubbling because there might be rust hiding just under the surface.
Bring a good LED flashlight with you, check between doors and under the hood. And get the car hoisted for a good look at the underbelly – or get on your back if you’ve got coveralls. Your absolute mission is to find rust, be nuts about it, and if there is any you need to ask yourself one question, are you willing to live with it? Because it’ll be with you for the life or your Porsche and haunt your days of owning it.
2. Fact: After 1978 Porsche started using the more reliable and trustworthy 3.0 L engines.
3. Porsche 911 owners love to baby them but also love to drive them. Which is why it’s imperative you ask the seller if the 911 has been in a crash. Ask for documentation of repairs, and examine the chassis with a professional mechanic who understands Porsches. A Porsche 911 that has been in a crash is especially noticeable along the chassis, look for uneven welding the germans were experts and made extremely clean welds.
Follow the lines of the chassis to where metal meets metal. If the Porsche 911 is all original and nothing suspicious is hiding behind the body or under the hood, it might be the Porsche for you. Take time and ask plenty of questions nobody should be in a rush when buying a 911.
4. If you see loads of miles on the speedometer there is no reason for concern, Porsches are known to last. With regular maintenance, the right documentation from the seller I.E. oil changes, yearly repairs, and proof of proper storage, there’s a good chance you have a fine Porsche on your hands. 200,000 miles? Pfft.
5. Does the engine smoke a bit? That’s normal, however does the engine make a ‘clunk’ sound when you shift? That’s not. Transmission wear and replacement is expensive so ensure the car shifts without dislocating your shoulder a Porsche 911 can be a little stiff when you engage the gears. Something to know: Porsche transmissions from 1987–89 (Carreras) had the G50 transmission which had a smoother shift.
6. Now here’s the best part. Start it up and listen to that token sound of an air cooled Porsche engine. It’s the sound that every Porsche buyer longs for. Hear it whirl and settle…it’s music.
Buying a Porsche 911 is never easy, but it can be fun if you’re up for getting your hands dirty and learning about Porsches. And the more you do your homework and trust your gut,………20 the more equipped you’ll be when the right Porsche 911 comes along. And patience goes a long way, 5 years of looking is not unheard of and the knowledge you accumulate from test driving and asking questions you will take with you for life.
What does one cost? Expect to pay $35,000 for one that is well maintained with a decent interior – which is a quarter what you would pay for a new one. Owning a used Porsche 911 makes you look both cool and smart driving one. Once you hear that door shut with a a smooth heavy [click], turn the key and feel that engine whirling, there’s no turning back. You’ll be a Porsche lover for life. Best of luck with your hunt.