When introduced in 1998, the Porsche 911 Type 996 symbolised a large step forward for both the 911 line and Porsche themselves, in terms of advancements in technology and design. A new, six-cylinder water-cooled engine replaced the popular air-cooled unit, along with a new restyled nose and body shell, along with a revised interior and price tag, a cool sum at around £50,000 when new. Initially considered controversial, the 996 911 proved to be a huge success for the company, and stayed in production until 2005.

Yet when scouring the classifieds in search of a bargain, you might be surprised to find that there are a wealth of good condition, relatively low-mileage 996 Carreras littering the back page ads, and you'll be even more surprised when you see the asking prices listed next to them. For example, a 300 horsepower 2000 model, with barely 100,000 miles filling the clock can be yours for only £8,700, an extremely low sum considering you could have had two Ford Focuses for the original price back at the turn of the century.

Another few years down the line you'll find the Porsche 944, a car which I had the pleasure of owning for the best part of three years. A step up from the Volkswagen-powered (yet still great) 924, the 944 was Porsche's bridging gap between the cheaper 924 and more exclusive 911. It wasn't a drag to drive either, as the 944 was highly praised for its handling credibility, as well as the gutsy 2.5 litre engine the base models sported (though there was a turbo available)

Yet now it appears that the 944's time for classic stardom is fast approaching, as the prices are now starting to rise. However, if you get in quickly, you can pick up a very tasty 1984 model, with only 72,000 miles (frankly great considering its age) for only six thousand of your pounds. So it's either a stylish Eighties coupé, or a Nissan Pixo. Your choice.

Boxster- now a mainstay of the back page ads

Boxster- now a mainstay of the back page ads

As always though when buying cars like these, you have to consider what you'd be getting yourself into. High-calibre cars like Porsches are a large investment, so as was the same case in my buying guide to classic Bentleys, we need to take a look at what to look out for.

High performance cars like Porsches generally have powerful engines that require a lot of care when driving hard and attention when not being driven. Worn piston rings could be a problem and could lead to overheating and power loss-make sure to take a look at that, especially if you choose to buy a model at the cheaper end of the spectrum. However, Porsches such as the 924 share components with many Volkswagen models of a similar era, so parts for them shouldn't be too hard to come by.

Insuring an old Porsche shouldn't get too pricey, but then again it depends on the history of the car. Desirable cars such as Porsches might have changed hands quite a few times throughout their lifetimes, so make sure to get a full service and vehicle history- don't buy the car if you don't have one of both, because mistakes when buying these kinds of cars can get very expensive.

And that's a wrap! Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it. Cheers, and I'll see you in the next article!

LW

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If you'd like to take a look at some of models mentioned in this article, use these links here:

2000 Porsche 911 Carrera 4- click here

1984 Porsche 944- click here

1997 Porsche Boxster Spyder- click here

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