Hello and Welcome to our Newsletter 6 an Special Edition. I was going to wait for the 997 presentation to do a full pre-owned Porsche report. Is the release of the 997 that marks off the beginning of a true pre-owned Porsche market.
Nonetheless I have been getting all these calls for advise on the purchase of a late 60's early 70's Porsche. This, really comes to no surprise to me as 30+ year old cars can now be easily imported. So all these early Porsches are now popping out on the market and people are looking to buy them.
About 50% of the calls come from first time Porsche buyers, the other 50% of the calls come from current lineup Porsche owners. Most of the time I discourage these purchase attempts for many reasons and recommend alternative to enter Porsche ownership.
Lets take a look at some of the reasosn why I discourage purchase of an early Porsche and some recommended alternatives...
I have seen many people trying to enter Porsche ownership for the first time choosing to buy a late 60's early 70's Porsche car. Importation of 30+ year old cars is now simple and tax friendly. So these early Porsche are now popping into our pre-owned market. People seeking to buy such early Porsche often call and unfortunately most of the time I discourage these purchases for a number of reasons.
The most important reason why I discourage these purchase attempts is because I feel a VINTAGE, (and the keyword here is VINTAGE), a VINTAGE Porsche may not fill the purchasers requirements. Most of the people attempting to buy these early Porsches are people who tried to enter Porsche ownership with a new car but for some reason it never materialized. Buying a 30+ year old Porsche is a VINTAGE Porsche and should be treated as such. These 30+ year old cars most likely will not fill the driving requirements of somebody expecting a thrilling Porsche ownership experience.
Things to look for in that First Porsche.
Late 60's early 70's Porsche are being imported for the sole purpose of selling them. Therefore and most likely not the best example was acquired but the best priced one. This means these examples most likely need work, work that will be perfomed for the sole purpose of selling them and maybe not done to high specs.
I have noticed that most of the times history on these Porsches is untraceable, ORIGINAL color, engine and factory equipment maybe unknown.
Therefore you have to start with what you have...
Photo: Frissen Racing
Photo: Frissen Racing
I guess you have to start by checking general condition of the car inside and out. Be intuitive and suspicious. Small details will give away usage and condition of the car. Paint, wheels, tires, pedals, shiftknob, steering wheel may hint the care given to the car.
General condition maybe assessed with a test drive, check for play on the steering, brake feel, idle, acceleration, suspension rattles and ask as much as you can on the history of the car in question, don't talk about your cars or your great driving, focus on the purchase, once again, be suspicious and intuitive.
Most of the cars I have inspected have a new coat of paint, this may well hide unwanted rust. And rust in these late 60's early 70's Porsche is a huge issue. So lets continue with this issue...
Nonetheless people still consider these 30+ year old Porsche, mainly due to price accessibility,
but ask yourself these two questions:
Do I really want to drive a 30+ year old car, a VINTAGE car? and second...
How do I know it is well priced? If there is no reference of pricing for such cars yet in our market.
If you still decide to continue with your purchase attempt the next following tips maybe of help...
Early Porsche cars are very rust prone and from what I have seen 914's are a rust disaster. Nonetheless most of the VINTAGE Porsche's I have inspected from customers calls have a brand spanking new coat of paint. Be EXTREMELY suspicious of this ok. First of all, is the car re-painted in the original color? If so, how is color matching to that of the original? Lets say on hard to match colors such as Pastel Yellow or Guards red, certainly original Porsche colors. How about the quality of the paint. Glasurit, perhaps? I say at least. Any signs of collision damage?. How about panel alignment? Who said buying a 30+ year old Porsche was easy.
So the new paint maybe shiny and new but once again be intuitive and suspicious. Look at every edge and look for color mismatch. Also at every hinge, door, engine cover and hood. Then going further down and start looking for... RUST !!! Unfortunately these 30+ year old Porsche are rust prone and new coat of paint may well hide it. Start by checking strut towers, suspension mounting points, etc, etc.
At this point if you dislike anything about the car in question, discard it and go to the next car. Anything from simple repairs to a complete restoration could be a huge pain in the behind, specially considering we have no parts available here in Mexico and will have to import them at least from USA. If you happen to encounter a major repair or restoration project be ready to travel or sit and wait for your parts to arrive. I say buy a driver not a problem car. And talking about problems its now time to talk engines and drivetrain...
Photo: CrisBrady Carrera RS
Most people buying these 30+ year old Porsche don't know what to expect as far as the engine, they have never driven one.
Lets start by general condition of the engine, check cleanness, cables, belts. Check for oil leaks. Most likely you'll find one, but don't worry, early Porsches like to leak oil, its what brings style to the early Porsche ownership. Porsche engines are generally strong and problem free.
Then find out type of carburation, and this my friends is the key to happy ownership or disater, really. Your are better off with a carburated engine. Nonetheless at that time Porsche started messing with fuel injection. If this happens to be a 911E, hey that's a hint right? Look for everything ok and stop talking on how great you drive and how you rented a Porsche in europe, ok. So back to the damn injection, well, this could really be a mess. The injected models of that era had an atmospheric/something/something/injection that I, can't figure out just yet. I just know is a real mess. I know a 911 owner who flew a mechanic from Germany to have his 911 tuned up. Are you ready to fly, Klaus or Dieter in to have a tune up? I didn't think so..
The next big mistake is taking the car to the person YOU think might know something about something. I really don't know who named Siatos Sport capital of VINTAGE Porsche here in Puebla, but following one of my stories I can say they know nothing about this complicated injection and that they well messed up a car I was following for purchase by a friend. If I get plenty of requests I will post the history of 4 of these VINTAGE Porsche I have followed myself. So be careful and buy best example available, you suspect something, jump to the next car. And if a VINTAGE is a must, lets look on what to buy, ok.
What to buy.
OK so here we are at the point of purchase and choices have been sorted out as far as condition. But what should you buy, my serious recommendation is to buy the most ORIGINAL, lowest miles, and please don't go look into the car for the miles ok, early Porsche can easily can be rolled back, stop talking on how your uncle owned 50 Porsches back in Timbuktu and how you drove each and everyone of them and focus on the purchase. So most original, lowest miles best condition and did I mention MOST ORIGINAL!!!
Photo: Ray Joshep/RPM
Well my friends they don't come more original than this, a very true 73RS. This car seated at Ray's shop and let me tell you if some is going to scrutinize a car is Ray. Car is clean and ORIGINAL.
The good part of buying an original car is it keeps its value higher. For true Porsche-philes ORIGINAL is important. Nonethelss ORIGINAL may come with a price. So there are other alternatives...
The next best thing to buying original is to buy best condition, modification free Porsche. Why? Well from this point you either choose to go full original restoration or... a modded project. We well know RS's didn't come in black but this guy decide to go with the RS motive, I say FANTASTIC !!! I am really loving this black RS.
So best condition and modification free is your best starting point.
Excellence often writes about fantastic projects made by individuals with lots of imagination and knowledge. September issue page 96, "The other way" where an 80's 911 is taken back to look like a 70's 911, just a fantastic car. October issue page 129, Thomas Flyer, a fantastic restoration project trying to mock a "werkes" 911 of the time but the twist is the Andial engine. I seriously recommend reading Excellence and doing a throrough research before your purchase of a VINTAGE Porsche.
Photo: Frissen Racing
Photo: Frissen Racing
This my friends, is what not to buy. The car is sporting 964 Cups (most likely replicas) and let me tell you they do look good and new, but on a vintage Porsche with gold emblems, is questionable. What I would definitely would not accept is that hideous, out of era, Turbo wing that in the end is piece of crap, perfectly bad excecuted, fiber glass piece. No, no, no, no, this is not acceptable in a such a Porsche. That is why you should by most original, how about an RS wing on a Targa... mmmhhhh... sound delicious... wide Fuchs with bright silver centers, mmmhhhh... 964 mirrors or counterpunch with a set of Strosek mirrors to give away the modded style of your vintage Porsche. Really, I'm a f@quing genius.
Still this car is very buyable and still can do well if you take the hideous wing out. The interior is modded and well sorted. Everything else I left for a non rainy day, just no time to fully inspect the car.
VINTAGE Porsches as of right now are a tempting purchase. Unfortunately since there is not a developed market, value of such cars is questionable, saying you have found a good example. Parts and service is another huge issue for the moment, who will fix it? Parts are most likely found in the USA but how to bring them in. Its expensive, I know. I'll tell you this, buy best example found, saving now will cost double later. This last statement may sound absurd to those reading in the USA or Europe, but parts may double or triple by just adding shipping and taxes. Buy best example available, period.
What do I recommend for 1st Porsche
What I would recommend for a first Porsche is at least an 1986 model year, be a 911, 928 or 944. All great, all modern and all great drivers. Most people seeking a first Porsche are looking for the thrill that a Porsche can bring or at least there is that stigma on how great Porsche cars drive. 1986 and newer Porsche will bring all the Porsche experience to that first buyer. How about earlier than 1986? I would avoid 924's and early 928's for first Porsche although all 911 will bring something special to the table. Going back to the vintage 914's are great, very rust prone but great, I'm a s@cker for 914's, I like them. But on with the 1986+ Porsches...
911, yes of course. Any, Carrera, SC or Turbo. All welcome all great. Try to get newest possible, euro 5 speeds available and desirable. Well modded cars do exist on our country, Andial engined desirable and welcomed. Again look for condition and drive.
80's 911's despite rare, they are well available. Euro and USA models, all available as these cars entered our market in a one by one basis from every market mainly from USA and Europe.
All 911's will bring something special to Porsche ownership, buy best condition available. Victor Ortiz, General Manager of Porsche Interlomas can make a very good assessment on these '80s 911's, he knows them well.
All of Porsche idiosyncrasy for a GT car the 928. Buy newest possible. Nice to drive, expensive to mantain, very expensivo partes and labor intensive, so be ready to spend, ok.
Not much my cup of tea when it comes to Porsche ownership as I love flat sixes but wouldn't mind one if priced right and being an S4 or later model.
All of the above rules for buying a Porsche apply and double, avoid wrecked or crappy cars at all cost.
Nine fourty fours, everything after 1986 just fine, Turbo's are best, S2's desirable. Very few examples to chose from here in Mexico. Quite rare. Find a good one, snatch it !!! Find a good one you don't want, CALL ME !!! 1-800- SPECIALIST, well you know my number, call me, I'll sell my dog or anything, $hiet I don't have a dog, well I sort out the money, just call me, ok, I'll figure it out.
Look for belt condition, if that thing goes, well, its at least a new head/valve job if lucky, if not be ready to dig into the engine. Check for valves. Everything else Porsche strong.
Most balanced Porsche ever, yes Boxster owners, a 944 Turbo will drive circles around you. Turbo very tuneable to run with the 930's and most desirable. One of the best buys for first Porsche ownership.
Now on to the 90's Porsches.
We can well divide the 90's Porsche into two, the before the Henkel/BMW fiasco and the ones from the Henkel/BMW fiasco. Basically the ones before are in the same condition as of 80's Porsches, rare. Thay entered our country on a one by one basis and are extremely rare to find. So far I have not seen a 968 here in Mexico although I know what Victor is thinking as he is reading: " Mi hermano you are not at the right places, you have not lived enough, 968's are everywhere I have customers that have 3 or 4 of those babies, I might be able to get you one if you are lucky". I hear some people laughing at PLA right now. Well basically it comes down to pre Henkel/BMW fiasco to 964's,968's and the venerable and well sorted 928 GTS. The Henkel/BMW fiasco brought 993's and some Boxsters 2.5.
Well and now it has come down to my favorite Porsche, ok, ok, my favorite Porsche is the GT1 streetversion but I'm talking about the ones I could actually afford and it is the 964. I really don't have to say much, but look at it !!! all 911 idiosyncrazy with a decent shiftknob and polyurethane bumpers. Pure 911, modernized, but the same untouched classic 911 feel.
The 964 came in all flavors and it started with the now famous Carrera 4, 4wd on a 911 for the first time. C2, Targa, Cabriolet, C4 wide, RS America, a real RS, Turbo, Turbo S and many other versions joined after the introduction of the Carrera 4 in 1989.
Unfortunately for us the 964 is not an abundant model here in Mexico as the 964 entered our country in a one by one basis. Very, very few examples to be found in our market. A shame really because the 964 is a very strong, desirable Porsche.
Probably even rarer than the 911 (964) is the 968. An evolution of the 944. And this my friends is pure Porsche idiosyncrazy and design. Adding past, present and mybe even future design touches to an old platform and making it into a sports car. Due to high pricing, not a popular Porsche at all. As a matter fact a rare Porsche, production numbers are quite low on this 968.
Despite its old platform the 968 brought new technology such as a 6 speed gearbox. Variable cam technology that took the aspirated 3 litre engine to an output of 240hp. Not bad at all.
The car is rare in our continent and perhaps non existent in our country as I have not seen even one of these babies here in Mexico. Yet desirable, see one, grab it. Don't want it call me, I'll give it a shot ok.
In 1996 Porsche, well not Porsche, an entrepreneur called Eduardo Henkel brought the Porsche brand into our country. Henkel went around the biggest government loophole for car manufacturers at the time that stated that to sell a certain brand this particular brand had to build cars on our soil. So the Mexican built 993Turbos were the first 911 Turbo to be built outside Germany. Henkel's operation that also carried BMW was then taken by BMW AG. The Porsche brand was left hanging and never developed here in Mexico. Despite all this the Henkel/BMW fiasco managed to bring around 300 993's and a few Boxster 2.5.
The 993 despite being rare in our market a few can be found around. But like in other markets the 993 remains strong and prices are not cheap, least if we are talking about an 8 year old car. Beautiful, strong and very desirabe. The last aircooled 911 remains among the favorite Porsches of all time.
But in reality for the Mexican individual looking to enter Porsche ownership his/hers best bet is to take a quantum leap and seek either a 986 or a 996 and forget about the VINTAGE Porsche. The VINTAGE Porsche would be a great complement on a later note.
The 986 and 996 entered under a well organized and new Porsche de Mexico that is under the VW de Mexico umbrella.
With the 997 presentation and release the 996 fully enters the pre-owned market. Despite existing 996's from the Henkel/BMW fiasco and mostly being 1999 model year MOST 2001+ 996 were brought by Porsche de Mexico. I say MOST because many others were individually imported in what we will call GREY MARKET.
Right after the 997 presentation I will have a full indepth report on the 996. Complete model review. What and where to look for before purchase. All the details on the PdM vs GREY MARKET cars. Basically all that you need to know about the 996.
The 996 will be the best option to enter 911 ownership in or market. Watercooled flat six powered, top hinged pedal, Porsche maximum fun.
Photo: Frissen Racing
Nonetheless the best option to enter Porsche ownerhip in our market is still the 986 Boxster.
Refrain from the 2.5's that entered during the Henkel/BMW fiasco and seek a 2001+ one from the re-newed Porsche de Mexico. Plenty of these to choose from. Plus many are still eligible for the newly established pre-owned program.
Another option as far as Boxster and 996 is GREY MARKET, these cars entered individually imported directly from Europe. Very tempting euro 030 suspensions among other options Mexican Porsches would not bring. Probably the best part of these GREY MARKET cars will be price. Worst, debatable entrance to the pre-owned program.
My only concern to 986 & 996 ownership is future parts and service. Despite Porsche de Mexico's efforts to bring the best Porsche ownership experience, dealers are not allowed to sell or deliver parts to individuals or independent shops. Service is well clogged due to the arrival of the Cayenne. And last, would there be a serious commitment from PdM to bring parts for our beloved 986's and 996's in future years? We well know how Mexican manufacturers often forget about older models, jacking up prices on parts and service. Its simple visit any VW dealer in Mexico and ask for 1992 Passat part. They don't have it, they don't know it, they won't get it. Just the words 1992 and Passat together will earn you a ticket out of any VW dealer here in Mexico. So far PdM has been more than responsive on this department bringing absolutely all parts required and reasonable priced service. But will this continue?
Porsche being under the VW umbrella and having people of the VW organization taking care of the Porsche parts and service is a huge concern because not only is the Porsche brand impregnated with the philosophy and bad service of the VW brand, it actually suffers it. Yeah, that's right, the needed diverter valves for your $150,000.00 US dollar 996 Turbo are well back ordered behind a zillion-trillion VW/SEAT parts. And unfortunately is not much PdM's fault as Porsche is a very young, very small, cornered and misunderstood brand inside the VW Mexico emporium. And despite Fernando Flores, Director of Porsche de Mexico, good efforts to bring a high level of organization and corporate image, its all left to that: "CORPORATE BS". I seriously doubt Fernando's ability to fully understand Porsche ownership, he doesn't own them or drive 'em for that fact. I take this from the Reforma, an article written by Hiroshi Takahashi; "The Porsche Brand Director who doesn't drive a Porsche car and drinks too much coffee". To that I have to add and smokes too much. The point here is that the people working at Porsche de Mexico have a very low level of knowledge and involvement about the product they sell. And many here in IPOC have complaint about this issue. And that to me is a concern. But we will do a full analysis on the issues concerning PdM and lets continue with our "First Porsche" topic...
So far we concluded that despite the arising number of late 60's early 70's Porsches in our market a VINTAGE Porsche may not be the best option when it comes to our very first Porsche. If it is, just be aware of the car's capacity, ok. Don't think you are buying a Boxster for 10grand ok.
If you have any doubts and want more info on these VINTAGE Porsches, contact the Official Porsche Club Mexico. There you will find Porsche guys with plenty of experience on this very topic. And join The Porsche Club Mexico, its a great and OFFICIAL Organization.
Jorge Rios Hellig, President. 01-555-619-8621
These guys carry great events and plenty of VINTAGE Porsche stuff and info.
Photo: Frissen Racing
Photo: Ray Joshep/RPM
We also went through the very rare in our country 80's and 90's Porsches.
Sources to find 80's and 90's Porsche in Mexico:
carsmexico.com an engine gaining momentum, runned by enthusiasts. Great source.
mulssane.com.mx exotic car lot with plenty of Porsches. Some expensive but well chosen.
Ultimately read the classified on major newspapers.
For assessmets and general info you may contact Porsche Club Mexico and/or Victor Ortiz at Porsche Interlomas, these guys know 80's Porsches well.
Goog luck and if you see a nice and well priced 951, 964 or 968 let me know, ok.
Ultimately the best way to enter Porsche ownership in our country is a 986 or a 996.
With cars now eligible for the pre-owned program there is no more secure way to future ownership of a used Porsche.
These watercooled flat six, top hinged pedal Porsches will ultimately bring the best Porsche ownership in our market. Maximum Porsche feel and speed.
Hopefully here, I will be well able and glad to help you locate the Porsche of your dreams. As I did while I worked at Porsche, one customer at the time. Supreme knowledge and service. And last and most important, understanding of Porsche ownership as I have owned my own Porsches since 1992.
I hope you enjoyed this Special Edition of the IPOC's Newsletter. RC, I really hope that at this point you continue reading as this Newsletter was inspired by your 914 call. Next time we are either buying or there will be a $50 bucks advisement fee or half day of usage of your extremely nice 996TT. Bayo, as for you, calls after 9:00 pm are $150 bucks, just kidding !!! I always enjoy a good Porsche chat with friends. IPOC's commitment to build a larger and closer Porsche community still stands and I, Frissen Gutierrez as President and CEO of the IPOC will always seek to that with events, our web page, e-mail newsletter and simply getting together to chat and DRIVE !!! PORSCHE.