The Windfall Premise

So Great Aunt Mildred left you some cash and rather than do the proper thing and save it. Or put it towards a mortgage. Or buy the wife that massive rock she always wanted, you choose to blow the lot on a Porsche. But not just any Porsche. You go back to its air-cool days and those magic numbers, 993.

To ensure your crown jewels remain intact after you drive up to your front door and confront your better half, grin fixed wide on your doey-eyed face make sure you are not getting a lemon.

One of the beautiful things about the 993 is that you can at least ensure you arrive in one piece. 911’s of yore have the reputation for filling you with confidence and then on one seemingly innocuous curve, snatching it all away. Its rear end oversteering madly and whatever you try with the wheel, you’re heading for that ditch, tree, or worse.

Good-bye Widow Maker

Porsche decided to alter things for the 993, and bring a 30 year old car up to date. Out went the widow-maker set-up and in came an all-new rear suspension that resembled a double wishbone system. This new multi-link set up called LSA, or Light-Stable-Agile, effectively banished the lift-off oversteer issues of its predecessor.  It also made maintaining it easier and cheaper, because the whole design meant the engine and gearbox were far simpler to install and remove.

So, aside from rocking up in one piece, what else should be considered?

Keeping It On The Road – Internal

Make sure the carpets are not damp in the front luggage compartment and whilst in there check that the  supplied compressor still inflates the tyres (nice touch eh?)

Make sure anything electrical works. Standard Carrera 2’s did not have air-con, so if it does then that is a bonus. Much like the VW Beetle, 993’s employed heat exchangers to bring hot air from the engine to the front which can rust, so check that hot air blows effectively from the heater.

It’s also better to go with standard interior trim and colours too, as it’s far easier to resell.

If the doors make a loud cracking noise when opened fully, it tells you the door straps have worn with age and it’s an expensive job to repair. So it may be wiser to put up with it. Some owners have welded the straps to the A-pillar, which allows rust to take hold inside the door pillar and will be costlier still to repair.

Keeping It On The Road – External

The all-new suspension was strong, but you should ensure that all service work is logged properly. Brakes are powerful but check the discs are not pitted.

The body parts were not zinc galvanised, and although a lesser problem in Australia, any signs of rust should tell you it has probably not had a healthy lifestyle. Check the bottom edges around the front and rear screens and also the rear bumper. Up front, like any low slung car, check for damage or corrosion brought about by scraping over bumps.

If you chose the Targa, assuming it came in under the budget, make sure the roof is watertight and there are no electrical malfunctions and that the wind deflector pops up. The soft-top rear plastic screen will deteriorate with age and look a little milky. If you decide to change it, it is better to buy a genuine item as they last much longer.

If the budget extends to the Turbo, GT2 or RS, make sure the body additions are present and well looked after. The GT2’s bolt-on arch extensions were particularly damage prone. The doors and bonnet were made of aluminium to save weight but are pretty delicate, so again be vigilant.

Make sure the chassis legs have not been completely sprayed with paint. Porsche left part of the legs in a white base coat. So if the base coat is not evident then you may be looking at a crash repaired vehicle.

Finally, check all 3 areas Porsche stamped the VIN (vehicle identification number) matches that in the log book – the metal tag under the petrol tank, the label on the right hand side B-pillar and the left hand lower corner of the windscreen.


Now to reality. Typically, in Australia new prices started higher than almost anywhere in the world. Ten years ago, they were still profane, but not obscene, which I’m sorry to say is the case today. For a standard auto Carrera, sellers are now asking $115,000 or more. If you can secure a Carrera 4, then expect to cough up more than $150k. So hopefully that windfall is deep enough. That said, they are obviously seen as an investment, so there is that. Then again, will they be driven?

There are more options overseas. The UK market will throw up nice examples starting from GBP 40,000 upwards but tantalising as this may seem, to have a car shipped over is not cheap. Shipping costs, GST as well as proof of ownership exceeding 12 months in the country you bought the car from. Finally, if the price exceeds the luxury car tax threshold, currently a tad under $77k, then you’ve 33% loading on the amount above the threshold.

Good luck, and if I offer a free detail, can I have a drive?

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