Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comparable Cabrios: Two '03s, Seal Grey & Tiptronic

It is raining low-mileage Porsches out there.

Here are two that caught my eye recently. Mostly because they're nearly identical, except that one is a C2, the other a C4 (AWD). How identical? Well, their VIN numbers are 390 apart. Temporally, they were separated at the factory by a couple of days--at most--it is possible they were even built on the same day. Seven years later, and a half a world away from Stuttgart, they're now both once again for sale, separated by a hundred miles or so. One is in Walnut Creek and offered by a Porsche authorized dealer and the other is in Sand City (Monterey) offered on Craigslist by a broker/dealer specializing in Porsches.

They're both 996 Cabriolets, from early in the 2003 model run, which means build dates in the summer of 2002. The both have under 40k miles, and they're both the same color, Porsche's wonderful Seal Grey. They each carry the initial VIN # of WP0CA29943S650, differing only in the last three digits.

#0302, C4
#0692, C2
Mileage: 37,000 mi
Trans: Tiptronic AWD
Color: Seal Grey
Interior: Graphite Grey Leather

  • 680 - Bose High End Sound Package
  • E73 - Carbon Interior Package
  • IXPA- 3-spoke sport steering wheel in Leather
  • XSC - Porsche Crest in Headrest
  • P15 - Power Seat Package
  • 551 - Porsche Windstop (Deflector)
  • 982 - Supple Leather Front and Rear
  • Single Compact Disc
  • 750 - Delete Cabriolet Hardtop
  • M6P - Graphite Grey Floor Mat
  • M392-17-inch Carrera II wheels
  • 446 - Wheel Caps with Colored Crest

Mileage: 35,007
Trans: Tiptronic 2WD
Color: Seal Grey
Interior: Graphite Grey Leather

  • 680 - Bose Premium Sound
  • E?? - Carbon Package-Small
  • Carbon/Aluminum Tip Knob/Brake
  • Aluminum Center Console
  • IXPD- 3-Spoke Steering Wheel-Carbon/Leather
  • Heated Front Seats
  • M586/513 - Lumbar Support Front Seats
  • P15 - Power Seat Package
  • 551 - Porsche Windstop (Deflector)
  • 982 - Supple Leather Front & Rear
  • Multi Compact Disc
  • 750 - Delete Cabriolet Hardtop
  • M498 - 18" Light Alloy Carrera Wheel
  • 446 - Wheel Caps with Colored Crest
  • Xenon Headlamp Package
  • IX76- Side Aero Skirts

The option codes above are a combination of what was described at the Stead Porsche site for #302, applied by best-guess to #692, and cross-checked against the RennTech Option Lookup page for 996 (login required). The carbon fiber trim is slightly different; note that #302 has CF around the side A/C vents, while #692 has a CF e-brake handle. There are differences in the shifter, too, that are difficult to see in the pictures. It appears that #302's is leather, wheras #692's is CF. The C2 also has the aluminum console.


There's a $10k difference in price as listed on both sites. However, a salesman at Michael Stead Porsche has offered #302 on eBay for $6k less(!!), bringing the difference in the asking price between the two to about $5k. This is largely owing to #302 having the C4 transmission, and to it being offered by a Porsche dealer with assumed higher overheads. Given the longer option list on #692, its slightly lower mileage and the 18" wheels, I'd think there's more wiggle room to be had on #302 than on #692. Or, #692 at $35k asking, could be seen as a deal.

Such a deal. Choices, choices. 4WD w/PASM or the purity of 2WD for five large less, if the CARFAX checks out on these ladies, either one would look great from outside or from behind the wheel.

I guess you can get a GT3 for $60k

eBay is showing a $59k 2003 GT3 A little sleuthing and it turns out this is a salesman front for Michael Stead Porsche in Walnut Creek, CA. Nice to see the eBay Buy-it-Now is $3k lower than the dealer website ask:

The interior is all decked-out in leather. Some carbon fiber, but leather wheel and leather console? Odd choices for a GT3. And from the "Z" letters in the option list, it's from the Exclusiv dept, full-custom. The A/C and no roll-cage indicate this is a "comfort" trim model. But taken to the nines with the contrast stich from the Exlusiv dept.

Don't know why I'm sharing this, really, except that I am surprised a GT3 can be had for this kind of money. Still out of my reach though. I do wonder if I'd choose this or the Turbo, price-equivalent. They've got one of those, too. The turbo does have four seats :)

Price aside, this particular one is a non-starter for me because its black. I can abide a multitude of sins in a car, but black paint is is only for hearses, limos and Model Ts. That is only marginally too-harsh; I've seen some beautiful show cars, including some pre-A 356es in black. Who could fault a Bugatti Atlantic Coupe in black. But show cars in black are really to show of the coachwork. "If it's perfect, paint it black," is what I heard in shop class.

But the pricing of these supercars shows both the softness of the current market, and the new glut for 4-5 year-old 911s, probably owing to the boom of those years and subsequent lease returns or just "moving on" to the next cool car.

You could probably test the Stead Porsche 2010 GT3, too. It's listed as "new", but it has 100 miles on it. That smells like, "test driver" to me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Panamera Video on CAR online magazine

Still looks very odd from some angles, but better from others in motion.

Can't wait to see one in-person.

CNN covers Porsche

Light on the details, but a nice piece. I like the native German speaker's "TV English" accent.

Next up: Pictures of Legs, before and after the nose repair. And...Bison Iron Works and Hipshot Engineering collaborate on a 356 parts project!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Thanks, Got Blue Milk

Hooked On Driving's photographer, Got Blue Milk, took these pics of Legs and me at the Thunderhill track day mid-November. Thanks to Matt, I got a CD of all my pics in high-res, suitable for framing. The Got Blue Milk folk are a first-class operation.

[caption: Got Blue Milk photographer Dito Milian shoots a
Porsche Carrera GT coming out of Turn 3 at Thunderhill,
Nov 16, 2008 ]