08-08-13 - Selling my Porsche 911 C4S

Well, it's time to sell my car (a 2006 911 C4S). Unfortunately I missed the best selling season (early summer) because of baby's arrival, so it may take a while. It's so horrible having to work with these web sites, they're so janky and broken, jesus christ the web is such total balls, you misclick the back button and lose all your work or hit enter and some required field wasn't entered so they wipe out all your entries. (Whenever I remember to, it's best practice to always do your writing into a text editor and then copy-paste it to the web site, don't edit directly in the web site). So far I'm just getting lots of emails from spammers and dealers and other lowballers, so it's a great waste of my time. (and a lot of the lowballers (guys will offer things like $30k for the car I'm asking $48k for) are delightful human beings who insult me when I politely tell them they're out of their mind). Anyhoo...

Why am I selling it? Primarily I just don't drive it anymore. Between baby and everything else I have no time for it. Also Seattle is just a horrible place for driving. With my back problems I just really can't sit in a sports car for long periods of time (even though the 911 is by far the best of any of the cars I tried, it's super roomy inside which is really awesome), I'm gonna have to get an SUV (*shudder*) or something more upright, I no longer bend at the waist. I don't have the cash to sit on a depreciating car that I'm not driving. I also have concluded that I should not own a car that I'm worried about scratching, it means I can't really enjoy it and I'm kind of tense about it all the time. I need a piece of junk that I can crash into things and not care. (I feel the same way about nice clothes; if it's espensive enough that I am worried about spilling my food on it, then I don't want to wear it).

I'm gonna take a huge value loss on the car even if I get a good price, because it's in great shape mechanically, but has a few cosmetic flaws. Porsche buyers would much rather have something that's spotless but a disaster in the engine bay. That is, there's a lot of ownership value in the car which just evaporates for me when I put it on sale. Oh well.

Autotrader ad here with pictures.

Here's the ad text properly formatted :

    Beautiful, well optioned and well cared for C4S. It has a manual transmission and the desirable Adaptive sports seats. Beautiful combination of Seal Gray Metallic on Sand Beige interior. 3.8L flat six with 355 hp.

    I have taken meticulous care of this car. The oil is changed every 5000 miles. I cut the oil filter open at every change and have never seen any chunks. It's regularly driven, and I carefully warm it up and then get the revs up high. Service has been done at Aker's Posrche in Seattle and they've remarked on what great shape the engine is in. This car does not eat oil quickly. The IMS and RMS both show no signs of any problem.

    I'm the 2nd owner; carfax is clean; I had a PPI done when I bought it and no flaws were found.

    options codes : c02 x70 267 342 377 378 431 446 537 575 615 635 670 680 983

    267  Automatically dimming mirrors;
    342  Heated seats;
    431  Three-spoke multi-function steering wheel;
    446  Colored crest wheel caps;
    475  PASM;
    607  Homelink;
    635  ParkAssist (parking aid rear);
    650  Electric slide/tilt sunroof;
    670  Navigation module for PCM;
    680  BOSE  Surround Sound System;
    P01  Adaptive sports seats;
    X70  Door entry guards in stainless steel;
    I've done a few very minor mods : clear side markers, Porsche GT3 adjustable rear sway bar, "4S" wheel caps (the colored crest caps are included), Rennline aluminum shift knob (OEM shift knob included), rear debadge (original badges included).

    Most of the expendable parts have been recently replaced; six new plugs and coils, new serpentine/drive belt, new battery, new shift cable, new water pump, new coolant cap, new air filters, new brake fluid, fresh oil and brakes pads. Tires are 3000 miles old. The clutch has not been replaced but has been tested for slip and is in good shape.

    There are a few cosmetic flaws, all shown in the pictures. The right rear wheel is curbed and buyer may choose to replace it. There are two scratches, one on a rear bumperette and one near the fuel filler cap. The emergency brake lever has some gouges in the leather. The paint on the backs of the seats has some worn spots. The seats bolsters and leather are excellent shape. The car is always garaged and kept out of the sun. Non smoker, no animals, no children, no food ever in the car.


sylvain-v said...

Your timing is even worse with the first 991 coming on the used car market: 997 prices are starting to go down, pushing even lower the 996s.

The good point for you is you have a 996 mark 2, with the more reliable engines.

sylvain-v said...

Errata: actually you have a 997 from the first years. That's actually a slightly negative points - they had a few engine issue, not as bad as the 996mk1, still below 996mk2 and 997mk2.

cbloom said...

"they had a few engine issue, not as bad as the 996mk1, still below 996mk2 and 997mk2."

That's not right. The 996 (both gens) and the first year of the 997 (2005) had the M96 engine which has a lot of problems. Early M96's (pre-2002 or so) had tons and tons of problems, never ever buy one of those cars.

The 997.1 from 2006-2008 has the M97 engine which is a revised version of the M96 which is somewhat more reliable. In particular it has a different type of IMS bearing which while not perfect is definitely better.

The 997.2 from 2009-2011 has the 9A1 DFI engine, which appears to be a good one. Basically the same engine as in the current 991.

You are right about the bad timing for the market. Here in the US the really big threshold is the 4 year lease. Tons of Porsches sold by dealers are actually 4 year leases, so when a model is 4 years old a ton of them appear on the market. What's happening right now is the 997.2 from 2009 are suddenly appearing on the market, and it's a much more desirable car than the 997.1

Personally I think the 997 is a great generation of 911. I think the 997 GT3 in particular will be a real special car for the ages.

Tom Forsyth said...

If you need something practical that you don't mind getting scratched and is still fun to drive, the Subaru WRX or Legacy are absolutely worth a look. They hold their value well and they're reliable workhorses. And like Landrovers, being scratched and muddy just makes them look loved.

I wouldn't bother looking at the larger Subarus because they've suddenly become crap for no obvious reason (I blame the auto boxes). You might be able to find an older secondhand Forester with a manual box and a turbo - those are apparently OK.

If you absolutely must buy an SUV, get a Mazda CX-5. It's the one that every car mag I read says is the only acceptable SUV, if you really must have one, e.g. http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2013-toyota-rav4-xle-awd-vs-2014-subaru-forester-25i-touring-2014-mazda-cx-5-grand-touring-awd-comparison-test

I've also heard people rave about the Honda Odyssey in the past, but this year's reviews are unimpressive again, so there's probably some magic three year period where they were great which you'll have to hunt for.

super friend said...

I have a 2011 Honda Odyssey (and an old Subaru Forester for that matter). I really like the Odyssey, it's comfortable and feels relaxing to drive, has pretty good electronics, has lots of space, you can even put the kids in the middle, grandparents in the back and still have room for a stroller etc. I also highly recommend the thick rubber floormats (I forget what they are called, all weather mats or something). But it's a full on family minivan, not a SUV, so it might be a bit of a sharp transition for you going from a Porsche to a ultra-square-mobile. Also not sure if you need something that big if your family is 3 people.

Aaron said...

We love our Odyssey as you know. SUV's just end up not being really all that functionally bigger than a sedan... they're kinda silly (big on the outside, small on the inside), *except* that in your case, it will get you high up in the air... which may be just what you need. Really the only SUV with more seating space than, say, an accord, is the Highlander, which is a bit of a boat handling-wise compared to the Odyssey. And the Highlander is still pretty cramped for anyone in the very-back. And even though it's smaller it feels way bigger to drive cuz visibility sucks and it has a huge hood.

The sweet thing about the Odyssey is the 'fuck it, just throw it in the back' mentality you can get into with camping and trips and stuff. It makes packing really easy... you don't have to really think, you just toss shit in there and go.

You don't really need the extra space until (and unless) you get to kid 2, though. So something smaller than a full on Odyssey might be ok for now. With the van I always feel a bit self conscious when I'm driving it by myself (even though yeah, it is super comfortable). When the kids are in there it feels legit, but it's definitely a family ride.

Sliding doors are totally rad on a big vehicle for all these tiny Seattle parking spaces. Getting kids out of a big SUV in those spaces is just a bitch, but super easy with the slidey-doors.

Also, you'd probably be driving your other car most of the time if you're going alone, yeah? So you don't need to worry about driving the van alone a lot. Maybe you can the Sube get it jacked up like crazy monster-truck style so it's not so hard on your back?

sylvain-v said...

The issues with most SUV is they're fake all terrain vehicule (not many can follow a range rover - but usualy that's fine for 99% of owners), and they're often ugly squary boxes. And they drink a lot of gas.

SUV that have less boxy shapes: Infiniti FX, Audi Q*, Porsche Cayman.
I hate the rear of BMW X3/5: they look too much like an utility truck.
Not too sure about other Japanese SUV, they often looks either too bland or too cartoonish.

The FX is the one that started the modern "crossover sport SUV" thing, it's quite fast but it's not that roomy inside: a tad more than a normal berline, but not what one would expect from a large car. Still far enough for our family of 3. Milage is between 23.5mpg (highway) and 14mpg (town).

I don't have experience with the other german SUV. You might feel at home in a Cayman, coming from a 911, but you still would look for any scratch.

cbloom said...

Okay, whoah whoah whoah everybody. I wasn't really serious about getting an SUV.

We have a WRX as our family wagon. But it's actually not very upright.

What matters for my low back problems is the height different from the floor and pedal box to where your ass rests in the seat, and the WRX doesn't actually have much more height there than the 911. Your ass is very close to the floor of the interior in the WRX. (and the 911 is pretty comfy for a sports car)

I think there are plenty of sedans that would work fine for me without actually going for the SUV option.

But I also might just not get anything at all for a while since I'm driving so very rarely these days.

cbloom said...

BTW I concur with Tom that the new gen of Outback and Forester are totally awful. They feel like American cars (yuck!), all bloated and swimmy and beepy and gross.

Oddly they also did the BRZ which is a beautiful piece of old-school Subaru-ism, very tight and pure and simple. So I'm not sure what's happening at Subaru. Very split personality.

Paul said...


Sorry to hear you are selling your Porsche! Yours was one of the first sites I came across when I was doing research in preparation of buying a 911 myself.

The WRX is a very fun and practical car, so hopefully you will enjoy it. I have been daily driving an STi for 5 years and have been very pleased.

I think your C4S has some desirable qualities and a bit of rarity (you see a lot of C2 and C2S models, but not as many C4S) that should help with the sale. Unfortunately, with the 991 now out it does push down the value for previously watercooled models.

As the owner of a 2007 GT3 I agree that it is a classic in the 911 lineup and the last of an era as the new GT3 is PDK only.



Mario Newman said...

There are avenues where you can bring your wares. Charity, for example. See it's not just purchase that determines value, it is purpose and reasons as well.

Mario @ Miles Ahead Donations

old rants