Wednesday, November 9, 2011

new steed, extra silly

Been a dearth of updates here, but it's a fine time to announce that the M5 is gone. It's somewhere outside Chicago in the hands of a young man who is hopefully ready for the "special" needs of an again M-car (he had a Porsche 944 turbo, so he ought to know what he was getting in to).

I thought long and hard about what to get next. I saw a clean red/black NSX in Chicago and after some financial calculating, realized I could afford it. I've always wanted an NSX, it's most certainly my attainable dream car and I will have one someday. I remember drooling over new ones at Acura of Brookfield as a kid. I remember thinking I could buy one immediately after graduating from college. I now can in fact buy one. Unfortunately, this specimen had some potential issues and just wasn't worth the price.

Price. That proved to be an issue in the NSX hunt. My budget placed me in the scruffy, bottom end of the market. I deliberated and realized I should wait to get a clean, sorted example when I had the funds.

What to get instead? Well, I've looked at early watercooled 911s in the past. Turns out they've continued to depreciate. For good reason: the motor can go bad, leaving you with a $10,000 bill on a $20,000 car. Good news, though, someone has developed an aftermarket fix for the issue!

Certain numbers of M96 motors, used in Boxsters, 996s, and 997s, can suffer from failure due to the intermediate shaft bearing. This shaft, part of the timing system, has a sealed bearing that can suffer from lubrication wash-out and poor oiling. Once it starts to wear, ferrous bits circulate in the motor and eventually kill it. LN Engineering has a fix but this requires removal of the motor or transmission. However, once fixed, you can expect years of happy motoring.

I looked at a lot of different cars, and ending up driving a 2002 Cabrio. I loved it. It was tons of fun and very fast. I had no interest in buying a convertible, but it resolved my fears that a 996 wouldn't feel special enough. It was.

After sifting through a sea of silver-over-gray car, I found a clean, higher-mileage red-over-tan. I loved it. I had a PPI done at Porsche North Olmstead and found no surprises. I ended up buying the car, sight unseen, and shipping it back to Wisconsin. I wasn't disappointed!

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