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Why the Porsche 996 Is the 911 Deal of the Century

The cheap 911 isn't necessarily a bad 911.

A new 911 starts at $90,000. Used previous-generation 991 models hover around $75,000, and older 997 models are around $30,000. Air-cooled 911s have officially reached absurd prices. Hell, a 1988 911 sold on Bring a Trailer for $34,500. It was nice, but it wasn't anything special. Whether you want to blame Magnus Walker's Urban Outlaw trend or collectors just being too flush with cash, for most of us, having a rear-engine sports car from Stuttgart seems out of reach. With one exception: the 996.

This story was originally published on October 15, 2015 and is being republished this month because of the 20th anniversary of the 996.

The 996, which ran from 1997 to 2004, is easily the most hated version of the 911. Why? It was mass-produced, had a water-cooled engine, shared parts with the Boxster, and had an engine defect that was serious but overblown. And yet it's a fast, capable car that delivers almost everything you would expect from Porsche. It's also cheap for a used 911. If you're looking to get into a pre-owned 911, the 996 is your best opportunity.

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Date Posted: September 14, 2017