You might think it’s a bit early for early Boxsters to be con­sid­ered any­thing other than old, pos­si­bly trou­ble­some Porsches, but David Suther­land found there is clear ev­i­dence that the best pre­served ones are now in­creas­ing in value

911 Porsche World - - Market Forces -

For some time now, since 924s, 944s and 968s be­gan to gain some col­lectabil­ity and showed a com­men­su­rate in­crease in value, we’ve been telling you that the early Boxster is now the “cheap Porsche”. It was not hard to spot them for as lit­tle as £2000.

For­tu­nately for us we never went as far as, ‘If the first Boxster be­comes a clas­sic we’ll eat our hat!’, be­cause had we done so lunchtimes at 911&PW Tow­ers would wit­ness quan­ti­ties of cloth and felt be­ing ingested. Yes, two decades on from launch, the orig­i­nal, 986-model Boxster can be hot prop­erty that fetches (mod­er­ately) big bucks.

But let’s be clear: most late 1990s/early 2000s Boxsters are still sim­ply old (but of course still im­mensely like­able) sports cars, many just one step ahead of an over­whelm­ingly un­eco­nomic re­pair such as a ter­mi­nal lack of com­pres­sion in the flat-six wa­ter-cooled en­gine, or an IMS (in­ter­me­di­ate shaft) bear­ing fail­ure. They are not col­lectable and won’t be un­til such time as there are so few left that sup­ply and de­mand kicks in to hoist val­ues. As ever, it’s the low mileage, full his­tory cars that have been cos­set­ted that peo­ple are go­ing to pay some se­ri­ous money for.

Aside from the £2k won­ders, presently if you’re look­ing for a 986 Boxster in av­er­age con­di­tion, and are pre­pared to ac­cept 150,000 miles on the clock, most are priced be­tween £4000 and £6000. Per­haps early Boxster val­ues have sunk to their present mod­est level be­cause – at least up un­til the ap­pear­ance of the tur­bocharged four-cylin­der cars in 2015, some might say – each of the three model gen­er­a­tions had been a close evo­lu­tion to make the car more de­sir­able. Im­proved en­gines, in­te­ri­ors, equip­ment and so on left lit­tle long­ing for what went be­fore, the best Boxster be­ing the lat­est one.

How­ever, nos­tal­gia now does ap­pear to play a part, which ex­plains why Whit­taker Mo­tor Com­pany in Bretby, Der­byshire, which spe­cialises in low mileage Ger­man pres­tige cars was ask­ing £19,990 for a white, twoowner 2004/04-reg Boxster 2.7 with 21,000 miles (lead photo) when its ‘Re­tail’ value was, ac­cord­ing to price ex­pert Glass’s, around £8500.

‘The per­son who buys this will be some­one who knew Boxsters at the time but couldn’t af­ford one, and now wants one that feels as though it has just come out of the show­room even though it’s not 2004 any more.’ ex­plains pro­pri­etor Chris Whit­taker, who bought the Boxster back from the lady he sold it to about a year ago.

Chris reck­ons that for Boxsters of this era, con­di­tion alone does not guar­an­tee a high sale price. ‘Low mileage is ab­so­lutely key,’ he stresses. ‘I went to a Bri­tish Car Auc­tions sale last year and a Boxster in red and about the same year as mine, but with just 7000 miles, sold for £20,000 – that’s ob­vi­ously a trade price to which a dealer mark-up would be added.

‘Our white car will prob­a­bly be bought by some­one who’ll put it in a col­lec­tion – it might be the least ex­pen­sive car in the col­lec­tion, but it’ll con­tinue to make money as long as the mileage stays the same.’

His ex­am­ple had the ad­van­tage of be­ing a late 986 model and there­fore in­cor­po­rat­ing the key im­prove­ments that took the rough edges off the orig­i­nal Boxster, in­clud­ing the en­larged, 2.7-litre en­gine and the glass rear screen in the hood. The dark blue 2.7 of­fered at Porsche spe­cial­ist Wil­liams Craw­ford in Sal­tash in Corn­wall was the same year and with un­der 60,000 miles and a part-porsche Cen­tre, part-in­de­pen­dent ser­vice his­tory – but it was left-hand drive, which in­evitably re­duces value in the UK. None­the­less, Wil­liams Craw­ford was ask­ing £13,995.

‘If we can find a nice car an un­usual spec – every op­tion box ticked – then it will re­ally ring the bell and we can throw the price man­ual away,’ says Direc­tor Richard Wil­liams of early Boxsters. ‘We’ve found peo­ple re­ally love cars like these.’ His car could cer­tainly claim a gen­er­ous sprin­kling of ex­tras, equipped with 17- rather than the stan­dard 16-inch wheels, metal­lic paint, cli­mate con­trol, full leather, Litronic light­ing, nav­i­ga­tion mod­ule and Bose sound sys­tem.

But like Chris Whit­taker, he stresses the im­por­tance of tick­ing all the boxes: ‘To make a spe­cial place in peo­ple’s hearts, it has to be a car with a spe­cial story. It’s not good enough just hav­ing sat in a garage for a while, it has to be low mileage and have a great his­tory.’

Early Boxsters at way above book prices are com­mon. For ex­am­ple Rose­mount Car Com­pany in Glas­gow had stick­ered its sil­ver 2002/52 2.7 with 38,200 miles at £11,995, £4700 more than Glass’s fore­court price, and per­haps the Bel­gian trader who was ad­ver­tis­ing a very early Boxster, a 1997 2.5 with 151,200km (94,500 miles) for £10,500 was be­ing slightly over-op­ti­mistic. But this car would have the ad­van­tage of be­ing far cheaper to in­sure on a clas­sic pol­icy than 2003/2004 cars. Com­ing closer to book value was the pri­vate seller in south Lon­don want­ing £12,750 for a 2004/04 Boxster S An­niver­sary edi­tion with 25,000 miles, while an­other pri­va­teer in Stroud asked £11,850 for the same model with just 18,750 miles.

Search out a pre-2004 Boxster, prefer­ably in 3.2 S form, that is in top con­di­tion, is not in a loud paint colour and has lots of ex­tras, and you should at least have a car that holds its value (pro­vided you’ve paid the cor­rect price for) and might well ap­pre­ci­ate. And, prob­a­bly more im­por­tantly, every day you can en­joy what is still the world’s best af­ford­able mid-en­gined road­ster. PW

This low-mileage 986 Boxster 2.7 is for sale at £19,990. And how good in white?

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