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It’s every petrolhead’s dream to own a 911, right? Well, if that applies to you, then a good place to start is with a first-generation 997. Despite using many elements of the outgoing 996, it represented a better overall package, was less problematic and looked a little more ‘classic’ than its predecessor.
It’s refined and lightning fast, of course, but more surprising is the fact that it’s very easy to drive and live with. Moreover, being the best-selling 911 to date, there’s lots of choice and, if you search hard enough, you might be able pick up an early Carrera for as little as £18,000. That might put it beyond most people’s budget, but it’s a bargain when you consider it would have cost more than £60,000 new.
The so-called Gen 1 cars were launched in 2004. There were two models available initially: the 3.6-litre Carrera and the 3.8-litre Carrera S, the latter having 19in alloys and an extra 60bhp on tap. A full Cabriolet came along in April 2005, followed by the four-wheel drive Carrera 4 and 4S for the 2006 model year. The early range also included a 473bhp Turbo, the track- focused 415bhp GT3 and a Carrera Targa 4 and 4S (from 2007), as well as a Turbo Cabriolet from November 2008. The introduction of direct fuel injection and Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual clutch transmission (replacing the Tiptronic) marked the start of the Gen 2 cars from June 2008.
Now, as is always the case when buying a performance car that was prohibitively expensive when new, it would be a mistake to think that you can run a 997 on a shoestring. That said, if you check our price comparison, you should make a saving when it comes to regular service items.