997 GEN 1 3.8 S * 2005 ‘05’ * 97,400 MILES * £19,995

911 Porsche World - - Tried & Tested -

So the first 997Ss are fi­nally cross­ing the £20,000 wa­ter­shed: a mod­ern 180mph 911, or a daily-use Porsche for half the go­ing rate of a (dry) week­end-only air cooled model. First reg­is­tered in May 2005, this At­las grey coupé be­gan life in Keigh­ley and ini­tial ser­vice work was car­ried out by PC Leeds at two years and 17,500 miles. Thence it moved north east with the sec­ond of its eight own­ers, then resided in the west Mid­lands re­ceiv­ing sched­uled at­ten­tion at PC Wilm­slow and Ra­mus Porsche. Fi­nally in 2016 it headed south, its most re­cent oil ser­vice car­ried out by Brook­speed Porsche in Southamp­ton at 89,800 miles in Au­gust 2017 and the same dealer changed the brake fluid at 94,900 in Fe­bru­ary 2018. The brake discs are new sug­gest­ing these may have been re­placed at the same time, but no in­voices ac­com­pany the ser­vice record book.

The paint­work is mildly faded – it would no doubt re­spond to a good pol­ish­ing and is un­dam­aged apart from the odd stone chip. The paint in­side the front arches has lifted at their vul­ner­a­ble bot­tom edges which catch all the road de­bris. The at­trac­tive ‘lob­ster claw’ wheels which helped to de­fine the first 997 and be­com­ing rare to­day have some very mi­nor kerb scrapes; Bridge­stone Poten­zas at the front are new, the rears, am­ply grooved on their in­sides, are worn down al­most to the wear bars on their outer treads. In­side, the leather up­hol­stery has lasted well and still has that agree­able leath­ery odour. Door cap­pings and dash in the same ma­te­rial are also pleas­ingly un­spoiled and, as ever, the dark car­pets might ben­e­fit from a clean. The only item need­ing at­ten­tion is the bro­ken rocker switch which ac­ti­vates the boot, mean­ing it can be opened only with the key. The engine com­part­ment is dirty, but no weeps are ap­par­ent to a cur­sory ex­am­i­na­tion of the un­der­side.

A switch­able sports ex­haust is fit­ted and in the ‘on’ po­si­tion means fir­ing up this 997 will usu­ally turn heads in the vicin­ity. Idling smoothly af­ter a cold start, the 911 pulls away with­out any un­due noises; the clutch, on the heavy side, bites at mid­travel and the six-shift moves eas­ily across its gate. Steer­ing is pre­cise and re­spon­sive and the 3.8 both flex­i­ble and ready to pull hard when asked, though per­haps lack­ing a lit­tle zest at the very top-end. The new brakes pro­vide the ex­pected mas­sive re­tar­da­tion with cor­rect pedal pres­sure and travel. The well pre­served cabin has no rat­tles and though the ride is smooth, there are some rum­bles un­der­neath and the PASM does not ap­pear to be work­ing. Com­bined with the un­even rear tyre wear, a four-wheel geom­e­try check is surely called for. The oil pres­sure gauge sticks, and the bat­tery which only just man­ages to turn the engine is prob­a­bly on its last legs.

This is a 911 for an owner who knows Porsches: it ap­pears fun­da­men­tally sound, but will re­quire some ex­pen­di­ture on sus­pen­sion and pos­si­bly engine di­ag­nos­tics; the ven­dor is happy to ar­range a borescope ex­am­i­na­tion. Given these caveats, here po­ten­tially is a bar­gain 997. PW

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