At $23,500, Is This 03 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 a Lesson in Value?

Nice Price or No Dice 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 4

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice 911 claims to have bought the car to teach their kids how to drive stick. While we’re contemplating that bit of amazing parenting, let’s also consider if this Porsche is worth its asking price now that the kids have learned their lesson.

When Doctor Frankenstein decided to “make a new friend,” his goal was to find a way to extend life, not birth an abomination. Similarly, the owner of the 1998 BMW M3 Dinan convertible we considered yesterday had maintained and upgraded the car in the attempt to extend its life, all while building up a substantial 187K miles on the car’s basic bits. With that in mind, a $23,000 price tag was seemingly too much to bear, as the Bimmer fell in a massive 95 percent No Dice loss.

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There’s a vast difference between modding and simply maintaining. Yesterday’s M3 was a prime example of the former, while this 2003 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 looks far more like the latter. The reason behind all that maintenance, both preventive and active, is very intriguing. The seller claims that it was all part of the process of teaching their kids how to drive a stick shift.

Now, before we all go high-fiving the seller for educating their kids on such a vanishing skill, let’s consider the use of a 315-horsepower all-wheel-drive six-speed convertible sports car as a learning tool. That’s like an AP course for the lesson.

As noble a goal as teaching the fruit of one’s loins to capably operate a manual transmission might be, the seller offers an equally honorable gesture in wanting the car to be mechanically sound prior to its sale. To that end, the seller had a new clutch installed after school let out and the kids were done with their three-pedal curriculum. Other work on the car included a new multifunction stalk unit, a replacement IMS bearing, “all the plastic oil lines” (probably meaning the AOS hoses), and, according to the seller, “every important part you can think of.”

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Now the 142,000-mile 911 is said to be well sorted and, overall, aesthetically solid. What’s described as a revitalized interior features carbon fiber trim that’s a bit of an acquired taste, although that extends to the steering wheel which is an OEM bit. The leather does look decent and the car wears WeatherTech mats in the footwells to protect the carpet.

Above all that is a top that is claimed to work as it should (including all four windows) and to be weathertight.

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On the downside, the ad does note a cracked tail lamp lens and the availability of only one key. More concerning, though, is the admission that the door glass doesn’t drop when closing, with the seller explaining that the handle needs to be held up while shutting the door to prevent interference with the top seal. In an attempt to alleviate concern, the seller claims “Apparently this is normal for cars this old. I have the new door switch. It just needs to be installed.” The window-dropping mechanism is, in fact, controlled by two switches, one on the door handle and another in the door latch mechanism. Neither is terribly troublesome to replace, but the door latch is very expensive ($400-$500) and there are two of them. Clever monkeys might try reflowing the solder joints in the door latch switch for a cheap repair, but there’s no guarantee that will work in all cases.

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Okay, enough of being a Negative Nellie. Those minor (and possibly one major) annoyances aside, this does look to be a pretty solid 996 C4. The title is clear, the tires have only about 2,000 miles on them, and the car just recently passed its California smog test. Those are all big pluses. What might all those pluses and minuses reasonably add up to?

Well, in the case of this ad, that’s a $23,500 asking. As you might be aware, 911 prices are bonkers these days as everybody and their conjoined twin seemingly wants one. The 996 is the least-loved fruit of the 911 family tree, but it’s coming into its own as well. This is on the low end of 996 prices, but that’s a bit owed to the mileage.

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What do you think? Is this 911 Carrera 4 worth that $23,500 asking as it’s described in its ad? Or, does offering a price like that make this a teachable moment?

You decide!

San Francisco Bay Area, California, craigslistor go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

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