confession/lesson by pablo deferrari

I could've bought a 968 for twice as much...but I didn't. Wanna know why? I probably would've spent the same amount of money bringing her up to snuff as I did ours. I don't give a shit what the seller claims, they ALL need work...even the ones with stacks of receipts and an owner who claims needs nothing.

If it seems like I'm bludgeoning a dead, decaying horse to death, it's because I am; I'm about to show you what it costs to bring a 10K 968 to proper working condition with no stories.
I'll be blunt candy coating horseshit others may give to spare their ego or their intelligence in choosing the best car for the money...when I hear authors claim such rubbish, I laugh and take another swig of wine to prove their canned response is just that...a long yawn. come on guys, get your head from out of your khaki covered ass. I'm about to tell you what it's really like.

here's the ad:

1994 968 Cabriolet

Dark Blue/Beige, heated seats, limited slip 6-spd. Replaced @ 100K: top, main seal, rack and pinion, PS lines, lifters. @ 130K: timing belt, rollers, water pump. @ 142K: cam chain & pads, alternator, strarer, battery. flushed brake fluid, oil, and filters @ 143K: upgraded dash lamps & headlights. 145,500 miles. $11,500.

now don't get the wrong idea...the previous owner was a very nice guy, he did what he could to fix the problems he had upon his purchase, but he was ready for a change, and I was ready for giving my wife the car of her dreams. things needed to be done in order to make this baby right...and I stepped up to the plate.

yes, there were other 968s, yes, probably in better shape, and yes, farther away which would have added an additional 2K in delivery prices and my budget, but despite this car's shortcomings, paired with my no bullshit rationale, this was the car I chose.

now here's the money I budgeted on top of the asking price broken down to the necessities. keep in mind my wife was driving a well sorted '96 993 (911), so there was no way I wanted this gift from me to be of a lesser standard than what she was accustomed to.
power steering leaks:

  1. 1 - 944.347.445.05 power steering suction hose: $42.93
  2. 1 - 944.247.069.01 power steering radiator coil: $258.32
  3. total with shipping: $314.73
engine mounts, oil cooler lines/gaskets, shifter bushings:

  1. 2 - 951.375.042.04 engine mounts : $410.10
  2. 2 - N.022.149.2 engine mount nuts: $5.20
  3. 1 - 999-113.424.40 rubber oil seal: $ 32.46
  4. 1 - 944.701.652.40 rubber o ring: $5.86
  5. 1 - 944.105.321.00 plastic camshaft seal: $3.26
  6. 1 - 999.701.875.40 rubber o ring: $5.77
  7. 1 - 000.043.301.49 anti freeze: $37.22
  8. 1 - 944.107.147.03 oil cooler gasket: $79.87
  9. 2 - 999.707.043.40 rubber o ring: $6.46
  10. 2 - 999.707.144.40: rubber o ring: $6.16
  11. 1 - N.043.815.3 joint ring: $1.31
  12. 2 - 951.343.794.02 rubber bushing: $16.72
  13. 2 - 951.343.793.30 rubber bushing: $26.74
  14. 4 - 951.343.795.01 rubber bushing: $35.28
  15. total: $672.91
power steering reservoir:

  1. 1 - 928.347.025.05:reservoir : $30.38
  2. total with shipping: $41.10
oil cooler lines and o ring:

  1. 1 - 944.207.011.04: oil cooler line: $452.07
  2. 4 - 900.331.022.40: o ring: $37.20
  3. total: $489.27
oil cooler air duct and mounting:

  1. 1 - 944.207.311.02: oil cooler duct: $20.64
  2. 1 - 930.207.265.01: rubber mounting: $15.78
  3. total: $36.42
power steering line and washers:

  1. 4 - 900.123.026.20: washers: $1.12
  2. 1 - 944.347.449.06 p/s hose rack to cooler: $123.49
  3. total with shipping: $136.95
clutch and flywheel:

  1. clutch accessory kit: $175.00
1 - 999.201.213.00 clutch lever bearing
1 - F801.11.303 pilot bearing
9 - 999.510.015.02 pressure plate bolts
9 - 999.119.017.01 flywheel bolts
1 - 944.116.087.01 guide sleeve
1 - 999113.426.41 rear main seal
1 - clutch alignment tool
1 - 951.116.13.00 lever shaft

  1. 968.116.911.00: sachs clutch kit: $625.00
  2. 944.114.012.01: dual mass flywheel: $823.64
  3. total with shipping: $1653.04
control arm bushings,heater control valve, windage tray, balance shaft belt:

  1. 4 - 951.341.041.00: control arm bushings: $120.00
  2. 1 - 000.830.57.84: control valve: $25.73
  3. 1 - 944.102.219.04: balance shaft belt: $71.23
  4. 1 - 944.107.389.03: windage tray: $73.19
  5. total with shipping: $316.40
upper rear belt cover:

  1. 1 - upper rear belt cover: $459.00
  2. total with shipping: $469.00
clutch master and slave cylinders:

  1. 1 - master cylinder: $89.98
  2. 1 - slave cylinder: $90.98
  3. total: $180.96
front struts and strut mounts:

  1. 2 - front struts: $541.96
  2. 2 - strut mounts: $499.00
  3. 2 - 951.343.529.01: strut boots: $44.92
  4. total:  $1085.88

  1. 1 - valve cover gasket set: $89.98
  2. 1 - 944.106.132.12: paper gasket: $8.83
  3. 1 - 999.113.426.41: rubber oil seal: $50.72
  4. 1 - 900.074.164.02: bolt 6x70: $3.12
  5. 1 - 944.102.247.00: belt guide spacer: $5.18
  6. 1 - 944.424.231.01: gear shift sleeve: $5.81
  7. 3 - 999.924.002.40: plastic sleeve: $12.48
  8. 1 - 944.423.387.00: clutch pedal pin: $16.13
  9. 1 - 928.423.517.00: clutch pedal connector: $15.37
  10. 1 - 944.106.019.00: thermostat: $41.27
  11. 1 - 951.606.481.00: thermo swtich: $44.21
  12. 1 - 944.624.030.00: microswitch: $38.10
  13. 1 - 999.707.115.40: rubber o ring: $10.10
  14. 1 - 944.375.045.11: trans rubber mount: $72.68
  15. 2 - 944.111.142.02: exhaust rubber mount: $65.62
  16. 2 - 928.111.259.02: muffler rubber mount: $23.74
  17. 2 - 951.343.527.00: shock bump rubber: $69.98
  18. 1 - fuel filter: $41.76
  19. 2 - hood struts: $45.96
  20. 1 - multi rib belt: $13.98
  21. 1 - power steering belt: $7.98
  22. total: $583.00

total for parts: $5979.76
total for labor: $2900.00

grand total: $8879.76

so, all in, plus the total cost of the car was just south of twenty grand. now, the labor was for the last bit of work I just didn't have the time to complete, so I enlisted my friend's help, a ex-Porsche tech, to give me a hand. included in his price was an alignment, oil pan gasket, balance shaft cover reseals, timing belt, various heli-coils from stripped out oil pan bolts, and a few other sundries...a bargain for what he charged me; even the parts were purchased at a discount.

keep in mind, and pay attention here, that the car was serviced by a Porsche dealer in Maryland. I have all of the receipts from the original owner who spared no expense, but somehow, a bona fide Porsche dealer employed technicians who managed to strip bolts, forget to put various pieces back in their original location, botched a clutch job, strip flywheel bolts, and a host of other professional acts.

this is why when someone says their car was dealer maintained is worth a may as well wipe their ass with the receipts and books since although it provides a record of the work that was done, there's no guarantee that it was executed correctly.

at nearly 20K, we now have a 968 that mechanically needs nothing at the moment and I challenge anyone to show me a 968 Cabriolet for the same money where they don't have to address a single issue.

impossible...and if you claim to have found one, you and the seller are full of shit.

like I've said before, take the asking price of any Porsche under 20K and budget that asking price for necessary repairs and preservation, and you've got yourself one hell of a car.




07/20/2014 17:09

I've have a maxim I've written about vehicle value that you've you've pretty much proven to be true.


<em>"Any given model of vehicle in good condition is worth X dollars. If you purchase the vehicle for X minus Y dollars, you will end up spending Y dollars on it (or Y plus Z) to bring it up to an acceptable condition."</em>

The vehicle history *is* important but mostly just for psychological comfort reasons. The car's always going to need work. And that $15K rebuild the engine had 4 years ago? You compromise the bragging rights about whole thing when you turn your first spanner.

That's just the way it is.

07/20/2014 18:42

well said Steve, well said!

07/21/2014 14:05

I'm surprised the tab wasn't higher. I haven't kept track of repair bills for a long time on my projects, but I would venture to say for the 924s and 931s I've rescued, I've probably spent an average of $10K on each one. Now, a lot of that is for performance mods...but in my mind, if the motor, suspension, and brakes all need rebuilt, why not spend an extra 10%-20% to make it WAY better than stock?! The other issue I've had is that most of the early cars have paint that is is beyond recovery, so body & paint adds to the cost.

Really cool article, love the detail in the parts list. Thanks for the no-bullshit story-telling!

08/06/2014 15:50

Thanks for the very detailed breakdown. I've been considering my first Porsche purchase for some time now, doing a lot of research, etc. The 944/968 is particularly appealing for many reasons. Your "no BS" expose is very eye opening. Just one thing (and this is not meant to be antagonistic)--you say, 'we now have a 968 that mechanically needs nothing at the moment and I challenge anyone to show me a 968 Cabriolet for the same money where they don't have to address a single issue...impossible...and if you claim to have found one, you and the seller are full if shit." You do see the irony here. You are claiming to have a 968 Cab that needs nothing. So by your own assertion, you are full of...well, you get the idea. And like you say, there are 968s in the $20k range that are very low mile with stacks of receipts, all records kept, dealer work only, never seen a drop of moisture of any kind, buffed with a diaper on a regular basis by a crew of how is a buyer supposed to sort out the difference between a vehicle that claims to need nothing and one that really needs nothing? I presume an extensive PPI done by a Porsche specialist. Outside of the, any recommendations?

08/06/2014 22:40

Hey Andy! Thanks for the kind words! I like your provocative angle on the irony, but I can truly make the "needs nothing" on the mechanical side of things because I replaced everything that needed attention...including leaks.

anyhow, shoot me an email and I'l be more than happy to help you any way I can.


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