SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
8/19/22 8:18 a.m.

I've mentioned my need to thin the herd in a few recent posts, including my Fiero for sale.  As I decide what to keep and what to sell, I find myself struggling with a Porsche problem.  We have a 996 and 986.  The 996 is a 2000 Cabrio 6spd.  42k miles, darn near mint.  The 986 is a 2003 base 5spd.  Rebuilt title, 162k miles, non-working a/c.  Runs and drives fabulous, no CEL or anything.  Interior super clean, body clean but not as clean as the 996.  Part of me says to just sell the 986 because it's so similar to the 996 and we don't need two of the same thing.  No, selling the 996 is not an option...that's my wife's baby.  However, I just can't get myself to fall in love with driving the 996 as much as I enjoy the 986.  I know the 996 is more capable in every way and I'm not damning it with faint praise.  It's a great car to drive.  Maybe it's just a mental thing, but I find the 986 more engaging.  Am I nuts??  I can't count how many cars I've had in my life, it's a ridiculous number.  However the 986 is unquestionably in my top 3 of fun-to-drive, if not #1.  

Olemiss540 HalfDork
8/19/22 8:37 a.m.

Cars with lower limits I find more engaging to drive as you can drive closer to the limits at sane speeds while going to the grocery store. 

The 996 would need to be on a race track to approach its limits.

No suprise here.

calteg SuperDork
8/19/22 9:21 a.m.

I'll be in the minority and admit that no modern P-car has ever done anything for me. 996, 997, Cayman, all felt pretty meh. 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
8/19/22 9:22 a.m.

mid-engine > rear engine.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/19/22 9:27 a.m.

I had a similar experience with my 996 and 986. I find racing anything on dirt far more engaging though.  

Mndsm MegaDork
8/19/22 9:40 a.m.

I've never driven the 996. In fact, the only Porsche I've ever drive was your 986. I was shocked at how good that car was. I honestly considered the purchase of that very car right after I drove it, and I did not fit even a little. Sometimes we like cars that don't make as much theoretical sense as the ones we really like. I'd have to look into driving a 996 to compare, but I suspect I'd come out preferring the boxsters. That was a lot of fun. 

docwyte PowerDork
8/19/22 9:52 a.m.

Yes, you're nuts.  While they're both good cars, the boxster probably feels more tossable since it's a 2 seater, mid engined car.  The 911 needs to be driven in anger more to get the same type of feeling out of it.  That being said, the limits of my 996 turbo are scary high, there's no way I even come close to them on the street, yet the car is extremely fun to drive everywhere...

Tyler H
Tyler H UberDork
8/19/22 10:02 a.m.

If you like the 986, cash in on the 996 mania and send it on down the road.  If the engine grenades in the 996, you'll probably be way more compelled to fix it.  The 986 is proven at this point with 160k+ miles.  Low miles on the 996 actually concerns me more.  

If SWMBO says the 996 stays, then it's academic at this point.  :)

You're not crazy for liking the 986 more.  I always tend to prefer base Porsches because I like to drive them hard.

Javelin MegaDork
8/19/22 10:13 a.m.

No you're not crazy. Mid engine is better. That's why 911 race cars since 2015 are mid engine too. The 986 is brilliant. 

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
8/19/22 10:14 a.m.

Within reasonable limits, I have driven the 996 "in anger".  It's a wonderful car, so I'm not at all saying I don't like it.  I truly do.  Just for whatever reason, driving the 986 in anger...or even in more fun.  I agree that the 996 limits are higher and it takes harder work to extract those limits than it does to get the limits out of a 986.  Maybe a better way for me to put it is that I find driving the 986 at 5/10ths more fun than driving the 996 at 5/10ths.  Yeah, I know the whole IMS thing and the low mileage 996.  It's still a risk, but to the best we can figure out, our car is likely a dual row instead of a single row.  And at least from the 986 experts I've talked to, if the IMS hasn't failed in 162k miles, it likely won't.  

I'm not a subscriber to the theory of "It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow", so that's definitely not it.  To me, driving a slow car fast is kind of fun in it's own way (depending on the car), but 95% of the time I'll have more fun driving a fast car "slow".  

Some of it is certainly seat of the pants feel.

Tk8398 HalfDork
8/19/22 11:00 a.m.

Sounds like you need to keep both.  I very much hate working on the 986 I have (to the point I am very tempted to sell it), but it currently works fine so I am just going to keep using it until it needs some repair that I am not willing to do and sell it at that point.

pointofdeparture UltimaDork
8/19/22 12:08 p.m.

FWIW I wonder if a 996 cab might be a bit of a compromised 996 experience compared to a coupe, while the 986 was engineered to be a roadster from day one.

That said I have increasingly found that I prefer cars that are lighter on their feet even if raw performance is sacrificed so I can see it.

Tk8398 HalfDork
8/19/22 12:47 p.m.

I haven't driven a 996 but I actually liked the base 986 better than the S version for what I imagine are similar reasons.

JimS Reader
8/19/22 5:32 p.m.

Keep both. Sell something else to thin the herd. 

Opti Dork
8/19/22 6:00 p.m.

Beaters or beaterish cars are always more fun than a similar mint example that may be hard to replace.

I bet if your boxster was low mileage, mintish and super sought after you'd probably have a similar feeling to it as you do the 911.

Having driven a modern 911, I've had more more fun in less capable cars that I didn't feel like I needed to treat with kid gloves. 

grover Dork
8/19/22 10:33 p.m.

The first 996 cab 6mt with sport exhaust blew my mind. The coupe i drove second was okish. That sports exhaust made a pretty big impression on me. 

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