Buy Porsche Boxster (1996-2004) Price, PPC or HP | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Car Review

Porsche Boxster (1996-2004)

£ N/A
Published: 03 Sep 2021
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Buying

What should I be paying?

The car shown here is historic. It's the lowest chassis number RHD example, and originally was a Porsche GB test car. So was P159 EGM, a silver one with a lower numberplate but higher chassis owner which was on Top Gear magazine's cover at the time. They're both now owned and maintained by Chris Efthymiou, to whom a million thanks for this reunion.

So we won't put a price on this car. But tired examples of similar spec, mostly well into six-figure mileages, start below £5,000. Not sure we'd go there. Tidy ones hover temptingly under £10k though.

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What should I look out for?

Plenty of reputable Porsche specialists will check over a possible purchase for you. Then look after it. Maintenance isn't frequent, but must be done.

The frailties of old Boxsters are well-documented, so do your homework.

The sills can rust. Hood drain holes might block, capturing water behind the seats, rusting the floor and fritzing crucial and expensive immobiliser electrics under the passenger seat.

Check the windows drop and raise properly when the door opens. Hoods are tough, though early ones have a replaceable plastic window that fogs. Later it was glazed. The cabin trim is pretty tough. Just check for water.

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The famous and critical engine issue is the bearing of the intermediate shaft that drives the cam chains. If it's weak, you'll hear a rattle at the back of the engine. It should be replaced when the clutch is changed at 60k miles. The gearboxes cause few problems except sloppy cables.

The suspension should feel wonderful. Any slop or knocks mean you'll want new bushes and maybe wishbones and even dampers. Chris says you can do the lot for £1,000, which sounds like a great way to rejuvenate a tired car. Check the air-con radiators, sitting unprotected behind the front bumper. Watch the exhaust system; he says, "Aftermarket are noisy. Original are expensive."

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