The 1999 Black-Over-Tan Leather Boxster featured here is a 20.5K mile survivor currently for sale by the original owner near Trenton, New Jersey on Craigslist. Click here to see the car. We first noticed this ad on Craigslist early last summer and while it periodically gets pulled, the owner regularly posts it for sale. Why hasn’t his car sold? Simple. Throughout last year, the seller unrealistically asked a firm $19,999 for his car. At the time, we even featured this Boxster as a Guys With Rides Optimist Award Winner. However, the tide is turning on these early Boxsters.
Earlier this year, Hagerty Insurance listed the 986 Boxster among the Top Ten Collectible Cars to watch in 2019 as the value of these continue to inch forward. When we first featured this one-owner, low mileage example, prices for #1 Concours condition were only $17,000. Fast forward to today and when you look at the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool, the seller now has his Boxster priced between the #1 “Concours” and #2 “Excellent” levels. While this seller may be thinking his patience will finally pay off, we really think the best he will be able to do is $15,000 and here’s three reason why.
The first is simply supply. With nearly 30,000 produced in the first three years, on any given day you can find several, low mileage examples such as this one for around $10,000. Complicating that is the fact that later 987 versions (2005-2014) are starting to hit the bottom their depreciation curve. So for about the same amount of money the seller is asking you could buy a newer Boxster with arguably better performance with a much improved interior that even includes a glove box.
Second is the Intermediate Shaft Bearing (“IMS”) issue, which keeps potential buyers away from these cars with the misguided notion the engine will blow up at any time. While the ’97 and ’98 model year Boxsters used a 2.5L engine that featured a double-row IMS with an extremely low failure rate, in 1999 when Porsche increased the base Boxster’s model displacement to 2.7L they also switched the IMS bearing design to a single-row unit designed to lower engine noise. Consequently, the IMS failure rate among 2.7L cars increased significantly, particularly among low mileage, lightly-driven examples and/or those that follow the 15K mile oil change interval. The car for sale here is prime candidate for that potential failure and consequently the price for having the bearing replaced ($1,000 added to the cost of a clutch replacement as the labor is the negligible at that point) needs to be factored in. Given the seller of this ’99 example does not call out an IMS replacement and merely states that “all maintenance has been performed” we would caution anyone from driving this car until the bearing gets upgraded. If the seller is adamant about getting his firm price, he needs to get serious about spending the $2,000 to have someone replace the bearing.
Finally, while there is no argument the condition of this Boxster is excellent consistent with its low mileage, its far from “Concours Condition” in its current state. While the Tan interior presents as new, serious points will be lost for the dulled plastic window in the original convertible top. While the black paint is excellent, to bring it to Concours Level will still require a minor amount of paint correction to remove the very fine scratches seen in pictures containing sunlight.
From our perspective and experience with our Concours-winning ’98 Boxster, this will be a great car for someone to purchase and actually drive it to enjoy whenever they can. Have the IMS bearing replaced for piece of mind, and then get out and drive! Good luck with the purchase!