We came across this two-owner, Guards Red over Black leather, 31K mile, 2003 Porsche Boxster on Craigslist in Yardley, PA where the private seller is currently asking $15,000 firm for their Boxster. Using the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool as a guide, the seller currently has their car priced $1,800 below the #2 “Excellent” value of $16,800, which without saying it means he’s already factoring in the price needed to do a clutch and IMS bearing replacement we will detail below.
The original 986 Porsche Boxster launched in model year 1997 and remained in production through 2005 when the mildly updated 987 version arrived. The Guys With Rides crew is very fond of this generation of Boxster as the sound of the flat six at your back combined with the extremely well-balanced handling and the practicality of two decent-sized trunks make these the perfect weekend getaway car. Its no secret we love our ’98 and take it out every chance we get.
With only 31K original miles, two owners since new, and service records since new, not only is this a classic Porsche color combination, but the condition makes this car a great candidate to enter into concours competition in Porsche Club of America events, especially when the private seller makes the claim his Boxster has never been driven in the rain.
While this is a great example of a first-generation Boxster, we highly recommend the new caretaker immediately has the car’s Intermediate Shaft Bearing (“IMS”) and clutch replaced. While ’97 and ’98 model year Boxsters used a 2.5L engine featuring 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 such as the example presented here increased significantly, particularly among low mileage, lightly-driven examples and/or those that follow the 15K mile oil change interval (5K mile intervals are highly recommended now in the aftermarket community). The car for sale here is a 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 negligible at that point) is already factored in by the seller. Although rare, since the failure occurs without warning, we caution anyone from driving this car until the bearing gets upgraded.
Once complete, you’ll have a beautiful Boxster that will provide ear-to-ear smiles for years to come and if you decide to enter, you’ll have a firm shot at taking first place in every Concours you enter. Good luck with the purchase!