Concours Contender: 1999 Porsche 986 Boxster 23K Miles – SOLD!
July 11th Update: Preparing for Sports Car Saturday we came across a fresh post for this very low mileage 1999 Porsche Boxster Base we first featured at the end of May. The seller reduced the asking price significantly from the original $19,500 to a much more market-correct $13,900 that’s $1,600 less than the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $15,500.
The classic silver over red leather color combination of Porsche’s original 1993 Boxster show car proved to be so popular that during the first several years of production, many consumers opted for what is now known as the “Boxster Red” full leather interior. Typically buyers who opted for this color combination also added a number of convenience options and this 1999 example listed on Craigslist in Binghamton, New York is a prime example. With only 22,387 original miles, in like-new condition, and very well equipped with even the optional matching hardtop, we’re not surprised the current caretaker wants $19,500 for their Boxster as based on the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool that price falls somewhere between the #1 “Concours” appraisal of $24,000 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $15,500. Prices for these first-generation 986 Boxsters are on the rise as examples in excellent and stock condition like this become harder to find.
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. As an owner of a 1998 example in excellent condition, my humble opinion is that a maximum $17,500 would be a fair price for this example and here’s two reasons 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 base examples such as this one for around $12,000. Starting 1999, Porsche added the higher horsepower “S” model which typically gets the money being asked for here. Complicating matters even more 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 all ’97 and ’98 model year Boxsters used a 2.5L engine that featured a double-row IMS with an extremely low failure rate, during the 1999 model year 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. The seller indicates his car has the 2.5L engine, so if you can confirm that to be the case, then it’s proven to be a non-issue (my ’98 now has 105K miles with the original bearing still in place). However, if this example has the 2.7L flat-six, be aware 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 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) 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.
That said, if you’re looking for a Porsche to enter into Concours competition, this is an excellent, low mileage, and well-optioned example that makes it a prime candidate. Hopefully, the seller has the original documentation and maintenance receipts to help with that presentation. The only possible non-stock item noticed is the wood-grained applique on the dashboard. You’ll need to check the white option code label under the frunk hood to confirm whether this was a factory-installed option. If that’s true, it’s a very rare option that only adds to this car’s desirability. As with any Porsche we feature, we highly recommend a pre-purchase inspection to ensure you know exactly what you are buying prior to making the investment. If everything checks out, good luck with the purchase!