Saying goodbye to an old friend and hello to a Porsche Boxster
By David Hurth

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This past weekend was a bittersweet one for me. I sold my trusty old Porsche 944 that I had driven for five years and replaced it with an early Boxster. So far, I'm very happy with the Boxster. It has better performance and a very good sound to it.

My 1983 944 was a good, dependable car that served me well. It wasn't that fast in a straight line, but it was great in the corners. In the five years I drove the car, I only had one major issue. The clutch went out after owning it for about two years, and having that replaced was not an inexpensive job.

Unfortunately, the 944 was getting up in miles and was starting to need a lot of maintenance. Since these cars aren't worth very much, I decided to sell the car instead of throwing a bunch of money into it.

The 1983 Porsche 944 was a good, dependable car, but it was getting up in miles and was starting to need a lot of maintenance.

Knowing that I was going to be replacing my 944, I started to look around at different options. I could upgrade to a 944 Turbo, 928, 968, Boxster or 911 (996). After looking at cars for sale on the Internet, I noticed the 944 Turbo, 928, 968 and Boxster all had variants available for around $10,000, but the price for a decent 996 was around $20,000.

I decided against the 944 Turbo, simply because I had already owned a 944 (although without the higher performance) and just wanted something different. I also ruled out the 968 partly because none were available for sale in my area at the time.

I ruled out the 928 mainly because of the condition and mileage of the cars that were for sale in my area. I live in a college town and many of the front-engine Porsches have become inexpensive to purchase, so many college students purchase them. And, unfortunately, college students often can't afford to keep the cars maintained as they need to be.

After ruling out the front-engine cars, it came down to the 996 and Boxster (986). I was heavily leaning toward the 911 because it is the car that Porsche is best known for. I've been fortunate enough to drive various 911s and Boxsters in the past, and I found both very fun to drive, but in different ways.

After driving the two newest cars back-to-back, I thought the 911 was a better performing car. However, the Boxster was less intimidating to drive and was just a lot of fun.

I had my heart all set to get that 911, but then I saw an immaculate lower-mileage early Boxster. The car was half the price of the 996s that weren't in as good of condition. I went for a test drive and, while this 1999 Boxster wasn't the fastest car I've driven, it was a whole lot of fun to drive. I was hooked from the first time I stepped on the gas and took a corner at speed.

This 1999 Boxster wasn't the fastest car around, but it was a whole lot of fun to drive — and half the price of the 996.

The car has just over 60,000 miles on it. I know it is usually better to stay away from these early cars that have less than 50,000 miles on them, and it is just a bit over that. These early Boxsters are great cars, but they have some known issues. Perhaps the biggest of these are intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing failures and rear main seal (RMS) leaks. Changing the oil often can help with these issues, as well as some kits that make them less likely to happen.

As with any used Porsche a prepurchase inspection (PPI) is a must. After this car went through a PPI and was deemed mechanically sound, I purchased the vehicle and have enjoyed driving it the past few days. This car was well maintained by a local member of the Porsche Club of America, and I plan on keeping this maintenance going.

I was sad to see my old friend (the 944) go to a new home, but then I got in the Boxster and gave it a bit of gas, and all that went away. I'll remember the 944 fondly, but am on to making new memories with new my midengine sports car.

David Hurth is the editor-in-chief of He is an avid Porsche enthusiast and enjoys driving and working on his Porsche. David has had articles appear in magazines such as Excellence and 9 Magazine as well as the blog