Stretch your budget a bit and buy a first gen 986 Porsche Boxster, a set of ramps to raise the car, a basic tool set and a copy of Wayne Dempsey's "101 Projects for your Porsche Boxster" book. With some careful looking (which is half the fun!) you should be able to do this for well under $8k. And since you're a kid I bet you can probably find someone who will give you their old car. This will get you into the world of Porsche (the coolest brand, after all) and will allow you to launch a career as a Boxster expert in a few years just in time for these cars to start appreciating. Boxsters have a huge historical impact (they saved Porsche from bankruptcy) and are highly underrated in terms of performance (because they suffer from "not-a-911-itis," a common affliction among Porsche enthusiasts) and are only the second production mid-engined Porsche (which is a superior design to virtually anything else). Plus they tended to be 3rd (or more) cars and generally have lower mileage, were well cared for (the audience was older) and are in excellent condition. These cars are going to be the next big thing in collectible Porsches (I predict) and you are perfectly positioned to ride this wave.
... View more
What a disservice this article does to the auto enthusiast community! Don't listen to this guy. Used 986 Boxsters, especially the pre-2000 models with the double ims bearing (1% failure rate) are TRUE BARGAINS that provide insane amounts of automotive pleasure. Take one out on a country back road and you will fall in love with the joy of it's low polar moment of inertia handling and it's addictive flat six engine sound right behind your ear. Speed is not the end all and be all. They are perfectly easy to work on. Get a set of race ramps and you are all set. I bought a Guards Red '98 with 77k miles for $7700 to teach my son about cars having had ZERO knowledge and experience doing any kind of automotive or mechanical work. With the help of YouTube we changed all the fluids, the brake pads, rotors, lines, hoses, put in a short shift kit and rewired a period Porsche radio WITH CASSETTE (which he got a real kick out of). It was a priceless experience that I could not have had with virtually any other Porsche (certainly not one that comes close to the driving dynamics of the Boxster). (And with respect to your comment on comparing the maintenance of a Boxster to a friggin Lincoln town car- who the heck would take that over a Boxster?) Think of the Boxster in this way: just imagine that you could look through any online car ad today and easily find a pristine 914 for sale for less than $10k. You'd buy two! I predict that this will happen to the Boxster in 20 years. Take advantage of the opportunity while you have it and buy a 986 Boxster NOW. Or two.
... View more