Year: 2003 Mileage: 78,000
Acquired: Feb 2016 Dream car: 911 997 GT3 RS 4.0 manual
Andy Warner ‘There are a few scary moments when the back end slips, to get your heart racing’
Why did you choose the car?
A love of cars runs in my family, with my dad being a car dealer. I always loved 911s – I had a poster of a Guards Red 964 on my wall as a child and wanted a 911 ever since. At the age of 18 when I had just learned to drive, I remember watching Richard Hammond driving a white 996 GT3 on Top Gear. That sealed it for me – I had to have a 996 911. I wanted one with a large spoiler for that GT3 look, so I was happy to drive to the opposite side of the country in 2006 to see a 996 – and the second I saw it I fell in love.
What’s the best bit?
It has just the right amount of power and grip, so you can push it on the road, using all of the power (which you can’t do in more modern supercars) and have a few scary moments when the back end slips to get your heart racing. It’s the perfect sports car – useable and great fun to drive.
What’s the worst bit?
The car is so good it has become a complete obsession – I spend so much time cleaning it, going to car shows or just going out for a drive that my wife is becoming jealous.
What’s it like to run?
Luckily these cars are now rising in value, so the money I’ve spent on maintaining it has pretty much been covered by the increase in value. In my first year of ownership I spent about £800 on servicing and repairs of wear-and-tear items. I am expecting to spend a couple of thousand next year on an IMS bearing upgrade, new suspension bushings and a new clutch. Autostrasse in Essex has serviced my car and has been great.
There’s a full aero kit with skirts and a large spoiler from a C4S/Turbo. The factory-fitted sports exhaust sounds amazing and really makes the car the complete package.
Any advice for buyers?
Buy one – you won't regret it! Find out if the IMS bearing has been upgraded – around 5 per cent of them fail and take the engine with them; if it hasn’t, you have something to haggle over. Mayonnaise around the filler cap doesn’t necessarily mean a blown head gasket – in cold weather or if the car has done lots of short trips, condensation forms in the long plastic oil filler tube. Wiping it off and going for a long drive should fix it. If one exhaust is substantially more sooty than the other, it can be a sign of bore scoring issues so walk away from the car.
Any funny mishaps?
The exhaust is loud enough to set off other car alarms – as I discovered when I turned up for work late. I was hoping to park up and sneak into the office unnoticed, but set off the alarm on the financial controller’s Jaguar – everyone looked out of the office windows and the financial controller had to come out and switch it off!
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