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Video | Buying the Cheapest Porsche 911 Turbo Was a Great Decision, Until I Went to the Track

When I purchased my 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo a little over six months ago, the response wasn’t like most of my new car reveals. Usually, a chorus of people begin singing a familiar tune, telling me how stupid I am for buying the next automotive equivalent of the Chernobyl disaster. In the case of this Porsche, I must have done the opposite, since it seemed like everybody wanted to buy it from me. Another pleasant surprise was the reliability I’ve been rewarded with over the past six months. Of course, it only took one trip to the track to bring things back to normal.

Part of the reason I had such a long honeymoon with my aging 911 Turbo is the previous owner, who actually cared enough to properly maintain the car — and was crazy enough to fix everything that was needed before listing it for sale. Considering the harsh winter we had, I was surprised that I put 3,000 miles on the Porsche since I bought it last year — and that I didn’t have a single hiccup. The only money I spent on it was wrapping the body in bright orange vinyl.

Since I wanted to further prove just how brilliant my purchase was by taking my 911 on the track, I decided to spend money more appropriately on things like new brakes, tires and an oil change. Unlike my previous Porsche outings on the track that resulted in disastrous engine failures, though, there wasn’t anything I needed to worry about with my 911 Turbo. From what I read, these cars left the factory as very capable track vehicles, and my first 20-minute session on the track illustrated this perfectly. The car performed flawlessly, it felt really capable, and it easily passed more than half the cars with me on the track.

Unfortunately, during the second session, my 911 Turbo decided to spray coolant on several of the cars I had previously passed, which illustrated another obvious fact: my Porsche is way too old for this stuff. Unless I want to invest way more than the car is worth replacing every piece of rubber, every hose and every seal, this would happen every time I brought it back to the track. I just need to accept that its glory days are in the past and treat the car more delicately.

I’m not sure what’s broken, since everything is so compact in the engine bay — but my Porsche enthusiast friends are already guessing it’s the dreaded metal coolant pipes, which, unfortunately, requires removing the engine. That sounds really expensive, obviously, but it could also be a simple hose. We’ll see what my mechanic, the Car Wizard finds. Find a Porsche 911 for sale

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