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Q2.1. Which 911 Should I Get?

Q2.2. I want to buy a 911. For what should I look?

Q2.3. Does anyone have a checklist for potential 911 buyers?


Q2.1. Which 911 Should I Get?

The standard answer is "get the newest 911 you can afford". Unfortunately, it's more complicated than that. I had occasion to meet Joe Rusz, Senior Editor at Road & Track (gratuitous name dropping, here); his answer to this question was simply "if you can afford it, get one with Motronic Fuel Injection" (those'd be the ones built in 84 and after). You really have to decide for yourself what you want. Many feel that one exception to the 'newest you can afford' rule is the middle year cars (1974 through 1977) due to their short engine life span (circa 50K miles). Others (like myself) prefer the early mechanically injected cars (light and sparcely appointed with quick, torquey engines) over the newer 911SC (with their air conditioning, electric windows, and bullet-proof engine). Hopefully, the information in this document will help you decide.


Q2.2. I want to buy a 911. How should I go about it?

There's lots of stuff.

DECIDE WHY YOU WANT THE CAR. Decide whether you want an old show car, a race car, a daily driver, or whatever. This should help you settle on which types of 911 are best for you.
HOMEWORK. Get some books and research the different cars (check out the references at the end of this FAQ). When it comes to information, some is good, more is better, and too much is just enough. Figure out which years, models, and features of 911 are in your list. Once you decide on a car type, find out what can go wrong with them and how much it can cost to fix them. Shop for insurance at this point. You don't want to find your dream car and find out you can't afford to insure it. Insurance companies vary drastically (as do the costs for the different years and models). CHECK OUT FINANCING. If you want an older 911, you may have some trouble getting a loan. Used car loans usually only apply to cars with a value listed in the Kelly Blue Book (those that deal with older cars usually do so based on a rediculously low estimate of the value of the car). If you don't have extra dollars hanging around, you may have to get an unsecured loan (at a higher interest rate). FIND A MECHANIC. Especially if you are able to look for a car close-to-home, find a mechanic before you start looking. Ask friends who their mechanics are and talk to PCV members. Talk to your mechanic (and other knowledgeable people) about what you should be looking for in a car. LOOK FOR A CAR. Now that you know the car (and price range) for which you are looking, start your search. Take lots of information including VIN, etc. CHECK-OUT THE CAR. If the car is long distance, you may have the owner take it to a mechanic first. I tend to like to use Porsche dealers for long distance check-outs. Dealers may be more expensive but they should know their stuff. If the car is nearby, check-out the car in person first. Look for features, rust, and general condition. Test drive your car: does it start easily, does it accelerate with no flat spots, does it go into all gears easily? After the car has been warmed-up, ask the owner and take it to redline. If he resists, ask him to do so. Make sure the car revs freely and that there's no smoke when you do this. TAKE THE CAR TO A MECHANIC. Have the mechanic do a compression check and a leakdown. Have him make sure the engine numbers match the VIN. He should be able to itemize everything you need to put the car into street concourse condition (even if you don't want to show the car, this will give you an idea of everything the car needs). The list should help you decide whether you want this car and, if so, the price range for the car. CHECKLIST. Check out the following checklist for some ideas of stuff for which to look. BUY THE CAR. Join the PCA / POC. Enjoy your car.


Q2.3. Does anyone have a checklist for potential 911 buyers?


Here it is. . .

NAME/ADDRESS/PHONE

. Car _________________________________


. Price _______________________________


DATE:

== PHONE ==============================================

VIN ____________________

Miles ___________________________
How Long Owned __________________ How Many Owners____________________ Records _________________________ Where maintained___________________ Color ___________________________ Last Paint Job _____________________ Interior Color___________________

Wheel sizes _________ Tire sizes _________ [ ] Original Color

[ ] Original Engine [ ] 5 speed manual Induction ____________
[ ] Air Conditioning [ ] Alarm Radio ________________
[ ] Large Fuel Tank [ ] Gasoline Heater
[ ] Electric Windows [ ] Electric Antenna

Why Selling, Notes:

== RECEIPTS ==============================================

[ ] Carrera Tens'ners Last Overhaul ____________
[ ] Rebuilt Inj'n pump (mfi)
[ ] Shuffle Pin (f) [ ] RaceWare Studs (f) [ ] Timeserts (f)


Compression 1:____ 2:____ 3:____ 4:____ 5:____ 6:____


== LONG DISTANCE ==============================================

Have the owner send receipts and pictures.
If you can, have the owner send a videotape. The tape should cover the following:

- Walk around the car, SLOWLY

- Get closes-up (check for rust & mating) of:
headlights, door seams (door closed), hood, trunk, fuel filler,

- Get under-car shots including:
suspension pickups (front and rear), jack receiver area, and tortion bar tubes (under car).

- Interior shots (take-off targa top, if applicable). Get:
front seat, rear seat, dash, instruments, console (if applicable) carpeting

- Engine compartment

- Trunk area (lift carpet around batteries).
Have owner take the car to a mechanic.
Maybe have owner take the car to a body shop (check for rust).

Check seams for evenness and for rust (portal closed)

[ ] left door [ ] right door [ ] fuel filler flap
[ ] hood (mating) [ ] trunk

Check for rust (under car):

[ ] left jack receiver [ ] right jack receiver
[ ] front suspension [ ] rear suspension
[ ] headlights [ ] tail lights [ ] under windshield
[ ] trunk area (lift carpet around batteries)

Interior (take-off targa top, if applicable)

[ ] front seats [ ] rear seats [ ] dash [ ] carpeting

(RECEIPTS, MECHANIC)


== INSPECTION (bring magnet, ice pick, flashlight) ===========================

Name ____________________ Phone ____________________ Car ___________________


GENERAL

A B C D F Paint, chrome, trim A B C D F Rubber
A B C D F Dents/Dings A B C D F Undercoat all around (e)

LEFT SIDE DOOR: VIN Drivers door jamb (post '69) ____________________

A B C D F Mating A B C D F Edge, bottom (r)
A B C D F Hinge A B C D F Strike Plate (r)
A B C D F Jack receiver (r) A B C D F Underside rocker panel(r) A B C D F Side windows & seals A B C D F Body under windshield (r)

TOP

A B C D F Targa top seal A B C D F Targa top condition

LEFT FRONT FENDER: VIN Windshield post (post '69) ____________________

A B C D F Tire condition A B C D F Fender Lip Texture (a)
A B C D F Fuel filler (r)

TRUNK: VIN (post '73) ____________________

A B C D F Headlights (pull out, rust & bracket squareness)
A B C D F Cross-member in front of gas tank (been beaten flat?) A B C D F Suspension pickups under car L&R (r)
A B C D F trunk lid: fit (r) A B C D F trunk lid stop (r)
A B C D F Battery Box (r) A B C D F Front bumper - fit
A B C D F Spare tire A B C D F Jack and toolkit

RIGHT FRONT FENDER

A B C D F Tire condition A B C D F Fender Lip Texture (a)


RIGHT SIDE DOOR

A B C D F Mating A B C D F Edge, bottom (r)
A B C D F Hinge A B C D F Strike Plate (r)
A B C D F Jack receiver (r) A B C D F Underside rocker panel (r)
A B C D F Side windows & seals A B C D F Body under windshield (r)

RIGHT REAR FENDER

A B C D F Tire condition A B C D F Sight along body (accident)
A B C D F Suspension Pickups (d) A B C D F Texture on fender lip (a)
A B C D F Pinch Welds (g)

ENGINE LID / COMPARTMENT: VIN Under hood (pre '74) ____________________
Engine number (vertical fan housing) ____________________


A B C D F General condition A B C D F Belts
A B C D F Oil leaks A B C D F Transmission fluid leaks
A B C D F Exhaust system A B C D F Rear Valence (accident)
A B C D F Tail & parking lights A B C D F Brake lights, signals
A B C D F Backup lights A B C D F Seams/Fit (accident)


LEFT REAR FENDER

A B C D F Tire condition A B C D F Sight along body (c)
A B C D F Suspension Pickup (d) A B C D F Texture on fender lip (a)
A B C D F Pinch Welds (g)


INTERIOR:

[ ] Leather [ ] Sport seats [ ] Head Rests

A B C D F Front Seats A B C D F Rear Seats
A B C D F Carpeting A B C D F Floor pan/pedals (r)
A B C D F Air Condonditioner A B C D F headliner
A B C D F Dashboard A B C D F Seat adjustment (L&R)


== TEST DRIVE ==============================================

A B C D F Starting A B C D F Acceleration A B C D F Braking
A B C D F Alignment A B C D F Steering 2 3 4 5 Synchros
A B C D F Clutch pedal free play A B C D F Brake Pedal Firmness
A B C D F Clutch slippage A B C D F Idle (fluctuations)
A B C D F Valve sounds A B C D F Clutch chatter
A B C D F Other strange sounds A B C D F Blip throttle (miss=inj'n,
_________ Oil pressure (warm) smoke=valve guides)

== MECHANIC ==============================================

Name ____________________ Phone ____________________ Car ________________
Mechanic ________________ Phone ____________________

Everything required to bring the car to street-concours, itemized and costed


1:____ 2:____ 3:____ 4:____ 5:____ 6:____ compression (130-170 +- 15%)
1:____ 2:____ 3:____ 4:____ 5:____ 6:____ leakdown (< 3-5%, 10% max)

[ ] Numbers Match [ ] Engine number match [ ] Worn Valve Guides

[ ] Carrera Chain Tensioners [ ] Spring Centered Clutch (b)

A B C D F Tie rod ends A B C D F CV joints
A B C D F Ball Joints A B C D F Bushings
A B C D F Shock absorbers/struts A B C D F Brake lines
A B C D F Structural Rust A B C D F Cosmetic Rust
A B C D F Front susp. attachment A B C D F Rear susp. attachment
A B C D F Torsion bar tubes (F&R) A B C D F Lower control arms (F&R)
A B C D F Floor pan-(F&R) A B C D F Floor pan-battery area



--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Resolution:

VINs / Engine No. Match



Rust



Accidents

Mechanical Condition

(a) since 1969
(b) 911SC only
(c) check for accident damage
(d) The rear suspention pickups are bolted to the pan under the car roughly aligned with the torsion bar tubes -- check for rust. (e) Fresh undercoat is bad. If you see it, check to see what mischief it covers.
(f) These are not required if the car isn't a 2.7 liter or heavily built-up car.
(g) Make sure the pinch welds aren't bulging or separating.
(r) check for rust

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