The 911 Years

Ongoing ownership report of a Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

The 911 Years: The end of an era

This all looks like too many words, Paul – just give me the Summary!

OK! And so, after ten years of Porsche ownership, the 911 has been sold this weekend. It has been a long, almost impossible decision at times, of pro’s and con’s as to what to do – and where to go next – but lots of smaller factors led to the 911 leaving our stables in search of a new home this weekend. Care to know more (it’s a bit wordy…)? Read on…

First world problems.

So, why was it sold? Well, a few things. At the start of the year I was quite ill with an Asthma flare-up, which then turned to Bronchitis and ultimately Pneumonia. The cause of which was never fully realised, but partially attributed to stress. Now, I am a bit of a workaholic. I love a new challenge, which is why as well as a ‘regular’ day job which requires lots of overtime, some weekend working and being called out any ungodly hours, I also run two rental properties, two side-line businesses, an estate management company, a residents committee, write for a magazine, co-organise an annual charity car show as well as spending as much time as possible with my family and a few other bits and pieces on top. And when the opportunity came up to be the editor of another magazine, I initially jumped at the chance for a new challenge. I can’t seem to help myself.

But all of that culminated into a full stop earlier in the year after a few months of being able to walk twenty yards without needing a rest and that seriously made me look at life priorities. And that priority is simple: stop working so much and chill out.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t any kind of sob story – working like a trooper brought with it some very nice remuneration. But life isn’t all about money, right? Right? I think that’s right. Anyhow, I decided to offload some of life’s stresses and unproductive work over the next two years and that ultimately means bringing in less cash.

But the car is already here, in the garage, so why sell up? Well, another issue is that the next car I want – the car I really, really want is a Ferrari. But all the while I have owned depreciating Porsche assets, Ferraris have increased in value – in some cases by 50-100%. With less money coming in, and my Porsche value going down whilst the Ferrari value is going up, the gap is getting wider and more expensive in real terms every month.

As much as I enjoyed the 911 – and it has been fantastic, we’ll come onto that reflection in my final post, later this month – I just don’t use it enough for justify something that is loosing money. It’s averaged about 3,500 miles per year and I’m now at the point where I need to do a few more long distance commutes. The 911 – a fun car by nature – is the very opposite of fun in stop-start traffic on the M60, and I didn’t want it to lose its enjoyment doing this hateful journey. So, I was using my Audi ‘shed’ instead – an experiment that I have enjoyed (running an old car, spending nothing and documenting it). But after several years, running a noisy, uncomfortable shed of a car worth about £300 whilst a £20+k car sits in the garage is making less sense. Mrs Paul O has also said if I buy a new toy that she likes, I can use our Evoque as a daily. Winner.

And then there was the endless nagging feeling of potential IMS issues, RMS issues, scored bores, air condensor problems and all the other shyatee that Porsche just can’t get right in their cars. It did play on my mind I have to admit.

And finally… I fancied a change. 🙂

The sale

So that’s how it came to pass, that yesterday afternoon on a very pleasant winters day, I found myself signing on the dotted line at the booth. I can hear you eyebrows raising from here, but remembering the fact I am looking to simplify life with less stress, this was by far and away the simplest, most straightforward transaction I have ever done in the history of car sales.

Car Sale Day

Car Sale Day

The guy was incredibly friendly, remarked how exceptionally good condition my car was in, ignored the fact the Air Con didn’t work, and the wheels were a bit scuffed and just noted down the front end stone chips. A complete no pressure sale. And 30 minutes later, my 997 Carrera S Cabriolet was sold and I walked away with £17,100 on the hip.

“17 Grand? Holy cow that’s cheap. I’d have bought it for that!” some might say. But no-one can buy a car that simply – as attested by a good friend of mine who last month sold his 996 to ‘WBAC’ too. I got the text “Want to buy my 911, I’m at WBAC now and am going to sign it away to them? £4.5k and it’s yours”. I dithered. And dithered. And spoke to a mate who I knew was looking for one. He dithered too. “Too late, it’s sold,” came the text 30 minutes later.

WBAC is simple and it works. All the cars you see in Auto Trader are for sale. They aren’t sold at that price, they are just for sale. I wanted a sold car. I was happy with the price for the stress free transaction and if you are thinking of doing the same, I would highly recommend webuyanycar.

My biggest worry in all of this was my daughter missing the Porsche. She is three years old and absolutely loved that car. She enjoys our trips together and playing about inside the car at weekends. She was steadfast against the idea a few months ago, but explaining we will get something different has eventually curbed her innocent concerns.

Upon completion of the sale, I called home and my daughter answered, “Where are ya?” was the question. “I’ve just sold the Porscha to the Mister,” says I. “Come home,” was the reply. She wasn’t bothered about the car, she just wanted me to come home and play with her toys. In retrospect, the enjoyment was probably more about the time we spend together than the product we were spending it in. I hopped in a taxi with a happy smile on my face.

Where to go next?

Well, money in the bank and itchy car-trigger fingers. A couple of options are on the horizon, but the one likely to be the most imminent is that most alternative of cars to the current fleet – a Mini. I’ve felt like I’m missing something in life by not owning one, and my wife would love one. So that’ll be the new runabout to replace the Audi and I’ll use the Rangie for daily duties.

For the sporty third-car option, I’ll hang on through the winter months and see how things are next year. A Ferrari 360 (or a 348, although their prices are daft at the minute) is the likely contender. But I also like the look of Maserati Granturismo’s. Other interim options are a bargain basement 986 2.5 Boxster, or a 2005 987 Boxster 2.7 Tiptronic in Silver.

So – they are the options, let’s see where the 2015 season of CarDom takes us. In the meantime, my reflections of 911 and Porsche ownership in general will be posted in a shortly along with a bunch of pictures.

Just another number…

In case you were wondering, my mate sold his 996 for… £3,900. The sale of the century, I think you’ll agree.

But that said, would you have bought it on spec without any knowledge of the car, no test drive, history, condition – or in all honesty, would you have dithered too? WBAC, well, they just bought it.

The 911 Years: Cleaned Driveway!

Ok, so this isn’t technically anything to do with the 911, but following the post of part-1 of my garage floor refresh, I thought I’d post anyway.

Our home is now around ten years old, and the red paving at the front of the tarmac drive was looking a little tired. Indeed a quick blast with the Karcher jetwash showed just how much grime is on there. In addition, a colony of Ants had taken residence at the top of the drive and had sunken four or five bricks over time.

A chance meeting with a tree surgeon(I need one cutting back in a few weeks time) and noticed his business card advised that he also cleaned and restored driveways. Happy days. I received a quote, which I was very pleased with which also including relaying the sunken bricks and (if the Ants nest was under the bricks) removal of that too.

I came home a few days later to find the driveway fully completed – and significantly cleaner than even the small section I had done with the Karcher – and fully sealed too. Unfortunately, the ants nest wasn’t directly under the pavings and they are still there battling away, making holes in my newly laid sand. But on balance, I’d rather they be at the top of the drive than in my house and if it takes another 10 years for them to sink a few paves, then it will be time to re-clean anyway. 🙂

Regardless, the driveway is now looking fantastic and has led me to thinking about cleaning the tarmac too. It’s possible to buy a tarmac stain which gives it that fresh black wet look that newly laid tarmac has. Decisions, decisions.

Driveway cleaned!

Driveway cleaned!

The 911 Years: At the point of Depreciation

For some reason, certain cars (or brands of cars) attract a notable dip in value depending on the mileage that they hit.

For Porsches, I think this is 70,000. A car with 65,000 miles might be considered to have strong mileage, but 70,000 would be high miles. Weird huh. Anyhow, I am now but a couple of miles away from that ‘probably difficult to sell’ threshold of 70,000 miles and thought I’d share this landmark point with you all…

Porsche - almost 70,000 miles

Porsche – almost 70,000 miles

And here is a picture of the old girl, still looking great after 9 years and (almost) 70,000 miles…! 🙂

Porsche 997.1 Black Cabriolet

Porsche 997.1 Black Cabriolet

Event: Supercars and Pizza Night, July 2014

31st July was the date set for the monthly Pizza night at the Cadeby Inn near Doncaster. And what a turnout! I arrived just as the UKs first customer Lamborghini Huracan was leaving, and in funky orange looked fantastic!

On arrival to the car park, the amount of people there was really surprising – the place was packed and really bustling. A number of other non-“Supercar Driver” (aka SCD club) cars were also there, including a fabulous Escort RS Cosworth, a classic Rolls Royce and a funky Porsche Boxster in a blue/red combo!

Porsche Sheffield were also there sporting a bright blue Carrera 4S, the latest 991 Turbo S, and a Martini stickered Cayman.

BMW were also showcasing the latest M3 and the futuristic i8 hybrid supercar.

A great evening – albeit expensive drinks (£3.60 for a pint of non-descript cola, made me wince a bit), but the atmosphere, the pub and the cars made it a very worthwhile trip

Here are a few pictures, taken later as a number of cars had left, but shows the quality of the turnout!

The 911 Years: Porsche Festival

A spur of the moment decision for us, it was a lovely day and we decided to head over the the annual Porsche Festival, held this year at Lotherton Hall on 20th July 2014.

It was surprising the number of cars that were on display – rows and rows of Stuttgart’s finest. The event also allowed discuounted entry to the hall, gardens and its bird zoo – a great family day out then! 🙂

There was a 911 (997.1, same model as mine) there in particular which had the modified DRL front side lights. I have to say they do look great on the photos but in ‘real life’ I think they are a little too bling for my tastes. I was considering purchasing a set, but I think I might leave it.

In summary, a really enjoyable day, albeit a relatively short one for us, but I was impressed at the turnout – this being my first attendance at a Porsche Club GB event.


The 911 Years: MOT Time 2014

MOT Time.

It’s the same old story. I know its round about due. I’ve had the reminders from previous companies and it’s on the to-do list. Then it slips one’s mind only to return the day before it expires. That’s right, it’s time for the Ministry of Transports annual inspection test on my Porsche 911.

I called my local, friendly MoT centre and they were able to book me in for the next day. I’m pleased to report the car passed with flying colours, aside from an advisory on the rear tyres. Given the low miles I’m doing (approximately 3,500 per year) he said the might even last to the next test.

However, I don’t like to risk tyres or brakes so they will get done when we arrive at winter – probably another 1,000 miles away.

Oily Bits.

The 911 has been puffing out smoke on start-up fairly frequently which I understand is a trademark of the flat-six engine, as is the use of oil. A call to Russ at Revolution to buy a few top-up bottles and he advised that anything up to 1 litre per 700 miles is generally acceptable by Porsche’s own standards but if it’s any fewer miles that I should have it booked in for a check-up. To be honest, I think I have only used 2-3 litres since my last service about 3,500 miles ago so things are hopefully all OK. However, I’ll top it up again this weekend and then reset the odometer and see how things stand between fill ups.

I also enquired about re-spray costs whilst at Revolution. They’ve got a car in at the moment and the bumper re-spray looked like a good colour match. The price was acceptable, so a blow-over on the front and into the wings might be a consideration for next year, depending on finances, as the front end is badly stone chipped. It looks fine from a few feet away, but up close it is very peppered.

In other news.

Nothing else to report other than I’m still enjoying driving the car and sharing family journeys with my wife and daughter. My wife used it for the day recently whilst the Evoque was in for a spruce-up with AutoShine, and unfortunately she still doesn’t like driving it! But my almost-three year old daughter still loves it to bits. Which is good news, because I’m still pretty fond of it too.

Isabelle in the Porsche Seat!

Isabelle in the Porsche Seat!

The 911 Years: Gumball 3000 Manchester 2014

SCD Lineup at Gumball 3000 2014

SCD Lineup at Gumball 3000 2014

I’m still out on the car runs with Supercar Driver when time allows, and the latest venture was to support the Gumball 3000 rally in Manchester. That was a very surreal day. We travelled in convoy with a whole heap of sports and supercars towards the Manchester stadium. Waiting there were crowds and crowds of people, surrounding the cars and taking photos. The humble 911 was a shrinking violet amongst some ultra-rare and very impressive cars – including a Ferrari F40, Jaguar XJ220 and Alpha 8C, but it didn’t look too out of place either. A plus point was the priority parking and the backstage-pass allowing you into the area where the Gumball contestants arrived.

When directed to park on the entrance bridge, it certainly made me feel a bit like a fish-in-a-bowl and felt quite bizarre being so surrounded by people. I guess this is what being a celebrity or owner of a Ferrari or Lamborghini must feel like and in that regards, I’m more than happy with the anonymous Porsche!

Unfortunately, Gumball was massively late leaving Edinburgh on the day and many of their cars didn’t show as the Rally changed the Manchester stop from being ‘compulsory’ to ‘optional’. The ones that did arrtive were so far behind schedule a lot of people left much earlier than they arrived.

I think it was a bit of a let-down as despite the big stage and lots of presence, there was no music, no DJ or other crowd entertainment. As a consequence, there was quite a lot of praise for the SCD club for putting on a great display which would have otherwise been pretty much a washout of a day. But that said, the sun was shining and the SCD display was fab. There were plenty of people to talk to and I rather enjoyed it.


The 911 Years: Back to full strength.

A few minor points to note this week. The car was due a trip to Revolution specialists for a few bits and pieces sorting, but unfortunately I had to cancel due to problems with the Audi meaning the 911 took up daily duties. This meant a couple of pressing issues had to be addressed at home, rather than in a workshop. The first being that the headlight bulb has now been fixed. The lights were pretty straightforward to replace at the back tool; Unscrew the middle screw from the rear light cluster (using a torque screwdriver) and the whole thing pulls out. Then replace bulb, test and put it back in place. 5 minute job, happy days! 🙂

I have also completed my first fully fledged attempt at mechanicing a 911; I topped up the oil. I felt very proud, and slightly nervous as the electronic dispstick showed the level rising. “Don’t put too much in,” I kept thinking “Don’t over fill it”. It worked a charm though – slow and steady – so all is well again for a while. It had a good clean yesterday from the local car wash and its back in the garage ready for work duties over the next few days whilst the Audi is out of action (again – groan!).

In the meantime, here is a picture taken last summer of some of my daughters Friends after a successful day at the fair, which I found on the hard drive after sorting some photos last night. Meet Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy;

Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle in a Porsche 911

Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle in a Porsche 911



Event: Hassop Station Meet

Supercars parked up!

Supercars parked up!

It was a cold and wet day, but it didn’t stop a number of sports and supercars coming out to play for the early morning run through the Peak District, ending at Hassop station Cafe.

The run itself was a relaxed drive, as with a lot of standing water everyone was adding additional caution to what would ordinarily be some fantastic roads for picking up the pace.

We arrived at Hassop Station after around an hour’s journey and enjoyed breakfast there in a private area of the cafe. Everyone enjoyed the run and the social gathering, including a new member to the club, Darren, in his lovely red Ferrari 360.

It was great to get the 911 out to stretch its legs again, even it the roof did remain firmly closed the entire time!

The 911 Years: Facelift Quandry

I’m fairly certain this car will now be a long term keeper, largely influenced by my two year old daughter who absolutely loves it. I mused maybe replacing it for a different ‘Porscha’ or instead a Ferrari, but both of these are met with a defiant “nooooo…. Keep the Porscha, Daddy”.

This decision would also keep Mrs Motorcloud most happy as, although this is her least favourite Porsche so far (suspension too harsh, engine too noisy), it means we can do house renovations with the spare cash. That said, I have done some sums on a brand new Cayman and the cost to change would work out cheaper than owning the current car, which makes it an interesting proposition – and a new running report!

Other options are still the 360 or a Maserati GT, but no – Porker will be staying. I’ve been driving it recently and it is still great fun – if a little anonymous. Having said that, I still felt a berk last week when on a nice summers day I took it to the local McDonalds. Roof down, PJ’s on (I’d had a lazy morning) and the McDonalds drive-thru queue was far enough back to the outside seating area – which was packed with students on their lunch break. One did feel a tad tittish as I waited, for what felt like an eternity, as the snail’s pace queue to slowly edged me forward past the students and into full view of the large windows housing everyone inside. Finally around the back one could get ones order and get out of there – but not before being made to wait for a few minutes in ‘bay 1’ whilst they made my order. So, McDonalds – thanks for that.

Buffoonery antics aside, my mind is pretty much made up – it’s a fun car and I don’t use it enough to be bored of it. It is expensive to maintain though. But it is mine. And come August, it will be ALL mine as the finance will be paid off. And that is a big, big plus.

Car Facelift – Quandry.

That now been all but decided, I was considering perhaps changing the look of the car and was thinking of having the car wrapped in purple. Just to be different. Maybe a set of Gen 2 alloys and some LED indicator lenses just to give it more personal, yet still relatively OEM, appearance.  Crucially, it can all be put back to standard as soon as the mood takes my fancy because in my opinion this is the best shape 911, with the best wheels and the best colour as it is.

911 on driveway

911 on driveway

The 911 Years: Car Troubles

Just a few minor issues at the moment. Having recently discovered the car has headlight washers, I’ve tried them out but they don’t appear to be working. Also, the brakes are feeling a bit spongy so want to get that checked out.

The brake light bulb is also out and needs replacing. I’ve got a new one, but you need a star-shaped driver to get the light cluster away from the car and I haven’t got one. A friend of mine offered to lend a hand and, whilst trying to attach to the screwdriver, promptly dropped the star-end bit onto the inside of the bumper. A bit of rummaging around and it fell down a drain hole between the light and the bumper, so now I need a pro to do it. Honestly, can’t get the staff.

So that lot will be sorted when I take it down to Revolution Porsche in a few weeks time.

The 911 Years: Garage Painting – Part One

Repainting the garage has been on my to-do list since we moved in – that was getting on for 5 years ago. My plan was to first repaint the walls in white, and to have a red stripe and a red cupboard on the wall to match. I then wanted to have the black and white chequered floor put down to finish it off nicely.

The initial repaint of the walls was done a couple of years ago. Why the red stripe? I don’t know really, I just fancied it. At the time I had a red Cayman too so it kind of went together, but I like red anyway (most of my cars have been red) so that’s staying.

The next job was going to be the floor but I haven’t got around to it. A pre-requisite though is the paint the front section of the garage which you can still see when the garage is closed. I also needed to paint the step at the back.

It was a nice day today, so time to get cracking. The walls could probably do with another going over but hey, this is a garage – nothing happens in here other than to drive the car in and out, and occasionally go and get my screwdriver set for a bit of simple DIY (and by simple I mean things like unscrewing plastic toy covers to replace batteries). So to go overboard would be a bit silly. I want it to look nice, without going daft in such a small space.

First up was to give the place a good brush to get rid of the dirt, leaves and any uncovered spiders that have taken up residence in there. Here is a ‘before’ picture;

Garage Painting - before

Garage Painting – before

You can see the section that protrudes in front of the garage and it was looking pretty sorry for itself. Leaves all moved (also in the picture) and its time to get painting. About 30 minutes later and this is the result;

Garage Painting - during

Garage Painting – during

Step painted too (Door needs a repaint)!



It was a nice day, so I then left it for a couple of hours. When I checked it had gone sticky and was dry enough for coat number two which took about 10 minutes. The burning question at this point would be “Why on Earth have you only done that tiny bit?” Well, the principal reason for all of this is to do the front bit, so that when I put the chequered floor down, the concrete below will still look decent. Whilst doing this however, I realised how quick-and-easy this was and did consider doing the whole lot, until I read the tin which said not to park a car on it for three days. I’ve got about three hours, not three days, so will wait until the car goes in for some work.

I think I am going to finish it off though as it does look much nicer than it has done and freshens things up nicely in there. At least until I get around to buying the new flooring anyway. I was originally looking at Dynotile, but have since heard about Mototile and they also do skirting boards, so thinking of going for those types. Here is an example, although mine will be black and white rather than blue and white;

Mototile floor

Mototile floor


For now though, the pre-req work has been completed;

Garage Floor - after

Garage Floor – after

Part 2 coming soon!!


Addition, for information, this is the paint that I’ve used and I’ll let you know how it performs! 🙂

Wickes Garage Paint

Wickes Garage Paint

The 911 Years: In Minature!

I purchased a new addition to the collection at the weekend and it arrived yesterday. A 1:18 scale model of my Porsche 911, to go with my other model cars so I thought I’d share!

Here is my Porsche collection, past to present! 🙂

Porsche Cayman, Boxster and 911 1:18 Scale

Porsche Cayman, Boxster and 911 1:18 Scale

And here is a picture of my daughter with the cars, taken last year! 🙂

Mini Porsche and Mini Me

Mini Porsche and Mini Me

The 911 Years: My 997, It’s future in the balance?

Running reports are quite intriguing. Most of the time, we read the ones which are of a particular interest – perhaps cars that we’d like to own. And often in those running reports one could look to subconsciously justify why we wouldn’t want to buy those dream cars and the basis established from the expense or reliability being reported on a particular model. The internet is littered with reports of problems, costly repairs and downfalls for many types of car – for we only tend to document problems, or modifications. After all, writing about ‘nothing’, as it were, isn’t very interesting.

In an attempt to buck that trend, it pleases me to be able to report absolutely nothing. But with nothing to report, I thought I’d put my quill to parchment and air my thoughts once again on the Porsche 997 Cabrio, which I have owned now for just under 2 and a half years.

Life is currently at a crossroads for me for a few reasons. My daughter is growing up fast and I’m spending all the spare time I have with her as this is by far the most satisfying bundle of joy that life could ever bring. Also, as of last month, I now tick the “Married” box on those admin forms and surveys. Plus after a few years in our home, it now requires some renovation to take me and my family into 2014 and beyond. I have just been promoted too which brings more responsibility and, potentially less spare time. And in the thick of all that is my hobby – motoring. I still spend many a waking hour thinking about cars and ‘what next’ but I find less time to drive them enjoyably.

My Audi A4 takes the majority of the unrewarding motorway work-miles, leaving the Porsche for fun. However, having clocked up just 1500 miles in 6 months in the 911 perhaps suggests I’m not having as much fun as I should be with this hobby.  Using the Audi for commuting is indeed a choice, make no mistake about that as the 911 has so far proved to be a very reliable motorcar indeed and it could do the job was it not for my reluctance to use something fun for mundane journeys. For the same reason I have never used a plane for travelling between work sites.

Realising I’ve not used the 911 for some time I put the battery onto life support a few days ago and then took it out for a drive today, with a car-wash treat along the way. The very mention of going out in the “Porscha” had my daughter clinging to me like glue to make sure she was included. And so off we went, meeting up with Mrs Paul O later that afternoon. With mini-me driven home with my good lady after a shopping trip, it was just me and the 911 for the return journey. I went the long way home.  Cruising on some of our back lanes and traffic-light streets, the 911 sung its heart out and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive. Big grin and audio both present and correct. It still is fab. Truly, fab. Its more than quick enough for me, the sound system is great and the cabin very comfortable.

But – and there always seems to be a ‘but’ with this story – our house needs fixing and there is a lot of equity sat in the Porsche. The same goes for our Range Rover too and it appears my wife has been thinking the same. Even more bizarrely we have both been thinking about the same car; an Audi A1 -she mentioned it just last night. Extreme ends of the scale from what we have now, absolutely! But they do look good, in a funky-yet-grown-up kind of way.

Mr Money Moustache isn’t helping the cause for Porsche ownership either – reading his blogs is making me think that spanking the mortgage and living economically could be a really sound financial move for the next 5-7 years.

So, with nothing to report I can tell you that the 911 has been, thus far, a very reliable and rewarding machine to drive. It is also one that I would heartily recommend. For me, it is proving an expensive ownership proposition purely due to the (lack of) miles I’m doing.


Porsche 911 997 Indoor Cover

Porsche 911 997 Indoor Cover

There is a saying “Use it, or loose it”. I like owning the 911, but I don’t need one. But I do need a new En Suite. As I put the cover on the car today, I’m left wondering what the future might hold for the motoring fleet here at the Paul O towers. Porsche 911 – Bathroom Edition might well be on the cards.

Stay or Go? I want it to stay, so need to get my money-thinking cap on.

2014 will be an interesting year.

The 911 Years: Detail

Here are pics of the detailing that I had done at the same time as the service a few months ago. The results were fantastic and you can see the level of detail that goes in to it. 🙂


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