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 webuyanycar.com 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.