Max Newman By Max Newman 1 month ago

Wednesday Want: 997.1 Carrera

Max Newman extols the virtues of the 997.1 Carrera as an excellent value-for-money Porsche 911

It is often written and commented upon that the best Porsche 911 is the most simple – dare I say pure – example. But this is surely just conjecture on most occasions because who actually buys a boggo Carrera 2 anyway, in an environment where the options list is as tempting as it is extensive. Besides, speccing for resale has become a keyboard warrior obsession, and if you can, you buy a GT3 whether it’s the right 911 for you or not. 
 
That's why the first owner of this splendid base 997 Carrera 2, for sale with marque specialist Paragon in East Sussex, deserves huge credit for seemingly bucking that trend.

The 997 generation 911 arrived in 2004 as a significantly more sophisticated car than the 996 it replaced, showcasing new technology such as adaptive suspension (PASM) and Sport Chrono which ‘optimised’ various settings and parameters within the car to offer a more sporting experience, and leaving the driver with choices to make for a given journey, section of road, or mood. Porsche chose to ‘bundle’ this new tech in the revived S model, creating a hierarchy in the Carrera range which survives to this day and offers the shrewd and selfish buyer (don’t spec it for resale, spec it for you) the purest 911 experience in the form of the base Carrera.
 
On the 997 this meant a 3.6 litre flat six carried over from the 996 with only detail changes and a small hike in horsepower and the availability of torque, 18-inch wheels, passive suspension, and no configuration of settings or buttons; just a superb driving position, perfectly weighted controls, and a sweet six speed manual gearbox. The much maligned M97 motor is actually sweet and sonorous, its 325bhp output providing the perfect amount of performance to be enjoyed to the full on UK roads, and the chassis is beautifully judged and quintessentially 911.

Common to all 997s is styling which detractors call needlessly retro, but most agreed represented a great return to form for the 911, a true modern classic. The interior was much improved too, both in terms of materials and cabin architecture. It’s dated now by the archaic satnav system but the game will be changed by the inevitable arrival of Porsche Classic Communication Management in 2023. You can already choose from a range of third party system updates which add DAB radio and CarPlay if you so wish.
 
This particular example looks stunning in Seal grey, which compliments the dark blue interior, and also has a rear wiper which is really useful if you actually want to use your 911 regularly – and why wouldn’t you?! An autumn 2005 delivery, the car has covered just over 60,000 miles since then and will be prepared to Paragon’s exemplary standards.