2001 Porsche 996 Turbo: The Ultimate Hidden Gem of Porsches (Dude I Love My Ride)

Is this the ultimate example of the Porsche 996's excellence?

Carlos from Georgia sent us this quick video of his beloved 2001 Porsche 996 Turbo, easily the most overlooked and maligned generation of 911s ever. Why? Arguably half the disgust comes from the headlights, that are shared with the lower-rent Boxster. The other half comes from the horror that Porsche made a 911 water-cooled. But in the end, the 996 is still a phenomenal sportscar and Carlos knows it.

A former auto tech, he knows what he got, and we’re pretty sure he spent a loooong time searching for this car: A fully optioned, 996 turbo, with roughly 70,000 miles on the odometer and its Sportomatic transmission (another knock against it by purists). Carlos actually wanted the automatic transmission since a leg injury put an end to his manual-shift driving days. And that’s a good thing because the automatic is quantifiably faster than the stick-shift. Helping matters: a racing suspension and a tune that has boosted horsepower to around 500.

Price? Just under $40,000, paid three years ago. Today, you can find single-owner, carefully babied 996s for sale for $25,000. This rare 996 turbo costs more since, as Carlos explains, the engine was derived from the track-oriented GT1, not the base 911. 

Porsches of this era were also dinged for IMS bearing failures, which is an easy enough fix as we found out back when we owned a 996 for a bit in 2016-2017 that we paid $16,000 for. Carlos, though, has had zero problems with his baby. He has taken care of basic maintenance: brake pads, oil changes, and a water pump–nothing out of the ordinary in his mind, and all stuff he could handle in his garage. His quote says it all, “The car is as reliable as an anvil.”

Check it out for yourself.