Philip Raby https://philipraby.co.uk Porsche Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:05:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://philipraby.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/cropped-favicon-philip-raby-pr-32x32.png Philip Raby https://philipraby.co.uk 32 32 150377736 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 video buyers’ guide https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-911-carrera-3-2-video-buyers-guide/ https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-911-carrera-3-2-video-buyers-guide/#respond Fri, 09 Mar 2018 12:53:29 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=12490 I recently had a visit from Jack, who runs the YouTube channel Number27. Jack’s previously done several video reviews on cars we’ve had in stock but this time he wanted to do something different; a buyers’ guide, with me giving advice on camera. The car he picked out was a lovely Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 […]

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I recently had a visit from Jack, who runs the YouTube channel Number27. Jack’s previously done several video reviews on cars we’ve had in stock but this time he wanted to do something different; a buyers’ guide, with me giving advice on camera.

The car he picked out was a lovely Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 and the two of us went around the car, and I pointed out areas to look out for. It was a learning curve for both of us, but we’re pleased with the result. More to follow!

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Do you really want a Porsche barn find? https://philipraby.co.uk/really-want-porsche-barn-find/ https://philipraby.co.uk/really-want-porsche-barn-find/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:19:25 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=12437 While barn finds may be few and far between, Philip Raby does rescue the odd Porsche that’s been sitting unloved in a garage. However, there are some that just aren’t worth getting involved with I tend to take reports of ‘barn finds’ with a pinch of salt, especially after hearing about a magazine faking a […]

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While barn finds may be few and far between, Philip Raby does rescue the odd Porsche that’s been sitting unloved in a garage. However, there are some that just aren’t worth getting involved with

I tend to take reports of ‘barn finds’ with a pinch of salt, especially after hearing about a magazine faking a photoshoot of an abandoned Porsche, adding hay bales and detritus to the images to give the impression that the hapless car really had been uncovered in a farmer’s barn. It hadn’t. Let’s face it, most people are going to store cars in garages rather than barns, for the simple reason that’s what most of us have outside our homes – garages, not barns.

We did once uncover a car that had lain languishing and forgotten in someone’s garage for ten years. It wasn’t a Porsche, or at least not a genuine one, but rather a 356 Speedster replica. It popped up on eBay and the lady selling it explained that she found it ten years after her husband had died. “He talked about having a kit car,” she explained, “but I thought he meant it was a model car, not a full size one.”

A sweet story and, because we could see it had potential, we ended up with the car. It was in a sorry state, with the brakes all seized and the keys missing, but was basically sound. We put it through a full and thorough restoration, including rebuilding the engine and gearbox, and respraying the body in Old English White, rather than the original black. The result was beautiful and it attracted a lot of attention in the showroom (that’s it, above).

Another eye-catcher was a wonderful 924 Turbo which we also restored (below). That was one of three such cars that we found on eBay and ended up picking up as projects. That first one turned out to be such a massive job to do properly, though, that we didn’t get around to doing the other two, but decided to sell them on as projects for someone else.

And that is the problem with so-called barn finds. They invariably need a lot of work to bring them up to a saleable standard so, as such, aren’t economically viable from a business point of view.

That would probably have been the case with a 911SC I went to see last year. It had been stored in an old wooden garage (squint and it could have been a barn) for eight years and was looking rather sorry for itself. The problem, as you can imagine, was rust. The B posts were gone, all four wings were bubbling and the sills were looking a bit suspect. I know from experience that, once you start digging around a rusty 911, there will invariably be much more corrosion than is first apparent. Which means more expense. On top of that, there was an oil leak from the engine and, after eight years, the brakes will undoubtedly need attention. In short, on top of a bodywork restoration, the mechanicals would need fully recommissioning and, again, that always costs more than you expect.

To be fair, the Porsche had had an engine rebuild, so it would make an excellent project for someone wanting to restore a 911 for their own pleasure (if that’s the right word), and they’d probably end up breaking even on the finances. However, as a business proposition, it would simply take up too much time and money.

That wasn’t the case (or at least I hope it won’t be) with another Porsche I found in a barn last month (ok, a wooden garage again). Snuggled up against a couple of lovely old vintage motors was a 924S Le Mans. This is a rare limited edition Porsche and one which I reckon is a good long-term investment, as there is strong interest in 924s these days. This one had also been sitting around and we couldn’t get it started. Apart from a bit of tidying to the bodywork and interior, though, it seemed sound and with refreshingly few miles on the clock. So a deal was quickly done and we had it trailered away, ready for recommissioning and bringing up to showroom standard.

So maybe ‘garage finds’ is a better description for Porsches that have been squirrelled away for years. They do exist if you look hard enough but don’t expect them to be be a cheap way into Porsche ownership – I can assure you, that won’t be the case.

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Book of the week https://philipraby.co.uk/book-of-the-week/ https://philipraby.co.uk/book-of-the-week/#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2018 19:07:12 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=12434 I’m delighted that my book, You Can Drive a Porsche, has been selected as Book of the Week by Bookworks. This short book explains how Porsche ownership can be surprisingly affordable. Please click here for full details of this nd my other books.

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I’m delighted that my book, You Can Drive a Porsche, has been selected as Book of the Week by Bookworks.

This short book explains how Porsche ownership can be surprisingly affordable. Please click here for full details of this nd my other books.

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Releasing early Porsche 996 and Boxster boot releases when the battery is flat https://philipraby.co.uk/releasing-early-porsche-996-boxster-boot-releases-battery-flat/ https://philipraby.co.uk/releasing-early-porsche-996-boxster-boot-releases-battery-flat/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 10:33:22 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=12161 One of the most popular features on this website is about accessing Porsche Boxster and 996 emergency bonnet releases, which you can find here. The emergency release allows you to access the luggage compartment where the battery is housed, which is useful if the battery has gone flat and the electrically operated releases aren’t functioning. […]

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One of the most popular features on this website is about accessing Porsche Boxster and 996 emergency bonnet releases, which you can find here. The emergency release allows you to access the luggage compartment where the battery is housed, which is useful if the battery has gone flat and the electrically operated releases aren’t functioning. If you have an early Porsche 996 or Boxster, you may be feeling smug reading this, because these cars have mechanical, rather than electrical, releases for the boot and engine compartment. There are two levers on the driver’s door sill which, when pulled, pop open the lids. So, if the car  has no power, you can easily get to the battery to charge it. Well, unless that is, the car was locked prior to the battery going down. You see, without power, you can unlock the driver’s door by turning the key in the lock, the old-fashioned way, which gives you access to the two levers in the sill. However, Porsche in its wisdom added a locking feature to the levers which, you guessed it, is electrically operated.

Normally, when the car is unlocked with the remote, a solenoid inside the door sill operates to unlock the levers. When there  is no power going to the solenoid, however, it doesn’t unlock. It seems bizarre that Porsche felt the need to add this extra level of security because, when the driver’s door is shut and locked, it physically blocks off the levers so that they can’t be pulled. Whatever the reason, it’s a pain when the battery goes flat and, unlike on later cars, there is no electrical terminal in the driver’s footwell fusebox for connecting a 12-volt supply to. Thankfully, though, there is a simple solution. The plastic door sill trim which houses the levers can be prised up from the rear (see photo above). First of all, remove the three plastic covers on the inside edge and, using a 5mm Allen key, loosen (you don’t need to remove) the three screws. Then, simply pull up the grey panel and it unclips. This then gives you access to the mechanism. There is a steel rod with a 90-degree bend at the rear of the assembly (see below); use a screwdriver to move that backwards and, hey-presto, both levers are free to be pulled up.

Make sure that this rod hooks back over the eye in the end of the solenoid when you drop the cover back down. As ever, prevention is better than cure. Modern Porsches (and, indeed, other cars) have an increasing amount of electronic systems that will inevitably drain the battery if the car isn’t being used regularly. So it’s important to keep a conditioner connected. We use CTEK intelligent chargers which can either be connected to the battery directly or plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter.

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Porsche 924S vs Boxster video https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-924s-vs-boxster-video/ https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-924s-vs-boxster-video/#respond Thu, 28 Sep 2017 12:31:32 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=12156 Here’s a great video by Jack of motoring YouTube channel, Number 27, comparing two cars from our showroom – a 924S and an early Boxster. Two very affordable and fun entry-level Porsches. Find out which he prefers. You can get full details of these cars and all our stock by clicking here.

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Here’s a great video by Jack of motoring YouTube channel, Number 27, comparing two cars from our showroom – a 924S and an early Boxster. Two very affordable and fun entry-level Porsches. Find out which he prefers.

You can get full details of these cars and all our stock by clicking here.

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Porsche unveils the all-new 2018 Cayenne and Cayenne S https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-unveils-new-2018-cayenne-cayenne-s/ https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-unveils-new-2018-cayenne-cayenne-s/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:35:41 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=12032   Porsche is proud to introduce the third generation of the Cayenne, the sports car among sports utility vehicles. This latest edition of the successful all-wheel drive four door sports car from the Stuttgart marque is a completely new development, and combines typical Porsche performance with everyday versatility. Powerful turbocharged engines, a new eight-speed Tiptronic […]

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Porsche is proud to introduce the third generation of the Cayenne, the sports car among sports utility vehicles. This latest edition of the successful all-wheel drive four door sports car from the Stuttgart marque is a completely new development, and combines typical Porsche performance with everyday versatility.

Powerful turbocharged engines, a new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic gearbox, new chassis systems and an innovative display and control concept with total connectivity combine to raise sport and comfort to a new level.

At launch, there are two newly-developed six-cylinder petrol engines to choose from. The Cayenne is powered by a 340 hp (250 kW), three-litre V6 engine with a single turbocharger delivering 40 hp (29 kW) more than the prior model. The 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo engine in the Cayenne S develops 440 hp (324 kW) – an increase of 20 hp (15 kW). Equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package, the new Cayenne S accelerates from zero to 62 mph in less than five seconds.


The Cayenne draws heavily on inspiration from the iconic 911 sports car, notably in its technology and more subtly in design cues. For instance, the new model features mixed tyres (wider at the rear than the front) and the option of rear-axle steering for the first time. In addition, the on-road capabilities are further broadened by the active all-wheel drive fitted as standard. On top, three-chamber air suspension and the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) electronic roll stabilisation system can be specified to raise dynamic responses, as well as comfort, further still. Through ingenious design, the Cayenne weighs up to 65 kg less than its predecessor despite the higher level of standard equipment; and also remains perfectly suited to off-road use.


Dynamic design language
Sporting and precise with a clear design – new and yet familiar: the appearance of the new Cayenne reflects the style that runs through the Porsche Design DNA. The enlarged air intakes at the front are clear statements of the increased performance. The new horizontal light edges create a wider and more athletic impression, even when stationary. The overall elegance and streamlining of the Cayenne is notably enhanced by an increase in overall length of 63 mm and a 9 mm lower roof height compared with its predecessor; without any change to the overall wheelbase (2,895 mm). Total length is 4,918 mm and width (excluding mirrors) is 1,983 mm.

The luggage compartment volume is now 770 litres – an increase of 100 litres. The wheels are one inch larger in diameter, with wider wheels and tyres on the rear axle for the first time, emphasising the enhanced driving dynamics. The distinctive, three-dimensional Porsche logo spans the redesigned rear lights, which feature a three-dimensional design and narrow LED strips.

Every Cayenne is fitted with LED headlights as standard, and from here a new three-stage headlight concept is available. In the next upgrade, the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) can be selected as an option, offering a variety of light modes such as cornering lights and motorway lights. The new LED main headlights with matrix beam including PDLS Plus are the ultimate system available. Fully variable light distribution and intensity are enabled by 84 individually activated light-emitting diodes; this means that the Cayenne can offer new functions such as high beam that does not glare opposing traffic, as well as adaptive road sign glare control.

Faster on the road, even more impressive on the rough: Tiptronic S and PTM
The expanded performance range of the Cayenne, broadening both sportiness and comfort, is due in no small part to the new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic gearbox. Shorter response times and sportier ratios in the lower gears enhance both on-road performance and off-road capability. At the other end of the expanded spread between comfort and sportiness, the taller eighth gear ensures lower revs, optimised fuel consumption and relaxed cruising.

Even on rough terrain, the Cayenne provides straightforward driving pleasure. Programmed off-road modes make it easy for the driver to select the right set-up for their drive. The default setting is the on-road programme. Four other modes activate the conditioning for mild off-road terrain: Mud, Gravel, Sand or Rocks. The drive, chassis and differential locks can be selected to adapt to the relevant scenario. For power distribution, Porsche utilises the active all-wheel drive in every Cayenne. The intelligent, fully variable Porsche Traction Management (PTM) distributes the torque between the driven axles. Its hang-on concept is a key principle for the excellent sporting performance of the Cayenne. At the same time, it fulfils all requirements for extensive traction on rough terrain.

Following the 911: lightweight chassis with mixed tyres
The new Cayenne combines three chassis concepts in one new design: sports car, off-roader and touring car. This involved developing a new lightweight chassis base with a front axle featuring a separated link design and a multi-link rear axle. A typical sports car feature is the new mixed tyres, which ride on wheels of at least 19 inches diameter. The mixed tyres improve cornering stability and driving dynamics. Wheel sizes up to 21 inches are available as an option.

New developments: rear-axle steering, air suspension, roll stabilisation
This format provides the optimal basis for the active chassis systems, which are analysed and synchronised by the integrated Porsche 4D Chassis Control system. The system works in real time, optimising handling even further. With the exception of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damper system (standard with the Cayenne S), all other chassis systems are new. For the first time, the Cayenne is available with the option of electric rear-axle steering – a unique attribute in the segment. The system, tried and tested both in the 911 and the Panamera, improves agility in bends and high speed lane-change stability. The reduced turning circle also makes for easier manoeuvring day to day.

The optional adaptive air suspension with new three-chamber technology significantly increases the spread between a sporting and assured connection with the road and the driving comfort expected of a touring car. As before, the system enables adjustments to the ground clearance on rough terrain. With the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) roll stabilisation, drivers benefit by changing from a hydraulic to a new electrically operated system. This upgrade is made possible by a powerful 48 volt vehicle electrical system. The consequent shorter response times enable even more precision in the driving dynamics – and even more comfort overall.

World première: Porsche Surface Coated Brake with tungsten-carbide layer
With the innovative Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB), the sports car manufacturer is once again assuming a pioneering role in the development of high-performance brakes. This world first is available as an option for all Cayenne models and consists of a cast-iron disc with a tungsten-carbide coating. This finish increases the friction values, and wear and brake dust are reduced. The brake, exclusive to Porsche, is also visually impressive; the brake calipers are painted white, while the surface of the discs develops a unique shine appearance after bedding-in. The PSCB is only available in combination with the 20” and 21” diameter wheels. The PCCB ceramic brakes remain the top system in the range.

New Sport Chrono Package with PSM Sport
The new Cayenne offers even more potential when it comes to sporting performance. Porsche has redeveloped the Sport Chrono Package based on the model of the sports car. The Mode switch on the steering wheel is one clear hint of this approach. As well as the Normal, Sport and Sport Plus driving modes, the driver can select an individually configurable mode. Pressing the Sport Response button in the centre activates the engine and transmission maps, which are calibrated for maximum performance. The Sport Chrono Package also includes a separate PSM Sport mode, in which the driver can utilise the new breadth of driving dynamics the Cayenne offers.

Reduced weight = lower fuel consumption and more driving pleasure
Sports cars need a lightweight construction. Following the principles of the 911 and the Panamera, the new body of the Cayenne also uses an intelligent combination of alloy and steel. The exterior is made entirely of aluminium. The floor pan assembly, front section and virtually all the chassis components are also manufactured from alloy.

One particular technical highlight is the innovative lithium-ion polymer starter battery, which alone accounts for a weight saving of 10 kg over the predecessor model. In total, the weight of the Cayenne when empty has been reduced from 2,040 to 1,985 kilograms – even considering the high level of standard equipment, which includes LED main headlights, larger wheels, ParkAssist (front and rear), digital radio and satellite navigation, an LTE telephone module including a WiFi hotspot, Porsche Connect services and anticipatory pedestrian protection.

Digital evolution: Porsche Advanced Cockpit and new PCM
With the new generation, the Cayenne is writing a fresh chapter in the relationship between driver and vehicle. The Porsche Advanced Cockpit is fully integrated into the sporting, luxurious ambience. At the heart of the new display and control concept is the 12 inch full-HD touchscreen of the latest generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM), launched last year with the new Panamera.

Autodesk VRED Professional 2016 SP4
Date: 2017/07/19 10:45:34
Simulation time: 19.437
System time: 1.0189e+06
Frame: 0

A range of digital functions can be operated intuitively – including by voice control. The standard Porsche Connect Plus allows access to online services and the Internet. This includes the standard online navigation with real-time traffic information. The analogue controls on the new centre console are focused on the main functions of the vehicle. Other buttons are harmoniously integrated into the smartphone-like, glass-look touch surface, giving acoustic and haptic feedback when operated. In typical Porsche style, the driver has a central analogue tachometer to view. This is flanked by two 7-inch full-HD displays, which display all other relevant driving data plus additional information selected using the multi-function steering wheel. Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera is one of the most important optional assistance systems, along with Lane Change Assist, Lane Keeping Assist including traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, ParkAssist including Surround View and Porsche InnoDrive including adaptive cruise control.

Your personal Cayenne – more customisation, more online services
The new PCM also introduces the next level of customisation. It is not only the start screen and main menu that can be adjusted to the driver’s needs. Up to six individual profiles can also be configured. As well as a large number of interior settings, a profile is used to store specifications for lighting, driving programmes and assistance systems. Depending on the equipment, the driver can also apply their own settings to the new sound system options from Bose® and Burmester®. Plus, the new Cayenne is always online if the driver needs it to be – the expanded Connect Plus services are available through the integrated LTE-enabled SIM card. The optional engine-independent heating, for example, can be programmed remotely via smartphone. In addition, the Offroad Precision App, specially developed for the Porsche Cayenne, is now also available as part of the new standard package. It allows rough-terrain drives to be documented in detail, helping the driver to improve their own skills using video recordings.

Cayenne and Cayenne S market launch
The new generation Porsche Cayenne is launching in two variants, each distinguished by their outstanding driving performance. The Cayenne with a six-cylinder turbo engine and displacement of three litres delivers 340 hp (250 kW), and develops torque of 450 Nm. It accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds (5.9 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package). The maximum speed is 152 mph.

The second model to launch is the Cayenne S. It is driven by a 2.9-litre V6 engine with twin-turbocharging. This engine, which has also been newly developed, delivers 440 hp (324 kW), plus torque of 550 Nm. Accordingly, the vehicle accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 5.2 seconds (with Sport Chrono Package: 4.9 seconds). The maximum speed is 164 mph.

The third generation of the Porsche Cayenne is available to order from today. The Cayenne is priced from £55,965 inc VAT RRP, and for the Cayenne S from £68,330 inc VAT RRP. First deliveries to Porsche Centres will be from April 2018.

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Why the original Porsche Boxster is a modern classic https://philipraby.co.uk/original-porsche-boxster-modern-classic/ https://philipraby.co.uk/original-porsche-boxster-modern-classic/#comments Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:39:13 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=11987 It was back in 1993 that Porsche teased the world with an all-new concept car at the American International Auto Show. This cool mid-engined roadster was clearly influenced by the old 550 Spyder yet was very much a forward-thinking design. The car’s name – ‘Boxster’ – was written in tortoiseshell on its rear, and the […]

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A brace of early Porsche Boxsters – a yellow standard 2.5-litre car and a red 3.2-litre S. Both fantastic fun for under £10,000


It was back in 1993 that Porsche teased the world with an all-new concept car at the American International Auto Show. This cool mid-engined roadster was clearly influenced by the old 550 Spyder yet was very much a forward-thinking design. The car’s name – ‘Boxster’ – was written in tortoiseshell on its rear, and the interior featured exposed cooling fans which were extremely, er, cool.

The original 1993 Porsche Boxster concept car, which the production car was closely based on

The public fell in love with the Boxster concept car so Porsche dutifully put it into production, with the first Boxsters going on sale in late 1996. The production Boxster was different to the prototype – it was slightly larger and the tortoiseshell detailing had gone, as had the cooling fans – but it nevertheless retained the concept’s overall retro-modern styling and general coolness. The Boxster was an immediate hit as Porsche’s affordable entry-level car and remains so to this day.

However, over the years, the Boxster gained girth, angles and intakes, so today’s incarnation is far removed from the original concept of 1993. And as good as the current Boxster (now numbered 718), there is something special about the original 986 version. It is a small, pure, simple sports car that is a lot of fun to drive, inexpensive to buy and pain-free to run and to own.

Today, there are precious few good early Boxsters left and we have seen strong demand for decent, well-maintained examples.

Find a good early Boxster, in 2.5, 2.7 or 3.2 guise, and it will be remarkable value for money. What other modern Porsche can you buy for under £10,000? And with it being increasingly considered a modern classic, it should be one that will at least hold its value and maybe even go up.

With its two luggage compartments, modern conveniences such as climate control and power steering, plus a watertight and windtight hood, an early Boxster is that rare thing – a classic open-top sports car that you can quite easily use every day, right through the year.

There’s really very little not to like about the early 986 Porsche Boxster. As with any Porsche, though, you do need to start off with a good one, which is why we are so fussy about what Boxsters we stock.

Please click here to see our current stock.

An early Porsche Boxster from 1998, which remains true to the original concept car

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Charity fundraising in a Porsche 964 Targa https://philipraby.co.uk/charity-fundraising-porsche-964-targa/ https://philipraby.co.uk/charity-fundraising-porsche-964-targa/#respond Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:17:29 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=11901 A good customer of ours, Christopher Gavin, is driving his Porsche 964 Targa 2500 to the Alps and back to raise money for charity. Christopher is supporting Alie Tilley, an old friend and colleague, who sadly succumbed last year from Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Alie set up All About Alie in February 2016, three months […]

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A good customer of ours, Christopher Gavin, is driving his Porsche 964 Targa 2500 to the Alps and back to raise money for charity.

Christopher is supporting Alie Tilley, an old friend and colleague, who sadly succumbed last year from Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Alie set up All About Alie in February 2016, three months before she died. Her mission was to do two main things:

1. Raise awareness of MND and what people can do to help.

2. Get action to fight against MND by raising money to fund stem cell research being conducted by Professor Talbot (Alie’s consultant).
at the University of Oxford and to help those living with MND by donating to the MND Association.

All About Alie’s goal was originally to raise £52,000 to fund one year of this ground-breaking stem cell research. This was successfully achieved and the charity is raising another £52,000 to fund a second year of this important research.

The Porsche has been given a livery by John Rampton at Vroom Photo. It can be seen on regular outings at the Porsche meet at The Fairmile, Cobham, Surrey on the third Wednesday of each month until September and at the Ace Café on the last Monday of every month.

The car is also sponsored by video production company, Odd Man Out Ltd. A donation bucket will be present or you can donate at Christopher’s Virgin Money Giving page.

Christopher says: “I am determined that this trip helps to publicise and raise money for All About Alie. A great charity in memory of a great person.”

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Porsche 911 Turbo LE – a slant-nose without the slant-nose https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-911-le-slant-nose-without-slant-nose/ https://philipraby.co.uk/porsche-911-le-slant-nose-without-slant-nose/#respond Wed, 02 Aug 2017 15:04:07 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=11838 The Porsche 911 Turbo LE of 1989 offers all the benefits of the SE but without the Slant-Nose styling. The 911 Turbo SE of the mid-1980s offered a useful 30bhp extra power over the 300bhp produced by the standard Turbo of the day. The problem, though, was that part of the Special Equipment (which SE […]

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The Porsche 911 Turbo LE of 1989 offers all the benefits of the SE but without the Slant-Nose styling.

The 911 Turbo SE of the mid-1980s offered a useful 30bhp extra power over the 300bhp produced by the standard Turbo of the day. The problem, though, was that part of the Special Equipment (which SE stood for) included a Slant-Nose front end. Instead of the 911’s distinctive wings and round headlamps you got a wedge-shaped front with pop-up headlamps, which even then were getting somewhat passé. To put it into some sort of style perspective, the Triumph TR7 which was so-equipped dated back to 1976 and went out of production in 1981.

Slant-Nose 911 Turbos had been available to special order from 1981, but in 1986 Porsche decided to make the drop-nose look an official option. In the UK the car was known as the Turbo with Special Equipment, or SE, which in the USA it was the 930S. The look came about when customers began asking for a car which aped that of the 911-based 935 racecars of the period.

As well as the distinctive front-end treatment the SE also featured massive side vents in the leading edges of the rear wings (a style that continues in the current 996-model Turbo, incidentally) and sill extensions.

It’s a Marmite thing, the Slant-nose look – you either love it or hate it. It seems that today most Porsche enthusiasts fall into the latter camp, arguing that planing off the wings loses the famous 911 profile. What’s more, because these cars date from the 1980s, many were finished in garish metallic shades with white leather interiors. It can all be a bit, well, Miami Vice.

So if you think you have good taste, maybe a 911 Turbo SE is not for you. However, there is a way of having the benefits of the SE’s engine in a more conventional bodyshell. The 911 Turbo LE (for Limited Edition) was built in 1989 to commemorate the demise of the 911 Turbo in its then present form. Although, as we now know, the Turbo was to return in 1991 – in 964 form and the name would continue to the present day – at the time it seemed that new emission regulations had spelled the end for the range-topping 911. Production of the LE was limited to 50 worldwide, and it is believed that just 15 had right-hand-drive, so it’s a rare beast, indeed.

The LE is a happy mix of the SE and the standard 911 Turbo. Most important, it has the SE’s engine with its larger KKK turbocharger, higher-lift camshafts, higher boost pressure, larger intercooler and a sports exhaust system with four outlets. All of which combine to give that extra 30bhp, which together with the other 300bhp is feed through a limited-slip differential,

At the front of the car you get conventional Turbo wings and headlamps, so it retains the classic 911 profile. However, there’s a unique front bumper with a massive second oil cooler (in addition to the one in the right-hand wing) proudly on display for all to see (although it’s thought that some LEs weren’t fitted with this).

Also carried over from the SE are the distinctive air-intakes on the rear wings. These are claimed to feed air, not to the engine, but to the rear brakes to facilitate cooling. However, considering the standard Turbo managed perfectly well without this extra cooling, one suspects the intakes are for mainly cosmetic purposes.

And there are also plenty of cosmetic enhancements inside the LE. Car manufacturers love to pile on extras when they produce limited editions, and Porsche was no exception with this car.

By the late 1990s, Porsche was fitting four-spoke steering wheels to its cars but, somewhat bizarrely, it chose to endow the LE with the rather bulky three-spoke wheel that first appeared in the early 1970s. It is, though, adorned with a gold-coloured Porsche crest.

The gearknob has a similar gold embellishment, and in front is a commemorative plaque with the words ‘911 Turbo 1975-1989 Limited Edition Model’. At the time the finality of this epitaph must surely have brought tears to the eyes of many a Turbo enthusiast.

The interior, which is trimmed in full leather, also boasts a range-topping Blaupunkt Berlin radio-cassette player (this could be substituted for a CD player at no extra cost) plus Porsche’s Remote Control Full Feature Alarm System-1.

Customers were encouraged to personalise their LE by being given the choice of all exterior and interior colour options at no extra cost; although Porsche did say it retained the right to refuse certain colour combinations, not doubt on the grounds of taste.

In 1989 the 911 Turbo LE sold for £84,492.42 in the UK. Which was good value when you consider that the SE – which was basically the same but with the Slant-Nose – was priced at £93,294 a year previously. Cynics suggested that Porsche had ramped up its prices during the mid-1980s while the 911 Turbo was the car of choice for city slickers, but after the stockmarket crash in October 1987 the company had to make its prices somewhat more attractive in order to sell cars.

Specification
1989 Porsche 911 Turbo LE
Body
Rear-engined two-plus-two coupé with Turbo SE rear flanks, and unique front spoiler. Full leather interior

Engine
Air-cooled flat-six with enlarged single KKK turbocharger, high-lift camshafts, larger intercooler and sports exhaust system. Additional front-mounted oil cooler

Capacity 3299cc
Maximum power 330bhp at 5500rpm

Transmission
Five-speed manual G50 transmission driving the rear wheels. Limited-slip differential

Suspension
Front: MacPherson struts with independent longitudinal torsion bars and antiroll bar.
Rear: Semi trailing arms with independent transverse torsion bars and antiroll bar. Bilstein telescopic dampers all round

Brakes
Servo-assisted hydraulic dual-circuit braking system. 304mm discs and front and 309mm at rear with four piston aluminium calipers all round

Wheels & tyres
Fuchs light-alloy wheels; 15 x 7J at front and 16 x 9J at rear with 205/55VR and 245/45VR tyres respectively

Dimensions
Weight 1335kg
Length 4318mm
Width 1829mm
Wheelbase 2261mm
Track 1432mm (front); 1500mm (rear)

Performance
Maximum speed 171mph
0-62mph 5sec

Is it genuine?
Although we’ve not heard of a fake 911 Turbo LE, you can check to see if one is genuine by looking for the following option codes in the luggage compartment and in the service book:
XA4 – Front spoiler
XB7 – Rear air ducts
XD4 – Painted wheel crests
XE7 – Front oil-cooler
XH1 – Three-spoke steering wheel
XK5 – Leather gearlever
XN7 – Leather handbrake

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How to buy a Porsche Boxster for £4000 https://philipraby.co.uk/buy-porsche-boxster-4000-less/ https://philipraby.co.uk/buy-porsche-boxster-4000-less/#respond Thu, 11 May 2017 11:32:51 +0000 http://philipraby.co.uk/?p=11528   Summer is here and what could be better than cruising around in an open-top Porsche Boxster, with the roof down and the sun on your face? A new Boxster starts at around £45,000 which is great value for money if you have, well, the money; and let’s face it, you have to be reasonably […]

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Summer is here and what could be better than cruising around in an open-top Porsche Boxster, with the roof down and the sun on your face? A new Boxster starts at around £45,000 which is great value for money if you have, well, the money; and let’s face it, you have to be reasonably well off to buy a brand-new Boxster. The great news is, though, you don’t have to spend anywhere near that much to enjoy top-down Porsche motoring. In fact, just about anyone can afford to drive a Boxster, because you can pick up a half-decent example for just £4000.

Yes, for the price of a five year old Vauxhall Corsa, you can be behind the wheel of a Porsche Boxster. Ah, you say, that’s all very well but it’ll be nothing but trouble. No, it won’t, not if you buy carefully and choose a decent example; which is quite possible to do, even on a four grand budget. If you do, you’ll have a superb, mid-engined sports car oozing with Porsche heritage. Fail to buy well, on the other hand, and you’ll end up being, at best, disappointed and, at worst, out of pocket.

So let’s discover the secret to buying a good Boxster for £4000 – a figure which we believe is the lowest you should pay for one; anything less will be a disappointment. We’re not going to go down the check every nut and bolt line; that’s not our style and if you know enough about cars to do your own mechanical inspection, then you don’t need our help anyway. Instead, we’re going to give you an overview of what’s available and help you to sniff out the best you can get for the money.

At this price range there are three flavours of Boxster, differentiated by their engines. First, there’s the original 2.5-litre car made from 1997 to 1999 and with an output of 204bhp. Next up is its replacement, powered by a 220bhp 2.7-litre engine and offered from 1999 to 2004. Finally, there is the more powerful 3.2-litre Boxster S which ran from 1999 to 2004 and boasts 252bhp from its larger engine.

At first glance, you may think that the S is the one to go for, and it has to be said that the extra power is tempting – the mid-engined Boxster layout is so capable it can cope with more than even the S’s generous output. However, don’t get too excited because, while our budget will get you an S, it won’t get you a good S. For £4000 you’ll be looking at an early, high-mileage Boxster S that’ll most likely look and feel more than a bit tired, and will probably need money spending on it, which would negate the point of buying a cheap car. And when we say high mileage in Boxster terms, we mean over 100,000 miles; these cars aren’t as durable as older Porsches and so do tend to look and feel weary when the miles get piled onto them.

No, at this price bracket you are far better looking for a standard Boxster. However, you needn’t feel short-changed by not having an S; even the original 2.5-litre has exactly the same power as an early 1980s 911SC, albeit in a slightly heavily package, so it’s no slouch. Furthermore, as if usually the case with Porsche engines, the smaller unit is more willing and revvy, at the expense of outright power and torque, so an early standard Boxster is fun to drive, even if it’s not got going to set the world on fire in terms of performance. That said, the extra 16bhp offered by the 2.7-litre engine, coupled with revised gear ratios, does make a worthwhile difference.

The good news is, you can comfortably buy either a 2.5 or a 2.7 Boxster for £4000, and either will be fine. Generally, you should be able to get a better 2.5-litre example for the simple reason that an earlier car for the same money has to be superior in some way – usually it will have a lower mileage (we found a 1999 example with just £38,000 miles within our budget) or be in nicer condition. If we had more money to play with, we’d choose a 2.7 over a 2.5 any day, but as we haven’t then our advice is to be open-minded and look at both options, buying on condition and history rather than engine capacity. You’re better having a really good 2.5 over an average 2.7.

That’s assuming, that is, that you can find a good early Boxster. As they’ve dropped in value, Boxsters have often not been maintained properly and many are disappointing. The key is to find one that’s been cherished and – at the risk of making a sweeping generalisation here – a Boxster that has been owned by a number of years by a retired Porsche enthusiast is likely to be better than one that has gone from one strap-cashed young owner to the next. With classic Porsches, the number of keepers is increasingly immaterial but with Boxsters, low ownership numbers is a bonus.

How can you tell if a car has been cherished? Well, start off by looking through the history. A regularly stamped service book (every 15,000 miles or 12 months) is always good to see. It’s unlikely that the recent stamps will have been from a main dealer (great if they are, as it shows an owner has not been afraid to spend money) but a known Porsche specialist if fine; a back-street garage less so. Invoices to back up the service book are great news, as it allows you to build up a picture of what’s been done to the car, over and above routine servicing. Not only should you look for major work, such as a clutch change and brake disc replacements, but also minor non-essential jobs that are a sign of a caring owner. A good set of good-quality branded tyres is another.

Now look at the car itself. So many Boxsters look tired, with parking dents in the doors, chips on the front bumper and bonnet (or, worse, badly resprayed panels). Early Boxsters have plastic rear windows (glass didn’t appear until 2003 so these will be out of our budget) although some cars have been retrofitted with glass panels (with varying degrees of success). These windows can discolour and crack – the trick to avoiding cracks is to lower the roof partway then use your hand (the famous Boxster chop!) to ensure a neat fold before opening it fully.

Interiors don’t wear well, either, with seat bolsters looking scruffy and seat bases sagging. Check for wet carpets and non-functioning electrics, too. Full climate control was optional but worth seeking out over the standard heating system (which, to be fair, is rarely seen on UK cars) but do check it works and the air-conditioning blows cold; another indication of a caring owner is one who has attended to any faults, however expensive.

Originality is another good sign of a conscientious previous owner. Modified Boxsters with aftermarket wheels, exhaust, stereo and so on hint at boy-racer tendencies, and such modifications can actually spoil an otherwise good car.

Drive a Boxster and it should feel taut and relatively rattle-free. Most early ones will have the odd trim or hood rattle, but if the whole car is shaky and noisy, it’s not a good one. The car should accelerate smoothly without hesitation, and the handling should be predictable and inspire confidence. In short, it should put a smile on your face – if it doesn’t, there’s something amiss.

But, you say, how can we talk about buying a Boxster without mentioning engine issues such as RMS failure, IMS failure, bore scoring and the end of civilisation? Because, as we said at the start of the feature, if you buy a well maintained example, the risk of these things happening (with the exception of a common but harmless RMS leak) is very slight, whatever Internet doom-merchants say. If the unthinkable happened and the engine does fail, then you can sell the non-functioning car for, say, £1000 and you’ll be £3000 down on the deal – less than a year’s depreciation on a new Boxster – but, with luck, you’ll have had many happy times with the car beforehand. The chances are, though, this won’t ever happen. It’s a bit of a gamble, but then aren’t most things in life?

So what does our ideal £4000 budget Boxster look like? Well, it is a 1998 Arctic Silver and black leather example with just 48,000 miles on the clock. It’s had three owners, the last being a retired couple in Surrey, keen Porsche Club GB members who had had owned it as a third car for ten years before trading it in for a newer one. They’d had the Porsche serviced at a main dealer for the first seven years of their ownership before changing to a well-known independent specialist for its annual maintenance, and every invoice has been kept. It’s now being sold by that same specialist and will be serviced and issued with a six month warranty.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, although we admit that’s a fictitious example, it is actually an amalgam of real Boxsters we’ve seen on the market recently, proving that it’s perfectly possible to find something similar within our parsimonious budget. There are plenty of used Boxsters out there, so you can afford to be fussy and buy the best you can find.

Once you do, you can spend the summer cruising around with the roof down and a big smile on your face, feeling ever so slightly smug each time you pass a new Boxster.

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