If you're like me, when you're finally in a position to buy an air cooled Porsche you've got a vision for which generation you want...and nothing is going to stop you from finding one.
However, after talking with dozens of potential buyers who reach out to me via Instagram or my YouTube channel to get my perspective on what they're looking for, it's clear that while many of you think you know exactly what you want, some out there might not be aware of the most common - and easily avoidable - air cooled Porsche problems.
In this article, I'll discuss one significant - yet easily avoidable - error often made by rookie air cooled Porsche enthusiasts: failing to conduct thorough research on the specific generation of air-cooled Porsche they desire.
For whatever reason, each generation of air cooled Porsche possesses unique traits, issues, and characteristics and "fatal flaws" that buyers should be aware of before making a hasty purchase decision. For example, if you're looking for a 911SC, you'll want to make sure that the one you buy has upgraded Carrera chain tensioners and a pop-off valve installed. Or, if you're chasing a 993, you'll want to think through whether it makes sense for you to buy a 1995 model to avoid secondary air injection/CEL light issues, While I'm not a mechanic, with a little research it's easy to avoid common mistakes that could lead to regrets down the road.
The Temptation to Leap Before You Look
Good God...if you've watched my YouTube channel then you know I've fallen into this trap several times myself. It's 100% natural to fall in love with a particular Porsche model as soon as you lay eyes on it, whether in pictures or in person.
Instagram pics and YouTube videos make every car look so sexy that you can overlook common air cooled Porsche problems and feverishly buy any example that looks good online. This instant love affair often leads to impulsive decisions without properly evaluating what the generation can present in terms of painful and costly issues. To avoid this mistake, it is crucial to exercise restraint and conduct comprehensive research before committing to a purchase.
Knowledge is power and doing a little homework can go a long way. Here's a list of ways to help yourself better understand how to avoid issues.
Join A Good Air Cooled Porsche Facebook Group
Join online forums, Porsche clubs, and Facebook Groups (such as my group, Rennthusiast Air Cooled Porsche Fans) dedicated to air-cooled Porsches. Engaging with experienced enthusiasts can provide valuable insights, recommendations, and warnings based on their own ownership experiences.
Hunt Down A Good Air Cooled Mechanic
Consult with reputable Porsche specialists, mechanics, or even independent experts who have extensive knowledge of the specific generation you're interested in. I've talked about this before: Find your air cooled Porsche mechanic before, not after buying a car. A good one may be willing to offer guidance and help identify common issues with the generation you're pursuing.
The Porsche Club of America
The PCA website is a fantastic source of Porsche information, both for water cooled Porsche and air cooled Porsche enthusiasts.
Candidly, the PCA site has a lot more to offer than I have time to peruse. There’s a LOT of information there about the club, its history and heritage, etc. If that’s your thing, you won’t be disappointed. My personal favorite section of the PCA site is the classifieds, but there are ton of great informational articles along with model-specific guides to help you avoid common issues as you chase the car you want.
The Rennthusiast Porsche Channel
My YouTube Channel: I've worked hard to publish as many videos as I can about Porsche ownership.
These videos include my own personal mistakes, success stories, repair overviews and buying/selling experience. I've also interviewed many owners about their Porsches which give viewers insight into what to expect when owning specific models along with really cool stories about how these owners found their cars.
Doing deep research about whatever generation of car you want is a crucial step for any rookie buyer seeking to avoid common air cooled Porsche problems. By investing time and effort into deep, thorough research, you can avoid potential pitfalls and ensure you have a fun ownership experience...not a painful one with expensive surprises.
Remember that every generation has its unique traits, issues, and characteristics, so it's vital to understand them before taking the leap into ownership.
So, arm yourself with knowledge, engage with experienced enthusiasts, and seek professional advice to ensure a smooth and rewarding air-cooled Porsche buying experience.