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Thread: Thinking of leaving Early 911S for 997/991

  1. #1
    Member 66DC's Avatar
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    Thinking of leaving Early 911S for 997/991

    I've owned and enjoyed my 1966 911 for 10+ years but its lack of practicality is starting to outweigh its cool factor.
    - Can't fit rear seat belts, so can't take the family for a drive
    - Dry, cracked seals and no rustproofing so I don't drive it in wet weather
    - No air conditioning so I rarely drive it in July/August (DC humidity is brutal)
    - Needs about $3000 worth of underbody rust repair/paint
    - Not fun to drive on the highway
    - I'm constantly worried about getting into an accident or having it catch on fire

    I've been told that for what I could sell it for, I could get a decent 997 or 991, which would address most of my concerns. From what I've seen, 964s and 993s are out of my price range.

    Anyone ever had a similar dilemma? Anything I'm not considering?
    1966 911 coupe, Granite Green

  2. #2
    Moderator Chuck Miller's Avatar
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    This thread might help... at least a good read....

    https://www.early911sregistry.org/fo...-the-dark-side

    Good luck
    Chuck Miller
    Creative Advisor/Message Board Moderator - Early 911S Registry #109
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  3. #3
    - Can't fit rear seat belts, so can't take the family for a drive Good, at least you have a good excuse when you wish to stay alone.
    - Dry, cracked seals and no rustproofing so I don't drive it in wet weather Have the seals changed and enquire with your bodyshop for winter protection.
    - No air conditioning so I rarely drive it in July/August (DC humidity is brutal) You will have 10 full months (see point above).
    - Needs about $3000 worth of underbody rust repair/paint You would need the same amount of money, if not more, to deal with a 997/991.
    - Not fun to drive on the highway The car is capable of 200 kph, much more than what you can do anyway on USA hwy ... if not happy, swap your engine with a later, more powerful one.
    - I'm constantly worried about getting into an accident or having it catch on fire Accident can always happen, with any car. For the fire, have all fuel hoses and carbs regularly checked and have a fire extinguisher on board.
    Member #2768 http://www.no-speedlimit.it

    • 1973 Biancaneve - 911 2.4 S/F Ivory
    • 1977 Fiona - 911 Carrera 3.0 Oak Green Metallic
    • 1993 Bellatrix - 964 Turbo 3.6 Black

    I keep a registry of 1972 and 1973 2.4 S coupé chassis. Infos always welcome!!!

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  4. #4
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    I think your asking the question means you already know the answer. I get that...I had a car that was my dump truck...meaning it was most often used to take my garbage to the dump...triple in value to become a six figure car, and the appeal of the car totally vanished for me. I was afraid to use it and yelling at my kids if they wore dirty shoes in it, and I realized it was time to sell. Loved the car to death, but my perception of the car prevented my enjoyment of it.

    Specifically on your points:

    1. I can't not imagine my targa being a family car. That's part of the reason I have it. I grew up in the back of a longhood, and I wanted my kids to grow up (a little bit) in the back of one too. I've had four adults (admittedly three smallish women and me) in the targa, and we've done a week-long family vacation in it. Was it perfect in every way? No. But was it worth the inconveniences? Hell yes.
    2. Fixing the seals is cheap and easy. You should have no issue driving a longhood in the rain. In salt-covered roads, yes. In rain, absolutely not.
    3. '66 coupes have the vents! But again, if the sweat isn't worth it, then you're answering your own question.
    4. I love driving both on the highway, went on several long trips in both this past year, and wouldn't hesitate to drive across the country with either. I don't know if this is what you are getting at, but I can't have "real" fun with my coupe that is legal on most anything other than the highway or race track. 3rd to 4th is my favorite thing in the world, and it is illegal almost everywhere, and very illegal on most roads. On back roads, whenever I am pushing the car, I'm worried about hitting a deer or bear (which has almost happened many times). I have no experience, but from what I am told, most everything from 997 forward is worse, i.e. it is tough to stretch a modern 911 on the road.
    5. Other than keeping a fire extinguisher in the car and regular maintenance...if this is how you feel, so be it, but then the question is does anyone ever feel comfortable crashing a 911? At least ours can be thrown on a cellete and straightened, the modern ones with aluminum shells are quite expensive to repair.

    I'm surprised that you don't think you could get a 964 for less than a '66. You can certainly get either a 964 or 993 cabriolet for less than a "3" '66. Also, much less room for the family once you get into the more modern 911s. Heck, even the 915 transmission started to erode "comfort" in the +2.

    Hopefully I don't get screamed at too much for saying this, but maybe look at a M3 or M4? I forget which is which, but one of them has four doors (and there are prior generation M3s with 4 doors). They are a bit "janky" compared to a Porsche, but in terms of a car that you can drive the family in, drive 8 hours on the highway, and track, they are pretty darn good. That said, no one knows how to over-engineer stupidity than BMW, so ownership is always about a 10k gotcha for replacing a valve gasket.
    MBR #3926
    '71 911 T Targa "Rick White"
    '71 911 E "Karen"
    '10 E61 "Vomit Comet"

  5. #5
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    I went the other way: from a 997 C4S to a longhood.

    It all depends how you drive, where you drive, what other cars you have, etc. For me, the 997 was a great modern car but 2nd gear goes to 80 mph, 3rd gear close to 115 mph. You get into silly speeds fast, and on tight back roads you'll be in 2nd or 3rd all day long.

    All depends on what you want from the car.
    - 1969 911T Ossi Blue #3981

  6. #6
    Senior Member rgupta250's Avatar
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    I went from a 993 C2 to a 71T which is currently going through a bare metal restoration. Like the TheTorch said, it all depends what kind of driving experience you are looking for.
    ------------------------------------------------
    1971 911T/2.45 engine spec Coupe / Gold Metallic on Black
    1995 911 C2 / Guards Red on Cashmere Beige (Sold)

  7. #7
    Senior Member haul's Avatar
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    I just came back from a „silly“ family trip to paris over the weekend…
    1700km, 8 hour drive stints…I use my swb as often as i can….small easy reliable cars,
    no electronics, direct and honest….

    I love summer and I do not mind hot weather, also having a 75 Giulia which is driven in the summer holidays in italy down to amalfi coast…there are flaps and windows.. love it..

    space for adults is an issue, but we are not always with all kids on the road…
    the trunk of a swb or lwb is huge…with a roof rack you can transport almost everything and with a trailer hook whatever you wish..

    a 997 is the updated to have 2nd porsch for being fast at a certain meeting, all done effortless and seemingly easy.
    the modern car you can have sit outside in rain and snow and nothing will happen to it.
    the costs of having her are sure higher for service, and the luggage compartment is too small.
    a 964 is perfect, but still having all the weather condition issue of our old longhoods - cant park it in the street.

    I love my swb and will have it until my passing…but a 997 is sure a car also for me to consider
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  8. #8
    Senior Member frederik's Avatar
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    As much as I love the early 911, it's not a great family car whether you have rear seatbelts or not. It's simply too noisy, at least for my wife and children. On the highway I wear earplugs (I think this is what you were getting at with "not fun on the highway") which makes long trips much more comfortable. But of course conversation with a passenger is very limited this way.

    Seals, underbody repair can be addressed. And regarding accidents/fire: simply get good insurance and try not to worry about it.

    I think the best is to have a watercooled 911 for daily/winter/too hot summer use. You can take the wife and children, it has working A/C and heating and it still makes everyday drives much more fun than a regular car. Then when you're alone and going on a road trip to the mountains / canyons... take the early 911.

    You could also consider a 996: they are cheaper than a 997, in C2/6MT form very light and nimble (lightest 911 since the 3.2 Carrera) and they have plenty of power. Replace the IMS bearing with something from LN and have it scoped for bore scoring and you could have a great car for $25k-35k depending on mileage. Even the headlights are looking better every year.

    I don't think a narrow-body 993 is out of your price range if you trade it your '66, but honestly, they look great but I don't find them as much fun to drive as a 996. They're heavy and the engine isn't that revvy. At least in stock form.
    1972 911 2.4T Targa Aubergine (MFI)
    2002 996 Turbo Midnight Blue
    Member #3833

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by haul View Post
    I just came back from a „silly“ family trip to paris over the weekend…
    1700km, 8 hour drive stints…I use my swb as often as i can….small easy reliable cars,
    no electronics, direct and honest….

    I love summer and I do not mind hot weather, also having a 75 Giulia which is driven in the summer holidays in italy down to amalfi coast…there are flaps and windows.. love it..

    space for adults is an issue, but we are not always with all kids on the road…
    the trunk of a swb or lwb is huge…with a roof rack you can transport almost everything and with a trailer hook whatever you wish..

    a 997 is the updated to have 2nd porsch for being fast at a certain meeting, all done effortless and seemingly easy.
    the modern car you can have sit outside in rain and snow and nothing will happen to it.
    the costs of having her are sure higher for service, and the luggage compartment is too small.
    a 964 is perfect, but still having all the weather condition issue of our old longhoods - cant park it in the street.

    I love my swb and will have it until my passing…but a 997 is sure a car also for me to consider
    And THAT is one of the loveliest photos ever to grace this website. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    That's indeed an excellent photo, thank you haul. For me, the best all-round 911 is a 964. 997? Nice but a bit boring. Even the GT3 RS (had 2 of them, way too wide). 996 Turbo? Great cars,great value, but almost too perfect (at least for me), way too fast on public roads, and then the interior, well..... I am always coming back to the SWB 911's. And 964's. Not totally exciting or really fast 911's but overall such good cars. The looks of our beloved long-hoods but much easier to live with if you are not totally into early 911's, Land Rover's and other such things.
    Mike, member #841

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