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In the Garage: 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo
THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1997 Porsche 911 Turbo coupe owned by David N. Millman
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
The last Porsche 911 with an air-cooled engine was sold to Jerry Seinfeld in 1998, but these cars have hardly been forgotten. Porschephiles still gobble them up at rising prices, especially the coveted all-wheel-drive Turbo, with its 400-horsepower, flat-six engine and a 0-60 mile-per-hour time of 4.5 seconds. “Prior to 1997,” says Millman, “air-cooled Porsche 911s were produced for 34 years.
After so many years of evolution, by the last year, all significant problems were eliminated. This evolution is most remarkable in the case of the Porsche 911 Turbo, which by 1997 had both outrageous performance and extraordinary reliability.” Millman says he chose the Turbo because it was “significantly faster” than competitors, was “not outrageously expensive to maintain,” and had all-wheel drive and back seats.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
He bought the Porsche new in 1996.
WHERE HE FOUND IT
He purchased it from a Delaware Porsche dealer and took delivery at the factory in Stuttgart, Germany. After drives to Paris, London and Dublin, he wheeled the car back to Stuttgart, where it was taken by truck to a German port for a boat trip to the U.S.
“The car is not in need of any restoration,” he says of the 54,000-mile coupe. “In spite of its age, it looks the same and drives the same as it did when I took delivery of the car. From the time I purchased the car new until today, my Turbo has only been serviced by Porsche dealers.” He has all the original manuals, paperwork and service records.
TIPS FOR OWNERS
Millman says the all-wheel drive directs power to the rear wheels under most conditions, so the rear tires need replacing every 10,000 miles. “This, combined with a stiff, fine-tuned suspension and low-profile tires made with relatively soft rubber, are three of the main reasons why the car has such extraordinary cornering capability,” he notes.
The total original cost was about $118,000, Millman says. The NADA Guides puts a “clean retail” value of almost $61,000 on a 1997 Turbo without options.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“Since I have had the car for 16 years, I have gotten quite attached to it,” Millman says. “Even after all these years, there are few cars that are comparable to my Turbo in performance and, essentially, no current comparable cars that are equal to it in reliability. While it is hard to believe, it is almost as sure-footed in the rain as it is on a dry road. From the day I took delivery of the car until this day, I continue to be amused at how quickly cars disappear in my rear-view mirror.”