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NotoriousREV
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 25



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:11 pm    Post subject: I bought a C4 sight unseen off eBay for £8k Reply with quote

The story so far:

I saw an ad on eBay from a company called Sterling Cars for a 1999 C4 with no reserve. It had 135k miles and was claiming an engine rebuild but that was all the detail in the ad. It looked rough in the pictures, but not unsaveable and it was up to £5.8k. I decided to watch it and see where it went. As it got close to the end I decided I’d have a punt up to £8k. The ad said I could pay a refundable £100 deposit which I would get back if I inspected the car and decided I didn’t want it.

I won it for £8008 I’m the end (never bid a round number, you need to get yourself ahead!) because it spelt BOOB on my calculator.

So, I got to Sterling Cars at about 11:30. Id arranged to meet a friend there’s, but he was running a little late, so I went into the dodgy portacabin office, introduced myself. Bloke glances up. “The keys are in it. Take it for a drive, I’ll show you the paperwork when you get back”.

I had no idea where I was, or where to go, so I did a bit of a run up and down the main road, round a few roundabouts, trying to open it up in 2nd. It drove brilliantly, but I never got over 50mph. The engine sounded absolutely spot on, gearbox felt very smooth, no notchiness, clutch had plenty of bite.

When I got back to the yard, my friend was waiting for me. We had a look over it, then went back inside to look at the paperwork.

In the bundle was a £9k invoice for the engine rebuild at Hartech, coilovers and suspension refresh (droplinks, coffin arms, bushes etc) at Autofarm all done in 2016 about 20k miles ago (there must be about 8 pages describing all the work done). Sports exhaust (non switchable) or standard exhaust with bypass mod and different tips.

Outside needs a good wash. Engine cover looks like is been attacked by a Brillo pad and there’s a scar on the back bumper that needs attention. Other than polishing the headlights that’s all that’s wrong outside, it’s not bad at all. Even the wheels are really good and the Michelins tyres are almost brand new. I think maybe one of the track rod ends needs doing as there’s a bit of kickback/vagueness over 80mph that isn’t there when you’re going slower. I’ll have a look tomorrow.

Inside the a/c doesn’t work (I knew it wouldn’t) and the LCD screen for the heater control is dodgy and the aftermarket stereo is awful. There’s also a bit of trim needs popping back on. But, it’s filthy. The steering wheel is possibly the stickiest thing I’ve ever voluntarily touched. Having said that, the cracking of the leather isn’t as bad as it looked, I think it might clean up not too bad. Not perfect, but acceptable.

I absolutely love it. I’ve haven’t felt like this about a car in years. Possibly ever.

At £8k, it was an absolute steal.
 
  
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sillysally1
Silverstone


Joined: 23 Apr 2019
Posts: 108



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations! thumbsup

Brilliant mews about how it drives and that you’re happy with it. The AC didn’t work on mine either, cost £370 to get it all sorted so not bad in the end (it’s quite noisy though)
 
  
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Alex
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
Posts: 16369
Location: The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cost me £150 to sort my aircon when I bought mine. New condensers and a regas and was good as new.
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2000 Manual 996 C4 Arctic Silver Convertible


 
  
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NotoriousREV
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 25



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We made it home safely! It even had half a tank of petrol and a George Ezra CD in it. #winning
 



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sillysally1
Silverstone


Joined: 23 Apr 2019
Posts: 108



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NotoriousREV wrote:
We made it home safely! It even had half a tank of petrol and a George Ezra CD in it. #winning


Damit man, it looks better than mine!
 
  
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sillysally1
Silverstone


Joined: 23 Apr 2019
Posts: 108



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sillysally1 wrote:
NotoriousREV wrote:
We made it home safely! It even had half a tank of petrol and a George Ezra CD in it. #winning


Damit man, it looks better than mine!


Admittedly I never wash mine unless I absolutely have to (like when it got covered in bird poo)
 
  
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NotoriousREV
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 25



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's got a lot of bird poo on it. It's filthy inside and out. I'll actually enjoy cleaning it up...once Thumb
 
  
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Menace
Nürburgring


Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 467
Location: London


PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Ezra CD? That’s why it was going cheap lol.

Well done, hopefully a genuine bargain.

Looks like it’s had pint but most cars have.

Enjoy
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996 Supercharged!!!

I don’t turn heads...I snap necks!!
 
  
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NotoriousREV
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 25



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Menace wrote:
George Ezra CD? That’s why it was going cheap lol.

Well done, hopefully a genuine bargain.

Looks like it’s had pint but most cars have.

Enjoy


Thanks! Yeah, it has fewer stonechips than my mate's 10 year newer 997 on 1/3rd of the mileage so it's definitely had paint at some point.
 
  
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Y2K
Nürburgring


Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 474
Location: Hampshire


PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello you 🤬

Hartech engine #winning
_________________
2005 996 GT3 mk2
1999 Integra DC2
 
  
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Marky911
Indianapolis


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 2418



PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a steal indeed! Cool

£8k with a Hartech rebuild and a “not too long ago” suspension overhaul. Wow.
You got lucky there. Very Happy
 
  
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Griffter
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 325



PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good work!

Clean that up, fix one or two small things, advertise it properly and you could make a tidy profit...

But then this thread would be no fun!
 
  
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TurboRob
Trainee


Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 54



PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome aboard thumbsup

Often wondered what Sterling Cars gig is as they've been around a while and often have interesting cars to sell. Repossessed? Cheap trade-ins that won't sell at auction?
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996.2 C2
 
  
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Huntsman
Newbie


Joined: 05 Jul 2019
Posts: 9



PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TurboRob wrote:
Welcome aboard thumbsup

Often wondered what Sterling Cars gig is as they've been around a while and often have interesting cars to sell. Repossessed? Cheap trade-ins that won't sell at auction?


I wonder the same. Either way its good news for those of us looking to jump on the 996 wagon.
 
  
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wilpert
Albert Park


Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 1656
Location: London

2016 Porsche Boxster 987

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have dealt with Mark from Sterling cars, admittedly only over the phone but he is very helpful and seems to know his stuff, it looks like you got a good deal there.
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DanSteele
Newbie


Joined: 16 Oct 2018
Posts: 14



PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like an absolute steal, congratulations!

Was it the “first time round” for this car? I’ve noticed a fair few 996’s and 986’s get re-listed again with them, some quite a few times, makes me wonder what others might have spotted (or perhaps just have unreasonable expectations)

I’m on the casual search for a 986.2 S to take a bit of the mileage burden off of the 4s and notice they have a few come up from time to time, have a slight niggling doubt at the back of my mind whether one of their cars could be a serious contender.

Dan
 
  
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Sundayjumper
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 299
Location: Royal Berkshire

1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TurboRob wrote:
Often wondered what Sterling Cars gig is as they've been around a while and often have interesting cars to sell. Repossessed? Cheap trade-ins that won't sell at auction?


As far as I can tell they source all their stock from BCA Blackbushe. The photos on their listings are general taken in the auction house car park ! They definitely bid up their own cars but apart from meaning the cars effectively DO have a reserve I don't have a problem with it.

They're a no-frills high volume low margin dealer and make no bones about it.
 
  
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DanSteele
Newbie


Joined: 16 Oct 2018
Posts: 14



PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sundayjumper wrote:
They definitely bid up their own cars but apart from meaning the cars effectively DO have a reserve I don't have a problem with it.


I did suspect this, but didn’t want to call it without my own personal experience, goes a way to explain a lot of the re-listings.

Dan
 
  
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Sundayjumper
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 299
Location: Royal Berkshire

1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy enough to see - click through the bidding history and then the history of each bidder. There's some people that "buy" a LOT of cars from them....
 
  
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T8
General
General


Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Posts: 15639
Location: Kent


PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wilpert wrote:
I have dealt with Mark from Sterling cars, admittedly only over the phone but he is very helpful and seems to know his stuff, it looks like you got a good deal there.


911uk Moderator Comment.

Are you getting mixed up with Stirling Cars?


--> https://www.stirlings.co.uk/
_________________
2007 Guards Red 997 Turbo Tiptronic
ex 2004 Polar Silver 996T Tiptronic
ex 2002 Seal Grey 996.2 C4 Tiptronic
ex 1978 Silver 924 Manual
 
  
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