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Thinking of a late 80's 3.2

21 Jul 2003
I'm thinking of getting a 3.2 Coupe. Preferably 87-89, spolier deleted option and G50 box. Is it realistic to use this as a daily commuter (6o miles per day) and how much should I pay for a sorted example? Any opinions and advice would be most welcome.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6401
Well, a late model with G50 gearbox, average miles(no point paying extra for a low mileage example when you're going to drive it a lot) and good condition will fetch between £15k and £20k. Don't worry about ther spoiler, you can take that off yourself, as a few 3.2 owners on here would recommend!

Noticed you're in Northern Ireland, how different are prices over there?

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6421
Prices are about the same here but choice is very limited. I don't want to buy privately so I'll probably end up going to a mainland specialist like Prestige and Perfomance or Paul Stevens. I'm totally untechnically minded so the car must be in A1 cond. I'll also probably end up having to get it serviced at the main dealer as I cannot find any reputable specialists in NI. If you know of any over this way (or in Scotland which would be easy for me to get to by ferry), let me know. Thanks for the spolier tip - I didn't realise it was that easy to remove.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6433

Do a search on this forum under 'removing the whale tail' for lots of info on removing spoilers and the various pros and cons.

As for car and price - '87-'89 3.2 with G50 box sounds just the ticket. You shouldn't need to pay more than £15K for a really good one (esp. if you don't mind lhd). If you don't really feel confident in what you are looking at and don't want to waste time crossing the Irish Sea to look at rubbish then give someone like Adrian Crawford a call. He sources cars to order to save you the hassle of looking yourself , and is an occassional visitor to the forum. Several of the 'regulars', me included, have bought cars from him and been very happy with his service. Have a look at his newly re-vamped website - very informative !


Migration info. Legacy thread was 6438

I use an 87 3.2 as a daily driver with probably only very slightly fewer miles per day than you are suggesting.

Certainly proper servicing is vital for both your own peace of mind and future re-sale. Consumables such as tyres will clearly cost more than a more traditional choice, and fuel consumption is slightly heavy. That said, a time spent sourcing and caring for a decent example will mean you mitigate depreciation when the time comes.

I was new to 911, and found the car to be quirky and dated. The brakes are suspect, and even the g50 can be hard work. The heating system is essentially non-functional. It can be very hard to encourage people to you out of junctions as well!

My drive to work though is utterly fantastic every day. I will use any excuse to take a longer route home through the sticks. The noise is awesome, the power very adequate indeed. I feel a completely sad b***ard because i want to drive the car every day (this is not a honeymoon period as we've been together a while now!).

I reckon £15k should sort you very well indeed, but clearly still budget for a few bob as it's far from a new car. Personally I used prestige & performance, liked the people, liked what i got, and feel with the benefit of hindsight that i was very fairly treated.

Don't buy one that looks too cheap, and have it independently inspected.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6483

Took delivery of my '88 3.2 this week and wouldn't disagree with anything anybody above has said. The noise in particular is just fantastic! I don't use it as a daily commuter though.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 6485

Thank you for your reassuring words. It's good to know that running a slightly older 911 as a daily commuter is possible and not a pipe dream. How do you find it on frosty or even snow covered roads during the winter? (I'm debating as to whether I should keep my current car as a winter driver.) And did you pay Prestige and Performance their top price or the lesser one they quote on each car which doesn't include any cosmetic tidying and servicing? From all the websites I have visited and dealers I have talked to, P&P seem to have a good attitude to sales - especially towards people like myself who are new to 911 buying.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6507

I live right down on the south coast, so snow is too rare to answer honestly.

In high winds and rain though, the car will be twitchier and require greater concentration and involvement than a 'point and go' car - but that's why you are considering one. It will be as forgiving as you are!

Some years ago i had a 944 which i traded because it was just too dull and perfect. That went for a tvr 350i, but the 911 is way way way way way better than either. They are actually surprisingly practical and civilised cars on dark mucky nights, the build quality is obviously excellent, but they are tremendous fun as well.

The oddities are well Documented - floor hinged pedals (in the middle of the car on RHD) strange control positions, inability to see the major instruments and hang on to the wheel at the same time ... but this is a car that only had relatively small evolutionary changes over 35-odd years, so it must be quite good!

I paid P&P the lower price as the car had only recently had a 12k. It was inspected by Jaz and MOTed. Jaz picked up some faults, but that seemed fair given the price. Do keep a few bob back though: I decided to live with the faults for a few months to ensure it was the right car for me. I recently bit the bullet and gave it JZ Machtech for a 12k. At that point it seems daft not to change brake fluid, gearbox fluid, fix the heater in preparation for the winter... and if you need a new exhaust, why not have a stainless one? Oh, and you don't want discs and pads that are near the end do you?

Have a look at 911 & porsche this month
for the free supplement and 944 comparison, by the way.

I would have no hesitation in using P&P again when the time comes, although as Jamie points out, people speak equally well of Adrian Crawford and others, so if the car looks right and the dealer's well respected I'd be happy.

Oh yeah, lose the other car - you won't use it!

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6519

Thanks for the advice. Very comprehensive and realistic.

Frost, snow, rain and wind are virtually permanent features up here (although usually not all at the same time) and I've heard the 3.2 can be a bit tail happy in the wet and also a bit light at the front under braking. I've only ever driven a 996 (and that was on a dry track) and even on it I could hear and feel the traction control 'chunking' round every corner. I suppose the only thing to do is go for a couple of test drives and then decide whether to keep my current car for inclement weather. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again for the friendly words.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 6620

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