I own one of the most hated Porsche’s ever produced, one of the 911 996 versions produced between 1999 and 2004+, specifically a 2003 911 C4S. I have a serious love/hate relationship with the car, mostly brought on by it’s age and high required maintenance and care.
I bought this car for 3 reasons:
- I love the looks of the widebody, strong but still small.
- The car is the most stable car I’ve ever driven at speed (on the track only of course).
- The price.
The first two reasons are pretty personal, the last reason seems to come back to haunt me a lot. The car was cheap because it was old, high mileage and in need of repair. I’ve done a lot to the car myself and left most of the hard core engine work for others, mostly Glenn Yee Motorsports in San Dimas, CA (Two thumbs up). Because of the amount of work I’ve done, from suspension to oil changes to brake replacement, I’ve spent a bit of time sourcing parts. I’m not an expert and this will probably apply to US only but here goes.
For factory replacements, my goto resources is https://www.sunsetporscheparts.com They have the best prices, they have always shipped my orders quickly and if you have questions you can get them on the phone.
Sometimes it’s hard to find parts using Suncoasts search, my secondary source for great diagrams of the car is http://www.autoatlanta.com/ I don’t know what it is but their parts diagrams are different than everyone else and just a little bit easier to use.
Finally, I’ve actually placed a few orders with https://www.porschepartsnow.com because they were close and I needed the parts quickly. Their prices are pretty good and they have a lot in stock.
With this car in particular I can’t reasonably spend big dollars on parts so I often go with 3rd party parts. My goto source for parts when I absolutely don’t need factory is https://www.pelicanparts.com These guys have an incredible inventory of the most common parts, are extremely helpful with any questions you have, they are involved with the local SoCal Porsche scene and also just happen to have a great collection of cars. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Pelican. Did I mention they have a vast library of technical articles made for people like me who like to do as much of the work on the car as possible?!
Finally, I’ve purchased a couple of specialize upgrade suspension parts from http://www.tarett.com But that has been pretty rare.
In all my years of Porsche ownership, even before the 996, these are the sources that I’ve always used. Not once have I had to walk into the dealer and pay the P-Tax. 🙂
P.S. My 996 has air conditioning, that works. It drives great in the rain with 4wd. It allows me to turn respectable time at the track. Gets 20mpg. And sounds like a race car.