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Dan Trent: The highest mileage 911 GT3 in the world?

21st August 2017
dan_trent_headshot.jpg Dan Trent

Our fixation with mileage as an indication of value often puzzles me. What does a smaller number on the odometer tell you? People kid themselves it means the car’s suffered less wear and tear than an equivalent one with more miles on it. But I’d happily buy a car knowing its 50,000 miles were accumulated on steady motorway trips than an identical one with a tenth of that in stop-start city traffic.

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Maybe we need to swap to an hours-based log like that used by farm machinery and other commercial vehicles to offer a more accurate sense of how a vehicle has been used.   

You can try and buck the system when browsing used cars. But can you score a bargain picking up a high mileage car the rest of the world would consider classifieds kryptonite? This 149,000-mile 911 GT3 is an interesting test case.

Priced at £57,995 it’s a whole £18,000 cheaper than the next equivalent 997 GT3, even in desirable Clubsport trim. There’s a first-gen 3.6 example like this posted as sold for £99K. None of the other cars listed have more than 50,000 miles recorded, many have fewer than 10,000. Seemingly there are an awful lot of people buying Porsche GT3s and not driving them very much, which strikes me as a tragic waste of time and money. I salute the former owner of this car for thinking ‘sod that’ and happily sacrificing nearly £20,000 of his car’s value for the pleasure of doing 100,000 miles in a GT3, seemingly because he found driving his Porsche to European business meetings more enjoyable than flying there. Well done, sir! 

Is that a fair deal? Hell yes! I’ve been lucky enough to rack up a few miles in 997 GT3s and they’ve been among the more memorable and enjoyable of my driving career. And come the day of reckoning what sounds cooler – copping a £20,000 depreciation hit driving your new brand new executive saloon out of the showroom? Or by racking up a six-figure mileage in a 911 GT3?  

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Accepted wisdom tells us a car of this nature is a ticking time bomb of potentially ruinous mechanical catastrophe, offsetting any saving you might make on the purchase price. I’d say that £18,000 gives you a fair contingency, even with Porsche servicing costs. Happily, someone took the plunge, buying it from the chap who’d done 24,000 miles a year in it, and then writing about his experiences on a forum. Seemingly beyond a few stone chips and some wear on the Alcantara steering wheel, all was good, a precautionary clutch change carried out even though Porsche said the existing one was fine.

Is there anything suspicious about him moving it on after just a few months for what he paid for it? I don’t know – generously you’d say he spotted an opportunity to scratch the itch and it didn’t cost him too much for the privilege. Certainly, the implication in his opening post was he’d bought it for a summer fling and the evidence points to him having enjoyed it as exactly that.

Because, when it comes down to it, cars are there to be driven. And, if it’s a car like a GT3, driven as much as possible. Bravo to those living the dream and taking a punt on a high-mileage hero.  

Photography courtesy of Broadoak International

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