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John McGillivray ASKED THE GUIDE

Best Porsche 911 for $40,000

My wife has finally given in to my childhood dream to own a Porsche 911. I'm 50 in a few months and this will be my present. I'm looking at 2001-2003 model Carrera cabriolet with the Tiptronic auto. It's not going to be an everyday driver and with soft top mostly weekend drives in good weather. I read the 3.6-litre engine is the better engine and relatively trouble free. My budget is $40,000, but I might be able to squeeze a few more grand. I've seen a few 2003 models, but they have done lots of kilometres. Is there anything I should be looking for, obviously full service records etc. I'd love your thoughts and advice as I want to make this dream a good one and not a nightmare.

You're in pretty safe territory with the Porsche, they're soundly engineered and well built. They give little trouble if they're properly serviced, although the cost of servicing can be high. It's a good idea to cosy up to a Porsche specialist for repairs and servicing to save a few bucks. Go for a car that might be a little older but in good condition rather than a later one that has been round the block a few times.