You may have read in a recent issue of Excellence about the values of the Porsche 914 and early Porsche Boxsters being about the same. So, for similar money which of these great mid-engined Porsches should you buy?
The answer to this question depends on what you are looking for. If you want a more modern car that is a faster car and has all the bells a whistles, then go for the Boxster. However, if you want a classic air cooled Porsche that tends to be very dependable (as long as you buy a well maintained rust-free car) then the 914 is for you.
Both cars have great handling and if well maintained are usually very dependable cars. The Boxster convertible top has a tendency to show it’s age, so you may need to do some work on this in order to make the car look the best. The early Boxsters have had a problem with catastrophic engine failure (although many early Boxsters have had no problems, so it is hard to say if any early Boxsters will have this issue), so if you can afford it go for a post 2000 model (however, this will cost quite a bit more than an early Boxster, so it may not be within reach yet).
If you want to buy a fun Porsche that has great handling, but may not be the very fastest car (although it still isn’t slow) then I would go with the 914. These cars can be worked on fairly easily by a home mechanic that is familiar with Volkswagen or air cooled Porsche 911 engines (the biggest complaint to working on one of these cars is that it is not always easy to get to everything in the engine compartment). In looking for a 914 I would recommend going for a 2.0 or 1.8 engine as these cars have a little more power for a good price (If you can afford and find a 914-6 then that is the one to get). One cool thing about the 914 is that the values are on the rise and while I don’t know if they will become extremely collectible the values should continue to increase over time and it will take a Boxster a bit more time to start to increase in value.
As with buying any Porsche if you buy the best car that you can afford it will usually save you money in the long run (especially with cars that don’t have an extremely high value like some 356s). So, make your choice, either way you will get a fun great handling car.