We recently had a Porsche 997 GT3 in our showroom with 150,000 miles on the clock – an unbelievable mileage, bearing in mind this is one of the hardest of hardcore sports cars.
It got me thinking: is there any reason a sports car can’t have big miles on the clock? After all, given what the GT3’s previous owner bought and sold it for, the pence-per-mile figure was less than that of a Ford Mondeo.
And being a Porsche, there’s not a huge amount that can go wrong. If it’s got high miles, it’s unlikely to have been ‘tracked’ too much, and we’ve got a diagnostic machine that can tell if it’s been over-revved. But when you’re delving into the history of a high-miler, don’t just use computers – the providence and paperwork is crucial. Not just from a regular service point of view, but also what was done at each service, and by whom.
You do need to watch out for the brakes. With high performance sports cars, they’ll normally have ceramic brakes. Unlike steels, you don’t check the thickness of the disc for wear – with ceramics, you need to weigh them.
Porsches can also be susceptible to radiator problems, so check for leaks. And there’s a small quirk on GT3s you need to know about – the front bumper is left open to the elements, so stones and general detritus can get in there, further damaging the radiator. Fortunately, the car we sold had had a mesh fitted, so check whether it’s got one of those.
So the moral here is: don’t be afraid to use your sports car. If you’ve bought well in the first place, you’ll get value for money and a huge amount of fun thrown into the bargain. And isn’t that what it’s all about?