It seems an awfully long time ago I was haggling with two used car dealers on my drive over an Audi A3, sold for spares and repairs on ebay.
That was one of our first cars, donated to us by the industry, to kick off a challenge that would eventually see us secure a Porsche 911 in aid of motor industry charity BEN. The trading challenge saw us hit some serious highs – with the purchase of a grass-covered Hyundai i10 and a trio of MX-5s – and some tough times too.
However, in October we finally managed to find the Porsche from a used car dealership in birmingham that fitted the bill and that we could afford. We shelled out £9,900 on R97 RRK, and after handing over the cash embarked on a quest to make it as desirable as possible.
Some serious servicing work was carried out by Porsche GB and then a remarkable renovation took place at Autoglym’s headquarters. After nine hours of hard graft in the valeting bay, our 911 emerged looking like it had just rolled off the manufacturer’s Stuttgart production line.
After following our quest in the magazine, Porsche specialists 911virgin.com offered to sell the car on our behalf. boss Henry Firman knows 911s inside out and said he was far more likely to turn a decent profit for BEN than we would manage selling it privately.
However, there was one stipulation before he would agree to put it up for sale – it must have a 12-month warranty. This was understandable. Firman was going to be selling the car FOC, handing over the entire wedge to BEN, so any comeback could see him seriously out of pocket.
So we got to work. Several firms offered to help, but none could come up with the goods that Car Dealer Power winners Car Care Plan could. The warranty specialists devised a unique plan exclusively for the BEN car which would cover it for the next 12 months – sales gold for Firman and his team.
With the warranty sorted, our 911 was advertised on PistonHeads.com and very soon after that a thread appeared on the site’s forum all about our car and the story behind it. This got the advert huge amounts of interest and within a few days Firman had real interest.
The problem with many 996 models is although they’ve become affordable, the big bills that can come with them scare many buyers off. However, our 911 had the luxury of that 12-month warranty and the buyer would be safe in knowledge it had just been given the once over by Porsche GB.
So what about the sale? ‘We fielded a number of enquiries on the car,’ explained Firman. ‘Some decided to spend more money for something a little better, others decided to look elsewhere in Porsche’s line up where their money worked harder and got a newer car. But eventually a buyer was found in the form of Timothy Coxon, a youngster looking for his first Porsche. The prospect of a warranty definitely helped clinch the deal.’
Firman admitted he was a little nervous about selling the car for us, especially with its patchy service history, but said the Car Care Plan warranty helped put his mind at rest. Coxon paid the asking price of £11,995 too realising a whopping profit for BEN!
‘We thought the best option was to get you to pull some strings and arrange a year’s warranty then market the car very much on price, which worked a treat,’ added Firman. ‘There are loads of early 996 model 911s on the market at the lower end of the price range but many of them have skeletons in the cupboard. We’re just glad we could help make the charity even more money.’
So that’s it – the end of the 911 for 2011 story, but check back soon to find out our latest charity trading-up challenge.