Man does 5 years fly by fast almost as fast as the miles pile on. In December of 2014 I picked up a late 2002 996tt with 51k miles, the car was a stock low option car with a good stack of receipts ($9k in the last 6 months by the PO), the owner in his late 60's traded it in on a 750i
Work done by prior owner:
New Factory K16 Turbos due to stuck Wastegates (old guy never driving in boost)
Turbo Oil lines
GT2 Clutch/PP/Flywheel along with a new slave setup while in there.
The car had some paint work at some point on the hood and fenders, had a newer light on the drivers side but no reported accidents. After sending the car for PPI which came back in tip top shape other than the tires needing to be replaced I haggled with the dealer and ended at $37,500 for the car. My goal with the car was to build my own 996 GT2 with my own twist on it. I always hated black but every other car that showed up in the 6 months I was shopping had carbon or wood or was a gray interior car, but alas I rationalized that at some point I would wrap or paint it down the road, black on black was the perfect starting point.
A stock 996 Turbo is actually pretty damn boring, I had some doubts on the ride home with a friend following me in my 540i that this felt like a more stiff 2 door version of that car. Power was ok, steering was meh, brakes were good but not great. Compared to my track built MK1 Audi TT, the 6TT felt like it would beat it in a straight line at the top, but would bet its ass handed to it in the corners as it was pushy and heavy. Of course that quickly resulted in me scouring the internet for the first round of mods.
Within the next couple weeks I chased down an exhaust, some headers to port, coils, some buckets and much more aggressive pads for. While in there items were new oxygen sensors, new coils, new plugs and a complete fluid flush. Starting with coils/exhaust/GT2 Buckets and a new tune in the first couple weeks of ownership. This was a nice setup but still lacked the experience I was going for, it was loud, fast and handled pretty good but was a bit scary at times in handling. The Speedtech 3" X-pipe offered that 935 sounds which was enjoyed by many except the neighbors.
By the end of 2016 it now had additional aero, monoball full adjustable suspension that I had built and some extra power with additional cooling/exhaust work. The front lip helped the grip and my control arms finally got the handling to be almost where it needed to be, yet the steering was still annoying from the weight of the front axle resistance.
Then fast forward to today where she is RWD, bigger brakes and almost maxed out power on K16's. Wearing Factory GT2 body parts perfection has almost been achieved. Converting to rear wheel drive was one of the best things I did, the steering is now spot on, the ability to run outside the normal tires allows for big 315's on the rear and 245's on the front. Acceleration with less weight leaves a 991.2 Turbo S in the dust as the savage power delivery and grip just slingshots you to the next corner at terminal speeds.
Everyone is all about the N/A Mezger, all the hype is about how they are the drivers car and thus are easily worth the premium over their turbo brothers. Jumping into a modded 997 GT3 leaves me always waiting for the power....just cannot match that experience of the turbo! Being rear wheel drive and having well over 100hp more than the original 996 GT2, the car does demand a solid amount of respect as a driver, dialing out a lot of the sketchiness comes from the taller tires that have a little more give rather than bouncing you out of the corner.
Over the past 5 years this is what I replaced/serviced. Overall the only major issues were a vacuum leak from one of the wastegates in 2015 right after getting the car, the slave began to fail in 2017 so that was replaced, and the GT2RS intercooler failing. The 996tt offers one of the most enjoyable driving experiences with these current modifications, nimble like the 997 GT3 but with a raw savagery that leaves you grinning ear to ear. The backfires and fire balls from the exhaust at night stands your hair on end.
From an ownership standpoint the car has been very solid, having now 69,994 miles on the car it has been on many road trips to breweries to off-roading in a corn field lost. Say what you will about the headlights, but when push comes to shove the 996tt is a much better car to own long term compared to the 997tt. Parts are readily available, working on the 996 is a fairly straight forward experience with most of the work able to be done on jack stands or a small lift with basic tools.
Spring overhaul is going into 2020 is a long heavy list of tearing the entire car apart, which should seem like a walk in the park to the current home renovations that just seem to consume my soul and wallet.
Weld Coolant Fittings
964RS Flywheel and 4.0RS Clutch/764PP
Manthey Carbon Doors
GT3 RS Hood
Cup Car 60/40 LSD
GT2 Trans Cooler
Tarrett Monoball Strut Mounts
Rear 350mm Brake Setup
Zim Speed Carbon Rear Euro Bumper
Overall this is one of the ones that will never leave the garage, it is just such an awesome car with the bang for the buck factor of a reliable supercar that you can maintain yourself.