Well, that didn’t take long at all. Introducing my very own 2015 Porsche 911 GT3, named ‘Spirit’.
Armed with information on what I am looking for spec-wise in a 911 GT3, the search began in earnest on the Internet. While I was entirely prepared to scour the whole country for the appropriate used sample, my fingers were definitely crossed that something local would crop up. The GT3 is expensive enough as is; if I can avoid having to pay for a flight and or a car shipped to me, that would be most ideal.
I had planned to start on Autotrader, it being the biggest online car shopping site, but I found out Porsche itself has a pre-owned website of its own, showing the used inventory within its dealership network. This is just as well because the terms of my LightStream loan stipulates that I can only buy the car from a dealer, no private parties. So, I input the parameters - a 2015 911 GT3 - into the portal and hoped for a good result.
A quick sidebar on why in particular a 2015 model year car: the engines in 2014 GT3s have a small tendency to catch on fire, so it’s best avoided. On the other hand, the 2016 GT3s have yet to depreciate down to my price range.
As luck would have it, the first result that popped up on the search is the blue beauty pictured above. This GT3 was located at Porsche Fremont, which is just across the Bay from San Francisco. On first impression, this certified pre-owned 2015 GT3 ticked-off a few big wants on my list: steel brakes, satin platinum wheels, and a color that isn’t black/gray/brown. It was looking good thus far.
Next, I did a search of the car’s VIN. Services like VIN Analytics can reveal which month/year a car was made, exactly how it is specced, and the exact date it was sold to the first owner. It’s an invaluable tool when shopping for Porsche cars because of their typically immense options list. Before making the trip to Fremont, I needed to know precisely what’s fitted to this GT3.
Turns out this Sapphire Blue Metallic car is optioned rather nicely, without too much ostentatious items to inflate the price. The rest of my must-haves and must-not-haves were immediately satisfied: extended range fuel tank, front axle lift, and Sound Package Plus; no lightweight bucket seats, and no Sport Chrono Package. In addition there’s some fluff options that I wouldn’t have paid for, from the nice to have: full LED headlights, factory navigation, and aluminum pedals; to the superfluous: full leather/Alcantara interior, grey seatbelts, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
This 2015 car is in as perfect a spec as I can wish for; the only way it could be better is if the exterior was in Guards Red or Carrera White. But beggars cannot be choosers when it comes to used car shopping, and I was somewhat desperate to find a suitable car as quickly - and nearby - as possible, so I can move on to other things. This Sapphire Blue sample will suffice nicely.
Since the car is certified pre-owned, I did not push for an independent inspection. Porsche Fremont is well known amongst Bay Area Porsche owners for its trustworthiness, so I took their CPO inspection checklist on their word. Still, one must never buy a used car without first putting eyes on the actual vehicle, so a visit to the dealership was next.
I was happy to see the car parked inside the showroom and not outside against the elements. With nearly 24,000 miles on the clock, this blue GT3 was a bit of a driver, considering it was produced rather late in the model year - February 2015. This didn’t bother me at all: these type of cars are meant to be driven, and the examples that get regularly exercised tend to visit repair shops far less frequently. I’d rather buy this than some other 2015 GT3 with mileage still in the four digits.
The whole front-end of the GT3, including the mirrors and A-pillars, were wrapped in paint protection film, which is a nice bonus. I took my time looking at all aspects of the car inside and out, and found it to be solid overall. There’s no overt paint blemishes I could find on the paint, and all four wheels are free from curb damage. Inside, the driver seat bolster does look a little worn for the mileage than I’d like, perhaps the previous owners were more rotund than my 5’10” 170 pound frame. The leather isn’t broken through, though, so it’s something I can live with. Besides, the rest of the interior is in mint condition.
The only thing left was the test drive. The goal wasn’t to flog the car mercilessly - there will be plenty of time for that once I’ve bought a GT3, but instead it’s to check for any unusual noises, mainly interior squeaks and rattles. I’m happy there were none to be found. I did take one opportunity - as you do - to rev the 3.8-liter flat-six all the way to its 9,000-rpm redline. It was, in a word, intoxicating. That high pitch, wolf-like howl to a brilliant crescendo was everything I’ve ever wanted.
The brief drive allowed me some initial impressions of the car, too. The steering is surprisingly heavy, considering 60% of the weight at the back, and the 245 section front tires are relatively small compared to the massive 305 section rears; it does feel great to the hand, though. There’s plenty of low speed chatter emanating from the gearbox, and the engine rumbles quite steadily at idle - the feel is pure motorsport. When cold, the steel brakes are alarmingly lacking, but stops with an expected vengeance once warmed up.
Satisfied the blue GT3 checks all the right boxes, I decided to go ahead with the purchase. One hour later, I drove away from Porsche Fremont piloting my dream car. These are the sort of days when car enthusiasm is at its most magical.
And thus brings to a conclusion the journey from deciding to buy a 911 GT3 to actually acquiring the car. In the coming months and years the GT3 Diaries will consist of my ownership experience with this GT3 (will I get ruined by the Porsche tax?), and the roads and locales I will be driving it to. At the end of every month there will be car magazine-style long term updates. Stay tuned!
Date acquired: January 2019
Total mileage: 23,775
Mileage this month: N/A
Costs this month: N/A
MPG this month: N/A