Hi Slick, I’ve been where you are and I bought a manual 997.1 C2S Sports Chrono recently and I’m very happy with it and will give you my personal observations and thoughts but remember each to their own.
With your research you’d know it has a different engine and is not DFI and I’ve found that it uses a lot of fuel when driving it as it should be driven. I don’t generally worry about fuel consumption but sometimes I do go “wow I’ve used half a tank already??” On the plus side the injectors are sprayed with fuel which keeps them clean and avoids build up I’ve been told.
The PCM is outdated obviously with no Bluetooth and so far I’m not aware of recent map updates for the Navi. It’s grey and looks dated compared to the black pcm3 in the 997.2. The phone SIM card option no longer functions on the current phone networks unless someone tells me differently. You can replace the whole system but I prefer to leave as close to factory as possible (you can easily add Bluetooth music streaming and phone but lose the excellent CD player with some of the better aftermarket solutions. Btw the surround Bose system in the S is awesome. It absolutely cranks especially the hard rock. Tbh I don’t want to talk to anyone when I’m enjoying the sounds and experience of driving my 911 so I haven’t been in a hurry to add Bluetooth. (Sorry wifey, friend, work, couldn’t answer. No Bluetooth lol)
The Chrono option is more than just the timer and rev ranges/mapping providing programable driver options and settings which you can find in the ownership manuals. Leather options would be highly desirable especially the centre console which is cheap vinyl or plastic and wears prematurely. You’re looking at a couple of thousand at least just for the console itself excluding the ashtray and rear console cover and rear console extension. Don’t expect to find PSE on too many early 997.1’s as I’ve been told it wasn’t common. If you’re patient though you can find one with most of the options you want.
The manual is awesome to drive after so long in auto’s but not in traffic which I too avoid. I’m thinking of upgrading the transmission inserts as it is a little hard to “find” the gears at times with the amount of play there is in my 2005 circa 100k kms but honestly it is inspiring out in the twisty roads. The engine sounds great but I’m going to have to shell out for the PSE or just a Gundo Hack/Fister mod. Probably the PSE keeping in line with factory, with an override switch (yes I know it’s expensive, heavy and holds debatable merit whether it actually improves performance but I don’t really need more performance personally. I’m a factory option w@@@e what can I say lol). It needs more of that sweet engine note though whatever the solution.
An annoying aspect for me is the common foam issue in the air vents where degrading insulation foam from the internal “gates” shoots out the vents into the car, your clothes and face meaning regular clean ups. It can be fixed by removing the dash (long expensive way a dealer would likely do) or a short cut method that you can do yourself if you’re handy and have time (dealer probably wouldn’t do as it involves cutting a retaining cap for the “gates” to remove). Not sure if 997.2 owners have the same problem?
I have the sports steering wheel with the round airbag but would prefer a more updated version. The sport imo was the best of the ones available at the time but still dates the car more than necessary. The 997.2 offered some more modern options and you can retro fit steering wheels up to the 991 if you’re tech savvy and handy but if not the 997.2 already has some nicer options.
IMS bearing failure was a concern and I did a lot of research on this. What I concluded from actual data and not hearsay was the earlier bearing on the 997.1 was the one that failed in some cases and always seems to have that potential for failure. If it fails Porsche don’t really care but there are after market kits that feed oil to the bearing to keep it lubricated to prevent this problem and it can also be replaced easier than the later revised bearing which can’t be replaced without engine removal. I haven’t been able to find any confirmed cases where the revised bearing has failed yet. It seems to be the first bearing. You can check with Porsche what bearing the vehicle you are looking at actually has and don’t trust engine number ranges on forums as mine is an early engine number 04 MYO5 but my mechanic and Porsche confirmed it has the revised bearing part number so who would know!
I don’t know how many 997.1 manuals they made but overall they made a large number of 997s. I’m hoping not that many and have noticed like most forum members manuals do sell quicker than tiptronics. I purchased the manual for some hope of value retention with any luck as well as the feel of working the shifter. After a couple of months of driving it’s second nature but I do think maybe there will be no real financial benefit of an older 997.1 manual over a pdk 997.2 given the model updates that make the 997.2 more appealing overall.
Subtract potential value retention from the equation and assume you want to drive it more than just Sundays through the winding hills and personally I would buy the updated 997.2 C2 non S with sports Chrono plus vs 997.1 C2S manual when looking at similar prices.
It has no ims bearing to worry about, a smaller capacity 3.6l which means less boring out of the engine block (997.1S has a 3.8l with some known bore scoring issues unlike the 3.6l), upgraded lights and bumpers, nicer looking pcm module with Bluetooth (more than Sunday driving eventually you have to talk to people), better fuel consumption, nicer steering wheel options and the paddles allow you to keep your hands on the wheel when giving it the beans through the winding roads. It would also be easier to finance if you’re going that option due to the younger age. (Book values on 997.1c2s manuals are much lower than what you actually have to pay to get one.)
Whichever way you go the best way to find the car you want other than forums and Carsales is the Porsche dealers. Tell them what you want and keep checking back with them. Go in there regularly to get to know them so they remember you and enjoy the free coffee and biscuits while you’re there looking at the beautiful Porsches.
A lot are sold to people registering interest as soon as they are traded for a newer one by existing customers. They generally have full dealer history and sometimes are one owner examples. I’ve found price to be similar to private at Porsche Perth for used 996s and 997s like for like condition.
My final two cents would be I’d prefer a C2S manual 997.2 all day when having more to spend for the updates to the car and collectibility factor without getting crazy on price. In hindsight I probably should have waited and spent the extra but I have to say I love my manual 997.1 anyway!!
This is a long post as I was up all night with my sick 2 year daughter so thought I’d spare the time to summarise a few key points. Good luck with your journey and as everyone says do your PPI and whichever one you buy you’re going to be overjoyed owning overall an amazing motor car.