How to buy your first Porsche 911: an owner’s guide to buying a 997
Stick to a budget, prepare for the unexpected… and go enjoy yourself
Man exits cockpit of dark green Porsche 911 (type 997.1)
When you grow up in California, seeing a Porsche on the road is a common sight. Add in a 911-owning uncle and it’s no wonder that Shadon Hamedani became so fixated that he’s now got one of his very own
Sometimes owning a Porsche 911 is just meant to be. That’s certainly the case for Shadon Hamedani. For starters, he grew up in California, a place that many immediately associate with the iconic sportscar. There are neighbourhoods where you frequently see them pass by or spy them in driveways, so it’s no wonder those trademark flowing lines bury themselves in your consciousness. Shadon, who owns an influencer marketing company in Los Angeles, picked up his first 911 – a Carrera S (type 997.1) – in February 2021, although it was by no means an impulsive lockdown purchase. Instead, he says, he had been leading up to this particular moment all his life. In the time that’s passed since then, Shadon has already learned plenty about the unique qualities of owning a Porsche 911, especially as his type 997.1 is now a Porsche classic.My early Porsche memories“When I was growing up, my uncle had a 1974 911 Targa. Sometimes he would pick me up in it when I was a kid – I would have been just four or five years old – and I just loved hearing it warm up and those air-cooled notes. And then there was the uniqueness of its slick silhouette.“He had it for over 30 years, so it was always a part of the family, whether it was being driven or not. While I at first developed a liking for the shape of the car, soon I really began to understand the history behind the company, the car itself and the motorsport element of it.”
Dark green Porsche 911 (type 997.1) with palm trees behind
The 911: made in Germany, totally at home in southern California | PHOTO: @yiannhsbekas
Why buy a classic Porsche like the 911 (type 997.1)?“My uncle’s Targa was the car I learned how to drive a manual in – although at the time driving a Targa everyday didn’t make too much sense. After I finished college I saved some money. I knew I wanted to get a Porsche with it and that it had to be a manual. One thing I learned was that it’s important to know your price point and stick to it. For me, I knew I couldn’t buy a 911 Carrera S (type 997.2) at the time, price wise, so I went for the newest car that I could afford then.“I must have been looking out for one for three or four months. In fact, the car I ended up buying wasn’t even for sale originally. I was asking questions on a Facebook group regarding maintenance of the 997.1 and this one guy up in Seattle kept answering. Eventually he asked me, ‘Do you just want to buy mine?’. Initially I said no, because the car was silver – there were a lot of silver and black manual 911 sportscars in the mid-2000s – but I knew that his car was meticulously maintained. It’s really important to find out about the person selling the 911 first. So, I went up to Seattle, saw the car, got it inspected and everything checked out. And that was that. I wasn’t very keen on the silver, so I had it wrapped almost immediately in green, but the rest of the car is exactly how I wanted it to be.”My top tips for buying a 911 (type 997.1)“When buying a 997.1, it really depends on what you’re looking for. Are you looking for a pure driver’s build, like me? Then I would recommend you go with a manual 997. Want a weekend cruiser? Then maybe a cabriolet. If you’re looking for a four-wheel drive, then go for a 997 Carrera 4S (I love its wider hips). If you want to drive it on the track then the GT3 RS is the only way to go, while for top-end speed, everyone knows that the Turbo S is the clear winner… although at present I’ve not had the space to entertain such fantasies [as those final two cars].
Dark green Porsche 911 (type 997.1) on road
Shadon’s 911 Carrera S (type 997.1) is his entry into Porsche ownership – he’s got designs on owning more | PHOTO: @yiannhsbekas
“Like a lot of things in life, but especially cars, if you buy things too cheaply then it ends up costing you more. If you’re putting money into a 911 then you just need to know that it’s been in good hands before you. And the same goes for the next person that buys the car from you. Just take care of things that you care about whether that’s people, cars or everything in between.”Why California is one of the best places to drive a Porsche“In California you can drive your 911 all year around. That really heightens the ownership experience compared to people in parts of the east coast of the US who sometimes can only drive for five or six months of the year. There are some good roads in southern California, although I think northern California subjectively has better roads.“California has one of the largest Porsche communities anywhere in the world. There’s definitely a sense of community that comes with that. You can be driving along the coast and the casual thumbs up and smiles you get when you drive by another 911 owner is priceless. Of course, California is home for me, so of course I love it here.”
Dark green Porsche 911 (type 997) outside Chinese-style pailou
Gateway to Porsche passion: Shadon’s 911 hanging out in Los Angeles’ Chinatown | PHOTO: @BrandonDull
This is what it’s like to own a classic Porsche 911 (type 997.1)“I feel like my five-year-old self would be so proud. I love everything about owning this car. And that includes having worked hard in order to get it and never giving up on goals that sometimes seemed impossible. My 911 is one of those cars that you can never just drive on auto pilot. And then, as I’ve mentioned, there’s that camaraderie between fellow 911 owners.“I’m really looking forward to being able to add to my car now that it’s officially a classic Porsche. I know many 997.1 owners and some have already installed the Porsche Classic Communication Management Plus (PCCM Plus) system. My 911 is already such an accomplished driver’s car, but the next step will always be those creature comforts now that it has access to them.”
Dark green Porsche 911 (type 997.1) straddling centre of road
“Never give up on goals that seem impossible,” says Shadon on realising his Porsche dreams | PHOTO: @shax.ent
The best Porsche road trips“If I want to go on a road trip near my home, then I head up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from Santa Monica to Malibu. If you have a half day that you can commit too, then possibly the best place to drive in southern California is along the Angeles Crest Highway near Pasadena, which has got all these canyons leading off of it – and they are usually really quiet.“Every year my friends and I head up to Monterey Car Week and enjoy the beautiful roads of northern California. You just get up early and drive. Otherwise, my dream European road trip would start at the Nürburgring in Germany, head down through Switzerland and end up in Italy. I’d love to see the Swiss Alps in the summer when the roads are driveable.”Why is the Porsche 911 is so special?“For me, I love how I have such a great connection with my 997.1, unlike so many modern vehicles. It’s such a visceral experience, one that I wish every enthusiast could feel.”
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