When you’re trying to grail hunt on a budget, a boxless model can be your key to happiness. I’ve been able to score models for as little as half of what they normally go for. Normally this isn’t a problem, but at some point, you’re going to pay the piper.

I saw this 996 911 GT3 RS on ebay with an opening bid of $100 and no bidders. The seller noted that a piece was missing from the bumper near the right side turn signal, but it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed. I watched it, but didn’t bid on it, and I was surprised when the auction ended with no bids. Sure it was damaged, but I’ve seen less rare models with more damage going for that price. So when it was re-listed, now for $90, I tossed up a bid and bided my time. 7 days later it was mine.

The tape is just hold the mesh piece in place. The center one has gone missing, so new mesh will be used for all 3 openings

Then the box arrived. It was a shoe box. A shoe box with a window. Cutting past the many tape layers, I get the box open to find that the seller did attempt to protect the model, but it wasn’t enough. The bumper was off the model and in 3 pieces. Fortunately, fixing the bumper should be fairly straightforward. Painting the bumper, on the other hand will be the challenge due to the stripe.

Will I still go for boxless models? Yep. But maybe I’ll start asking how the model will be packed.