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Old 02-22-2014, 07:54 AM   #1
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Should I buy this car? (Warning, air-cooled 911 content)

I've been dreaming of an old 911 forever, and in the last couple years more specifically about getting an ok example that I can backdate. Good enough as a base car, but not so nice or original that I wouldn't dare mod it. So I found this 1981 SC, originally a USA model, imported to Norway in 2011. 157K miles. Paint and interior are original and showing wear/sun fade, and the blue interior is not my favorite. Wheels are genuine Fuchs.

Current owner has done a lot of mechanical work to the car including a full engine rebuild 6K miles ago, complete new Dansk stainless exhaust including heat exchangers, all engine hoses are new, chain tensioners and head studs upgraded, brake calipers rebuilt, new brake hoses and pads, drive axle joints, tranny oil changed, new tires 7.5K ago, etc. etc. All work done by one of this country's most highly regarded shops and all receipts since import come with the car. Incomplete service history from the US but a few bits.

I won't tell you the price because there is no way to compare prices here with the USA. Lets just say the seller has spent more just fixing the car then you guys would spend on a really nice SC or even a 3.2, but his price is probably not unreasonable considering the work done and prices in this market. Looks like a car I could enjoy for a couple years and do the cosmetic stuff as I go… if I can convince Mrs. 9eleven that my second P-car purchase in a year is a good idea.

I guess someone here must have had one of these and can comment?







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Old 02-22-2014, 08:03 AM   #2
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No need for the warning haha.... Looks great, and even if the price is a bit high, it sounds like you'd be able to get the money back out of it if not more. I wouldn't sweat the blue interior either i feel that it fits the car... i know nothing mechanically of air cooled 911s though so ill leave it at that for the other guys to comment upon.... as for me though i think it looks great and i hope that if you do buy that you are happy with the car.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:17 AM   #3
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It looks like a well maintained 911. I haven't had much direct experience with the SC line, but I've ready they are very reliable. Its Norwegian service records sound great too.

This is probably just personal preference, but if I were looking for an older 911 (i.e. not 964 or 993) I'd probably focus on finding a late model year 3.2 (1987-89) with the better transmission.

That said I have no clue what the Norwegian p-car market is like. Finding a late model 3.2 might be near impossible.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:04 AM   #4
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I'm thinking a new couch or jewelry or something is in your future It looks like a well maintained, 33 year old 911. I think you have already made your decision
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:26 AM   #5
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Looks like a great car. If you feel the price is fair I don't think you can go too wrong with a air cooled 911.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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I just read an article in the European magazine Porsche and 911 comparing the SC and Carreras of similar years and it talked about the reliability of the 3.0 engine and how "zippy" it was but the more refined car was the 3.2 carrera with the g50 gearbox. There used to be a big price difference between the 2 cars but that gap has now closed
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:05 AM   #7
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I love the color of the car you posted and it seems very well cared for
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:16 AM   #8
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Go for it !
But good PPI is not superfluous...
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:32 AM   #9
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SC's have taken off here too. But there was an interesting article recently, in on of the antique car magazines, that cautioned against buying the more accessible 911's during a spike in pricing. Their contention was that these were the first to drop in value and would drop furthest when the market cooled. And ALL MARKETS go up and down. Their belief was that if you're going to make a big investment in a garage queen that you should hold out for one of the more exclusive cars when the market wasn't so hot.

If you're 70-100% certain you'll keep this car forever this might be a good buy since the engine rebuild was recent and it will take you a long time to rack up mileage on the car.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:24 PM   #10
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You will love the car. I bought a 1974 about 4 years ago and a Boxster this last December. The joy of an older car is Great ! You can tinker with them there are thousands of little projects. The Boxster is great to drive but I never take the 74 anywhere that someone doesn't want to talk about it. On the down side defrost, good heat, or decent air-conditioning are just dreams. Buy it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:46 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone!


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Originally Posted by rocartfe2 View Post
You will love the car. I bought a 1974 about 4 years ago and a Boxster this last December. The joy of an older car is Great ! You can tinker with them there are thousands of little projects. The Boxster is great to drive but I never take the 74 anywhere that someone doesn't want to talk about it. On the down side defrost, good heat, or decent air-conditioning are just dreams. Buy it.
Thanks! I love tinkering. As for A/C, this is Norway for crying out loud! The heat probably works ok in the summer, don't you think?



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Originally Posted by Perfectlap View Post
SC's have taken off here too. But there was an interesting article recently, in on of the antique car magazines, that cautioned against buying the more accessible 911's during a spike in pricing. Their contention was that these were the first to drop in value and would drop furthest when the market cooled. And ALL MARKETS go up and down. Their belief was that if you're going to make a big investment in a garage queen that you should hold out for one of the more exclusive cars when the market wasn't so hot.

If you're 70-100% certain you'll keep this car forever this might be a good buy since the engine rebuild was recent and it will take you a long time to rack up mileage on the car.
Interesting perspective. The funny thing is that the market for these cars is just starting to heat up here, behind the rest of the world. But cars are so breathtakingly expensive here anyway no matter what you buy. While this one isn't cheap, its not way out there either and the current owner has eaten the cost of a lot of repairs. Possibly to my benefit.


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Originally Posted by The French Dude View Post
Go for it !
But good PPI is not superfluous...
PPI will be done if I move forward on it, for sure!


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Originally Posted by oc-boxster View Post
I love the color of the car you posted and it seems very well cared for

I just read an article in the European magazine Porsche and 911 comparing the SC and Carreras of similar years and it talked about the reliability of the 3.0 engine and how "zippy" it was but the more refined car was the 3.2 carrera with the g50 gearbox. There used to be a big price difference between the 2 cars but that gap has now closed
Its a funky color for sure, but its growing on me. I've never driven a G50 car, but the 915 gearbox is a classic! For refinement I have other less exciting cars.


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Originally Posted by Porsche9 View Post
Looks like a great car. If you feel the price is fair I don't think you can go too wrong with a air cooled 911.



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Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
I'm thinking a new couch or jewelry or something is in your future It looks like a well maintained, 33 year old 911. I think you have already made your decision
Wife wants to build a new house with a view. If I get the 911 I have to give in. And she says that my toys are expensive!


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Originally Posted by RaisedOnPorsches View Post
It looks like a well maintained 911. I haven't had much direct experience with the SC line, but I've ready they are very reliable. Its Norwegian service records sound great too.

This is probably just personal preference, but if I were looking for an older 911 (i.e. not 964 or 993) I'd probably focus on finding a late model year 3.2 (1987-89) with the better transmission.

That said I have no clue what the Norwegian p-car market is like. Finding a late model 3.2 might be near impossible.
The mid eighties cars can be found but I don't see many late ones. A pristine original '85 Carrera with 30K miles sold last week for almost $70K... in one day! That said, a project car can be had for a fraction of that. This SC appeals to me since I'll eventually redo it cosmetically and backdate it anyway, and considering the new motor and all its not a bad deal.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:35 PM   #12
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I bought a 1987 911 coupe last summer, a couple of weeks after my dad bought a 1999 Boxster. The cars are totally different. The Boxster feels like a modern car, whereas the 911 feels like it's from another era, which I guess it was.

But ask both of us which one we prefer, and we'd both say the 911. There's just something about an air-cooled Porsche 911 that is just very appealing, from the smell of oil to the stiff clutch to the various creaks and groans in a 25+ year old car.

The 915 vs G50 transmission difference is real. Having driven a number of 911s during my search, the 915 transmission can be very vague compared to the G50. However, I believe 915 transmissions can be fixed/adjusted to be very smooth, and with experience can be just as easy to use.

As others have noted, the major expenses are engine and transmission rebuilds. If this one already has had that work done, then it should be good for another 50-75k miles.

I would definitely buy it, you won't regret it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:14 PM   #13
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I have a 1983 911SC coupe and love it. I have done a lot of mods to the suspension and I'm running 46mm PMO carburetors, SSI heat exchangers with a M&K 2 in 2 out muffler she sounds wonderful. The SC's are just raw enough to give you the vintage feel but modern enough to be comfortable. I have gone with backdated fiberglass front/rear bumpers plus a fiberglass ducktail. I've done autocross and DE events with mine plus drive on the street they are a great all around car. If you like the car, have the money and a PPI says she's good I say go for it.

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Old 02-22-2014, 03:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rfuerst911sc View Post
I have a 1983 911SC coupe and love it. I have done a lot of mods to the suspension and I'm running 46mm PMO carburetors, SSI heat exchangers with a M&K 2 in 2 out muffler she sounds wonderful. The SC's are just raw enough to give you the vintage feels but modern enough to be comfortable. I have gone with backdated fiberglass front/rear bumpers plus a fiberglass ducktail. I've done autocross and DE events with mine plus drive on the street they are a great all around car. If you like the car, have the money and a PPI says she's good I say go for it.
Nice! Please tell me about how much of a PITA the carburetor retrofit was, how the power is now, the experience of backdating it, and of course, pictures please!
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:01 PM   #15
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I made an air cooled 911 purchase 2 1/2 years ago, since then as to be expected I've concentrated my quest for info towards that type of Porsche and have been nothing short of fascinated and enamored with the cars / information and the group of guys involved. Spend a bit of time browsing Rennlist, totally different vibe than from the 986 Forum.

The cars as others have noted are an entirely different animal from the Boxster, but for me at least I would never consider dumping my 993 911 for another Porsche variant, IT IS that cool. From what you have described (prior owners did the heavy lifting maintenance / rebuild wise) I wouldn't think twice about buying it......

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Old 02-22-2014, 05:22 PM   #16
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Nice! Please tell me about how much of a PITA the carburetor retrofit was, how the power is now, the experience of backdating it, and of course, pictures please!
The carburetor retrofit was no problem at all they fit like a glove and were 95 % tuned right out of the box. PMO does a great job making a modern carburetor. I've had them on now for about 4 years and haven't touched them. Motor is stock internally so the CIS pistons/cams not optimal for carbs but she scoots along just fine. The backdating was fun I have a set of " one off " custom front/rear bumpers they are the only ones ever made in the world ! I bought them off a guy on Pelican Parts who is a jack of all trades with fiberglass being one of them. He built the bumpers for his own car but then someone in the family ran into health issues and he had to raise some cash so I bought them. They fit perfect I had no modifications to make other than exhaust cut outs. The fiberglass ducktail was bought used locally. Here are a couple of pics she's quartz gray in color unique to model year 1983 only.


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Old 02-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #17
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Interesting perspective. The funny thing is that the market for these cars is just starting to heat up here, behind the rest of the world. But cars are so breathtakingly expensive here anyway no matter what you buy.
Okay lay it on us. What's a decent SC going for over there?

They seem to be creeping past ~$25K lately. These were $15K cars not long ago.
Here's one with a couple of bids at $22K and some engine work.

Porsche 911 SC | eBay
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:37 AM   #18
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Okay lay it on us. What's a decent SC going for over there?

They seem to be creeping past ~$25K lately. These were $15K cars not long ago.
Here's one with a couple of bids at $22K and some engine work.

Porsche 911 SC | eBay

Well, for starters the exchange rate NOK-USD really makes any comparison way out of balance. Also, new and imported used cars are heavily taxed, so anything in the used market will pass those costs on to future buyers.

An SC like the one you linked to on ebay might be in the neighborhood of $50K, while a project car could be as cheap as $15K. The blue SC is about in the middle of those two, which with all the work and new motor make it pretty fair, actually.

I looked at an '86 3.2 recently that ran but was rusty and not original, not even Fuchs. $26K for a total project car. 964s and 993s are wicked expensive, with the 993s going for $90K and up... way up. Its not just demand, the new car taxes I mentioned getting passed on make up a good chunk as well. Cars older then 30 years get a break, so you can do well importing these now if you find a good one... this will naturally lead to more Carreras showing up here in the next few years. That said, I still like this SC.

And finally, I looked for a Boxster S just for your entertainment. A clean 2004 with about 45' miles is selling for... hold your breath... 62 grand! Don't get me started...

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Old 02-23-2014, 03:47 AM   #19
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Very nice! Any idea what kind of power its making?
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:11 AM   #20
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Hmmmm last night I posted a reply with two pictures and now the post/pics are gone did I offend the 986 gods ?

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