1 2 3 4
Cotton
Cotton Reader
5/19/09 2:08 p.m.

When I looked several years ago I considered the SC and Carrera. They are very close, but the SC has more common issues that need to be addressed if they haven't already. The common SC issues are pop off valve (needs to be added), Carrera chain tensioners update, and the rubber centered clutch. These are all SC issues. With the age of these cars now most of these issues have probably be addressed, but could still be aproblem on low mileage or poorly maintained cars. Those few issues didn't keep me from looking at several SCs. I ended up with an 85 911 and based that decision on condition, records, color combo, and options of several cars I had considered. Mine has the 915 transmission, which isn't as smooth as the G50, but is more involving. There is usually a big debate going on 915 vs. G50 on the Porsche boards, so I'd say drive both and see which you prefer. I think a G50 swap is fairly difficult, so you would probably be better off to start with a G50 car if you prefer it. The 996 911s are nice, but I would much rather have my 85 Carrera. They are very different cars.

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT New Reader
5/19/09 2:10 p.m.

1983 911SCs came with the G50. In 1981 all Porsches were updated to lambda-sensor fuel injection. I think that allowed more aggressive cam profiles on the 911s, but I don't think the factory took advantage of that to increase the power. Updating to the earlier stainless-steel heat exchangers can upen up significant horsepower.

Don't let the tail-wagging horror stories scare you. These cars aren't scary to drive. They are a little more difficult, but if you're an above-average driver they will reward you. If you're only average, they might be a bit of a handful. Early 911 turbos, on the other hand, are quite challenging.

SCs are susceptible to vacuum leaks that can be difficult to diagnose. I think the real GRM opportunity is to megasquirt the car. Just rip out all those nasty vacuum lines and update to a much more modern system that will also allow more aggressive cams. 210-225 whp should be very doable with megasquirt and cams, maybe 240-255 whp with SS heat exchangers and exhaust.

SCs are great cars! And prices can be very low.

David

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
5/19/09 2:11 p.m.

Man, those cars were so much more reliable when they wer only 20 years old... hahaha! Back when I was in the PCA, the 3.0 SCs were the ones to get. You could get 300k miles easily out of a daily drver that also hit the autocvross track. I had a '74 2.7 S, but since it was pre-emissions, had the 11 blade fan and the Carrera chain tensioner upgrade, it was very reliable and rather quick. But even my '69 2 liter S was a nice daily.

And the SCs were not scary to drive fast at all. (neither was my 74, and the '69 got better with the addition of the later wheels).

dyintorace
dyintorace Dork
5/19/09 2:13 p.m.
Rangeball wrote: Oh God; more considerations! Now I am balancing the iconic look vs. modern amenities idea. 996's are running between $22k-27k on eBay.

Here are two nice examples of inexpensive 996's...one for $20k and one for $22k.

$20k 911

$22k 911

Dashpot
Dashpot New Reader
5/19/09 2:13 p.m.
Ian F wrote: From what I've read, old Porsches are like Ferraris to a lesser degree and BMW's a greater degree. Maybe you can afford to buy one, but can you afford to own one? Think about insurance costs. And while nowhere near as needy as a Ferrari, they apparently still like to get a few $K per year in specialized service - especially if used as a DD.

My brother has owned a middling mileage 964 and a low miles 993 cabs. He does very few miles annually, lives in the city and mostly uses them for weekend travels. Both cars were pre-purchase inspected by Porsche "experts", and the 964 had it's valves adjusted as a result of the inspection, all the homework was done.

I have never in my life seen anything close to the moneypits these things have been. The "adjusted" exhaust valves by the "Porsche expert" recommended garage burned due to improper lash, requiring a top end job. The convertible tops on both cars leaked and required multiple visits to "Expert Porsche Convertible Top People". The super clean low miles (well under 50K) 993 burns oil like mad and also needs a top end job - after the tranny rebuild. I can't be sure, but think he's paid for his (Porsche Specialist) mechanics boat, vacation, and kids college education since he purchased his first Tuetonic Wonder.

There is no such thing as a free horse or a cheap Porsche.

Cotton
Cotton Reader
5/19/09 2:15 p.m.
Ian F wrote: As much as I like those wheels in general, on that car, they just look wrong... There was an article about used Porsches in another rag recently. Reading that article sent me scurrying to the classifides... In general, you can't go wrong with any of them. All have their quirks, pluses and minuses... A pre-purchase inspection is a MUST. If well cared for, the air-cooled engines last damn-near forever... If pressed for "one year to buy", a few of the "experts" recommended an 89 non-turbo (and in general, avoid any turbo car if you're on a maintenance budget) for a few reasons: updated trans and overall improvements. From what I've read, old Porsches are like Ferraris to a lesser degree and BMW's a greater degree. Maybe you can afford to buy one, but can you afford to own one? Think about insurance costs. And while nowhere near as needy as a Ferrari, they apparently still like to get a few $K per year in specialized service - especially if used as a DD.

I have collector/classic insurance policy on my 85 911 and the cost is around $200 per year with an agreed upon value. The mileage cap might be 7k per year, it has to be stored in a locked garage, and cannot be your DD. Mine has been very reliable and maintenance costs are a less that a lot of people realize. The SCs and 3.2 Carreras are actually pretty easy to work on.....a lot easier than my 944 Turbo.

Cotton
Cotton Reader
5/19/09 2:19 p.m.
Dashpot wrote:
Ian F wrote: From what I've read, old Porsches are like Ferraris to a lesser degree and BMW's a greater degree. Maybe you can afford to buy one, but can you afford to own one? Think about insurance costs. And while nowhere near as needy as a Ferrari, they apparently still like to get a few $K per year in specialized service - especially if used as a DD.
My brother has owned a middling mileage 964 and a low miles 993 cabs. He does very few miles annually, lives in the city and mostly uses them for weekend travels. Both cars were pre-purchase inspected by Porsche "experts", and the 964 had it's valves adjusted as a result of the inspection, all the homework was done. I have never in my life seen anything close to the moneypits these things have been. The "adjusted" exhaust valves by the "Porsche expert" recommended garage burned due to improper lash, requiring a top end job. The convertible tops on both cars leaked and required multiple visits to "Expert Porsche Convertible Top People". The super clean low miles (well under 50K) 993 burns oil like mad and also needs a top end job - after the tranny rebuild. I can't be sure, but think he's paid for his (Porsche Specialist) mechanics boat, vacation, and kids college education since he purchased his first Tuetonic Wonder. There is no such thing as a free horse or a cheap Porsche.

He needs to find another mechanic or start doing the work himself. That is crazy.

minimac
minimac Dork
5/19/09 2:19 p.m.
Ian F wrote: . From what I've read, old Porsches are like Ferraris to a lesser degree and BMW's a greater degree. Maybe you can afford to buy one, but can you afford to own one? Think about insurance costs. And while nowhere near as needy as a Ferrari, they apparently still like to get a few $K per year in specialized service - especially if used as a DD.

Besides the 911SC, my other daily driver is an old BMW 733 that I've owned for twenty years.(that too is in Readers Rides) Maintenance on both are neither costly or outside the realm of the average DIYer. Parts/maintenance are only expensive if you have to depend on the dealer and are a complete mechanical zero, and that's not different than any other car. One advantage of an older Porsche or BMW IS insurance. A stated value policy is not that expensive, and I'm in N.Y.(2nd only to N.J.!) Both cars together are cheaper than Mrs.Minis new Mazda3 to insure. A few $K a year in maintenance??! What are you smoking? Don't believe everything you "read". Not unless it was a total P.O.S.- and then you wouldn't/shouldn't have bought it. Online support for these cars is excellent, as are parts sources. The biggest problem with these cars usually are the people that own them.They tend to treat them as garage queens and they are made to be driven. In comfort And style.

Cotton
Cotton Reader
5/19/09 2:21 p.m.
DWNSHFT wrote: 1983 911SCs came with the G50. David

Are you sure? Why would they have the 915 in all SCs minus the 83, then go back to the 915 in Carreras up to 87? I'm pretty sure the 83 SC also had the 915.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair Dork
5/19/09 2:27 p.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote:
Xceler8x wrote: Buy AngryCorvair's SBC powered 944. If he'll part with it that is.
He will.

He'll also deliver it at no extra charge between Detroit and Atlanta. I'm just sayin'.

Ian F
Ian F HalfDork
5/19/09 2:31 p.m.
minimac wrote: Parts/maintenance are only expensive if you have to depend on the dealer and are a complete mechanical zero, and that's not different than any other car. One advantage of an older Porsche or BMW IS insurance. A stated value policy is not that expensive, and I'm in N.Y.(2nd only to N.J.!) Both cars together are cheaper than Mrs.Minis new Mazda3 to insure. A few $K a year in maintenance??! What are you smoking? Don't believe everything you "read". Not unless it was a total P.O.S.- and then you wouldn't/shouldn't have bought it. Online support for these cars is excellent, as are parts sources.

Well, forgive me but I also hold little trust in anything read on the internet either... even by owners... I've had too many discussions in person about this... they'll go on about how cheap and easy the cars are to maintain... until they have to fix something major...

A 733 as a DD... you are a braver man than I... but if you've owned it for 20 years, then I suppose you know it's maintenance history... I would say the same thing about a TDI. I own one and have since it was new and have maintained it to the letter myself, but there's no way in hell I'd buy a used one. Too many variables.

Simply put, my past experience with BMW's - a very well cared for M3 - makes me leary of used German performance cars, no matter how much I love them.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
5/19/09 3:24 p.m.

maybe I am sick.. but I want a swb 68 911 with the 2.0 and the 901 transmission...

Cotton
Cotton Reader
5/19/09 3:37 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: maybe I am sick.. but I want a swb 68 911 with the 2.0 and the 901 transmission...

You're not sick....those are awesome!! I've been eyeing a 69, but it's a project and the last thing I need is another project. However, if the price is right I'll have a hard time resisting.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill HalfDork
5/19/09 4:39 p.m.
Cotton wrote:
mad_machine wrote: maybe I am sick.. but I want a swb 68 911 with the 2.0 and the 901 transmission...
You're not sick....those are awesome!! I've been eyeing a 69, but it's a project and the last thing I need is another project. However, if the price is right I'll have a hard time resisting.

I'm even sicker. I fell in love with the first model with the glassed in headlights.

Rangeball
Rangeball Reader
5/19/09 4:51 p.m.

I guess what I had in mind was something I can drive daily (may average 8-9k miles a year) for about two years and get three to four HPDE"s on. After that it would become a weekend/track car. Also, I can never leave well enough alone. SO, more than likely I would consider an engine swap of some kind. Subaru, Porsche, LS1, etc.

Considering these facts, I guess my best bet would be the 86-88 Carrera. I love the 996 equally and that does beget a very tough decision between the two. I guess I am partial to the classic look. But I do love the look of the GT3 cup cars....

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
5/19/09 5:03 p.m.

I really, really, really like 911s of that vintage. I researched like crazy, became educated, and was this >< close to buying one. Yet I couldn't get past the maintenance costs and ultimately chose to race a BMW instead. I do most all of my own work and am not intimidated by much, but I'm such a historically GRM low budget kind of person that working in the realm of Porsche parts prices just didn't sit well with me. Maybe when I'm another 10 years older and richer I'll go for it.

Be very certain you want to head down this road. Porsche 911s are extraordinarily remarkable cars, and rewarding to drive once you master them. But for me, the road to getting there was riddled with potholes of potential disaster I wasn't ready to take on.

Alonso
Alonso New Reader
5/19/09 5:29 p.m.

Street legal track monster, the Rauh Welt 930

Rauh Welt 930

The rear wing looks a little exaggerated though.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/19/09 6:47 p.m.
Alonso wrote: Street legal track monster, the Rauh Welt 930 Rauh Welt 930 The rear wing looks a little exaggerated though.

I have seen that car in real life. It's pretty neat.

My friend did a ton of research on 911s. Some talking points:

There's not too many weak areas, and someone already hit the main ones for the SC (airbox pop-off valve, Carrera chain tensioners, etc.) Everyone says that these are easy 200,000-mile cars.

Bruce Anderson, Mr. Porsche Know It All, recently named the SC as the next one to become hot. Everything else is either depreciating or already expensive. Even if the prices stay flat, they probably won't go down.

Galvanized bodies (SC and up) are a major plus.

The 2.7-liter cars go for similar money, but the SC and Carrera have too many advantages (stronger engine, galvanized bodies, etc.)

The G50 transmission (1987 and up) does shift smoother, but as a friend says it removes some of the car's Porsche-ness. The G50 is also heavier, he said. Short answer, don't be afraid of a 915 box.

Looking for a real deal? What about a Targa? Prices are super-low right now. I know a NASA official who has one that's a daily driver and autocrosser.

Rangeball
Rangeball Reader
5/19/09 7:15 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote:
Alonso wrote: Street legal track monster, the Rauh Welt 930 Rauh Welt 930 The rear wing looks a little exaggerated though.
I have seen that car in real life. It's pretty neat. My friend did a ton of research on 911s. Some talking points: There's not too many weak areas, and someone already hit the main ones for the SC (airbox pop-off valve, Carrera chain tensioners, etc.) Everyone says that these are easy 200,000-mile cars. Bruce Anderson, Mr. Porsche Know It All, recently named the SC as the next one to become hot. Everything else is either depreciating or already expensive. Even if the prices stay flat, they probably won't go down. Galvanized bodies (SC and up) are a major plus. The 2.7-liter cars go for similar money, but the SC and Carrera have too many advantages (stronger engine, galvanized bodies, etc.) The G50 transmission (1987 and up) does shift smoother, but as a friend says it removes some of the car's Porsche-ness. The G50 is also heavier, he said. Short answer, don't be afraid of a 915 box. Looking for a real deal? What about a Targa? Prices are super-low right now. I know a NASA official who has one that's a daily driver and autocrosser.

Thanks David. That was a lot of really good information. Actually, everyone has given some really good insight. On the issue of Targa, I just don't like the look. I wish I did, it would save some $$. I guess the only reason I would want to go with the G50 would be for the option of an LS1 swap.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/19/09 7:32 p.m.

The Targa is interesting. I wasn't too into the looks, either, but one day it clicked. I guess I saw the right one. (I mean, my friend saw the right one.) Personally, I think the Targas look better without a whale tail. It's a toss-up: open-air motoring or that classic 911 profile. The coupe is stiffer, but for street I could see a Targa being a nice driver.

dyintorace
dyintorace Dork
5/19/09 7:59 p.m.

This is a nice '85 model for sale. Seems like a good price at $12,500 with good records.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/cto/1163888942.html

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Reader
5/19/09 8:08 p.m.

I have wanted an older 911 for years and can't seem to shake the bug. I read some of the horror stories hoping it will change my mind but it doesn't. I rank them as one of the all time greats and when compared to some of the other cars I want like the Ferrari 308s, Jag XKEs or Panteras they are probably a bargain. I would love to autocross an older 911. Damn that would be sweet!

atlantamx3
atlantamx3 Dork
5/19/09 10:38 p.m.

We had an older porsche at an autocross here in Atlanta a few weeks back...

2002maniac
2002maniac New Reader
5/19/09 11:53 p.m.

^^Did he save that? Or was it a tremendous spin?

atlantamx3
atlantamx3 Dork
5/20/09 1:08 a.m.

it was a spin. :o(

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
o90I5hdddsLwEpLyCKeuAqG0X3gQN2vfrDWjSG3LobiU091mRuE6iqmxrH1qisgb