Double Take: Porsche 911SC or 3.2 Carrera?

For any prospective buyer of a classic 911 there inevitably comes a decision to be made about whether to get a 911SC or a 3.2 Carrera. These cars share enough similarities that in some cases a buyer may decide based simply upon availability. These are, after all, 30-year-old cars so the numbers of excellent examples are dwindling. But what if a good example of each is available, nearly identical in appearance and for similar cost? Now the decision-making process becomes a bit more difficult and it’s precisely the dilemma we feature here: a 1979 Porsche 911SC with 29,900 miles and a 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe with 57,750 miles. We’ll begin with the 911SC:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Porsche 911SC on eBay

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1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

We feature various editions of the 3.2 Carrera here at GCFSB, but rarely do the cars we come across have low mileage. Even the car featured here, a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa has almost 45K miles, but for these cars that represents a decently low mileage car. The fact is that most of these cars have already eclipsed six-figure mileage because they have been driven. And why wouldn’t they be? The 3.2 Carrera is a fantastic driver’s car and for the most part prices remain within reach of a large number of buyers (at least relative to the rest of the 911 line) and so they are less likely to be locked away in a comfortable garage. The Targa tends to fit the bill even more as they are less loved than both their hard- and soft-top counterparts. The car here comes in the ever popular combination of Guards Red over Black.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

Throughout our pages we have consistently trumpeted the virtues of the 911SC and 3.2 Carrera as relative values for any buyer looking to get into a classic 911. These cars take us back to when driving was analog rather than digital and combine graceful aesthetics with enough performance to provide for miles and miles of driving enjoyment. As with most things in life, there are exceptions when it comes to finding value for our performance dollars. Here we have a 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster, but unlike the 3.2 Carrera off which it is based, the Speedster is not the car for those searching for value. Speedster is such an iconic name within the Porsche stable that these cars are almost always bought up and immediately packed away upon release rarely to be seen on the road. Produced in the final year of classic 911 production the Speedster served as an elegant send-off prior to the release of the 964. It was a car built for Porsche purists who favored style over performance. The car here, located in Oregon, has seen a scant 5,948 miles in its pampered life and comes dressed in the always beautiful Guards Red exterior over a Cashmere and Black interior.

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Year: 1989
Model: 911 Speedster
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 5,948 mi
Price: $159,995

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster on eBay

Motogroup, LLC is very pleased to present this GORGEOUS Collectible 89 Speedster…Truly a Stunning Porsche, of the highest possible quality, without a doubt the finest available in the US…
214 hp, 3,165 cc SOHC flat six-cylinder engine, Bosch digital motor fuel injection, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with McPherson struts, lower A-arms, coil springs and sway bar, independent rear suspension with semi-trailing arms, coil springs and sway bar, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 89.4″

• Only 5,948 original miles
• One of only 824 produced for U.S.
• Porsche Certificate of Authenticity

The original 1954-59 Porsche 356 Speedster was originally demanded by U.S. importer Max Hoffman. With its cut-down windshield and emergency-only top, it was to be an inexpensive sports cars for the youth market. Its raffish good looks and minimalist equipment clicked with customers, and original examples remain much prized and sought after in the collector car market.

The concept floated around as a fond memory for 30 years, finally re-emerging in 1989, when the new 964 model was delayed. Styling chief Tony Lapine transported a number of the old 356 styling cues to a limited production model, which sold for a hefty premium. Lapine raked and cut down the windshield, dispensed with the back seat and capped the space with twin “camel humps.”

In all, 2,065 Speedsters were built in 1989, with only 824 coming to the U.S., most with the “turbo-look” wide body. They were pounced on by investors, with some buyers paying as much as $100,000 to buy a new one. As a result, many have few miles on them, 24 years later. This car is one of those examples, with a mere 5,950 recorded miles. As might be expected, it is in effectively new condition, with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, finished in Guards Red with a tan leather interior and black top. It is fitted with air conditioning, power seats that also raise and lower and a Blaupunkt Charleston stereo. This car represents an excellent opportunity for a Porsche collector in search of rare, landmark models. Pre-Sale viewing by appointment only to qualified principals.

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The question any buyer of a car such as this must consider is how high the market for these will really go. $160K is a lot of money for a car that underneath it’s beautiful skin remains a standard 3.2 Carrera. The Porsche market has generally been much kinder to higher powered variants than to the cosmetic rarities and while the Speedster will certainly, and already has, remain somewhat insulated from those problems, there will inevitably reach a point where the market plateaus. I don’t think $160K is where that plateau will reside, so this isn’t necessarily overpriced, but I do wonder just how valuable these will become. Financial matters aside, the Speedster is a beautiful icon of Porsche engineering and will always have a place in the marque’s lore. It is a pity, though, that these cars are almost never driven.

-Rob

1984 Porsche 911 Carrera

The perils of searching for and writing about interesting cars for sale is that you inevitably start thinking. And it doesn’t matter what your present situation and car needs might be, you still start thinking about getting another car. It’s almost as if writing becomes an ascetic act with cars as the tempters we strive to overcome. But I digress…here we have another of my favorite reasonably-priced, ready-to-be-driven, 911s outfitted precisely how I’d want it: a 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera in Black, located on Long Island. This isn’t a low mileage example, but still appears excellent all around and simply awaits a new owner to whom it may bring driving pleasure.

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Year: 1984
Model: 911 Carrera
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 163,383 mi
Price: Reserve Auction (reserve met)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera on eBay

“The 3.2-liter 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera debuted hot on the heels of a very successful run of 911SC models, built from 1978 to 1983. The Carrera—priced at $32,000—shared most of its visual cues with its immediate predecessor, but benefitted from added power and performance, as well as other evolutionary updates.

The cars came as they had when the SC bowed out—in coupe, open Cabriolet, and the in-between Targa body styles. The chief upgrade in the Carrera was the larger 3.2-liter flat six engine, which looked much like that of the 3.0 it replaced but was built chiefly of all-new parts. One crucial change was an improved timing chain tensioner, which had been an issue on previous models. Also new was Bosch Motronic fuel injection, which replaced the K-Jetronic system of yore. The engine produced 200 horsepower and came mated to a Getrag five-speed manual transmission. This was enough to propel the Carrera from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.

Standard goodies included leather upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, a sunroof, and 15-inch alloys, while cruise control, 16-inch wheels, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo were popular options. For those who wanted to appear faster than they actually were, a Turbo Look appearance package was available on coupes, which provided the large whale tail and wider rear wheelwells, but not the actual turbocharger.”

The New York Times has described the 1980’s 911 as one of the top five collectible cars for 2013. These vehicles are still affordable. Check out the Haggerty Insurance web site: hagerty.com/valuationtools/HVT/VehicleSearch/Report?vc=883090. The vehicle for sale is tuely a unique automobile. It is for the true collector who seeks out one owner and meticulously maintained automobiles. Purchased new in December of 1983 from Walter Donaldson Porsche-Audi located in Hicksville New York. It remained in the possesion of the owner untill his recent death. Recently purchased from the estate I have neither registered it nor re-titled it thus it retains its one owner history. The vehicle just went through a complete inspection from a Porsche Mechanic who commneted that this vehicle is one of the best maintained older 911’s he has ever worked on and was surprised to see the mileage on the car was over 160,000. In thirty years as a collector of classic and antique autos I am not sure I have ever come across a vehicle that has been maintained and documented as well as this one has. The original owner retained a documented history of practically every repair ever done on the vehicle as can be seen in some of the pictures below.

This 911 starts and drives effortlessly. All mechanical aspects of the car work as they should. A/c blows cold, radio, wipers, lights, etc etc work as intended. Appearance wise this car shows up extremely well. The paint is in excellent condition with no visual chipping or rust. The car has been garaged during its entiere life and with that comes some small door dings that are only noticeable in the correct lighting. Undercarriage of the car appears to be in very good condition. Engine compartment is in very good condition as well as the trunk. Interior is in good shape with some wear on the drivers seat but no tears. Door panels are in good shape but may need some sprucing up. Dash is in excellent shape. Sun roof is in excellent shape and works perfectly. Radio is a Blankpunt and works as intened along with the automatic antenna. The only after market addition appears to be a radar detector. I am not sure if it works but can obviously be removed without any effort.

I have set a realistic reserve on this vehicle. Please do not bid unless you intend to purchase. The vehicle is available for inspection(located on Long Island, New York) for those who want to see the vehicle before bidding.

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For a 30-year-old car with more than 160,000 miles this Carrera appears to be in remarkable shape. The seats show minimal wear, the dash looks excellent, and the paint still looks to have retained a good deal of its luster. The engine bay seems especially clean for a car of this mileage. Given that the seller claims to have a documented service history on hand, these qualities all combine for an excellent car that while garaged its whole life has still been given a proper amount of driving. As with any car of this mileage you’ll want to have a thorough PPI, but at the very least I think we’re looking at one of the better examples of a 3.2 Carrera that has not spent its life as a low-mileage collector. Bidding is currently at $17,500 and the reserve has been met. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this come up just a bit more and likely finish right around $20K. Overall, another excellent example of a classic Black 911!

-Rob