I am going to assume this car has made the rounds over the past couple months, but this was the first time I came across it so for me it’s new. This again falls into the category of cars I like quite a bit, but the asking price doesn’t make sense. In this case, I think this is one of the better examples of this particular breed of 911, i.e. a backdated Carrera drawing inspiration from the 1973 Carrera RS and RSR, that I’m sure will turn heads anywhere it goes.
While they weren’t the first to do it Singer brought these builds into wider recognition with their bespoke “reimagined” 911 combining modern performance with vintage long-hood 911 aesthetics. They’re highly sought after packages and can be very expensive. From those who have seen and driven them they are works of art with performance to match. James May referred to them as a love letter to a car – taking all of the best aspects of the 911 and combining them into a single machine. Over the years it has seemed like others have hoped to emulate the Singer model, but few really compare.
This, of course, isn’t a Singer. Rather than the 964 off which a Singer is based, this 911 began its life as a Silver 1978 Porsche 911SC Coupe. Fully stripped and disassembled the entire car was refreshed and rebuilt. It now possesses a slightly more modern 3.2 liter flat-6 from the 3.2 Carrera, the wider rear of the 930, and the impact bumpers are gone. It looks great! Power should be increased over the standard Carrera, though we aren’t told what exactly it’s putting out right now. So you get great looks and better performance. How much is all of that worth?
Yes, you have read the title correctly. This 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa houses a 537 horsepower 8.2 liter V8 from a 1970 Cadillac Eldorado. A couple weeks ago I posted the Safari 911 and began that post stating, “Let’s get weird.” Little did I know just how weird things would get.
From the outside there actually isn’t too much to really distinguish this 911 from any other SC of the period. Observers might notice the extensive grill work on the boot lid, but otherwise it looks like a 911 that someone has stuffed a bunch of luggage in the back. The condition even looks quite good. If you start poking around though you’ll realize things are not quite what they seem. I imagine pulling up next to it at a stoplight would reveal a little bit as well!
This obviously isn’t a very traditional method for modifying any 911, but for the owner it was the culmination of a desire stemming from his teenage years. I’m not sure I’d ever consider such a thing myself, but as someone who does lust after some of the V8 Miatas that lurk the streets I can’t say I don’t totally understand the impulse. I’m not sure ‘unique’ even begins to describe it.
I feel as if I have been neglectful. Truth be told I have not been overly enamored with a lot of the 911s I’ve been coming across lately. I think that is because I have been spending a lot more time looking at very nice (and very expensive) modern 911s, which has colored my view of many of the older examples that I typically hold so dear. When you spend day after day looking at pristine, never driven, garage kept, cars fewer than five years old it becomes easy to find flaws in older cars and dismiss them. But of course those older cars have more flaws! They’ve been driven and enjoyed and they are just older. Plain and simple.
These “flaws” shouldn’t dissuade me though and I’ll look a little closer. The one we see here, a Blue Metallic 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe, I like quite a bit. I don’t know if I view it as pristine and “spectacular” as the seller, which isn’t too surprising, but it does look quite good and appears to be in very original condition. It isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be perfect and that’s just fine.
Here we have a 1983 Porsche 911SC Targa that comes in a kind of unusual color. Unusual in the sense that I’m not quite sure what it is. The seller simply lists it as Gold, but that’s not terribly helpful. It could be Gold Metallic, which had been available in earlier years though I don’t think it was available in 1983. Platinum Metallic could be another option, which I believe was available in 1983. But it doesn’t really look like either of those colors. Or perhaps Casablanca Beige, a rare color we have seen before. To me, the color it looks most like actually is Lime Gold Metallic, but unless I’m mistaken that’s a relatively recent color. It, of course, recently could have been repainted Lime Gold. The seller doesn’t mention this and, unfortunately, because most of the pictures show it parked in the shade we can’t get a very good sense of how it truly looks. The interior is brown leather, which was available in the early ’80s and works reasonably well with this exterior color. Overall I don’t know that I’ve seen a 911SC with this color combination. It may not be original, but that’s something that should impact its selling price more than whether we dismiss it entirely or not. I think it looks pretty good!
Speaking of a bright red interior…. Yesterday I featured a 930 Cabriolet that we might almost confuse for the younger cousin of this 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa. The color combination is pretty similar in its general aesthetic, though the colors themselves technically are different. The 930 showed Slate Grey Metallic over a Lobster Red interior. Here we have Black Metallic over a Lipstick Red interior. Both obviously possess the mixture of darkness and bright color that we see quite a bit in the ’80s. We see it still today though in many cases the brightness of the red has been toned down. That’s probably fine, but there is something about a really bright interior that I find particularly alluring.
Lipstick Red is perhaps a little deeper of a red than Lobster Red and of course Black Metallic definitely is a darker shade than Slate Grey. So here we have the deeper, darker, version of that 930, but I think both would appeal to similar buyers – at least regarding appearance as the cars themselves are quite different. They’re unique looks and won’t have wide appeal, but for those searching for one of the more rare 911s this one might suit you well.
Last week in my write up of an Ipanema Blue Metallic 911 C4 GTS I mentioned the way certain colors can come in and out of style rendering previously undesirable colors desirable, or vice versa. I wasn’t sure whether that would apply to Ipanema Blue, but I do think it applies to the car we see here: a Tobacco Metallic 1979 Porsche 911SC Coupe, located in Georgia, with a Brown leatherette interior – it looks like Cork and the seller has referred to it as cork-like so perhaps it is Cork – and 144,639 miles on it.
Brown cars were not uncommon during the late-70s, but it seems they quickly went out of favor because we almost never see them from any marque once we’re well into the 80s. A few automakers have tried to resuscitate the color, especially with much darker metallic browns that in most lighting appear black, but in general the public isn’t clamoring for a brown car. That, of course, can hurt an older car like this one, but any time I’ve come across a 911 like this I wonder whether we’re missing out on something unique. It’s not bright and vibrant; these are colors with a natural earthiness that doesn’t necessarily suit a performance car. Yet, they can be very good looking under the right lighting and I really like Tobacco Metallic on a 911. I previously featured one that remains one of my favorite 911s I’ve come across. They’re a little unusual, but quite captivating.
Have you ever been looking over a car and thought, “This looks surprisingly good!” and then gotten to the interior pictures and suddenly, “Whoa”? So that’s pretty much what happened to me with this Grand Prix White 1978 Porsche 911SC Targa. There’s certainly nothing very flashy about it; it’s a white 911SC, but it does look good. That white paint shows good pop for the color and given its age it looks in pretty good condition. This is a driver-quality SC, there’s no doubt there, but that’s not really a fault. It’s a good car that’s probably brought its current owner – said to have owned it since 1980 – a good deal of driving pleasure.
The interior does bring with it a little flash. It’s a special order white and black combination and it really wasn’t what I was expecting. From the exterior pictures I could tell the interior was a lighter shade, but the black/white combination wasn’t apparent. It isn’t flashy in the way a Can-can Red interior would have been on a white 911SC, but it does bring with it a particular character that is quite unique. But does it work?
If you’ve been paying attention to the current crop of Porsche GT models you’ll notice that there seems to be a relative abundance of paint-to-sample cars on the market. Even with Porsche significantly raising the cost of the PTS option buyers are opting for it more and more. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this influx of PTS cars is that Porsche’s standard color choices have dramatically improved as well. I guess everyone really wants color these days! It is a nice change though as Porsche is coming out of a long period where the color choices were less than inspired.
Part of what is great about all of these PTS cars is that we get to see more of the great colors from Porsche’s past. If you only began paying attention to Porsche in the current millennium you could be excused for thinking that Porsche, as a brand, was a bit boring. In fact, you might think that of every German automaker. However, Porsche has rarely been boring when it has come to its color palette. For better or worse, it has offered a wide array of options encompassing the entirety of the color spectrum going all the way back to the early years of the 356. In a way the current influx of PTS cars and better standard options simply is a return to the norm.
I mention all of this as prelude to this Light Blue Metallic 1981 Porsche 911SC Coupe, located in Florida, with Cork interior and 64,500 miles on it. Blue over Cork long has been one of my favorite historical Porsche color combinations. While some of Porsche’s brighter blues are my favorites, the ’80s saw a good number of lighter shades of blue that might not strike you for their brilliance, but which offered an elegant beauty that fit the lines of the G-series 911 quite well. This particular 911SC shows off those colors to good effect.
Here we have a Casablanca Beige Metallic 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Chicago, with Tan interior and 68,747 miles on it. We’ve seen Casablanca Beige on the 911SC before. However, I find that this one looks much better. I don’t know if the photos have been touched up or if the lighting simply is different, but there is a rich burnt orange or darker gold hue to this Targa that I haven’t seen in previous examples of this color. I suspect in person it will look similar to those other examples. That said, this is the first I’ve seen it on a Targa and the various Targa trim pieces and larger rear glass may be playing a role in this shift in color. I’m not really sure. Regardless, it’s a very unique color and I think here it’s looks great.
I’ve featured a decent number of these backdated 911s and they always come in a wide range of quality and design. Mostly they’re good-looking 911s and I think we can understand the desire to produce such a build. They combine the beautiful and highly desirable aesthetics of the early long-hood 911 with a more modern and higher performance drivetrain of a Carrera or later 911. They also tend to be a good bit lighter than the original donor.
The consistent problem with these builds is price. Or, to put it more specifically, price relative to the performance gains. Many of these builds retain the engine and transmission of the donor – usually either a 911SC or 3.2 Carrera. In itself that’s fine; those are good engines and with the reduced weight of the build the performance gains and aesthetic improvements are worthwhile. However, this all might cost a decent bit of money, especially if the donor car itself needs some work, and as a buyer you’re only going to pay so much for what ultimately are aesthetic changes.
The way to solve the price problem is with a better engine. The 964 and 993 are both there waiting, it just isn’t as easy to get a hold of what you need. At that point we’re really getting the performance improvements and the higher price begins to make sense. Singer, of course, has made its name using bespoke 964s and can sell them for half-a-million dollars. That’s not at all what this car is. It has, however, chosen to eschew the usual 911SC engine and moved up the chain: a 1997 3.6 liter from the 993. Now we’re talking!