In its second full year for production, Porsche’s entry-level 924 model sped out of the gate – at least, in terms of sales. Some 11,638 traded in 1978, the model’s single most successful year by quite a margin. In fact, if you find an early non-Turbo 924, odds are it’ll be a ’78 since about 30% were when new. Obviously, the appeal of a (relatively) inexpensive Porsche worked; consider that even in the heyday 80s, Porsche never sold more than 2,700 928s a year here – often quite less – and the 924 comprised about 70% of the firms sales in the 1970s. This is the model that kept the lights on, Mr. Turbo Carrera.
Of course, by itself that doesn’t make an early 924 excited, nor is it solely a compelling reason to buy one. But there were some neat options for the early 924, not least of which was the Turbo. There were also a plethora of limited edition models, from the most famous Martini World Championship model to the Sebring ’79 edition, the ’78 Limited Edition, the M471 S models and the Weissach Commemorative Edition to consider. And that’s if you choose to ignore the much better later 924S model, too!
This car is none of those models. Yet, I think it’s still worth a look, so let’s see why:
Do you ever wonder ‘What if VW had decided to make the Golf platform develop from the Beetle rather than the Audi 50?‘
Me either. But it’s an interesting thought exercise, and what’s interesting is that we actually have an example of what could have been. That’s because Volkswagen do Brasil did produce a hatchback successor to the Beetle, and here it is – the Brasilia. The Brazilian branch of VW utilized a Karmann Ghia floor, a 1600 cc Beetle motor and borrowed the styling from the Type 4s to create a small 3- and 5-door hatchback.
It was reasonably successful, too – Volkswagen do Brasil reportedly sold somewhere north of 1,000,000 of them over a ten year production cycle from 1973-1982. They were sold primarily in Central and South America, never making it past the Rio Grande officially, but kits of the Brasilia were also sent to Africa. The Brasilia remains the only mass-produced air-cooled rival to the Beetle, amazingly. Today, an absolutely pristine example is up on eBay:
Update 10/19/18: This Porsche 930 has been relisted with a reserve auction ending 10/22/18 and the seller has provided a link to a picture gallery.
Let’s continue the theme from yesterday’s 928 Weissach and look at another older Porsche in fantastic original condition and with very few miles. As the seller describes, there are a couple of flaws with this one so I don’t know that we’d place it on the same plane of perfection as the 928, but it still looks incredibly good by any standard.
This is a paint-to-sample Sienna Brown Metallic 1978 Porsche 930, located in Arizona, with Cork leather interior, sport seats, and only 25,453 miles on it. We love the 930 around here as I’m sure everyone is aware. 1978 was the first year for the larger displacement 3.3 liter engine and intercooler so you’re getting 20 more horses compared with the earlier models along with larger 4-piston brakes to help rein everything in. But it’s obviously still very early in the 930’s production life so a ’78 is pretty raw and a few pounds lighter than the later examples. We’ve seen a few very low mileage and original examples cross our pages over the years and they’re always a treat to come across. They’re also very rare as most 930s from this period, quite understandably, have quite a few more miles and haven’t always been well cared for.
And now for something completely different.
Just left of zero of you will have ever heard the name Barkas, and yes – it’s German. Well, at least technically it’s German, because it was built in half of Germany. And if you had to venture a guess, which half would you suppose that would be?
That’s right! While the Trabant was the people’s car, the Barkas was the worker’s truck. Produced starting in the late 1950s in
Chemnitz Karl-Marx-Stadt, the Barkas stole some technology from DKW, who had moved their pre-War headquarters from Zschopau to that fatefully renamed city in 1932 when they joined the Auto Union. Under the “hood” was the same 0.9 inline-3 two stroke you’d find in a DKW F91 and (rather unsurprisingly) the Wartburg, which also stole all the DKW tech. The drivetrain was borrowed, too, meaning that unlike the Volkswagen T-models, these vans were front wheel drive. The layout left Industrieverband Fahrzeugbau Barkas with the flexibility to create all sorts of configurations right up until they (and, the GDR) closed their doors in 1991; from mini-buses to delivery vans, from semi-trucks to even a pickup:
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?
I’ve been seeing a number of Petrol Blue Metallic 911s over the past few months. All have been the 911SC in both Coupe and Targa form so this 1978 Porsche 930 represents a slight departure from what has been the norm for this very attractive shade of blue. Petrol Blue wasn’t available very long, only for a couple years at the end of the ’70s, and it isn’t one that I can recall seeing as a paint-to-sample selection. In that regard, it sort of came and went so if you are a fan of this slightly darker version of metallic blue then there aren’t a lot of options for you outside of this period.
On the lines of the 930 the mix of darkness and metallic shine work well together and suit the curves and accent pieces better than on the standard 911. This one looks in pretty good shape and the sellers have provided a good bit of detail in the ad to help us understand its overall condition. This one isn’t being positioned as a concours car so perhaps it’s one that you could spend some enjoyable time with behind the wheel.
We talk a lot about period specific and period correct cars around here and this 1978 Porsche 928 seems to fit that bill just about as much as possible. While I’ve said frequently that I think the 928 design still looks great today, we wouldn’t confuse one with a modern car. It has pop-up headlights and is a bit more pointy than it is round, neither of which we see much on today’s designs. But really it is the colors of this one that plant it firmly in the ’70s. The exterior is said to be Apple Green Metallic and the interior is Brown with pasha seat inserts. I’m not at all familiar with Apple Green Metallic on a Porsche so I’m not sure if this is its original color or not, but the interior is one that we’ve seen before from this period. It’s wild and the contrast with the metallic green exterior certainly is pronounced. I cannot imagine any manufacturer would offer such a combination today, nor am I sure anyone would buy it, but it certainly makes for an interesting looking 928!
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?
Earlier in the week I posted a somewhat unusual 911SC Cabriolet. It was unusual because it was a first-year 911SC, when a 911 Cabriolet did not exist. That car obviously would not be for everyone regardless of how unique it might be. But let’s keep our attention on that first year of 911SC production and look at how such a Cabriolet would have begun its life.
This is a Light Blue Metallic 1978 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in New York, with Blue leather interior and 73,071 miles on it. The exterior color is one that brings with it a good deal of refinement and beauty; the interior is a pretty rare color for the time period. Together they make for a somewhat monotone combination, but one that is pretty unique in its own right.
This 911 is a little bit of an oddity. Those familiar with the 911SC will recognize immediately that this 911 is not original. While Porsche long had been in the business of producing open-top cars, it took nearly 20 years for a true Cabriolet to make its debut for the 911. The 911 Targa had been around since nearly the 911’s inception, but not a Cabriolet. Perhaps Porsche was not confident in the survival of any open-roofed car given increasing safety standards; the short-lived Soft-window Targa was an engineering solution to that problem that quickly was abandoned. Still it wasn’t until 1983 that the first 911 Cabriolet was produced. That means that the car we see here, a 1978 Porsche 911SC Cabriolet, never really existed.
This 911 began as a 911SC Targa and at some point – we are not told when – its owner decided to convert it to a Cabriolet. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it was done very early before the true SC Cabriolet was released because that’s really what the owner wanted. Or perhaps later for…reasons. Either way this 911 provides the very rare chance to own a first-year 911SC in full open-roof form. Is that something you should aspire to over a standard ’83 911SC Cabriolet? I’m not sure there’s a great reason to do so other than having a 911 that’s very unique. And I’ll admit it does look well executed.