1981 Porsche 911SC Coupe

The 911SC remains one of my favorite Porsche models. It played an important role in the 911 establishing itself as the premier sports car in the Porsche lineup and without it this iconic rear-engine performer may have gone the way of Porsche’s many other former models. It also presents good value among the air-cooled line. While they played an important historical role, their relative simplicity has kept values down compared with some of the other models. So you can still get a good classic 911 in original condition without spending too much.

Or those values can allow you to follow another route. The 911SC becomes a canvas to build the 911 of your own. Along with the 3.2 Carrera these are the most commonly modified Porsches we see. However, unlike the Carrera, which builders tend to use as their foundation for building pretty highly priced back-dated 911s attempting to replicate the heroic Carrera RS of the past, the 911SC can be found in a wider variety of builds and generally much lower prices. It seems regardless of where they end up the 911SC keeps those values lower.

That’s more or less the situation with this 911SC. The owner bought it a couple years ago and began to transform it. The overall look is quite different, but it still maintains the basics that make it identifiable as one of these ’80s 911s. I’m not sure the price is quite right, but it’s not nearly as egregiously high as many of the Carrera builds we see. I think it provides a point we can work with.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 911SC Coupe on eBay

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Homologation Special: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC 5.0

Lost in the sea of Mercedes-Benz R107s is the SLC that is one of those ”Oh yeah, I remember those” cars because honestly, you just don’t see them anymore. I’ve checked them out before, but none like this one for sale in New Jersey. This is the ultra-rare 500SLC 5.0 which doesn’t sound like much right now, but let me explain.

Mercedes-Benz actually ran the SLC in the FIA World Rally Championships and in order to do so, they had the homologate the cars as they ran 5.0 liter V8 SLCs in the races. Mercedes wwas only making the 4.5 liter cars at the time so a 5.0 liter car for the streets was necessary. Like most homologated cars, the production numbers were extremely low with just 1,133 500SLCs being made over a few years. None of these cars were ever made for North America, but somehow there is really nice for sale in America’s favorite state. But the price? All those creme puff 560SL owners will be jealous.

Click for details: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC 5.0 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280E

I give a lot of love to the Mecedes-Benz W123 and rightfully so, some think it is the best car ever produced. A few even claim that in these Benz models will be the only survivors of in a post-apocalyptic world. I’m not one to argue as I own a 1983 240D and drive it on a regular basis. It is far from perfect and has it flaws, but when I’m driving down the road in it I can’t help but think how satisfied I am in it. When I really think about it, my most my complaints are from the powerplant in the 240D. Sure, it is as dead simple and reliable as the day is long. But on the other hand it is loud, not that smooth, is dangerously under powered at times and leaves a film of diesel residue from the exhaust on the interior when I drive with the windows down. (I’m sure that isn’t great for my lungs either.) The 5-cylinder OM617 solves some of the problems, but it is still unrefined at times. So what are the other options then? How about a silky smooth inline-6? Luckily, Mercedes-Benz offered that option in the W123 and while not nearly as common as the diesel cars, they are still out there.

This 1981 280E for sale in Maryland offers up that inline-6 option. It has everything great about the W123 but also a 2.8 liter that makes a very respectable 185 horsepower! This is a far cry from the 84 horsepower in the 240D and the 125 horsepower in the 300D. The M110 engine uses a Bosch K-Jetronic injection system that is reliable, not overly complicated and though it won’t return diesel-level gas mileage, it won’t break your wallet either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280E on Hemmings

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1981 BMW M1

There are a few strange similarities between yesterday’s 1987 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V and today’s subject – the much more elusive and legendary BMW M1. Both were sporty cars developed from more pedestrian beginnings. Both featured high-revving dual-overhead cam motors. But the interesting part comes in the sublet of construction, and the design. Both have links to Giugiaro, but both also borrowed heavily from other designs.

In an article I penned for The Truth About Cars last year, I covered some of the development of the Wedge Era and how those spectacular show car designs channeled their design language down to more pedestrian models. One of the stars of that article were the cutting-edge looks from Giugiaro’s ItalDesign – the firm, and man, responsible for some of your favorites such as the basic shape for the Audi Quattro. But while the Quattro launched its brand into the luxury realm and redefined the 80s, the undisputed German star of the wedgey wonders was the BMW M1.


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1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL

I go back and forth on whether or not I like the R107. I just think they stuck around way too long and those that want to sell them have grand illusions of what they are actually worth. I think sellers have some kind of mental formula in their head that goes “Mercedes + old + convertible = valuable” when we all know that none of those factors matter unless someone actually pays for it. But every once in a while a R107 comes along that I actually think represent good value for the money you would pay. This 1981 280SL, which looks to be a grey-market import, really represents what I think is the R107 to buy — if you really want one in the first place.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280SL on Mercedes Heritage

Year: 1981
Model: 280SL
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 186,000 miles
Price: $12,500

Very well cared-for German-engineered classic. I am the second owner and have owned the car for 31 years. It was 5 years old when I purchased it with 36,000 miles, current odometer is 186,000. It was always garaged but certainly driven and enjoyed over the years although with careful consideration to weather and other road conditions. I have all maintenance records and do the oil and filter changes myself every 3,000 miles. In short, this one’s been “babied” and if you have ever wanted one, this is the one! Too many attributes to list, so just enjoy the pictures and if seriously interested, let me know. As you can see, I have the original rims as well as the OEM pictured in some of the images. The soft top will need replacement soon although I had it done 8 years ago…..beginning to see some dry-rot.

The quick rundown on this R107 shows 186,000 miles which is high for one of these, but it has been with the same owner for the past 31 years. That is an insane amount of time in the car world as people who usually buy luxury cars are itching for something new around the four-year mark. If anything, it tells me that this car was taken care of as it actually was a long-term investment (I don’t like using that word) for the owner and they didn’t skimp on upkeep. The seller mentions that he has all the maintenance records but it might need a new top in the not too distant future.

Here is why I really like this car: it is a 280SL. That means proper European bumpers and headlights with the M110 straight-six under the hood. Yeah, those foglights next to the government mandated maker lights really ruin the front end of this car but it is nothing that can’t be fixed in an afternoon. This 280SL weighs almost 300 pounds lighter than a later 560SL — the R107 most will tell you is the one to buy. But my argument is that you might as well go for the smaller 2.8 liter because it isn’t like you are buying a R107 to go fast in the first place. These cars are top down pleasure cruisers, not 0-60 runners. No one cares about how much power you are making with these. A new Honda Accord makes more power than a 560SL, who cares if you have the inline-six? For my money, I’d rather have the most aesthetically pleasing car that gets slightly better fuel mileage than the range topping V8 that costs way more.

How much more? This 280SL is listed for $12,500, which isn’t that crazy. I say that meaning that I think all R107s are overpriced, but I am only one man and don’t control the market. If this was a 560SL, I’d wager you’d be asked to pay many thousands more for what is basically the same car. Yeah, you get 50 more horsepower and 100 more lb·ft of torque but you gain those 300 pounds and ugly bumpers and headlights. So while the 560SL still might be king, don’t look down on the 280SL if you can find one. There is no reason to.

1981 Porsche 924

Update 1/17/2019: the seller of this clean 924 apparently hasn’t had any luck selling it, and it’s back on eBay with a $4,500 asking price today.

Update 8/11/2017 – the Buy It Now has been lowered to $6,500.

Another 924? Sure, but there were so many special models during the production run that popped up that they could occupy most of a week alone! Recently, I’ve looked at a ’87 924S, a modded ’78, a Carrera GT replica and a clean ’80 Turbo.

Today is one that’s slightly different in that, at least on the surface, it’s not a special edition. However, what is interesting about this car is that it appears to have several of the items from the ’81 Weissach Commemorative Edition. One of the 2,100 1981 924s imported, the Platinum color, mudflaps and two-tone ATS wheels seem to match the limited model. Is it one, after all?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 on eBay

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1981 Porsche 911SC Targa

I always love to return to the 911SC Targa in my search for driver quality 911s. These were the Porsches that first made me familiar with the marque and represent my first exposure to the 911 in general. And, of course, it helps that they tend to come in at pretty reasonable values among the air-cooled line. This 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Oregon, comes in a period correct color combination of Platinum Metallic over a Brown interior. It’s a combination of two earthy and natural tones that is fairly uncommon on modern cars, but looks good here. It even works well with the chrome Fuchs!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

Year: 1981
Model: 911SC Targa
Engine: 3.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 117,604 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

1981 Porsche 911 SC Targa
VIN #WP0ZZZ91ZBS160459
Excellent Condition
Rebuilt Motor and Gearbox
Extensive Records
Spare and Jack
Gorgeous Interior with Perfect Patina
Drives Perfectly
Needs Nothing
One of the nicest we have seen

If you have been looking for an SC Targa, stop looking and buy this car!
Exceptionally nice, both in appearance and mechanically, this one is special.
When I first saw this car I knew it was the complete package.
It has great records, books, multiple keys, spare, tools, and jack.
A motor and gearbox rebuild done in the last few thousand miles tops it off.
The car is a great color and the interior is absolutely stunning.
This car is a great example of an SC and will make someone very happy!

Feel free to call or email with questions
We are happy to assist with shipping
Domestic and International
Call Josh 503-475-8078 Matt 503-819-9007

This ad tells us most of things we want to hear with a 911 like this. It’s said to be in excellent condition and to possess extensive records. We do see a binder of service receipts, the perusal of which should provide buyers a good sense of its current mechanical state. Obviously, how comprehensive those receipts are will be important. It also looks in pretty nice shape. It’s certainly not perfect as there’s wear to be seen, but the overall condition is befitting of its age and mileage. The interior looks in good shape as well. The dash looks great and while the seats show wear it’s the sort of wear from good use and care rather than neglect. The most egregious errors appear to be scuffs to the lower portion of the dash. I would guess that the upper section of the dash has been replaced given that it looks in much newer condition than the rest of the interior. But perhaps not. I wonder too whether the paint and seating are original. Outside of those questions, it does look good though. If everything with its service is up to date then it should make for a nice driver.

Bidding remains fairly low right not at only $20,600. Based on other auctions, and assuming everything checks out, I’d assume bidding will need to at least reach $30K in order to meet the reserve. We will see if it can get there.


1981 Porsche 930

There are going to be lots of questions about this 1981 Porsche 930. A lot of potentially interested Porsche buyers will move on quickly as some of the information we already have will disqualify this 930 from their consideration. Ultimately, everything will come down to whether the price is right and as with any such car the hope is that its various foibles will yield a perfectly good driver-quality 930 for a lot less money than many comparable, and much more original, examples.

Let’s get to the good stuff first: for one, it looks great! The color combination is really attractive, I’m a big fan of the Turbo graphics (though I don’t think they’re original given the model year), and the mileage is quite low. While the photos look a fair bit touched up, most everything presents well. For an early RoW 930 this looks like a nice example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 930 on eBay

Year: 1981
Model: 911 Turbo
Engine: 3.3 liter turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 33,761 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

1981 Porsche 930 Turbo

Low Miles

Fresh Service

Great Driver



Engine # 6710253

Notice the price of 930’s lately? Here’s a chance to own one for a reasonable price. It’s not perfect, but in some ways that’s not a bad thing.

The interior has been updated with 993 parts and the car looks great with the Turbo graphics.

We just did an engine out service of the engine and gearbox. We replaced the syncro’s in the transmission and did a full tune-up, including valve adjustment; the motor was re-sealed as well.

The car runs well and is great fun to drive.

Unfortunately, there is no paperwork to back up the mileage claim.

This is a driver quality car, not a show car and it’s priced accordingly.

Feel free to call or email with any questions.

We are happy to assist with shipping, nationally and internationally.

Josh 503-475-8078

Matt 503-819-9007

As with quite a few cars we come across most of this 930’s problems boil down to a lack of documentation. Given that this is a RoW model and that the low mileage cannot be verified, I’m guessing that there is little if any original documentation to go with the car and presumably nothing about its importation. Other than records of its recent service we may totally lack any documentation of its service history. Those points are troubling, especially regarding the mileage, but its mechanical condition can be verified with a good mechanic and knowledgeable buyer so the overall effect could weigh more heavily on price than quality. This 930 also isn’t wholly original. The interior has borrowed quite a few parts from the 993. I think this is limited to the seats, though a closer inspection may reveal more. Still, an entire interior with non-original seating can’t be ignored. Aesthetics aside, the question is why? Were they changed simply because a previous owner had a strong preference for the 993’s seats or did this 930 suffer some sort of disaster to the interior that necessitated a change? We may not know and that may be the biggest issue, but again it could be completely innocent. A couple other points: the rear bumper looks slightly off, slightly sagging, and there is a hilariously placed Ruf badge waiting to be removed.

With those points made, if the mechanical condition is good and a buyer can accept that this 930 has no collector value, then for the right price it could make for a fine addition. Bidding right now sits at $51,099.99. At that price, I think this makes sense. However, once we begin to surpass $60K then I think it’s time to start looking elsewhere. That still wouldn’t be a bad price and the seller has stated that the price is set in accordance with the various problems illustrated here. We will see, but with plenty of 930s on the market I think it simply would be tough to rationalize one with so many questions much higher than that. But if it can be had for that price then it’s a really nice opportunity to own one of Porsche’s iconic models.


1981 Porsche 911SC Targa

I love coming across a high mileage 911 in good condition. Seeing a car that has provided so many joyous miles to its owners, yet that still looks as good as other cars with significantly fewer miles always makes me smile. Its past will hold stories and experiences, of going places, seeing things, and visiting people, which are the hallmark of our love for motoring. A pristine garage queen has its place. They are like pieces in a museum serving as representations of a previous era. But the well worn examples are more fun and dare I say more interesting. Here we have one of those well-worn cars: a triple black 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa, located California, with 202,639 miles on it. Of course, even 200K miles doesn’t equate to a lot of mileage on a yearly basis when looking at a 36-year-old car, but still we don’t see too many 911s on the market with this many miles and regardless of how many of those miles were covered each year, they were still traveled.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

Year: 1981
Model: 911SC
Engine: 3.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 202,639 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

1981 911SC Targa, Blk/blk, 202,000 mi, good condition, turbo look w/whale tail, original condition inside/out, pwr windows, a/c, cruise, am/fm/cd, pop off valve, hydr. chain tensioner, orig fuch wheels, paint in good condition, garaged, no accidents, car cover & bra. Top end overhaul at 150k mi., trans overhaul at 198k mi. Service records, invoices. Includes Porsche Certificate of Authenticity
Clean title and fresh CA smog certificate.

Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Black
Mileage: 202,000
Condition: Very Good

Paint in very good condition
Targa top in good condition, few small tears.
Original Fuchs wheels in excellent condition.
Turbo-Look with Whale Tail
New Continental Extreme Tires

Leather upholstery in good condition, typical bolster wear, one crack.

Features: 5 speed manual transmission, power windows, power outside mirrors, cruise control, a/c, am/fm/cd stereo, turbo look w/Porsche whale tail.
Mechanical condition: Very good; Service records since 2/2000 including top-end overhaul at 150k mi., transmission overhaul at 198k mi

Higher mileage vehicles always occupy their own class though in many cases they require similar questions and attention to detail in evaluating a purchase. Like with any wholly original low-mileage 911, documentation with be crucial as we want to know about its maintenance history. As I said above, while 200K miles is a lot it isn’t a lot on a per year basis so it’s easy for owners to continually defer that maintenance leaving the new owner to have to make up for all of that. We’re told records for this 911 stretch back to 2000 so that should give us a nice sense of its present shape. Add the obligatory PPI and I think most buyers will be able to make a decision comfortably.

The overall condition also looks remarkably good. Given their relative condition I assume the driver’s seat has been reupholstered while the passenger seat has not. Either that or this car has had some very fidgety passengers! But even the worn passenger seat doesn’t look too bad. The paint looks in nice shape and while a detailed engine bay is a nice treat what we see here doesn’t look neglected even if not pristine. All told, it’s a nice looking high mileage 911 and one that presents as if it should have a good deal more miles left in it.

Bidding has reached $25,100 with reserve unmet and I suspect most probably would not want to go too much higher than that. If the maintenance records provide enough peace of mind to feel good about any additional expenditures on the horizon then I could see the price coming up a little, but overall this seems about right. And, really, it’s not too bad for a classic 911 Targa even with those miles.


1981 Porsche 911SC Coupe “RS” Backdate

We come across a lot of backdated 911s in a wide variety of builds though nearly all based on a similar premise: the underpinnings of the 911SC or 3.2 Carrera mated to vintage long-hood 911 Carrera RS styling. A common version I’ve seen is kind of a Frankenstein: a 911SC chassis with a 3.2 Carrera engine and that RS styling. As with any build, quality can be almost as variegated as the color palettes. I like the idea and many of them look great and provide something that many 911 fans find quite desirable. Not for all, since purists will always cherish originality, but the variety makes the market more intriguing and might even give buyers some ideas of their own.

This one, at least on appearance, is a pretty interesting one. It is photographed well and that always helps these cars stand out because their colors tend to play up contrasts more so than a standard 911. It also comes across as a fuller package though not necessarily pushed to the limits. They’ve done not only exterior and interior treatments, but they’ve also put in some effort to bring a vintage quality to the engine by fitting Weber carburetors and generally restoring it to pristine shape. The details certainly won’t excite you like something from Singer – I don’t think there’s anything here that we’d call bespoke – but the overall execution looks solid and the selling price should be significantly below that of a Singer. As an alternative to a standard 911SC or 3.2 Carrera this might make for an interesting option.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 911SC Coupe “RS” Backdate on eBay

Year: 1981
Model: 911SC
Engine: 3.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 173,691 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

1981 Porsche 911 SC Backdate

This project started as a clean 1981 911 SC, it has been tastefully updated and modified to look like a pre-’73 car.
The car runs very strong, the transmission shifts great, and it handles very well.
These backdated cars are the best of both world, retro looking but with the wider, stiffer, rust-proofed body.
This car looks fantastic and gets a ton of attention no matter where you go.
Car has Air conditioning and retro modern stereo with auxillary capability

Fresh window out re-spray in original Chiffon (Light Ivory)

Custom finish fiberglass long hood from TRE Racing. Under the hood has been left raw as in the original ST’s.

Fiberglass fenders and bumpers

Thru hood fuel filler with custom drilled chrome fuel cap.

Drilled early style square push button door handles with fresh chrome

New lenses with new rubber gaskets (front and rear)

New windshield with new rubber gaskets (front and rear)

New bright trim for windshields (front and rear)

New horn grills with fresh chrome on headlight rings

Driving lights mounted on the hood as used by the racers of the 60′ and 70’s.

Strong running 911SC 3.0-litre engine with 40 IDA Webers. (3% – 5% leakdown on all cylinders)

Black ceramic coated headers and sport muffler

Engine just had new Webcam 20/21 camshafts installed, RSR rocker shaft seals, and new Viton seals thru out. (No leaks, no drips, no smoke)

Elephant Racing finned oil lines and fender mounted cooler with dual cooling fans

Distributor recurved and rebuilt to RS spec by Aaron Burnham at Burnham Performance

MSD 6AL ignition and coil

New custom engine wiring harness

Replaced clutch, throw out bearing, pressure plate, resurfaced flywheel

Rebuilt original alternator and new starter

New powder-coat and paint on all engine tin, valve covers, fan, etc.

Almost every nut, bolt and washer was yellow zinc plated

Rebuilt and repainted brake calipers

New Hawk brake pads and braided stainless brake lines, ATE “Blue” racing brake fluid

New Bilstein Sport Shocks

Camber plates with monoballs up front

Fresh corner balance and competition alignment by Mirage International

Lightweight interior, with custom upholstered dash seats and door panels, all done in matching black basket weave with brass grommets

Appbiz charcoal RS style carpet -New

Autobahn light ivory headliner -New

Early chrome SWB rear view mirror

Black Nardi steering wheel

Coco floor mats

Opening front and rear quarter windows

Freshly refinished, original Fuchs 16 x 7’s & 8’s, with brand new Bridgestone RE 11 205/55/16 (front) and 245/45/16 (rear)

Full folder of invoices, from 2007-2015, showing everything that went into this build.


Owners manual

I always struggle to come to terms with pricing of these builds. In part, that’s because there’s so much subjectivity to the pricing. And in part, it’s because I know there is typically a lot of work been put into these builds and that can be difficult to properly value. If the right buyer comes along a seller could likely extract quite a premium. But waiting for that buyer might require more patience than some sellers are willing to tolerate. Bidding here sits at $46,300 and the reserve is unmet. How high will it go? I have no idea! $60K? Perhaps higher for that perfect buyer. Given how often I’ve seen builds optimistically priced above $100K I never quite know what to expect. In many ways the donor car and engine will tell us a lot. The SC and 3.2 Carrera builds, when more or less maintaining their original power levels, shouldn’t see too high of a price. One based on the 964, or even more rare showcasing a 993 engine, fall into an entirely different tier and with those we can really have something special with a price to match.

For a 911 like this I tend to think of it as being a really nice 911SC that’s had a good bit of work to return it to spirited and pristine form. There is value to be had there, though not necessarily as much as an original SC in comparable condition. And that’s where the pricing becomes difficult. I suspect many buyers will lose interest once the price drifts too far above $50K, but if the drive is as delightful as the appearance then I’m sure some can be persuaded to pay more.