I sort of stumbled into this 911, but I’m very glad that I did! I had come to this dealer’s website looking for information on a 911 I’d seen listed on one of the various classifieds. As it turns out I hadn’t even been looking for that 911 either, but rather was on a completely different search. But that’s another story. Anyway, the 911 I was seeking more information on apparently has sold since it no longer is listed. But my eyes immediately were taken in by this one and just look at it!
We can’t really call this a backdate, because it isn’t a backdate though it certainly exists in that restomod/backdate universe of 911s. This is a 1979 Porsche 911SC Targa that’s basically been enhanced in pretty much every way. The exterior mostly remains as any other 911SC would look. It hasn’t been widened and it remains a short-hood. But it was stripped to bare metal, all parts of the body and frame were reconditioned as needed, various areas were stiffened, and a roll bar was integrated and painted to match the exterior. I’m not exactly sure what color this is, but it looks quite good. Really the only exterior cues to really tell you this 911 is a little different are the round fog lamps and the center-exit exhaust. It’s an attractive looking car and I’m sure would attract plenty of notice. But it is the interior and the engine where things really begin to take shape.
It seems somewhat fortuitous to stumble upon today’s creation, which manages to build upon a few prior posts. Last week I look a look at a beefed-up 1976 2002 with a S14 swap. Then, yesterday, I took a look at the crazy 4-door convertible 316i Baur TC4. Combining those two unique creations is today’s 1972 BMW 2002.
Like last week, this one is pretty far from original. It’s also got tacked-on flares, super-wide wheels, a non-original interior and is painted a non-original color – in this case, Sunflower Yellow borrowed from the contemporaneous Porsche. But the big news here is again the S14 and 5-speed swap, giving more muscle to match the macho looks. On top of that, or rather topless perhaps, this one appears to be a Baur Targa conversion. It was certainly worth a closer look:
Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart had a unique history of working directly with manufacturers to produce some pretty special cars. Most notably linked to the Baur name was a string of interesting but also-ran BMW 3-series convertibles. However, three of the most prized 80s German collector cars in the market today were also linked to the firm; first the BMW M1 after Lamborghini’s meltdown, and then Audi’s shortened Sport Quattro rolled through the special production line. Baur also constructed the special bodies of the Porsche 959.
However, Baur is linked most closely with offering drop-top BMWs to a market devoid of such options. First was the E10 chassis, with Baur chopping the top off of everything from 1602s to 2002s. Baur then moved on to the E21 chassis, offering the ‘Top Cabriolet’ TC1. The E30 also recieved the Baur treatment , but by that point BMW had released its own convertible model and the draw of the more expensive TC models waned, leading to a steadily disappearing market share. Perhaps the most unique was their last BMW creation. Based upon the E36 chassis, Baur released what it called the ‘Landaulet TC4’. It was effectively a 4-door E36 Targa (Porsche’s use of the Targa name was proprietary which prevented Baur from using it) and just over 300 were produced, making it one of the most rare E36 chassis configurations to see:
There is very little that will attract my attention more than a black car looking its best. It may only look its best for the 15 minutes immediately after being detailed, but it’s a divine 15 minutes. I particularly like open-top black cars, which is why I own one. Sadly, it never looks its best since it always is parked outside. Meaning I end up looking longingly at the occasional exceptional examples I see. Some people will tell you black cars are boring and too common. They are wrong.
This one, a Black 2019 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS with Espresso/Cognac natural leather interior and 557 miles on it, looks so devilishly good. I don’t typically feature many nearly new 911s other than the various rare GT and special edition models, but I saw this one and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It’s been built pretty well too with a bunch of worthwhile options and it has a manual transmission. During the summer I walked past a black Targa 4 GTS parked in the neighborhood and it was stunning. This one rekindles that memory.
What is it that we look for in these cars? Assuming you’re not after the perfect collector example the list is fairly straightforward though not short. The availability of documentation and a known history obviously are of great importance. A knowledgeable seller helps in this regard as well. Abundant photos, paint meter readings, an assessment of its current mechanical condition including any known flaws, and possibly originality of the equipment. Obviously, the last point will vary quite a bit from buyer to buyer, but any buyer will want to know what is original to a particular 911 and what isn’t even if that buyer does not mind the lack of originality. Lastly, we all want a fair price, but perhaps even more so when looking at driver-quality cars. Their value typically is pretty locked in so you can’t bank on higher resale down the road.
I think this Marine Blue 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa fulfills most of those points and that’s part of what I like about it. It’s up for auction without reserve so the price should be fair. It also looks pretty great. It sounds like there isn’t a huge amount of documentation, but some does exist, and it does appear we know the ownership history. There is one red flag in its history – it was a theft recovery back in the ’90s – but that red flag doesn’t seem to be causing it any problems. It is stated to have a clear title. It isn’t perfect, but looks like a very nice example of a late Carrera Targa and could find itself in a sweet spot in the market.
The second-hand car market for almost-new Porsches is kind of amusing to me these days. On the one hand, you have the various GT cars – the GT3, GT3 RS, and GT2 RS. All of those have been selling for above MSRP and in the case of the GT2 RS the markup is high enough that you easily could buy yourself a second nearly-new 911 instead. They are amazing cars and prices will come down, but still.
On the other hand, you have pretty much every other Porsche on the market, which, like most any other car, goes through a decent bit of depreciation almost immediately. For instance, there is this Graphite Blue 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in Texas, with Graphite Blue/Chalk leather interior. In truth, this one probably isn’t even a particularly good deal, but it is one that I like quite a bit. The Graphite Blue exterior is a fantastic color, I really like the interior contrast, it has the 7-speed manual transmission, and it’s a Targa. There’s a lot to like about this 911.
To be clear, I am in no way perplexed by these phenomena; I just find it amusing.
I’m going to say from the outset that I really like this Guards Red 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa. I wouldn’t say there is much that’s terribly special about it, but its overall look is really grabbing me. A bright red 3.2 Carrera Targa that is presented well simply falls right into my wheelhouse for everything I love about the 911. I love the classic 911 design, I’ve always liked the versatility and appearance of the Targa, and the ’85 fits into a nice window with regard to value. And it is that last point that brings me to the one thing I don’t like about it: the price. It is possible that given the condition and low mileage that this Targa isn’t priced too badly, but I’m not so sure about that. Though even if it is too highly priced it still foretells a movement of these early Carreras into pricing that simply seems beyond what I’d want to spend for one. Oh well. Let’s take a look at it though because as I said I love the car itself.
Sometimes I just want something simple. I’ve been posting a lot of newer and very expensive 911s lately and I must admit they are very hard to pass up. Especially now that Porsche has brought a healthy dose of color back to the 911 lineup both through the standard colors available and also through their paint-to-sample option, which even with its hefty price increase has been a frequent selection.
That, of course, brings me to the 911SC, the model that we might thank for convincing Porsche that it was the 911 upon which the marque should hang its hat. The success of the 911SC and its successor the 3.2 Carrera paved the way for the beautiful machines we see today. Or at least they got us far enough along for Porsche to commit to it since a good bit of Porsche’s success today can be laid at the feet of the Cayenne and Macan.
But I digress. As you can see, this isn’t a brightly colored 911. Bright colors were available during the SC’s time, but kind of like the 996 they aren’t quite as prevalent. Nonetheless, this 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa, in Pewter Metallic over Brown/Beige, still looks pretty good even if its exterior color won’t necessarily get your blood boiling. It’s simple, but should still be quite enjoyable.
I’m going to begin this post with a little bit of a tangent. In yesterday’s write-up of a Speed Yellow GT3 I mentioned that it is my favorite of the 996 GT3 colors. However, that’s only partially true because I knew even when writing that there is always an exception. The problem is that there is only one: a paint-to-sample Minerva Blue Metallic GT3. Paint to sample wasn’t really a popular option during the 996’s production. So while it seems like almost every GT3 produced today is paint to sample this wasn’t the case with earlier models and we so rarely see them that if I want to speak of favorites it makes more sense to refer to the primary colors that were available. But I know that Minerva GT3 exists and I, of course, began searching for it again just to remind myself of its beauty.
That more or less brings us to this Iris Blue Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa. Obviously, it isn’t Minerva and Minerva is a better color, but the early Iris Blue – note that the color changed significantly on the 993 – possesses a similar level of beauty. Porsche blues are some of my favorites and I’m reminded of that nearly every time I come across one. There’s variety spanning the whole spectrum from seemingly black dark blues to the brightest blues we can imagine. Whether metallic or non-metallic they bring out some of the best in any 911. Whoever chose to build that Minerva Blue GT3 made an inspired choice.
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.