Here’s a road test of an icon.
Taken from R&T’s 1980 May Issue:
“R&T” had an editorial tumbulence for Porsche 911’s during this time period; just as “C&D” had one over any BMW car.
Gotta love how they make appalling understeer and abrupt liftoff oversteer sound like virtues, skilled drivers can pedal these earlier Porsches very fast less skilled driver join the scenery often backwards at high speed.
After making the admittedly rookie Porsche mistake of letting off the gas coming our of a curve and spinning it end-to-end off the road into a (thankfully) empty field, I crept home in Dad’s 911, thoroughly washed and de-mud-clodded it, put it back in the garage while developing a new admiration for the “other” six cylinder, rear engine, air cooled car in our driveway: my ’67 Chevy Corvair Monza. A MUCH more stable car!
I had one of these – a targa – about15 years ago. The realization of a dream after a long search for the right car (which I don’t think I bought).
I think Bryce’s comment about understeer and oversteer is overstated – as it often is. I’m not a particularly skilled driver, but I never disappeared anywhere backwards in my car. No doubt if you badly overcooked it, you’d get in trouble but that was often the case with any car made in the early 80’s – compared to now with all the electronic safety features we have.
I enjoyed my car for about 3-4 years. The best bit (after installing an lsd and raising the final drive ratio) was joining fast moving traffic from a standstill at right angles out of a side road. Put the boot in and hard on the tiller as both rear wheels dug in and shot you up to the ambient speed in a satisfyingly brief few seconds.
But ultimately I found the car disappointing. It was very crude in many ways and you had to be indulgently tolerant of its many quirks. It was expensive to maintain and in the end just not good enough to keep me wanting it in the face of the niggles and inconveniences.
If I’d kept it, I could have sold it now for a lot more than I did then – even a 1981 targa with a few kms on the odometer. Prices for older 911’s have gone crazy in the past few years. A kind of collective madness has taken hold of buyers of older 911’s. In my opinion the cars are just not nearly good enough to justify the prices. There are plenty of other options out there (both older and newer) which give just as much fun at a much more reasonable entry fee.
To me the Porsche 911 is the car equivalent of the Fender Stratocaster – timeless mid century design, produced forever, has distinctive quirks not present in other cars or instruments that make them appealing to the discerning driver or player, went through a period of “boost” in the late 70s and 80s of with the 930 Turbo and the humbucker equipped “Superstrats” in glam metal, have loyal followings of purist snobs, and both seem to skyrocket in value at the 30 year mark(who’d have thought 70s CBS fenders Non-Turbo 80s 911s would be as sought after as they now are?).
911SC – the best of the breed.
simple, tough & evil
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