CURRENT BID: £47,250
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1978 Porsche 911 SC

Guide Price: £29,000 - £34,000

The Background

The Porsche 911 was the car that put the brand on the map. Yes, there was the 356 and variations before it, but it was the 911 we fell in love with. And that’s a love affair that has remained passionate and full of roses and chocolates right through today, as is evidenced by the myriad brand new options currently sat in Porsche dealerships around the world.

The 911 was even more of a success than Porsche could have even imagined. In fact, the company toyed with the idea of replacing it in the late 1970s. The bosses of the time were of the train of thought that the 911 had grown old and its design was too weird and too off the beaten path to appeal to the market. As such, they pushed the 928 into development. This long, V8, front-engined car was going to be the new 911. Except for the fact that, well, it wasn’t. Despite what bosses thought, customers were quick to remind them they were wrong. The 911 may have been getting on in years, but it was still an icon, it was still a car that people dreamed of owning. 

Thankfully, Porsche listened and introduced the G Series 911, which is what we have here in SC guise. It was the first 911 with a brake servo, it was the basis of the 930 Turbo model. This car, make no mistake, was not a simple freshen up of an old car though. Far from it. Many would argue that if the 911 was indeed going to remain popular, all hopes rested on this car. But as well we now know, those hopes were well and truly fulfilled.

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The history

As we touched on above, Porsche was planning to end production of the 911 in favour of the 928. The 928 was a more conventional car, in as much as there was a V8 upfront driving the rear wheels. Bosses at Porsche thought this was the answer, and as such, billed it as being the future of Porsche. Sales figures, however, said otherwise. The 911 was still going strong.

Peter W. Schutz (CEO Porsche AG 1981–1987), was also of the belief the 911 had a future, as he explains here: “The decision to keep the 911 in the product line occurred one afternoon in the office of Dr. Helmuth Bott. I noticed a chart on the wall of Professor Bott's office. It depicted the ongoing development schedules for the three primary Porsche product lines: 944, 928 and 911. Two of them stretched far into the future, but the 911 program stopped at the end of 1981. I remember rising from my chair, walking over to the chart, taking a black marker pen, and extending the 911 program bar clean off the chart. I am sure I heard a silent cheer from Professor Bott, and I knew I had done the right thing. The Porsche 911, the company icon, had been saved, and I believe the company was saved with it.”

This new Porsche 911, the G Series 911SC, is what we have for auction here. Powered by an air-cooled, flat-six engine driving the rear wheels, it was how a 911 should be. However, improvements had been made to the styling and the mechanicals to keep the 911 at the forefront of the company’s technological offerings. It was designed with crash protection in mind, it was more aerodynamic, it was lower and it was wider. And the engine, aluminium with Bosch K Jetronic fuel injection, was light but powerful. 

This car was supplied new to a London Porsche dealership, and was ordered in the stunning special order Cosmic Blue Metallic / 9999 paint with matching dark blue leather trim. Fitted with a 188bhp 2,993cc flat-six engine, the car now has a five-speed manual transmission. However, when it was new, it was a Sportomatic with the four-speed shifter sans clutch. The conversion to a manual transmission, which arguably makes this car even better to drive, was carried out in 2013 and there are invoices to confirm this in great detail. 

This car has been cared for fastidiously throughout its life, and has wanted for nothing. The current owner, who is deeply passionate about his 911SC, is only selling the car as he’s planning a move overseas. Were it not for that, he’d be keeping it. And rightly so, as finding something like this is likely not a situation the current owner will ever be faced with again. You are though, which is why bidding is a must.

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The Paperwork 

Rich, diverse and plentiful. When you’re looking for a classic car, you hope for good history. For many, a well-presented car (which this, of course, is) is not enough. There needs to be history to back up the condition. Happily, this 1978 911SC has it in spades. There are reams and reams of paperwork with this car. For us, as the auctioneers, cars like this are what we dream of. There is a ring binder with invoices dating back to the car’s origins. Every service is here, every part, every bit of work, it’s all documented, dated and signed. 

The paperwork also serves to demonstrate how well cared for this 911SC is and has always been. The works that it has been subjected to in the past have been of a maintenance ilk, with nothing in the way of damage or accident repair. There are of course some invoices and also photographs to show some restoration work that has been done, including new paint in areas, some rust protection and works to the front wings. The quality of which, the car’s current condition is a glowing example of. 

All the handbooks are present, as are stamped original service books, and there is even a glossary/index overview of all works so you can quickly reference when things were done. You even get the majority of the car’s old tax discs and MOT certificates, which in today’s paperless age is a novelty. 

Finally, there is a certificate of authenticity from Porsche, detailing the specification and build date of the 911 (these forms are acquired through Porsche Club Great Britain, of which the current owner is a member). And charmingly, there are also copies of the letter between the current owner and the original owner, as the current owner was trying to locate a small number of past MOT certificates and tax discs. While the original owner didn’t have them, by opening up this correspondence, they both gave the car some extra, human, provenance.

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The Interior

Resplendent in dark blue leather with matching piping, the interior is in excellent, honest condition. This is a car of some forty-two years of age, so there is some slight warping of covering vinyl here and there, and some wear on the driver’s door and on the dash behind the top of the steering wheel (the seller joked with us that he imagines some gold ring-clad hand leaving its mark in the ‘90s - entirely suitable). 

Speaking of the dash, you may notice the steering wheel has been upgraded to a MOMO Pro-Tipo item, which suits the car down to the ground. That said, if you prefer originality, the factory steering wheel comes with the car. 

The seats are all in excellent order, with no excessive wear and no signs of any damage. The door cards are all in good order, as is the headlining, including around the sunroof (which functions perfectly). The glass is all in excellent condition and free of damage, as are all the carpets and kick plates. 

Around the front, the ‘boot’ if you will is fitted with the original factory carpets (though they have slightly lost some shape over the years, which is to be expected), there is a first aid kit, a jack and also a spare wheel. It’s dry, with no signs of moisture ever being an issue. Plus, there are no signs of damage or sub-par repairs to any of the inner floor/nose sections.

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The Exterior

Just look at it. When we arrived to take pictures of it, the owner had just wheeled out of the garage where it usually resides, complete with ‘safety carpet’ on the walls! It is a stunning car, and while the eagle-eyes may be able to find some signs of age in some of the plastics etc, this car is by and large, flawless. The panels are arrow straight, the new front wings have been expertly fitted and the gaps are factory perfect. There are no scratches, no dings, no scuffs, nothing. There isn’t even evidence of sub-par washing - no swirl marks, just paint that looks as though you could dive into it. 

Underneath the car everything is pleasingly clean and tidy. Make no mistake, this is a car that is driven and enjoyed, so there is a bit of road dirt and some ever so slight surface corrosion on some surfaces, as one would expect of any car that is driven on UK roads. Aside from that though, it’s rock solid, there is ample rust-proofing applied, there is no significant damage of any kind; even the lower front valance is relatively free of stone chips and road rash. 

The staggered Fuchs alloy wheels are all mint, and wear premium Continental rubber, all of which has ample life left. While looking at the wheels, we observed that the inner arches are free of damage or corrosion, as are all the suspension components we could see. 

The exhaust, which is relatively new, is in good order and shows no scrapes or damage, and the engine bay while that of a car that’s driven, is clean, tidy and presents exceptionally well. This is, make no bones about it, a car that while enjoyed out on the road, is also extremely well cared for.

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The Mechanics

It starts on the button and when out on the road, the 2,993cc pulls like a train. One has to remember that with a car like this, we’re in a different era of power to weight, and back in ‘78 188bhp went a long way when it came to shunting what is by today’s standards, a featherweight car along. The power is progressive and always there, but is never too much. This car feels comfortingly surefooted, not at all tail happy. The big Continental rubber on the back most definitely does its job. 

Out on the road it feels like a car half its age. It’s refined and solid, with no clunks or rattles. There is a delightfully period Blaupunkt stereo fitted, but you won’t ever use it. The ongoing tunes of the engine are far too addictive than anything the radio stations may offer. 

The gear change is sharp, direct and rewarding. The fitment of the manual transmission was carried out by experts and it shows. This feels like a car that has always been a manual, not a car in which someone has hastily changed their mind. 

Braking is impressive, thanks in no small part to the servo assistance (the first 911 to have this, remember?) and it all adds into the thrill that is the overall driving experience. This 911SC is how you want a 911SC to be. It’s pure, brash and engaging but without being too much, or too intimidating. It is the perfect sports car in many respects. 

Is it perfect? Nearly, but not quite. The seller tells us that in typical Porsche fashion it does lose the odd drop of oil, and given the performance nature of the engine, it prefers to drink high-octane fuel rather than anything else. But hey, that means better performance. And as for a tiny oil leak, so what? It’s a classic car. Call it ‘personality’.

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The Appeal 

Cars like this make our job a lot easier. Beautiful to look at, boasting a rich and detailed history that would tire the eyes of the most fastidious buyer, this 911SC is the perfect storm of car, history and appeal. The 911SC is a car laden with desire to begin with, but sadly too many people know this and as such, will pass  off the sub par as the excellent. That’s not the case here. This 1978 911SC is reassuringly honest and ready to go. 

If you have been looking for a 911SC; a proper, iconic, air-cooled 911, look no further. If you’re an expert in these matters, this car will please you greatly. It’s everything you have been looking for. If you’re not an expert, but you are just now pondering the notion of pulling the trigger on 911 ownership, this is the car with which to do it. Let your introduction to the Porsche world be via this car. You’ll be glad you did.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sales of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.
Vehicle specification
  • Year 1978
  • Make Porsche
  • Model 911 SC
  • Colour Blue
  • Mileage 157,273
  • Engine size 2993
  • Location Devon
Bidding history
76 bids
  • Tang Ma•••• £47,250 17/09/20
  • nphelix £47,000 17/09/20
  • Tang Ma•••• £46,750 17/09/20
  • nphelix £46,500 17/09/20
  • Tang Ma•••• £46,250 17/09/20
  • nphelix £46,000 17/09/20
  • prelan £45,750 17/09/20
  • nphelix £45,500 17/09/20
  • nphelix £45,250 17/09/20
  • prelan £45,000 17/09/20

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