Sedans & Coupes

Bring a Trailer Bargain of the Week: 1982 Porsche 911 SC

Air-cooled 911s are some of the most valuable Porsches, but they’re also arguably over-valued for what they offer. However, not every model or generation is priced so far out of reach. And one of these bargains takes the spotlight today on Bring a Trailer: a 1982 Porsche 911 SC.

What makes the Porsche 911 SC different from other air-cooled 911s?

The air-cooled Porsche 911 formula survived into the late 90s with the 993-gen model. However, the iconic rear-engine sports car almost died in 1981 due to noise and emission regulations, Automobile explains. If it had, the 1978-1983 Porsche 911 SC would’ve been the last-ever 911. Luckily, though, it persevered, helped along by the refinements and improvements introduced by the 911 SC.

The 1978 Porsche 911 SC (‘Super Carrera’) had a few upgrades over the preceding Carrera 3.0, PCA reports. The 3.0-liter fuel-injected flat-six got a catalytic converter for the first time, as well as an air pump. Its internal components were also strengthened; as a result, the engine makes 180 hp. The Porsche 911 SC also received larger anti-roll bars and upgraded braking hardware, a stronger differential, and a new transmission housing. Plus, it has the 911 Carrera’s wider body.

Porsche updated the 911 SC over the years. By 1982, the 3.0-liter engine had a modern-style O2 sensor, a new catalytic converter, an upgraded intake manifold, and new metal fuel lines. As a result, the 1982 911 SC has 204 hp. Power windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a center console were now all standard. Plus, the 5-speed manual transmission has an upgraded clutch disc. Porsche also upgraded the 911 SC’s rust-proofing measures, Hagerty reports.

Today, the Porsche 911 SC’s 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds isn’t exactly fast, though it is brisk, Automobile reports. And the 5-speed manual isn’t as smooth as the one found in later 911 models, PCA and Road & Track reports. However, the sports car’s relatively low weight and excellent steering feel make driving it around corners a visceral mechanical experience, Hemmings reports.

The 1982 Porsche 911 SC on Bring a Trailer

A black 1982 Porsche 911 SC on a parking garage roof
1982 Porsche 911 SC front 3/4 | Bring a Trailer

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The 1982 Porsche 911 SC currently posted on Bring a Trailer isn’t a perfect specimen. It has a few exterior dings, the passenger door has been repainted, and the dashboard shows a few cracks. Also, it has 150,000 miles showing on the odometer.

The front interior and dashboard of a black 1982 Porsche 911 SC seen through the open driver's door
1982 Porsche 911 SC interior | Bring a Trailer

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However, it’s also been very well maintained. The interior, complete with leather sport seats, an aftermarket Pioneer stereo, and power-operated sunroof, was refurbished by previous owners. The suspension was recently aligned and the front discs and brake pads were replaced. And while the owner reports the 911 SC’s A/C isn’t the best, it does blow cool air.

But, more importantly, the engine and transmission have been rebuilt and recently serviced. The throttle body and head gaskets are new, as is the fuel-feed line and breather cover gasket. Plus, this particular Porsche 911 SC has an upgraded pop-off air valve, which prevents the backfires the unmodified engine sometimes suffered, Hagerty reports. This 911 SC also has upgraded timing-chain tensioners, another longevity pre-requisite.

What makes this a bargain buy?

The rear 3/4 view of a black 1982 Porsche 911 SC on a parking garage roof
1982 Porsche 911 SC rear 3/4 | Bring a Trailer

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As of this writing, this 1982 Porsche 911 SC is listed on Bring a Trailer at $18,000 with 3 days left in the auction. Admittedly, it’s a rather high-mileage example, but in some ways, that’s better than being locked in a garage. And it means you can net an air-cooled 911 at a very reasonable price.

$18,000 is also a somewhat low price for a 911 SC. Prices have fluctuated a bit over the years, but a good-condition example can sell for $30k-$40k, Hagerty reports. And the average Bring a Trailer price has crept close to $50,000 in the past few years.

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So, if you’ve wanted to experience first-hand if the air-cooled Porsche 911 hype is justified, this may be the most affordable way to do it.

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