1980 PORSCHE 911 SC TargaView vehicle description
The ‘Super Carrera’ as it is now known (on account of its SC designation, though there is no official reference to this nickname in-period) was introduced in 1978, and lasted in production until 1984 when it was replaced by the Carrera 3.2, though to any non-enthusiasts these vehicles look widely identical, such was the way of Porsche’s design team at the time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
With the SC designation brought out of Porsche’s nomenclature closet for the first time since the 356SC, the 911 SC featured a 3.0-litre, air-cooled flat-six engine, producing 180bhp at launch, later raised to 188bhp and finally 201bhp by the end of production.
Interestingly, the 911 SC generation saw the first production cabriolet 911 enter the market, which sold well - 4,214 selling in the first year alone - despite the premium price in comparison with the Targa (also known as the ‘safety targa’) and the coupé arguably being the choice of the enthusiastic driver.
In period, Porsche had planned to replace the then-ageing 911 with the V8-engined, transaxle 928, though sales of the iconic rear-engined, air-cooled flat-six 911 remained strong enough to keep it on-sale, with a total of 58,914 911 SCs sold throughout their production run.
First registered in 1980, this 911 SC Targa boasts the slightly more powerful 188bhp engine, and is finished in arguably the best colour for any air-cooled 911 - Guards Red - though it was originally out-shopped in Black, according to the HPI report, having been painted in 1998.
Unfortunately, the only prior history we can put together for this charming and well-loved 911 SC is what we’ve been told by the paperwork, as the vendor is a trade seller and therefore has not used the vehicle whilst it has been in his care.
What we can work out, however, is that it has had 11 owners - meaning 11 ‘honeymoon periods’ in our experience - and has covered a very impressive 112,000 miles, which we’ve rounded up to around 120,000 as an estimate, due to the odometer having ceased operation a number of years ago, with the previous owner having used the vehicle sparingly in the last few years.
We can also deduce that this 911SC has been kept in very good condition, particularly in recent years, as the most recent MoT exam showed a squeaky-clean pass with no advisory items, something that is particularly impressive on a Porsche of this era, and a sure-fire sign of good health.
In 2018, the car received a cosmetic overhaul from specialist RPM Technik, who supplied 4x new Fuchs wheels, powder-coated them to the owner’s colour choice, and fitted 4x N-rated Michelin tyres, which - as you’ll know, if you’re a regular The Market browser - is a very good sign for us, as we often find a correlation between matching, premium rubber and fastidious ownership.
Digging back through the paperwork (all of which is available to view below, as always) the only real issue we can find is that the car seemingly suffered an engine bay fire in the early 2001/2 era, though no specific details of this other than a mention on an invoice are available, and the event was clearly minor in its nature, as it is not flagged on our HPI check, and there is no mention of any bodywork being carried out following the reification work in 2001/2.
On the Outside
Resplendent in Guards Red, this 911 SC Targa still looks absolutely fantastic today, and arguably boasts one of the most recognisable silhouettes of the 20th century. Even a non-enthusiast knows this is a Porsche 911… how many other car models can boast such widespread appeal and awareness?
Despite the mileage displayed on the odometer, the car presents very well indeed on the whole, showcasing only commensurate wear-and-tear in our opinion. For example, the usual smattering of stone chips to the front end are visible, along with some marks on the outer mirror caps, around the concertina ‘impact’ bumper bellows, and on high-traffic areas such as the door handle and lock surrounds.
Up above, the removable targa top panel is in good order, and the folding mechanism is fully working, allowing it to be folded and stowed in the frunk for on-the-go removal and re-fitting as the weather changes.
Looking closer, there are no signs of any damage to the headlight or tail light lenses, whilst the bumper edges are free from any scuffs or heavy wear.
Along the sides of the car, we can see no evidence of any impact or accident damage, nor any obviously mis-aligned panels, mis-matched paint or repairs. We would note that the driver’s door has an intermittent latching issue, which has been previously mentioned in an invoice included in the history folder below, and is allegedly due to the striker plate not being correctly bonded to the B-pillar.
Elsewhere, there are some signs of age-related patina, such as minor marks to the windows, tarnishing to the roll-over hoop ‘Targa’ badging, and some touched-in blemishes, but nothing that we consider untoward.
At the rear, the iconic whale-tail spoiler is in great condition, whilst all four Fuchs wheels are near-immaculate, wrapped in matching Michelin N-Rated rubber.
On the Inside
Whilst the exterior may look remarkably fresh for 112,000 miles plus, the interior shows its age a little more, though still holds a certain charm, as is often the case with well-used classic cars.
The obvious signs of wear are visible on the front seats, with the driver’s unit in particular showing creases, patina, scuffs and some cracking, but nothing that has gone through to the foam itself as far as we could see. The front passenger seat also shows some moderate patina, though both rear ‘bucket’ seats look to have been barely used, by comparison.
The carpet also looks to be freshly-fitted, retaining a strong colour and minimal staining, though the over-mats themselves are evidently much older and more used.
Up above, the inside of the targa panel would benefit from some deep-cleaning to bring it back to its best, but looks to be in decent shape and there are no signs of any leaks or water ingress issues that we could see.
In the front, the ‘frunk’ presents well with no fuel smells noted during our drive or photo shoot, though the carpet set is somewhat out-of-place, and would benefit from a few minutes being re-affixed and arranged by the next owner to tidy up the luggage compartment.
Looking around the cabin, we’ve noted a few electrical issues, namely the aforementioned inoperable odometer/tacho, both electric windows are inoperable, and the clock is also broken. We also noted that turning on the blower/HVAC unit produces a pretty strong aroma and what look to be clouds of dust out of the vents, though this may simply need a thorough cleaning-out and more regular use to rectify.
That said, other than the aforementioned seats being heavily worn, the rest of the cabin shows only commensurate wear and patina, such as on the door cards, pulls, steering wheel and shifter, in keeping with the vehicle’s age and mileage, and offering the next owner plenty of potential to cultivate and improve upon this 911’s interior appearance.
Firing into life with impressive ease and settling into a smooth idle, the 3.0-litre flat-six in the rear of this 911 SC appears to be in good health, showing good oil pressure, maintaining temperature without issue and pulling well out on the road, with no untoward behaviours noted during our photo shoot and short test drive.
We did note that the gearbox would likely benefit from some attention, however. Even at a standstill, engaging first (from neutral, double de-clutching for maximum mechanical sympathy) would produce a small crunch, whilst shifting from second to third whilst on the move also displayed some resistance, unless a disproportionately slow action (second -> pause in neutral -> third) was employed, though there was never any sign of the vehicle popping out of gear.
In the rear, the bay and block present well, though we’d argue a thorough detailing would transform the appearance of this venerable flat-six engine. We also noticed that there is a slight grinding noise coming from the cooling fan, though this did not appear to affect its operation.
Looking underneath the vehicle, the chassis, bottom end of the engine and suspension all look to be in good shape, and the most recent MoT exam - dated 17 December 2021 - showed a clean pass with no advisory items.
Included with the vehicle is the V5 showing 11 former keepers, the current MoT certificate and historic certificates showing the odometer sat at 112,901 for a number of years, invoices from specialist outfits such as RPM Technik and Paragon Porsche, and historic documentation pertaining to repairs, servicing and miscellaneous works carried out during the 2000-2010 period.
What We Think
Ready to use and enjoy without fear of mileage-based depreciation, mechanically strong and with plentiful room for further fettling, improvement and personalisation, this 1980 Porsche 911 SC Targa offers the next owner hours of use, enjoyment and tinkering, and would make an excellent addition to any air-cooled enthusiast’s garage.
Offered with an estimate of £30,000 to £40,000 summer is on its way, making this Targa a very attractive proposition indeed. Good luck!
Viewing is always encouraged. This particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays between 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
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