Aircooled 911s
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By eflight
#164233
Started missing the 997 S that I sold, miss the manual transmission and overall performance. Always liked the looks of the older air cooled cars. Looked at this 83 Targa. Took it for a test drive and wasn't impressed by its handling . ride or shifting. It was a well cared for car with a well documented service history and recent work done. Nothing wrong with it. In fact it was a really well sorted honest daily driver, just not a concourse car.

I know its not fair to compare it to a modern 911, but that's the choice to be made when looking for a new ride at this price point.

After driving the 83 Targa I did not think it was the better choice over a 997. Ok Air cooled guys, the what am I missing?

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By fpena944
#164241
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:37 am Started missing the 997 S that I sold, miss the manual transmission and overall performance. Always liked the looks of the older air cooled cars. Looked at this 83 Targa. Took it for a test drive and wasn't impressed by its handling . ride or shifting. It was a well cared for car with a well documented service history and recent work done. Nothing wrong with it. In fact it was a really well sorted honest daily driver, just not a concourse car.

I know its not fair to compare it to a modern 911, but that's the choice to be made when looking for a new ride at this price point.

After driving the 83 Targa I did not think it was the better choice over a 997. Ok Air cooled guys, the what am I missing?

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Oh boy...On some sites saying such a thing could end up in a World War III!!!

Not an owner but I've done quite a few test drives when I was trying to figure out what I wanted next. Ultimately I ended up with a water-cooled so my comments might be biased a bit but just my observations.

First thing is to try another and make sure the one you drove didn't have any issues. Yes it might have been well-sorted and looked good but it's still possible the suspension was worn and that contributed to the underwhelming feeling you reflected on.

But for me what I LOVED about the air-cooled 911s was just the overall experience. Compared to the newer car it didn't handle as well, the interior looks like it's from 1960, the shifter is strange to use, and the A/C is barely functional. BUT behind the wheel the sound of the engine, smell of old vinyl, leather, and oil, and the go-kart like handling traits put up a huge smile on my face!

Those same traits though work against it depending on your intended use. For a weekend car it's fun because all of those quirks help give it character and make it a memorable drive. But if you're using one daily those same quirks could probably drive you nuts.

Like I said before I ultimately chose the more modern vehicle but could see myself buying an air-cooled (once more reasonably priced) to take out and just have some fun with. But we do get spoiled now with these new cars coddling us and exceeding the performance of the previous generations!
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By linderpat
#164243
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:37 am ...
After driving the 83 Targa I did not think it was the better choice over a 997. Ok Air cooled guys, the what am I missing?

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You aren't missing anything. It just depends on what you like to feel when driving. Sometimes it is more fun to drive a slow car fast, and let it take your skills to the edge - a more visceral feel if you will. The 997 is a fast car, that is fun to drive fast or slow. It is maybe the best evolution of the 911.
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By eflight
#164245
fpena944 wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:37 am
Like I said before I ultimately chose the more modern vehicle but could see myself buying an air-cooled (once more reasonably priced) to take out and just have some fun with.
All the service records. and there are a pile of them, show the suspension and stuff up to snuff as they say. It did need an alignment , but that's because they just replaced some parts.

And its reasonably priced, which makes it hard to dismiss.

First world problems for sure.
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By amdavid
#164270
Proper alignment on a 911, especially torsion bar models is critical. I'm guessing the car with proper alignment would handle and steer much better. I also think the Targa models are not as ridged as the coupe's which obviously compromises stiffness. Stock suspensions on air cooled 911's leave much to be desired......they're a whole new car with mildly upgraded parts that are properly installed and dialed.....like night and day difference.
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By eflight
#164284
amdavid wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:40 pm Proper alignment on a 911, especially torsion bar models is critical. I'm guessing the car with proper alignment would handle and steer much better. I also think the Targa models are not as ridged as the coupe's which obviously compromises stiffness. Stock suspensions on air cooled 911's leave much to be desired......they're a whole new car with mildly upgraded parts that are properly installed and dialed.....like night and day difference.
Any idea on the cost of that kind of upgrade? Is it something that an average mechanically inclined person (like me) can do without a lift?

I think the first thing I would do is put on a short shifter kit. Those shift throws where huge, 3rd gear was in a different zip code.

My wife keeps asking me why I havent bought it yet.
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By amdavid
#164293
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:27 pm
amdavid wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:40 pm Proper alignment on a 911, especially torsion bar models is critical. I'm guessing the car with proper alignment would handle and steer much better. I also think the Targa models are not as ridged as the coupe's which obviously compromises stiffness. Stock suspensions on air cooled 911's leave much to be desired......they're a whole new car with mildly upgraded parts that are properly installed and dialed.....like night and day difference.
Any idea on the cost of that kind of upgrade? Is it something that an average mechanically inclined person (like me) can do without a lift?

I think the first thing I would do is put on a short shifter kit. Those shift throws where huge, 3rd gear was in a different zip code.

My wife keeps asking me why I havent bought it yet.
Nice wife. Are you set on a Targa, or is pricing of this model one of the appealing factors?

A suspension swap for someone with decent skills and tools is definitely doable, especially with no time frames on completion. Finding someone to dial in the suspension that lives within a reasonable distance can be a pain. If you're doing adjustable coil overs you'll want to borrow/rent some scales to get corner weighting in the neighborhood.

There's much more knowledge here at the OR...... I'm hoping others will share.
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By eflight
#164305
amdavid wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:27 pm
amdavid wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:40 pm Proper alignment on a 911, especially torsion bar models is critical. I'm guessing the car with proper alignment would handle and steer much better. I also think the Targa models are not as ridged as the coupe's which obviously compromises stiffness. Stock suspensions on air cooled 911's leave much to be desired......they're a whole new car with mildly upgraded parts that are properly installed and dialed.....like night and day difference.
Any idea on the cost of that kind of upgrade? Is it something that an average mechanically inclined person (like me) can do without a lift?

I think the first thing I would do is put on a short shifter kit. Those shift throws where huge, 3rd gear was in a different zip code.

My wife keeps asking me why I havent bought it yet.
Nice wife. Are you set on a Targa, or is pricing of this model one of the appealing factors?

A suspension swap for someone with decent skills and tools is definitely doable, especially with no time frames on completion. Finding someone to dial in the suspension that lives within a reasonable distance can be a pain. If you're doing adjustable coil overs you'll want to borrow/rent some scales to get corner weighting in the neighborhood.

There's much more knowledge here at the OR...... I'm hoping others will share.
Wife later asked me why not get both? So yeah , she is a keeper. Though she did latter say she could get rid of her RAV4 and use the 911 when she needs a car, hmm maybe its not just for me.

I've always liked the looks of the classic targa and the price of this one is pretty good. I havent been able to test drive a latter year air cooled 911, there just are not that many around here for sale. So its somewhat of an opportunity and availability window.

The later G50 models price puts them higher than I really want to spend on a weekend toy, nor have I driven one to see the difference. So price plays a factor simply because its only a toy to take out and drive once in a while. I cant us the drive it to work justification anymore
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By amdavid
#164308
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 2:41 pm
amdavid wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:50 pm
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:27 pm

Any idea on the cost of that kind of upgrade? Is it something that an average mechanically inclined person (like me) can do without a lift?

I think the first thing I would do is put on a short shifter kit. Those shift throws where huge, 3rd gear was in a different zip code.

My wife keeps asking me why I havent bought it yet.
Nice wife. Are you set on a Targa, or is pricing of this model one of the appealing factors?

A suspension swap for someone with decent skills and tools is definitely doable, especially with no time frames on completion. Finding someone to dial in the suspension that lives within a reasonable distance can be a pain. If you're doing adjustable coil overs you'll want to borrow/rent some scales to get corner weighting in the neighborhood.

There's much more knowledge here at the OR...... I'm hoping others will share.
Wife later asked me why not get both? So yeah , she is a keeper. Though she did latter say she could get rid of her RAV4 and use the 911 when she needs a car, hmm maybe its not just for me.

I've always liked the looks of the classic targa and the price of this one is pretty good. I havent been able to test drive a latter year air cooled 911, there just are not that many around here for sale. So its somewhat of an opportunity and availability window.

The later G50 models price puts them higher than I really want to spend on a weekend toy, nor have I driven one to see the difference. So price plays a factor simply because its only a toy to take out and drive once in a while. I cant us the drive it to work justification anymore
I can say with confidence the handling on the car can be vastly improved without too much effort and some money. I did the suspension on my 1980 SC and then the 993 and the change to the way those cars drove was dramatic.
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By Alansglide
#164713
I have a 77 wide body with a 3.0 hotrod engine and upgraded suspension and a 991 . No power brakes power steering or any other nannies on the 77. I did have the tranny rebuilt this past winter which made a major improvement. When its hot ill be be In the 991 and yes its faster handles better and is more comfortable but once it cools down the 77 is just a blast to drive. Every shift is at redline although not fast by today's standards quick would be a better description. Someone just asked me if I take it to the rev limiter and I replied what's a rev limiter :grinning:
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By N_Jay
#164741
Alansglide wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:09 pm I have a 77 wide body with a 3.0 hotrod engine and upgraded suspension and a 991 . No power brakes power steering or any other nannies on the 77. I did have the tranny rebuilt this past winter which made a major improvement. When its hot ill be be In the 991 and yes its faster handles better and is more comfortable but once it cools down the 77 is just a blast to drive. Every shift is at redline although not fast by today's standards quick would be a better description. Someone just asked me if I take it to the rev limiter and I replied what's a rev limiter :grinning:
Isn't that the sound of floating valves?
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By Alansglide
#164746
N_Jay wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:54 pm
Alansglide wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 2:09 pm I have a 77 wide body with a 3.0 hotrod engine and upgraded suspension and a 991 . No power brakes power steering or any other nannies on the 77. I did have the tranny rebuilt this past winter which made a major improvement. When its hot ill be be In the 991 and yes its faster handles better and is more comfortable but once it cools down the 77 is just a blast to drive. Every shift is at redline although not fast by today's standards quick would be a better description. Someone just asked me if I take it to the rev limiter and I replied what's a rev limiter :grinning:
Isn't that the sound of floating valves?
Best description of a rev limiter yet :grin:
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By eflight
#166580
welp, he who hesitates is lost

I saw a real nice 89 on BAT that was local so I was bidding on that. Went higher than my limit so I did not get it. That 5% BAT fee when added to the 7% sales tax starts to add up when the price gets higher. Yes I am frugal, some might say cheap.

Went back to the 83 Targa, it had been sold

So now back on the hunt.

Good news is the wife approved a higher limit :)
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By fpena944
#166599
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 7:30 am welp, he who hesitates is lost

I saw a real nice 89 on BAT that was local so I was bidding on that. Went higher than my limit so I did not get it. That 5% BAT fee when added to the 7% sales tax starts to add up when the price gets higher. Yes I am frugal, some might say cheap.

Went back to the 83 Targa, it had been sold

So now back on the hunt.

Good news is the wife approved a higher limit :)
Are prices at all going down in your observation?

Just wondering if the overall economic conditions are affecting Porsche sales yet.
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By eflight
#166600
Cant say they are going down. Though I have seen a number of auctions on BAT where the reserve was not met. Which I think has more to do with sellers putting obscenely high reserves on rather than prices dropping. So in some sense we are seeing buyers realizing that the value trend is starting to flatten.
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By worf
#166626
eflight wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 9:25 am … auctions on BAT where the reserve was not met. Which I think has more to do with sellers putting obscenely high reserves on rather than prices dropping.
Sellers don’t get to set a reserve on BaT. They may suggest a reserve. BaT has final say on the reserve. One round of reserve negotiations is all you get and then you’re ghosted if you don’t agree. Historically, BaT had a pretty good track record of few RNM auctions.

More RNM auctions on BaT suggests to me that BaT had lost its feel for the market.
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By eflight
#166636
worf wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 12:18 pm
More RNM auctions on BaT suggests to me that BaT had lost its feel for the market.
BAT reserve estimate will always lag the market trend, thats just the way it works. So hopefully they will start reducing the reserve as they see missed sales.

Not that it matters too much, there are far too many dealers and flippers on BAT. I cant compete on price with those folks. Some great cars on BAT, not many great deals.
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By eflight
#166815
Anyone know if the G50 transmission is worth the extra premium over the 915 tranny

Should I hold out for an 87 and latter?
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By XR4Tim
#167042
The 915 is a fine transmission, and is easy to rebuild. I've never driven either at high speed, so that may be where the G50 shines.
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By eflight
#167043
XR4Tim wrote: Sun Aug 21, 2022 9:43 am The 915 is a fine transmission, and is easy to rebuild. I've never driven either at high speed, so that may be where the G50 shines.
I've now read more than a dozen threads on the 915 vr G50 transmission. Its like the Ford vr Chevy question.

Its back to simply finding the best car for the dollar and be happy with whatever transmission it comes with.
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By eflight
#172713
Was looking at a 84 911 Targa on BAT, wife liked the color, price was reasonable, she said I should bid on it. I said sure why not, there were hours left in the bidding , no real risk of winning at this point. it was at 50K, I threw in a bid of 51K. Welp, sure enough, I was the high bidder.

Now I have to do all the work of getting it shipped and paid for. But looking forward to having fun with it. :)

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By fpena944
#172728
eflight wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:37 pm Was looking at a 84 911 Targa on BAT, wife liked the color, price was reasonable, she said I should bid on it. I said sure why not, there were hours left in the bidding , no real risk of winning at this point. it was at 50K, I threw in a bid of 51K. Welp, sure enough, I was the high bidder.

Now I have to do all the work of getting it shipped and paid for. But looking forward to having fun with it. :)

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Congrats!!! It's a gorgeous car, I can't wait to hear more about it!
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By linderpat
#172848
Congrats! Gorgeous. I got a Boss 302 Laguna Seca exactly the same way off BaT. Never expected to won at my bid level, but did. Enjoy.
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By linderpat
#212359
My son just got his 76 911S. What a cool car. I drove it yesterday, and it is very rudimentary. These things are fun. The power is actually pretty good, and it is happy at 3K rpm and above. The handling is classic early 911. The transmission leaves much to be desired though. And don't drive while wearing crocks, because the big clown toes get stuck in the footwell behind the clutch at every shift. A good pair of Pilates will solve that issue.
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By fpena944
#212441
linderpat wrote: Wed Apr 26, 2023 9:12 am My son just got his 76 911S. What a cool car. I drove it yesterday, and it is very rudimentary. These things are fun. The power is actually pretty good, and it is happy at 3K rpm and above. The handling is classic early 911. The transmission leaves much to be desired though. And don't drive while wearing crocks, because the big clown toes get stuck in the footwell behind the clutch at every shift. A good pair of Pilates will solve that issue.
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Very nice!

Have prices started to become more reasonable lately?
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By amdavid
#212457
^^I'll go out on a large limb and say not really for air cooled 911's....prices probably have softened slightly since cv craze, but they're but still expensive.
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By linderpat
#212745
WELL YOU GUYS WILL BE FLOORED TO KNOW THAT HE SPENT $35k ON IT. His mechanic has a customer who was looking to thin his herd, and the mechanic called Patrick, because he knew my son was looking. The car was never advertised, and it is in rather very good shape. The mechanic did a refresh, less than $4k, so he is on a 76 911S, almsot al original, for under 40 grand. Other data points - a 1970 911T we looked at, with a 911 SC motor plus the original T motor, selling for $65K but kind of rough; another 911 E, 1970, in pretty good shape buy hasn't been run for awhile, at $55K
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By eflight
#212750
linderpat wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 7:28 pm WELL YOU GUYS WILL BE FLOORED TO KNOW THAT HE SPENT $35k ON IT. His mechanic has a customer who was looking to thin his herd, and the mechanic called Patrick, because he knew my son was looking. The car was never advertised, and it is in rather very good shape. The mechanic did a refresh, less than $4k, so he is on a 76 911S, almsot al original, for under 40 grand. Other data points - a 1970 911T we looked at, with a 911 SC motor plus the original T motor, selling for $65K but kind of rough; another 911 E, 1970, in pretty good shape buy hasn't been run for awhile, at $55K
$35K is a killer deal
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By fpena944
#212767
linderpat wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 7:28 pm WELL YOU GUYS WILL BE FLOORED TO KNOW THAT HE SPENT $35k ON IT. His mechanic has a customer who was looking to thin his herd, and the mechanic called Patrick, because he knew my son was looking. The car was never advertised, and it is in rather very good shape. The mechanic did a refresh, less than $4k, so he is on a 76 911S, almsot al original, for under 40 grand. Other data points - a 1970 911T we looked at, with a 911 SC motor plus the original T motor, selling for $65K but kind of rough; another 911 E, 1970, in pretty good shape buy hasn't been run for awhile, at $55K
eflight wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 7:47 pm
linderpat wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 7:28 pm WELL YOU GUYS WILL BE FLOORED TO KNOW THAT HE SPENT $35k ON IT. His mechanic has a customer who was looking to thin his herd, and the mechanic called Patrick, because he knew my son was looking. The car was never advertised, and it is in rather very good shape. The mechanic did a refresh, less than $4k, so he is on a 76 911S, almsot al original, for under 40 grand. Other data points - a 1970 911T we looked at, with a 911 SC motor plus the original T motor, selling for $65K but kind of rough; another 911 E, 1970, in pretty good shape buy hasn't been run for awhile, at $55K
$35K is a killer deal
That's an unbelievable deal!

I guess I'm old enough to remember the days where old 911s were selling for $10k. Who knew they would blow up in value the way they did.
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By linderpat
#213208
there still are great deals out there, it just takes patience and determination to find them.
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By eflight
#232050
Did some work on the car today. Replaced all the shocks. My guess is they were the original shocks from the factory, so a bit on the old side.

To get to the top of right rear shock you have to take the airbox apart. I opened it up and found one of the washers and bolts just sitting there inside the air box.

Hmm, thats not good.

Sucking in the bolt was unlikely.

Sucking in that washer would have been really bad. So I think replacing the shocks turned out to be a fortunate event.

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By fpena944
#232217
eflight wrote: Wed Aug 30, 2023 4:55 pm Did some work on the car today. Replaced all the shocks. My guess is they were the original shocks from the factory, so a bit on the old side.

To get to the top of right rear shock you have to take the airbox apart. I opened it up and found one of the washers and bolts just sitting there inside the air box.

Hmm, thats not good.

Sucking in the bolt was unlikely.

Sucking in that washer would have been really bad. So I think replacing the shocks turned out to be a fortunate event.

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Wow that could have gotten ugly. Glad the car didn't have that much suction to chomp up either of those!
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By amdavid
#232306
eflight wrote: Wed Aug 30, 2023 4:55 pm Did some work on the car today. Replaced all the shocks. My guess is they were the original shocks from the factory, so a bit on the old side.

To get to the top of right rear shock you have to take the airbox apart. I opened it up and found one of the washers and bolts just sitting there inside the air box.

Hmm, thats not good.

Sucking in the bolt was unlikely.

Sucking in that washer would have been really bad. So I think replacing the shocks turned out to be a fortunate event.
A happy ending with this event.

Let us know how the car feels once you get it dialed in, should be a whole new world.
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