1982 Porsche 911SC Turbo-look Cabriolet Zinn Metallic
1982 Porsche 911 Wide-Body Cabriolet
There is an exception to every rule… If you know me or have been watching my site for a while, then you know I am a Porsche PURIST! I usually abhor anything that was not done at the factory, this car is my exception…
18 months ago I got a phone call from a friend of mine, it started like this… “Hey Nathan, I have this 1982 911SC Targa that’s now a wide-body cabriolet….”. My mind instantly conjured up images of ill fitting fiberglass fenders, a bad Miami Vice rerun, horrific white gauge faces, previous accident damage and cocaine residue on the dash left over from a late 80’s bender… But for whatever reason something he said spoke to me, it was local and I figured what the heck lets go see how bad it is. The problem was that the moment I saw the car I was truly SPEECHLESS… Not only was the car NOT what I had visualized, it was truly SPECTACULAR!
I liked it so much; I bought it on the spot and put it in my personal collection! I figured it would be an amazing driver and I wouldn’t stress about it because it wasn’t “real”. I was right about one thing, it was an amazing driver but I still couldn’t change my DNA, I still stressed about it!
Now lets get some details on the actual car:
This car was sold new to a local PCA enthusiast who was simply fanatical about his cars. He was well known and loved to build the nicest car around. In December 1983 Porsche published a service manual (WKD 451 620) titled “911SC:Instructions for Conversion from Targa to Cabriolet beginning with 1981 Models”. This 23-page manual from Porsche spelled out the exact steps to be undertaken with detailed instructions, photos and part numbers! The owner followed the manual to the letter including sourcing all the OEM parts from Porsche! He figured why stop with just a cabriolet; why not build it into a factory Wide-body (M491) as well. So all the OEM parts were sourced to convert the car to full steel fenders front and rear, Carrera front valence/spoiler, Turbo rear spoiler , 930S vents, H4 lights, Euro rear lenses and genuine 7” & 9” Fuchs. Literally every part and piece is OEM Porsche and the craftsmanship is unbelievable! Unlike most of the conversions out there, he started with a PERFECT car that he had bought new, not the typical “well its been wrecked, so why not make it a turbo-look” that sadly is so prevalent!
The car came from the factory is a rare shade called “Zinn Metallic”, its my favorite Porsche silver as it’s a warm brown based silver that has so much depth and gloss compared to the more common Silver of this era, it’s truly magnificent playing off the wide hips of this car!
The owner enjoyed his newly done Turbo look for the first 55k miles and then decided it needed some additional performance to back up its looks. He sourced a Euro 3.2 liter engine case and assembled it with Mahle 100 mm pistons, coming up with 3.5 liters of displacement. Ensuring that detonation wouldn’t be a problem with the higher compression he machined the heads to a dual plug configuration and installed Electromotive crank fire. He backdated both the heat and the exhaust to the pre-1974 style with SSI stainless heat exchangers and an OEM 74 muffler. Originally he had PMO 50mm carbs on the car, while he liked the power he didn’t care for the drivability or the cars inability to pass emissions. He had it converted back to CIS injection, while he lost some absolute top end power, it was eminently tractable and ran smooth. This thing is a torque monster, yet it has factory like driving manners. Originally I thought I would convert it either back to carbs or EFI, but after driving it for the past 18 months I was just amazed at how well it just worked. It feels about as strong as a 964 or 993. Love it!
While he was building the motor he also did a complete rebuild of the 915 gearbox and added a ZF limited slip differential. It shifts like new. To put a bow on the project he swapped the original 85 mph speedo with a brand new 180 mph unit from Porsche. The mileage on all this work is 29,671 and total chassis miles are 84,671.
The body and paint on this car are truly spectacular, the car stops traffic. The top has been recently replaced and is crisp and taut with a crystal clear rear window. The Carfax is of course clean the car has never been in any type of accident. The mark of a really nice car is looking in the nooks and crannies; this car will stand up to any type of scrutiny, look at those trunk photos!
The interior is likewise beautiful! The funny thing is this car made me realize what the myriad of little tiny changes Porsche made between the open and closed cars. When you look around this car you will marvel at the attention to detail, for example Porsche specified different visors for the Cabriolet as they had the operating instructions for the top on them, he even swapped those! The rear seat backs are slightly shorter in a cabriolet, check, done! There are little hold-downs in the corners of the rear seat back for the tonneau cover, check, done! You get the idea, no corners were cut.
One interesting factoid is that the Targa and Cabriolet shared the same exact chassis, so from a rigidity/safety standpoint there is no difference. He even added the vibration dampener the engine that the factory had for the cabriolet!
When I got the car I had to add my own touches, here is what I have done:
- Installed OEM 85-94 930 Turbo Sport Seats
- Installed a genuine 930S Steering wheel
- Full Major service with John Walker- all fluids, filters, belts, adjust valves, new valve cover gaskets, brake fluid flush.
- Compression/Leak Down: 1-170/8% 2-170/6% 3-170/6% 4-170/8% 5-170/7% 6-175/8%- Nice and healthy!
- New hood shocks, new washer motor, new right mirror motor
- 4 New Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tires
- Rebuild cruise control module
- New OEM top brackets (one was bent)
There are still a few items that could be improved that I didn’t get around to:
- AC doesn’t blow cold
- Cruise control doesn’t work (new module, but haven’t diagnosed beyond that)
- Top sits slightly proud at header on the drivers side
The car comes complete with the following:
- Original Books and Manuals in the correct case
- Copy of factory conversion manual listed above
- Show quality, complete original tool kit
- Original Tire Compressor, jack, unused date matched spare, gloves and plastic
- OEM Black Tonneau cover and bag
- Service history from 1988-Current
If you have read this far you probably realize that I REALLY like this car! I see a lot of air-cooled 911’s and it takes a special car to make me smitten with one, let alone “smitten” with a non-original one! For the purist, this isn’t your car, but for the particular ENTHUSIAST this is your car!