Houston, Texas @p911r Model 911T Targa Year 1972 Acquired 2013 Model 911E Year 1972 Acquired 2014 Model 930 Turbo 3.0 Year 1977 Acquired 2014 Model 930 Turbo 3.0 Year 1977 Acquired 2015 Model Carrera 3.0 Year 1977 Acquired 2016 Model 911 SC Year 1981 Acquired 2015 Model 3.2 Carrera Year 1986 Acquired 2015 Model 993 C4S Year 1996 Acquired 2016 Model 964 Carrera 4 Year 1994 Acquired 2016 Model 997.1 GT3 Year 2007 Acquired 2017 Model 991.1 GT3 RS Year 2016 Acquired 2018 The seeds of my Porsche obsession may have been sown by my Grandpa in the 1970s, but my first air-cooled Porsche, a oneowner 1972 Tangerine 911T Targa, did not join me until five years ago.
I’ve been reflecting on my first classic 911 purchase, and still vividly remember my first drive round the block, the smell of the interior and the sound of the carburettors. The sound of the sports exhaust was surprisingly muted at idle, but when you accelerated the noise increased exponentially. What a wonderful day it was.
For the next few months I enjoyed the Targa and the vintage 911 driving experience that came with it. As I spent more time with the car and fanatically researched every detail of the 1972 911T, I began to identify the parts of the car that were not period correct.
My 911T’s documentation was flawless, a complete and detailed record since its purchase in 1972, which was incredibly useful in figuring out some of the incorrect items. For example, the driver-side seatbelt had an orange thread running through the centre. My research led me to find out that this was period correct for German delivered cars, but incorrect for a US delivery car. I went through the massive binder of documents and found a receipt for the installation of a new seatbelt while the car was in Germany – mystery solved.
My point is that buying a used vintage Porsche is somewhat of a lottery, even with extensive due diligence. For example, the more time I spent with the 911T, the more I went through the paperwork, and the more I learned about what is to be realistically expected from a 911 made in 1972.
The major issue was the erratic performance of the engine; something was not right, and I eventually decided to drop the engine and have it gone through. It was somewhat of a horror show once the case was opened… all sorts of weird and wonderful hardware had been used. Once again, I went back through the documentation and discovered the culprit, a 2005 rebuild by the infamous Motor Meister Inc.
As a first-time buyer I dove in at the deep end and committed almost all the cardinal sins of car buying: I bought the Targa sight unseen on ebay without a pre-purchase inspection, I did not take the time to examine the paperwork and probably the biggest mistake, not connecting with an air-cooled Porsche expert to help me navigate the purchase.
Thankfully through the last five years I have gotten to know many other enthusiasts and professionals and the quality of my purchasing has vastly improved. I guess what I’m saying in a very roundabout manner is, don’t be an idiot like me, and reach out to someone well versed in vintage Porsche you can trust before you dive in. I’m more than happy to point you in the right direction if you need advice. The more good aircooled Porsche on the road, the better!