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Porsche 911 SC

Sales Spotlight: 1983 Porsche 911 SC

Three years ago, you could have (potentially) jumped into an air-cooled Porsche 911 for under £10,000. It may not have been in perfect condition – far from it in many such cases – but if would have given you a taste for the luftgekühlt lifestyle on a minimal budget.

Fast-forward to the tail end of last year and the air-cooled Neunelfer market had gone berserk, with two years of month-on-month price rises, leaving the landscape looking somewhat different.

While Porsche 911 SCs may no longer be a sub-£10,000 entry point to the air-cooled market, the late Seventies/Early Eighties icon remains one of the cheapest (and best ways) to get behind the wheel of a classic Neunelfer, as shown by this example currently on offer at renowned specialist, Paul Stephens.

PS Porsche 911 SC interior

Built in 1983, it is one of the last 911 SCs to roll out of Zuffenhausen and, therefore, benefits from the more powerful 204bhp version of the SC’s 3.0-litre flat six engine.

Originally a ‘Sport’ model, this black-on-black Porsche 911 SC has, at some point in its life, been de-spoilered to provide a more classic silhouette, although the larger Fuchs alloys have, thankfully, been retained.

Supplied to a dealer in Ohio, Paul Stephen’s SC claims to have only completed 88,000 miles (making it relatively unused for a car of its age) however, the car is lacking the majority of its service history and the ad blurb points out this cannot be warrantied.

PS Porsche 911 SC engine

Despite this, Paul Stephens definitely knows what it is looking for what it comes to classic Porsche 911s (especially ones of this era) and therefore, vouches that this 911 SC example’s mileage does appear to be genuine thanks to the general lack of wear. In fact, it looks it pretty great condition to us.

As a left-hand drive car, it may not appeal to all UK buyers however, with a £37,995 price tag (a result of the lack of history), this represents a fantastic opportunity to get yourself in on the air-cooled act for sensible money.

To check out this Porsche 911 SC in more detail, or to see more of the Porsche 911s on offer Paul Stephens, visit their website now.

PS Porsche 911 SC


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Paul Cockell, managing director of Rennsport, admits that he still gets his hands dirty. After all, he got into the business because he enjoys building cars and, as such, Rennsport is a natural continuation of over 25 years working on air-cooled 911s.

After serving his apprenticeship at a Porsche main dealer in 1986, Paul went to work with Mike Jordan and Team Eurotech and this experience began a journey that has led to Rennsport’s newly opened, purpose-built factory.

The facility is the stuff of garage-fanatics’ dreams: spotlessly clean, the two-floor engineering premises occupies what should be three plots on a new business estate on the outskirts of Moreton-in- Marsh in the UK’s Cotswolds.

If that location sounds vaguely familiar then you’d be right, as Porsche Club GB’s HQ is visible from the large windows on the second floor of Rennsport’s spectacular new building.

It was designed by Rennsport’s chairman, Keith Cockell, Paul’s father. Keith, like Paul, has a career that’s had a foot in both the motor and building industry. Working for Chrysler Europe, Keith was responsible for design, creating the Alpine, Talbot Tagora and Sunbeam – a car which, in Lotus guise, won the 1981 World Rally Championship.

On leaving the motor industry, Keith created a property business building luxury homes and retirement communities. It’s this insight that’s helped to create Rennsport’s bespoke workshops.


Looking over the balcony at a number of 911s mid-build, it’s clear that Rennsport is busy. Paul’s target is to turn cars around in just three months or so, driven by the demand of its ever-increasing customer base.

Rennsport seems to eschew the more traditional laissez-faire route of restoration and bespoke build, giving customers the cars they want exactly at the time they want it. “People are prepared to wait, but 18 months or a year is simply too long,” says Paul.

It’s important that the customers get a car they will use, as Paul confirms: “If you’re after a Sunday car to take your wife out for lunch, then a blood orange and ducktailed RS replica perhaps isn’t the right car, so we’d suggest a more subtle colour and classic look.”

“If it’s for trackdays then fine, go for a viper green or tangerine, or even a Turbo, but I’m not going to put someone in one if they’re not going to use it,” says Paul.

Rennsport focuses entirely on air-cooled 911s, as it is Paul’s particular specialism and passion. It bases its recreations on cars from the late 1970s though to the 964s up to 1992, encompassing 930 Turbos too.

Paul admits that some of the purists might baulk at the thought of taking a perfectly good 3.0-litre SC or 3.2 Carrera and backdating it, but Paul says there are plenty of cars out there that he can use.


Prices for donor cars have risen in the past couple of years in particular, but Rennsport always has cars in stock ready to be built into exactly what its customers want; whether that’s one of their 2.7 RS recreations, a wide body 930 RSR or anything else they desire.

Costs vary, but around £80,000-£100,000 will get you a fully built car including the donor car cost. The 930s will be a bit more, thanks to the greater expense involved in sourcing a basis, but the costs remain entirely reasonable.

Each car gets stripped to the bare metal for a nut-and-bolt rebuild. Only metal wings are used, Rennsport keeping four local body shops busy preparing and painting cars.

Keith looks wistfully at a vacant plot nearby and suggests the natural progression would be to build their own body shop, as sending cars out for paint only slows the build process.

Given the rate of growth in the last few years, you’d be brave to bet against a bespoke body shop arriving soon. Obviously, all the skills required to build its detailed, back-dated cars are transferable to resto work, and Rennsport is able to take on anything from a technical check to a full-on restoration.

As a case in point, a customer’s 3.2 Carrera Clubsport is currently awaiting Rennsport’s attention to take it from near perfect to totally perfect.


That growth has seen Rennsport expanding from what was just Paul and head of recreations and motorsports projects, Gordon Wardle, to a company of more than ten staff.

Like Paul, Gordon’s background encompasses decades of experience, building race and championship-winning Porsches both in the UK and abroad, with many awards to back up his exacting engineering including Porsche Club GB Motorsport’s Highest Standard of Preparation Award.

Like any business, Rennsport is only as good as the people it employs, Paul telling us: “I’ll only employ people who want to come to work, not because they have to come to work.”

This remit is obvious in what Rennsport is creating, as the completed cars parked in and around the OPC-like facility are all impeccably finished. The slate grey ‘McQueen’ car gets my attention, and Paul admits that they’ve built around five similar specifications – with one customer trading in a 997 GT3.

“That’s a gentleman’s car,” Keith says. “Technically, it’s inferior to that GT3 in pure engineering terms, but it’s a 911 that people will really appreciate, it’s an enthusiast’s car.”

For many it’s as much about the build – the journey – as it is the finished 911. The entire process, from deciding on specification, is deemed an experience not to miss for Rennsport’s clientele, to the point where even if, like in the case of that slate grey car, there’s a turnkey car in stock, customers still decide to have one built for themselves.


Paul is also emphatic that he’ll give a customer a return of 100 per cent on their spend if they want to sell, also offering a no-quibble warranty on any car that Rennsport builds.

“We put that little bit extra into every car. We don’t make as much money as we should as a result, but we know it’s right”, says Paul. Affordability seems to be core to the company’s make-up, and Paul is clear on pricing from the outset of a build, creating cars that people can not only afford to buy, but use.

It’s not surprising to hear that many Rennsport owners have real RSs in their garages, but their value limits use. For them and others, Rennsport offers choice. It may not appeal to all, admittedly, but there is clearly a buoyant market out there for the sort of beautifully built, individually specified classic 911s that Rennsport can deliver.

Company Directors: Keith and Paul Cockell
First opened: April 2015
Location: Moreton-in-Marsh, UK
Specialist area of expertise: Air-cooled 911s and RS recreations
Most bizarre project: A full nut and bolt restoration of a Porsche tractor – it is located upstairs in the Rennsport showroom
Interesting fact about the business: Keith and Paul have an extensive history in both the motoring and motorsport industries
Telephone: +44 (0)750 1973 911

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Safari 911! Watch Leh Keen’s Porsche Splash and Slide

Leh Keen Safari 911

Deep into the development of its monstrous 959—which ultimately would earn its fame on the sands of North Africa in the Paris-Dakar Rally—Porsche teamed up with David Richards’s fledgling Prodrive operation to field the homologation-special 911SC RS in Group B rallying competition. Sports-car racer Leh Keen’s 911 SC is a rational, daily-driver-esque tribute to the cars of that magnificent era. And in the video below, produced by Will Keown and Clint Davis for the Porsche Club of America’s in-house magazine, Porsche Panorama, Keen slides the thing around and drives it into a river.

Leh Keen Safari 911

Just like the racing machines, Keen’s 911 is armed with a rack of period-correct off-road lights mounted at the leading edge of the SC’s hood, although whereas the RS wore a wider, 911 Turbo–sourced body shell, Keen’s car retains its narrower SC bodywork. The 3.0-liter flat-six exhales through stainless SSI pipes into a Dansk exhaust can, which is a pretty standard-issue setup on an air-cooled Porsche. Given Keen’s apparent penchant for fording streams, the stainless heat exchangers make a whole lot of sense.

Leh Keen Safari 911

The lifted suspension comes courtesy of the Porsche suspension experts at Elephant Racing, and it echoes the high-riding Baja Buggish stance of the racing machines. Unlike the SC RS, which wore a gigantic decklid ornament reminiscent of the 1980s “tea tray” rear spoiler, Keen opted for a smaller ducktail unit from the classic ’73 2.7 RS. He also had the shocks on the 5-mph bumpers shortened to tidy up the car’s look.

While not as chest-puntingly fast as the WeatherTech 911 GT3 R that Keen pilots on race weekends, the Safari 911 comes off as a rational, stylish, and different kind of Neunelfer built for a different kind of fun. We can think of more than a few fire roads we’d love to blast down in the thing.


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Total 911’s seven favourite underrated Porsche 911s

Compared to their contemporaries from other manufacturers, all iterations of Porsche’s iconic sports car offer up a scintillating experience behind the wheel.

However, some Porsche 911s never truly gain the respect that we feel they deserve. Here are the seven Porsche 911s that we believe should be more highly praised:

7) Porsche 911 (G-Series)
Porsche 911

As the entry-level offering of the new impact bumper era, the G-Series Porsche 911 was never a huge success with just 9,320 sold across three years. However, like many basic 911s, it encourages you to grab it by the scruff of the neck and rev the 2.7-litre all the way to its 5,700rpm redline in order to make rapid progress.

6) Porsche 911T (A & B Series)
Porsche 911T

Similar to the G-Series 911 above, the original Porsche 911T used cheaper parts than its more illustrious ‘S’ a ‘L’/’E’ badged brethren in order to cut costs. Yet, they still look cool and provide that classic neunelfer experience. They also currently offer the cheapest way into pre-impact bumper ownership.

5) Porsche 964 Carrera RS
Porsche 964 Carrera RS

You may be surprised to see an RS in this list but, compared to other Rennsports, the Porsche 964 Carrera RS is relatively underrated. While, on paper, it may look little more than standard 964 Carrera 2, behind the wheel it provides an electrifying drive and is one of the most usable 911 RSs around.

4) Porsche 930 3.0
Porsche 930 3.0

Too much turbo lag, not enough braking force and one gear too few. These were the major criticisms of the original Porsche 911 Turbo. Yet, for us, these aren’t flaws; these are traits that define the experience of piloting a 3.0-litre 930. Driving one requires skill and more than a little nerve, as should all 911s.

3) Porsche 911 SC
Porsche 911 SC

Often overshadowed by the car that replaced it – the 3.2 Carrera – the Porsche 911 SC’s 3.0-litre engine is, to many, actually a perkier powerplant than the latter. An early non-Sport example may only offer 184 air-cooled horses but it is the epitome of late Seventies cool.

2) Porsche 996 Carrera Gen1
Porsche 996 Carrera

Often the doyen of unloved Porsche 911s, the first generation 996 Carrera was lambasted for sharing 50 per cent of its parts with the cheaper Boxster. Look beyond that though and it provides a thoroughly modern 911 experience for sensible money. And the IMS issue is often overplayed…

1) Porsche 930 SE
Silver Porsche 930 SE

The Porsche 930 SE is the only car on this list that doesn’t look unmistakeably like a 911, and that’s often its problem. However, in our eyes, it doesn’t come much cooler than a factory-built 911 Turbo inspired the fire-breathing 935 racers. Mechanically, these are the best 930s around too.

Do you agree with our list? Or is there another Porsche 911 you feel is criminally underrated? Join the debate in the comments below, or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.


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Porsche 911 gems set for Coys’ Classics at the Castle sale

Next Sunday (6 September) the increasingly popular Classics at the Castle show returns to Hedingham Castle in Essex for a Zuffenhausen-flavoured automotive extravaganza.

The grounds around the famous Norman keep will again be packed with Porsche exotica (this year celebrating all things ‘Carrera’) and, for those wishing to take home something special, Coys will be hosting what is billed as “the largest historic Porsche auction in the world”.

With a particular focus on pre-1974 Porsches, the world-famous British auction house has a number of delectable pre-impact bumper 911s set to go under the hammer, including a 1966 Porsche 911 with FIA papers once owned by multiple hillclimb champion, Roy Lane.

Fancy a Dutch panda car? This Porsche 911 SC could be the classic for you.

That car has an estimate of £95,000-£120,000 though the real star is undoubtedly a 1970 Porsche 911S (top). This particular 2.2-litre ‘S’ was the car driven by Porsche racing legend, ‘Quick’ Vic Elford while he was a factory driver at Weissach.

Assigned to him by Porsche KG, the 911S was used by Elford as his daily driver, taking the sports car and rally ace to many international meetings. Complete with a fascinating history, this particular 2.2S could well set a new record for the model.

Elsewhere, another intriguing lot will be a 1982 Porsche 911 SC used in period by the Dutch police as a high-speed pursuit vehicle. With an estimate of £80,000-£100,000 it could offer a relatively inexpensive chance to own one of the most intriguing 911 SCs around.

The auction takes place at 2:30pm on Sunday 6 September with viewing available the day before between 12:00pm-5:00pm.


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