Is the Hype for the 1983 Porsche 911 SC Justified? A Review.

Our friend and master videographer Jimmy Goodwin recently borrowed our 1983 Porsche 911 SC for a day to pose the question: is the hype for air-cooled Porsche 911s justified? Jimmy's conclusion was interesting and the video is the most successful on his Petrol Poodle Youtube channel to date, which speaks to the engaging nature of the discussion.

Here's a summary of Jimmy's conclusions - watch the video below!

For those familiar with Petrol Poodle's usual content, it’s clear that the focus typically lies on hidden automotive gems—those underrated vehicles that have depreciated significantly, making them excellent bargains. Today, however, the focus shifts to a car that's seen a dramatic increase in value over the past decade: the 1983 Porsche 911 SC.

From Affordable Classic to Pricey Icon

Fifteen years ago, a Porsche 911 SC could be found for under £10,000, assuming it needed some work. Fast forward to today, and one won’t get much change from £50,000 if a good condition model is desired. The rise in value is substantial, and this review aims to dissect why this model has become so coveted.

Initial Skepticism and Surprising Enthusiasm

Historically, Jimmy hasn’t been a big Porsche fan, approaching this review with a degree of skepticism. The neutrality stems not from disdain, but rather indifference—acknowledging Porsche's excellence without feeling personally drawn to their cars. However, a recent experience driving a 996 Targa piqued his interest. The car’s engaging driving dynamics helped him to understand why Porsche consistently wins group tests.

Why the 911 SC?

The 911 SC, produced from 1978 to 1983, is often considered the sweet spot in the classic 911 range. It marks the tail end of the impact bumper-era, featuring the analogue charm and reliability that German engineering was becoming known for. The SC stands out because it embodies a time before ECUs and sensors complicated the driving experience. It's purely mechanical, making it a favourite among purists.

Living with a Classic

Jonny, this car’s owner for the past 14 years, has driven it 60,000 miles and made several engineering improvements through his company, Classic Retrofit. His modifications, which include modern air conditioning systems, twin-spark ignition upgrades, fuse panels and more, enhance the car’s livability without compromising its classic character. This is a significant selling point compared to other classic cars, which might be less reliable and therefore more challenging to maintain.

Interior and Practicality

The 911 SC's interior is a delightful time capsule, transporting one back to the 1980s. Despite its age, the car is surprisingly practical. It features electric windows, an electric sunroof, and enough space in the frunk and rear seats to make it usable for daily drives. This practicality, combined with the charm of driving a classic, explains why so many enthusiasts prefer the 911 SC over other classic options.

Driving Experience

Driving the 911 SC is a deeply analogue experience. From the clutch bite point to the completely unassisted steering, every input feels direct and engaging. The car demands full attention, making even short drives feel special. The flat-six engine sounds fantastic, and the car feels quick and responsive. It’s an exhilarating reminder of why people fall in love with classic 911s.


Would Jimmy personally spend £50,000 on a 911 SC? As much as he appreciates the car after this experience, he might not. He found immense joy driving a 996 for under half the price and would likely opt for a 997, which offers a blend of modern safety features and analogue driving feel. However, if he were looking for a third car purely for enjoyment, the 911 SC would be a strong contender. It’s a unique blend of old-school charm and practical reliability, making it a worthwhile investment for the right buyer.

Final Thoughts

The 1983 Porsche 911 SC has earned its place in the pantheon of classic cars, not just for its performance and reliability but for the sheer joy it brings to driving. Whether it’s worth the current market value depends on personal priorities and how the car is to be used. For those who appreciate the unfiltered driving experience of a bygone era, the 911 SC is hard to beat.

What did you think of the review? Share your thoughts in the YouTube comments, as Jimmy is always eager to learn more from fellow enthusiasts. If his review was enjoyed, don’t forget to like and subscribe. Support is what powers all channels like Jimmy's and he is a highly creative individual that never sits around!