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Tommy Z 08-17-2020 04:53 PM

Should I drive it home?
Good Evening Pelican Parts! Well, after a search of epic proportions seemingly akin to the scaling of Mt. Everest a deal has been struck and agreements have been made! After 25 years of dreaming and saving and months of actively searching I have found my first 911 and the seller and I have made a deal. This wonderful 79' SC with 120K on the clock is about to become mine all mine!

I found a highly qualified P-Car mechanic in Findlay Ohio who gave it a thorough PPI and passed it with flying colors. Unbeknownst to me it turned out that he was very familiar with the car. Apparently, before the kindly old Gent who owns the car now moved, Tab Tanner the owner of Autobahn Garage was the mechanic who performed the transmission rebuild and install of updates such as Turbo tie rods and chain tensioners. Tab went over the car with a fine tooth comb and only very minor repairs are needed and none are pressing save the replacement of the 10 year old tires.

The question is how should I get it from Toledo Ohio to SW Florida. It's a roughly 1,300 mile, 17 hour drive from it's current home to it's new one and I have a difficult decision to make. I could ship it for $1,100 but I would miss out on that amazing experience of driving it home through the hills of Tennessee, but I would also avoid running the risk of my fiance' sitting next to me as the car comes gliding to rough and smoking unexpected halt on the side of the highway somewhere in the South.

Full disclosure, I am not yet a mechanic of even modest skill levels but I intend to become one one day. A major appeal of this dreamy purchase is to become capable of wrenching on it and getting to know it intimately. I have been lurking here for years and reading everything I can find about these cars but alas no practical experience yet. What would you guys recommend I do? Drive it or ship it? All opinions are welcome!

Flat6pac 08-17-2020 05:00 PM

Drive it, get to know the car...

Quicksilver 08-17-2020 05:08 PM

When well maintained these are some of the most reliable cars around.
I'd drive it!

... But that said, I always have a AAA premier account just in case for major road trips.

jpnovak 08-17-2020 05:10 PM

Fly up and then quarantine in the driver's seat. 14 day road trip sounds about right.

Yes. Drive it.

Bigtoe32067 08-17-2020 05:10 PM

Drive it. You’ll build a memory that’ll stay with you your whole life.
Good luck

Robey5 08-17-2020 05:39 PM

If it were me (an owner of a 79 as well):

I would replace the tires at a place in the Findlay area and drive her home; with a AAA card on hand if anything happens. That car has been lowered, and looks like it is not molested; consider a trip down tail of the dragon to really have some fun.

Keep an eye on the oil level (I am sure you will know how to "check" it when you are there) and get to know that beautiful symphony!

Side note: Ohio is really very bad with their police/speeding. Keep an eye on speed until you get south of the boarder.

fred cook 08-17-2020 05:49 PM

If you decide to drive it home, you should have a handful of local contacts for help on the road. I live about 65 miles north of Tallahassee and would be happy to be on your help list. I'll send you a pm with my contact info. Be sure to replace the tires in Ohio and make sure that you have a working spare and compressor in the car. Happy trails.

bdisco 08-17-2020 05:58 PM

Hell yeah!

walt 08-17-2020 06:09 PM

Throw an spare fan belt in the trunk and an extra quart of oil and go for it.

ben parrish 08-17-2020 06:17 PM


wareaglescott 08-17-2020 06:17 PM

I would ask the guy that did the PPI what he thinks?

shawn908 08-17-2020 06:22 PM

Another thought, hire a transporter and ship it. With a legitimate transport company (search forums/on line, it has been discussed), I think risk is reduced to near zero to get the car to your place in FL. Its a long trip in an old car (albeit a 911) before you know it well, and stuff happens.

Locker537 08-17-2020 06:29 PM

Pre-COVID, I would love the road trip.

Currently, I would reluctantly ship the car to me to avoid the flight, the hotels, etc.

Unfortunate, but truthful.

pete3799 08-17-2020 06:38 PM

Fly and drive.

Flat Six 08-17-2020 06:39 PM

Get the tires in Ohio. Watch them jack up your car and make sure they don't crush your oil lines.

Adjust your fan/alt belt. This will ensure that you have the right tools and the right number of shims on hand before you leave. Carry a spare belt, and a couple extra quarts of oil, and whatever other spares you think you might need. AAA is a must.

Pick a city about 4-8 hours' drive from Findlay along your route, ideally one where you've identified a decent aircooled shop and maybe a friendly Pelican or two. Use day one as a shakedown, getting used to the car and making sure you feel comfortable enough to take it the full distance to SW FL. If after the first day you want to/need to ship it the rest of the way, at least it should cost you a little less.

BTW, there's lots of stuff that might not be part of the PPI you got but would be important for a long road trip (e.g., bulbs, turn signals, headlight adjustment, fresh wiper blades, windshield washer & fluid, charged AC, good battery -- you get the picture) that I'd check before taking off. It'll give you a chance to get better acquainted w/your new SC and give you a much better chance of making this an epic trip.

Good luck, welcome, and let us know what you decide!


fizh 08-17-2020 06:41 PM

maybe send the fiance home via plane and then drive it.

I drove a really rough '59 vw bus from NC to CA in 5 days over thanksgiving break two years ago.

John W. 08-17-2020 07:05 PM

Welcome to the club. Since it just had an expert check it over, everything should be good. Enjoy it and please let us know how it turned out.

rokemester 08-17-2020 07:20 PM

If you decide to drive, let me know. We would love to have you swing by our shop in Willoughby Ohio, just outside Cleveland. Have a number of Porsche enthusiasts in the area. Never hurts to have other eyes on your new baby.

ryanjboutin 08-17-2020 08:38 PM


I vote drive it down.

If it breaks, have AAA flatbed it to the nearest UHaul.. and then you haul it tf down to FL.

I've heard reports that the AAA drivers don't let people sit in the cab, because CoVid, so you'll more than likely be in your car on the flatbed doing who knows what with your fiance on the way to UHaul.

914Ravi911 08-17-2020 08:50 PM

I vote to drive it after the tires have been checked.

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