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LeftCoastErik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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My new 911SC, the Journey to get it, and the Build

Hey there, I will reintroduce myself and my new ride! This is a quick story on how I picked a 1980 911SC and then drove it back home over 1000 miles in a day and a half!

In early 2015 I acquired my first Porsche (1973 914-2.0) from a friend. I had been (and still am) building 50s period customs but I wanted another sports car. I cut my teeth on the ’73, putting my welding skills to good use. I sold that car and made good money, enough to jump into a ’72, this one with a 215 Buick V8 and a bunch of mods that looked good on paper. Thankfully, I hadn’t forgotten how to weld. That car became a real hotrod, an Outlaw. Glass fenders, quarters, bumpers and decklid, Matte Brown wrap, custom gauges, wrapped dash, RS style door panels, custom seats, 911 suspension, Boxter brakes, 17” Fuchs, MSD Fuel Injection, etc. It is raw and visceral and it is a blast to drive. Installing the seats meant that I could no longer strap my daughter’s car seat in the 914 (won’t fit with the bolsters) so I thought, “Hey, 911s have back seats!” so I started looking at the market, trying to figure out what I wanted.
I saw a 75 in Florida that was “Bitter Chocolate” and I loved the color. The earth tones really hold up (just check out the new Porsche “Fashion Grey”) and with my last custom and the 914 being brown, I decided that was the color. But Florida was too far to cost-effectively ship and I didn’t have time to inspect it, so I just kept looking. Besides, I wanted to make room in the garage, and that meant the 914 was for sale.
One random day, I pop on Pelican to look at cars for sale. There it is, 1980sc in Bitter Chocolate. 125k miles, Recaros, new interior, decent respray—it looked perfect. And it was in Montana, just 1000 miles away. The price was about $8k lower than what similar condition cars were going for, mostly because it was WAY out of the way for someone to go inspect. I pinged the owner and Phil got back to me quickly. Turns out he had only had it a couple of months and purchased it as a replacement for one of his 930s that he thought was sold. That deal fell through and he decided to restore the 930 and let the SC go. He had receipts from the previous owner of 25+ years that totaled over$10k, for what amounted to a rebuild on the engine, new studs, carerra tensioners, etc. The rest of the car sounded awesome and we struck a deal. I also decided to fly to Bozeman, MT and drive it home. It’s a driver’s car, after all, and Phil assured me it would have no trouble on the journey.
Keep in mind, that this was late October, so weather between Montana and Livermore, CA could be unpredictable, but when I booked the flight, it looked pretty good. I arrived in Bozeman at 12:30 on Sunday the 1st of November. Phil met me outside with the car and gave me the walk around. He also gave me a receipt for a full oil service, trans service, new wipers, brake check and a bunch of other work he had done for me (almost $500!!) just because he is a cool guy. He even RainXd the windows!
I hopped in, set up my Valentine1 and Bluetooth and settled into the Recaros (best seats ever, btw) and punched in my first destination, Twin Falls, ID, about 370 miles away. The sun was shining and I was excited. Phil gave me verbal directions to take the freeways, but I zoned out and just followed Google. It put me on Gallatin road as the most direct shot, for approx 160 miles. Speed limits were 70-80 everywhere and most folks rolled at 90, but they were few and far between. Gallatin road turned out to be a 2 lane road, perfect surface, that wound through the hills. It was a stellar drive. I stopped for fuel and gloves (almost no heat) on the other side of the mountains and then it started to rain. And Rain..and then more rain. That day also included a run through Yosemite, but with the conditions, there wasn’t much to see.
On a positive note, I did have intermittent speed wipers and one real speed. The other two positions did nothing. The car drove great, despite the 11 year-old (but new) Bridgestone Potenza S02s that were on it. They handled the rain with aplomb. I made great time until about an hour out of Twin Falls, when my headlights failed. I was on the bumper of a semi, so I could see OK and keep pace, but when he exited, I was left in the pitch black, in the rain and cold, with almost zero visibility. I finally decided to pull over and when I hit the turn signal the lights flashed on! Sweet! A little wiggle and jiggle and I had lights again! Back up to 90 to finish the drive.
Stopped at Outback for a celebratory steak dinner with a couple of great beers, then crashed hard. I set the alarm for 5am, knowing that I had about a 10-12 hour drive on Monday in order to get home. I also knew the Sierras would be dicey and I wanted to get through them in the middle of the day when Ice would be less of a threat.
5am came early, and the rain was way worse than the day before. I set out on the “highway,” another 2-lane road with no ambient lighting and pouring-ass rain. I followed another semi at 70mph for almost 2 hours until the sun came up enough that I felt confident getting around him. At one point, cruising along at 80+ in the rain, I was being passed on the left by idiots in SUVs going at least 100 and then disappearing into the distance. I kept expecting to see one rolled off into the desert at any moment, but it never happened.
I had found a slightly detached heat exchanger hose and fixed it, so I had some heat/defrost, but as the day wore on, I was having to wipe the windows with a tshirt to maintain visibility. When I stopped in Winnemucca, NV, I found out why. I had ½” of water on the passenger floor. I couldn’t definitively say where it was coming from, but I am guessing the fresh air vent or the windshield seal. I soaked up as much as I could, bought some FogX and microfiber rags and topped the car off for the final leg. The FogX wasn’t super helpful, but it was better than nothing.
Around this time, my wife calls to inform me that every path through the Sierra is requiring chains, so I called a buddy in Sparks and invited myself to stay the evening. About 10 miles from Sparks, the phone rings again and the chain restrictions are off! I hammered down and headed for Donner Summit. The roads were wet and there were areas where you had to drive in the tracks, but the car handled it fine and I made it through a pretty serious snowstorm at the summit.
The last 200 miles also proved pretty interesting. I saw funnel clouds in Sacramento, and ran into a crazy thunderstorm with hail in Vacaville. I finally made it back home at about 4pm, after 12 hours on the road.
Here are some pics from the drive, I will post up more as the car gets modified






Last edited by LeftCoastErik; 11-09-2015 at 03:01 PM.. Reason: title change
Old 11-04-2015, 03:09 PM
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Mods already started

Since I am a serial hotrodder, I had already ordered some goodies even before I picked the car up. My Group4 wheels and R888s were waiting for me on Monday, and I had a Rennshifter, headlight relay setup, Momo Prototipo and eccentric adapter sitting on the bench too.
Here is a pic from Tuesday (day after I returned)
Wheels and tires installed and I lowered the front two turns to keep the rake. 225/50s all around on 7/8" rims
Old 11-04-2015, 03:13 PM
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Got the shifter in

This has the extended lever and is perfect in the car. The old shifter was balky into 5th and would hit reverse when going 5-4. I suspected it was broken and I was right!

The shift rod support bushing was in pieces at the bottom of the tunnel!


The new shifter is soooo good!!
Old 11-04-2015, 03:15 PM
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And the wheel

Here is the wheel installed with the eccentric adapter. With the 350mm wheel and the adapter the wheel is in a way better place for my lanky ass. Great visibility on the gauges too!

Here's a pic of the cool Recaro Style XLs that were in the car. Really love these seats!
Old 11-04-2015, 03:17 PM
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Congrats! Beautiful car, great story, enjoy the ride!
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:20 PM
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Oh, and thanks to the Bird, I fixed my floppy flag mirror on the drivers side yesterday also!
Old 11-04-2015, 03:26 PM
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Nice car, great story. Enjoy
Old 11-04-2015, 03:41 PM
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Awesome story. Good find.
Old 11-04-2015, 07:44 PM
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Congrats on the purchase. What an adventure. I picked mine up in way north of Dallas, TX 390 miles away from where I live and drove it down in the middle of blazing Texas hot with no a/c, semi running. Looks like you are not wasting time with the mods either. Enjoy in good health!


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Old 11-04-2015, 07:55 PM
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Erik,

What an adventure - glad you and car made it back in one piece. All I can say is right guy got the car! You'll need to drive it back to MT at some point- in the summer.

Phil
Old 11-04-2015, 08:15 PM
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Sounds like a plan Phil!
I got the car seat base modified today and did a rear seat delete. Two old school seat belts and the car seat is super secure with plenty of legroom. My daughter (3.5) is very excited for the new car. I may take her to the EASY RGruppe cars and coffee on Saturday.
Old 11-04-2015, 09:03 PM
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Congratz!

I love the group 4 wheels!
I wonder how they would stand under my black '80 SC.
Old 11-04-2015, 09:18 PM
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nice car, dig the color.
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1978 911sc Targa - CNC plasma/router cut parts, tig welding, sheet metal work, VAG-COM, LM-1. let me know if u need something
Old 11-04-2015, 09:34 PM
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Beautiful car, looking forward to see what you do with it!
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:57 AM
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Good story. Keep the thread going!
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:30 AM
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Those wheels look great! Recaros and a nice thick steering wheel are on my list too so my keyboard is getting wet with drool now.
Inspiration drains my checking account the fastest!
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:01 AM
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Love that Bitter Chocolate! I bought a spacer instead of the eccentric. How do you like it after a week?
Old 11-05-2015, 07:13 AM
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eccentric spacer and a pic of the old girl washed up!

75 911s, Its only been a day, but the placement seems perfect. It is only a little weird looking when you go lock to lock in a parking lot or something. But you don't really feel it as much as I thought you might. I am happy with it for sure
Old 11-05-2015, 10:14 AM
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Nice write-up Erik, thanks for the vicarious enjoyment...
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:15 AM
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Car seat install

I also managed to get the car seat base modified to fit in the back a little better. I deleted the rear seat backs and used two seatbelts to secure both the bottom and the back of the car seat. it is really secure and my daughter fits back there with good leg and headroom. She is excited for her first ride to school in the morning.

Old 11-05-2015, 10:17 AM
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