$15K in Maintenance: 1978 Porsche 911 Targa

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This 1978 Porsche 911 SC is a Targa model that benefits from a sizeable amount of recent maintenance. The asking price is $55,000, which is still hard to fathom considering the Targa model used to be the red-headed stepchild of the air-cooled lineup. No longer as these vintage 911s command almost the same money as a hardtop driver from the same era. Of course, maintenance is a priority, so this one may outshine lesser Targas owing to the work the seller has done. Find it here on craigslist in Corrales, New Mexico.

The 911 SC remains one of the better values in the world of air-cooled Porsches, but I’d give the nod to the hardtop for being a surer bet for investment purposes. The Targa – to me, at least – still carries with it a higher risk of not seeing the money spent on maintenance come back to you in terms of a sale price. Many enthusiasts want the hardtop for a variety of valid reasons, but the Targa can be seen as a “cheaper” entry point into vintage Porsche ownership, as shocking as that may be.

This car presents well with solid cosmetics on the outside and a respectable driver-quality interior inside. The seller reports that the leather is new and that the Targa shows 71K on the odometer. The seats are standard 911 buckets, and not the uber-desirable Sport buckets. Fortunately, the car remains stock inside and out, with no apparent aftermarket modifications – aside from a possible aftermarket radio – so that’s a feather in its cap.

The big story is the recent maintenance. The seller reports that the $15,000 spent on repairs includes new head bolts, a new clutch, a rebuilt transmission, new wiring harness, and all-new oil lines. That’s a pretty dialed-in checklist of common 911 faults, especially the head bolt job. Overall, the price is fair for the condition and recent repairs, but I’d still struggle to pay this or kick it up another $10K to buy a driver hardtop example.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Interesting to find a south west car without air conditioning. It’s an easy ad on. These are good cars, no built in problems and fun to drive. Good example here and probably a good price considering the mechanical condition.

    Like 7
  2. Haig L Haleblian

    Love the color, love it’s an SC. If it was a coupe I’d be on a plane to NM.

    Like 2
  3. Robert Levins

    Love these cars. Too bad you can’t drive them too much more than 45-50 miles per hour. They are unbelievably fast and maneuverable, precise. I hope the new owner gets a reasonable, buyable price that he/ she can live with. For me – $55,000.00 is a lot of money, especially with gray interior. Good luck. Great article.

    Like 1
  4. Jasper

    Had a ‘79 Targa back when a diligent working stiff could still swing one. Loved it. Perfect good weather, weekend fun car. $50K+ seems a little steep but things have gotten stupid and that’s a really great color!

    Like 1
  5. J.R. Gregory

    My pop had an SC, and I found it oddly slow. Was very excited to drive it, then meh.

    Like 0
  6. douglas hunt

    i knew I should have bought one back in 2000 instead of the 454mag powered boat …..sigh, I did have a lot of fun since then but dang I would love to have a 911, but way out of my reach nowadays, oh well

    Like 0
  7. Todd Carter

    If I were in the market for a 911 SC this would be it. I like the target models and would purchase it because I like it not because of the Foo Foo market.

    Like 1
    • douglas hunt

      i concur, I always loved the targa top model …..

      Like 0
  8. SirRaoulDuke

    Count me firmly in the camp that prefers the look of the Targa once the top is off. There’s just something about how the back glass wraps around that always makes me nod in approval.

    Like 1

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