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Well Optioned: 1973 Porsche 911S

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Even though the Porsche craze is getting a bit long in the tooth, there are still some interesting cars popping up that are worth documenting. One way to truly set a vintage 911 apart is whether it remains numbers-matching or has a healthy options list; this 1973 911S here on eBay and discovered in Australia possesses both qualities. The asking price is $125,000 and I wouldn’t be surprised if the seller gets his number. 

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Even better about this barn find is that it remains largely solid. I was expecting a rust bucket given the location, but it appears the worst effect of long-term storage is dusty paint! This 911S was well-spec’d from the factory, and those desirable bits remain attached. This includes the OEM fog lights, but the color-matched headlight rings appear to have been replaced with standard chrome items.

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In the top photo, you can also make out the rear fog light. Other enhancements include Koni shocks and “S” package brakes. The engine is original to the car but no input is offered on its running condition. Obviously, it’s not a runner currently, but for the asking price it’d be nice to know if it still turns freely. The presence of the factory engine bay stickers is encouraging, and helps validate the original paint claims.

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More desirable features can be found inside, including cloth/leatherette sport seats, air conditioning, climate control, power windows and 3-point safety belts. This 911 had to have been one of the priciest examples to roll out of the dealer parking lot when new, and I’d love to know if it has been in Australia since that time. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this was an import from Japan, as there’s a healthy market of importers that bring those cars Down Under. Is this 911 as good as it looks or do you see potential red flags?


  1. Bob S

    When I see this for $125 K in need of everything, it makes me reconsider my interest in cars. Perhaps acquiring Slovenian ski chalets would make a better hobby?

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  2. L.M.K.

    Bob S

    You’re so right !!

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  3. David Frank David Member

    Interesting find! If it was a Japanese or Australian car, wouldn’t it be right hand drive? 125K asking and the seller won’t even spring the extra $.35 for larger pictures? “Strange times indeed” as Mr. Lennon said.

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  4. Gerry Member

    Considering all of the pictures show that the car is in Japan I wonder if it is a scam or somebody is trying to get enough for it that they can go buy it and then ship it to the winner. Seems fishy

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  5. hhaleblian

    I have two early 911S’s with factory sport seats. Don’t know where these seats came from but me thinks they’re not original to this car. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Listed as a sportomatic. No pic of the engine s/n. Goofy listing. Maybe I’m turning Japanese I really think so.As Chicago’s late great mayor Harold Washington would say..”Hocus Pocus Dominocus”

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    • Rob

      The seats are not original, but look to be a Koenig, the fog lights are not original, and no sign of the rear fog from what I can see.

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    • Drake Roberts

      some came with sport seats, check the POA on the cars

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  6. Grr

    @hhaleblian – You do realize what ‘turning Japanese’ meant in the slang of the time, don’t you?

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  7. Moxman

    I used to work on 911’s of this vintage, and this car is in ROUGH shape. The interior is in need of a lot of work, as are the engine and transmission. There are tons of oil leaks, which are common on these cars. Assuming that this car needs a restoration, what would that cost and what would the car be worth afterwards. I know that the 911 market has exploded, but 125K for this car? I thought one could get a nice 911 for that kind of money? Here’s another tidbit. I noticed one word in the description: “sportomatic.” I’ve driven Porsches with sportomatics, and they are just not the same as a manual trans. Plus, this early in the history of the 911, the sportomatic was a very lackluster gearbox. It was akin to Volkswagen’s Auto-stick transmission. There has to be other, nicer, manual trans. 911’s for less money out there? Just one more tidbit. The build sheet specifies clear fog lamps, and these are amber, so they’re not original to the car.

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  8. alan

    COA lists original point of sale as Germany.

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  9. Geoff

    Note the date of manufacture – 1973. You are only permitted to import cars into Australia (with a few zany exceptions) that pre-date introduction of the Australian Design Regulations (ADRs) – which are the first time car safety requirements were introduced. For cars manufactured after the introduction of ADRs, importation into Australia (from anywhere) becomes a nightmare.

    The ADRs took effect as of Jan 1 1974. So I can see why this car has found its way to Oz. Though it looks from the pics to have gone from Europe to Japan to Australia (noting the LHD which was not sold into Australia)

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  10. Racer417

    This market has cooled off a bit. Completely restored cars are changing hands for well under $200k. If you paid 100k for this car, you’d be way underwater with a professional restoration. Great color and equipment, but the Sportomatic is a HUGE price hit.

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  11. Dolphin Member

    Looks like a flipper who likely paid a lot for it and now wants to sell for a lot more.

    For some, the 1973 911S is the holy grail, the last of the ‘pure’ 911s. But like Racer417, I think the Sportomatic transmission won’t appeal to most real 911 fans, so will be a tough sell. It might appeal to someone who wants a holy grail 911 but never learned to drive a standard transmission car, but buyers like that with big money to spend are likely to be pretty scarce.

    The asking is under the recent ultra-high prices paid for these at auction (about $176K), but it’s got the less desirable transmission and lots of needs, which those high-priced auction cars don’t usually have. And that median auction sale price will likely be lower now that the 911 market has cooled off like Racer said, so tough to pay the seller’s $125K price and not be underwater. No information on whether the engine even turns let alone runs, so in addition to a reseal the cost to get it running right might be very high. Then there’s that interior, systems to go through, and…… Then there’s the fact that it’s on the other side of the planet.

    Buyer better know what they are getting into with this or will be underwater.

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  12. Jeff Staff

    Couldn’t tell if it was really a Sportomatic based on the listing desc saying manual but the mention of Sportomatic in the text. I had assumed you couldn’t order “S” cars with anything but a manual, but I wasn’t sure.

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    • Dolphin Member

      Jeff if you do a web search on the transmission code on the COA (925/01) it turns up the Sportomatic for a 911S. Yes they did come on the ‘S’, altho I would guess not many were ordered that way.

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  13. Jim

    Never understood the appeal of these sewing machines. They would often smell like oil coming from the heat ducts and never offered that seat of the pants thrill for me. No rumble, little power. I guess that’s what happens when you grow up with American Muscle and didn’t wear preppy outfits to school/work.

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    • Rob

      Even as one who grew up with American muscle (’69 428CJ Mach 1), I can’t help but appreciate the early 911S. My ’71 S Targa (bought waaaay before prices went up) is my most favorite car I have ever owned by a longshot! The way that 185hp comes on in a mechanically injected car is nothing short of awesome. The Porsche, weighing 1400 lbs less than the Mach1 has a much better power-to-weight ratio, very similar 0-60 times, and goes through the corners a hell of a lot better with a lot more smiles per mile (and roughly 6 more MPG). Though the big block has an immense feel of acceleration and I do love it, it (or any other original American Muscle) is nowhere near the car of the early 911S.

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    • Racer417

      Try to follow one of these on a twisty road with a vintage muscle car. And I’ve owned many, including a 427 Corvette, ’67 GT500, and a Buick GS455 Stage 1.

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  14. sylv

    funny type of fonts characters on the CoA ?

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  15. Bill

    Never understood the fascination. Especially for that kind of money.

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  16. Jubjub

    @Jim: I didn’t wear fancy outfits either, but when I found my needy ’79 SC for a good price, I nabbed it. Truly a car that begs to be driven harder and never fails to put a sh*t eating grin on your face! They come alive when the others begin to run out of breath. Wish I hadn’t sold it.

    I’ve got the Barn Finds TVR now. It’s come along way and actually getting to be really fun to hammer around in, but it doesn’t have the gnarly, devil may care attitude of the 911.

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  17. Murray

    Interesting car…. I doubt that its actually in Australia at this point. The photos are all from Japan. Suspect this car has spent most of its life in Japan. Curiously, LHD European cars are considered somewhat of a status symbol in Japan. This car being a delivered in Germany vehicle (according to an earlier poster) and privately imported into Japan. In any event the price is to me completely over the top. One could do much better.

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  18. JohnD

    Love these cars, but I’m sorry, the Ebay write up is so bad, the description is so lacking, and the grammar/punctuation is so poor that I can’t take this auction seriously. We’re left to guess about whether this is a Sportmatic or manual gearbox!?! And he’s asking over 100 grand for this? I’m having a hard time believing this is a legitimate attempt at a sale. Definitely NOT barnfinds worthy.

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  19. john C

    There is a Karmann Ghia in Elkhart Indiana for a lot less, and it will take the turns pretty nicely…. seller has the engine out of the car at present, though it’s in the sale. It’s a manual too !! Similar road thrills, albeit a mite bit slower , eh? !!!

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  20. John

    This hobby has gone sour. Perhaps all the real barn finds have been found. We seem to be moving into the realm of the shyster selling used cars.

    This car is a beater. It “could” be a nice car for a hobbyist who wanted to restore and preserve a unique vehicle for his enjoyment. It might have allowed others to share the owner’s dream of a day long gone. But the hobbyist with $125K to spend wistfully is as rare as a true barn find. And if such a unicorn/hobbyist were to be found, it is bloody unlikely that he will ever turn a wrench of his own. Truly a hobby whose day is rapidly closing.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Just because Porsche values have risen beyond your budget doesn’t mean the hobby is ruined. There are plenty of bargain barn finds out there just waiting to be found! I currently have 3 fun cars that were purchased for under $2k. All the real barn find have not been found nor will they ever. There are always new ones being stashed away. You may have to adjust your interests a little, but they are still out there.

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    • Dave Wright

      Great statement Jesse, Few of us could ever afford a Dusenburg at any time…….there are plenty of fun cars still out there.

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