“Good things come to those who wait.”
For the past couple of years, I have been watchfully waiting for the right Porsche 911 with a Sportomatic transmission to come along.
I’ve chased a couple on BaT but dropped out when the bidding passed the $70k mark.
While I continue to busy myself looking for two-pedal classic sports car options, at the same time I’m being fiscally thoughtful.
Until recently, the 911 Sporto was perhaps the most unloved of Porsches. Despite how well the semi-automatic gearboxes performed (some contemporary road tests found the Sporto was faster 0-60 mph than a manual), most Sportos got replaced by manual gearboxes.
On Wednesday, Oct. 5, I was texted a photo by an SCMer who had arrived at the Hershey Swap meet early. “Are you still looking for a Sporto? There’s a pretty nice looking one that just pulled in. Here’s the for sale sign.”
“1975 911 S, 2 Owners, 47,000 original miles, Books, Records, Original Interior, Very Rare Sportomatic, Never Hit, Power Windows, Factory a/c, Serviced, Runs 100%, 1 Sympathetic Repaint, Rust Free, Asking $47,900, I have owned this car for approximately 10 years”
I had a simple reaction: OMG! My unicorn has arrived.
After reading this, would you have bought this car?
And I did.
I called the seller, whose number was on the advert. He was also an SCMer.
After so many years buying and selling old cars, I’ve learned that if enough things line up, just buy the car. If I had tried to arrange a PPI, someone else would have bought it.
The seller put a “SOLD” sign on the car. I had several people mention they were interested in the car, but that it sold quickly. To me! In Portland.
SCM Contributor Lowell Paddock walked around the car and sent me pictures of the engine running. He found the Bahama Yellow attractive. Rupert Banner of Bonhams and Brad Phillips of RM Sotheby’s mentioned they had seen the car and liked it. Bill Warner chimed in that although “Puke Yellow” wasn’t his favorite color, overall the car was good-looking and he was glad I now had an air-cooled 911 for the upcoming SCM 1000.
The asking price was fair enough to cover any of the inevitable surprises.
Or so I thought.
Time was of the essence. The seller had driven the Sporto 60 miles to Hershey. Reliable had trucks at the RM Auction, and my goal was to get the seller his money so he could just drive the car from the swap meet to the auction onto a truck.
My timing was good. A few days earlier I had sold the SCM Citroën DS21 on Bring a Trailer for a hammer price of $95k.
That money hit my account Thursday morning, and within minutes our quite-wonderful office manager and controller, Cheryl Cox, had fired a wire off to the 911 Seller in Pennsylvania. By the afternoon, he had collected funds and the car was in the hands of the transporter. I even had money left over – not that I would have anything to spend it on.
Next stop: Portland.
I was looking forward to taking the delivery of my “needs nothing Sporto” and driving it on Oregon back roads. At least that was the plan. Next week, we’ll talk about what happened instead.