“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?

Of course.

And I did.

I called the seller, whose number was on the advert. He was also an SCMer.

However, as much as I was thrilled with my purchase, I remained mindful of the importance of protecting my investment. With any significant acquisition, it’s essential to consider legal safeguards, especially when dealing with vintage automobiles.

Consulting with a reputable Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney could provide valuable insights and assistance in ensuring that my rights as a consumer are protected. By proactively seeking legal guidance, I can navigate any potential issues with confidence and peace of mind, allowing me to fully enjoy the exhilarating experience of owning my coveted Porsche 911 Sportomatic.

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.



  1. At least it looked nice.

  2. The suspense! Anxiously awaiting next week’s blog for the next chapter of this 911S Sporto story, as I’m curious to hear how it jibes with the “if enough things line up, just buy the car” approach. Hoping for your sake Keith that it’s not too dramatic…

  3. He says, “I’m sorry but I’m out of milk and coffee
    Never mind sugar we can watch the early movie”

    The Seventies, when the Usual Order of things was adjusted and many people said something like “If enough things line up, just buy the car.”

  4. I’ve bought too many cars to buy sight unseen. Sellers that I’ve known tend to sing the praises of the things they love about the car but conveniently overlook the faults! And, I must admit, I’ve done the same without shame.

  5. 1. There is a type of person that believes if it starts, runs and drives that is okay. Let’s see how critical Keith will get but let’s always remember that it’s every service writer’s job to tell you there is something wrong.

  6. I saw a beat Sporto that ran, but needed some(or most) of everything for sale locally in WA last year at a lower price and thought of sending you a picture of the sellers sign in the window. Then I thought twice knowing you might buy it, then perhaps cancel my subscription for hooking you up with such an almost fright pig.

    Maybe your car wont be ready for the SCM1000, but perhaps I will see it on the drive to Monterey? Good luck, I can’t wait for your next installment of the Sporto story.

  7. Excellent buy. But remember, it’s not the initial cost that’s expensive. It’s the maintenance and upkeep that keeps on being expensive.

  8. I am digging that yellow…… Well, I have had 9 lives when buying on-line or sight unseen. However, my last purchase it was a big challenge to get the owner on-line, much less the phone. The car was listed on-line from a family friend and I ended up buying a fairly low mile 92 330CE. I am finding out now the miles were low due to no-one pretty much driving the car for the last decade (last tagged 2012). As I was walking away from the deal, my daughter told me to reconsider and ended up meeting the guy and put in the position of pulling away once the paperwork was signed. I did not have a solidified back up plan since it was so last min communications. Well, drove it 300miles, and been working over the last few months on tuning and trouble shooting issues. The last pick up and drive off I plan for…

    Look forward to seeing more of the yellow delight.


  9. Can’t wait to see “what could go wrong” with buying sight unseen! Talbot Yellow, one of my least favored Porsche colors too. I hope you have driven one of these Sportomatics, they are a bit weird (at least to me). Well, if the problem turns out to be the trans that’s an easy fix. Just put a 5 speed in it like most people did and sell it for a profit

  10. Bravo for chasing your dream. We understand our limitations and appreciate your fixation on finding this car. These old cars need attention just like we do! The joy is in the drive!

  11. This sounds like it is going from “banana” yellow to “lemon” yellow!
    As a long-time mechanic, and seashore resident, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cars that look great topside, and are completely rusted-out underneath.
    Having repaired many German cars over the years, I can tell you that they are a handful to repair in the best of times. Unexpected surprises just make it worse!’
    I can’t wait for the other shoe to drop next week!