Last week we described how we ended up buying a 1975 Porsche 911 S Sportomatic offered for sale at the Hershey Swap Meet – while sitting at our desk in Portland, Oregon.

In a “Love or Hate It” ‘70s Bahama Yellow (called Desert Beige by Porsche that year) it was described as having 47,187 original miles, a/c and its original cloth interior. Asking price was $47,900.

Within thirty minutes after being sent the seller’s phone number by an SCMer at the meet, the car was mine at near the asking price.

While several friends who were at Hershey looked at and liked the car, there was no time for a proper pre-purchase inspection. It was the exact car I was looking for, and fairly priced. Fifty-year-old sports cars are not like loaves of bread in a supermarket, with many to choose from. As others were interested in the car, I didn’t hesitate and pulled the trigger.

Four days later the car was loaded onto a carrier leaving the RM Sotheby’s auction and headed west.

Now I needed a plan.

I am not Porsche fluent, so I turned to my good friend (and like me a former GM of Ron Tonkin Ferrari) Matt Crandall at Avant-Garde Collection.

Matt provided guidance and advice. As a top-rated seller on BaT (911r), and having just opened a facility in Scottsdale, his hands were full, and he couldn’t prep the 911 for the SCM 1000. But he could guide me.

We decided to have the car dropped at his facility in Portland. He wanted to inspect the car and have it cleaned by the dry-ice process. Following that, SCM Editor-in-Chief Jeff Sabatini and I dropped by Avant-Garde and we, along with Matt, thought the car looked straight and had good bones.

The next stage was sending the car to Al Blanchard at A&P Specialities in Portland for a true PPI (that’s Post Purchase Inspection – I never seem to get one done before I buy a car).

With the car came the original owner’s manual indicating that it was sold new by Holbert Porsche in PA. The last service stamp was from July 2009.

The cleaning revealed a very straight and nearly-rust free car. Al thought the car had potential to be a good driver.

So, he proceeded with the inspection. I knew in just a few days he would verify that it needed nothing, the oil would be changed and I would be off enjoying the Pacific Northwest’s fantastic two-lane roads.

Next week: “About those head studs…”

And if anyone has more information on the history of SCM’s 911, please reach out to me at [email protected] or post your comments on this blog.



  1. Head studs? Uh oh.

  2. Hi Keith. I have no particular knowledge of this particular 911 you purchased , but I can tell you that having owned the same model year in factory Silver , that the ahead Bolts will ( someday , if not soon !) need to be replaced with magnesium bolts. My 911 started leaking oil and smoking due the oil leaking over the engine head, until my compression dropped significantly ; in those days we used to say, NEVER buy a “75 or ‘76 911 !…..this was in the ‘80’s , when I owned my ‘75. Matt will know what to do. Watch your Speedo cable on these cars – typically fail. Welcome to Porsche World – it’s about time you experience the “Pucker factor” like the rest of us who have owned early 911’s;
    you never know when that engine will fail – and it will ! …. Unless the head is drilled and changed to Magnesium head bolts !
    Rand Wintermute

  3. Magnesium bolts? I didn’t know there was such a thing.

  4. Cue the Jaws theme

  5. Ah…the old head stud trick! When Keith teased us last week with “what could go wrong” I didn’t think about the studs because I thought all of them would have been fixed a couple decades ago if the car was still on the road. I guess it survived with that low milage. They are drivable with a broken stud.
    BTW the color is Talbot Yellow, not Bahamas Yellow. Bahamas Yellow was a “butterscotch” yellow from 1966-1970. Look on the driver’s door tag by the hinges and you should see the Made in Western Germany tag, the bottom stamped number is the paint code. Talbot will be 106 or L106. Bahamas is 6605 or 6805.
    Desert Beige is a very different color than either of the yellows mentioned above, It was available in 1977, paint code 516.

    • Dear RJ: on color I am confused that “desert beige” was written as the color in the owner’s manual.


  6. I’m going to send some good ‘vermogen’ your way and presume that someone in the last 48 years has done the head studs. Yet my optimism and my repair bills are often at odds.

    Though yellow is typically not my first choice, you must admit its a happy color and it sure fits the era. No matter on what the car needs, you’re in it right enough to bridge the gap and make it wonderful. Best to you in the SCM 1000!

  7. After having owned a few Porsches I can only echo the above comments – welcome to the Porsche “rabbit hole”…………….

  8. Keith, you can check most Porsche colors on PCA’s “Rennbow” web site, including photos, codes, and years in use. I helped put this together when I was PCA Historian.
    I don’t see a non-metallic ‘Desert Beige’. There was a Sahara Beige in 1977 and a very similar Sand Beige earlier. Many Porsche colors had different names in Germany, however, Talbot Yellow was still “Talbotgelb” over there. If someone wrote Desert Beige in the owner’s manual, they were wrong.
    Anyway, if the car hasn’t been repainted the code will be on the door tag and I’d be willing to bet it’s going to be 106 based on the pictures and the year.

  9. I have asked the shop to take a picture of the door tag and send to me.

  10. Avatar photo

    Paint code on tag says 516-9-1.
    The door jambs have never been painted. Trying to
    Figure out how to post a pic here.

  11. ARRRG! I hate it when I’m wrong! At least you got the right answer. Glad I didn’t bet much on that one.

  12. I presume you bought this car because of the sportomatic and your health issues. I have a similar problem and can’t drive a manual any longer. My poor Lotus Super Seven and Healey BN7 are sitting here waisting away since my left leg will not function as a clutch actuating device. My last two cars have been dct. (VW GTI and now Mercedes AMG GT R. I understood that Fred Lux was going to sort your Alfa.

  13. Hello Keith and Other Posters. I am just a casual observer here with no Porsche knowledge. But . . . regarding the color mystery, I Googled “PORSCHE 911 PAINT CODE 516-9-1” and the following forum was the second hit. It is very interesting, complete with a few photos, and may help you out:

  14. I love how you’re SLOWLY spoon-feeding us this story!
    I’ve replaced cylinder head bolts and studs on many diesel engines over the years. Hopefully, you’ve caught the problem early before any engine damage occurred. I’ve replaced a few toasted engines that were beyond repair as well!
    At least the body is straight and rust-free. Good bones!
    I’m looking forward to the next installment. 😰

  15. Where’s the next installment??? I’m dying to hear how this turns out…