Porsche 911SC ~ 1978-1983
The SC was a development of the Carrera 3.0 that preceded it, and kept broadly the same mechanics and bodyshell.
The 3.0-litre engine was basically unchanged, albeit with an aluminium, not magnesium, crankcase. Bizarrely, though, power fell by 20bhp to 180bhp; an output that was the same for all markets. The reason for the drop in power was due to the use of different camshafts (to give a flatter torque curve and more low-end power and torque) and the adoption of emissions control equipment. The latter was fitted to all cars, not just US ones, and included an air-injection pump (which many owners removed in an attempt to boost power).
In 1980, non-US SCs gained a modest power-hike to 188bhp by revising ignition and camshaft timing, and increasing the compression ratio from 8.5:1 to 8.6:1. However, in 1981, these rest-of-world cars were further uprated to 204bhp, while US models remained unchanged (and were lumbered with a speedometer that read to just 85mph). This boost was brought about by raising the compression ratio to 9.8:1 (which demanded 98-octane fuel), changing the camshaft timing and tweaking the fuel injection system.
The transmission utilised the 915 gearbox from the Carrera 3.0, albeit with taller ratios (to improve emissions and fuel consumption) and, to reduce noise, a rubber-centred clutch (although this proved troublesome and was replaced by a conventional item in 1981). A three-speed clutchless Sportomatic transmission was available as an option up until 1979, although very few buyers chose it.
A popular option for the SC was the Sport package. This consisted of a whaletail rear spoiler, a rubber extension to the front spoiler, Bilstein gas dampers, 16-inch Fuchs wheels and sports seats. Note that over the years, the presence or otherwise of this option has become blurred as spoilers have been added or removed, and dampers replaced.
The SC’s interior and trim were carried over from the Carrera 3.0, although various seat fabrics were offered over the years. In 1980 the exterior trim switched from chrome and polished aluminium to black, which had previously been a popular option. At the same time, the centre console from the Turbo was fitted.
Today, an SC makes a lot of sense if you’re looking for a tough, reliable Porsche that is inexpensive both to buy and to maintain.