A breath of fresh air
Porsche’s delightful 911SC has been one of the most highly regarded out-and-out sports cars for many years, and Motor Sport readers will hardly need any reminding about the outstanding performance from its six-cylinder horizontally opposed 2,994 cc air-cooled engine. With a claimed maximum speed fractionally short of 150 m.p.h., the 911SC has become a coveted collector’s item, but one shortcoming of the model range has been its lack of a fully convertible model. Now that shortcoming has been dealt with: ever since worries about US passenger car safety legislation caused European manufacturers to be very wary of producing anything more ambitious than a “targa top” model (and the 911 range currently still includes such a machine), a true 911SC convertible has been denied to all those enthusiastic motorists who wanted one. In fact, not since the 356A was phased out in 1965 has the German manufacturer produced a “pure” convertible, so it was with more than average interest that we took the opportunity to sample the latest 91ISC convertible when it became available in Britain two months ago.
The first thing one notices is that the traditional 911 profile has been changed, necessarily, for the first time since its inception some 20 years ago. But the fabric top is scarcely less weather-proof than the hard top it replaces and must rank as one of the most straightforward and uncomplicated convertible mechanisms ever devised.
Behind the sun visor on either side are two holes in the front roof frame into which two specially made handles, stored in the glove compartment, are fitted in order to start the transformation procedure between “hood up” and “hood down”. Both handles have to be inserted into the holes and turned through approximately 90-degrees until they are pointing vertically downwards. From this point onwards, the task becomes quite straightforward. Fold the roof back and then collapse it into its retracted position, making sure, first of all, that you unzip the rear window panel on the inside, tucking it under the backrest of the rear seats after you’ve done so. Once the hood is now folded back it’s just a question of fixing the tonneau cover into place, a particularly easy job which doesn’t involve the stretching of the fabric.
Apart from a significantly higher level of wind noise, the 911SC convertible retains all the good points of its established coupe counterpart and is impressively rattle-free, a testimony to the amount of effort that has been put into guaranteeing the torsional strength of the bodyshell.
Porsche’s 911SC Cabriolet is currently priced at £21,549.18 in the UK, while the Sport equipment model, which incorporates forged alloy road wheels with ultra low profile tyres, and front and rear aerodynamic spoilers as standard, is offered at £25,538.78p. — AH.