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Heavy Metal Affliction John's Porsche 911 SC

John Schommer
Friday, May 11, 2012

Welcome to Heavy Metal Affliction,’s presentation of radical rides, builds in progress, dream projects, and barn finds. Wanna share yours? Tell us about it here.


Heavy Metal Affliction can be defined as: the enduring need and passion to seek out, purchase, and fix-up cars that speak to us, without regard for investment value or resale.


This month is all about Porsche. In preparation for the upcoming release of the Porsche Expansion Pack for Forza Motorsport 4 we are going to celebrate Porsche by covering my 1978 Porsche 911 SC and a really cool Porsche show I attended last Sunday. Porsche, Porsche, Porsche! It’s like something out of the Brady Bunch, only way cooler!


Johniwanna’s 1978 Porsche 911 SC 

I have always wanted a Porsche 911. I almost owned a project 1972 911S, was making payments on it, but was also focused on a VW Karmann Ghia project, the boat I lived on, and a daily driver I owned as well. All that and no garage made me temporarily shelve the 911. But I knew someday it would happen. So, the 63rd (and most recent) vehicle I have owned is also the sweetest.


Last fall when I closed up my little tractor and dump truck business, I had trouble selling my truck. I was told that it was “too nice.” While I took that as a compliment, the fact is I was trying to sell it without losing my tail. After a few offers that did not meet the bar, I added “Will trade for Porsche 911 of equal value,” to my Craigslist ad almost as a joke, but thought, “Who knows? Anything can happen.”


As I was returning from a motorcycle trip to Going to the Sun Road in Montana’s Glacier National Park, I got a voicemail from a gentleman that had a 1978 911 SC he wanted to show me and see if we could work something out. I phoned him and we met in a parking lot and showed each other our rides. I feigned a lack of excitement but this was exactly what I wanted, so long as it was cherry and didn’t need any work. He loved my upgraded 2001 Ford F-350 4X4 7.3 diesel dump truck. It was just up to me to make the call.


When I saw the car was red, with black interior and a sunroof I was already sold, but had to be prudent and make sure it was sound. He let the car sell itself. We took it for a test drive on the highway where the owner said, “Do whatever you want, you can’t hurt it.” I realized quickly that this car would take some learning to drive and shift properly, but nonetheless we saw 110mph in short order. The car ran out sweetly and gave me no cause for concern. Why was he selling it? The man owned sixteen exotics, including five Porsches. This one just wasn’t getting driven much and a dump truck would be a useful tool in caring for his property. So we worked out a deal, which put some money in my pocket and made me a proud new 911 owner.


The car is a 1978 911 SC (Super Carrera) sunroof coupe. It is a five-speed connected to a 3.0-liter air-cooled flat six that makes around 180 horsepower. It’s no rocket ship but is plenty fast with a top speed of around 140mph. The car has been euro-lowered and is very stiff; needless to say it sticks to pavement like Super Glue. It has Kinesis two-piece wheels mounted to very low profile Bridgestone Potenza tires. Mechanically it is pretty much stock but has upgraded cam chain tensioners and the catalytic converter has been removed. The air conditioning has also been disabled. 1978 was the first year of the SC and the first year of the new 3.0-liter engine.  These engines are known as “bulletproof” and are known to go more than 300,000 miles when properly maintained.


The interior has been upgraded with leather four-point racing seats, and a Sparco pedal, shifter, and steering wheel kit. It has an early nineties three-disc Alpine deck with separates and an amplifier. But the sweetest sound is that flat six out back.


I have done a lot of TLC on this car, fixing little details, bringing the paint up to its potential, and of course, driving it. My girlfriend and I took it on a road trip across the state to drive one of the 15 best roads in America just outside Clarkston, WA. We put about 700 miles on it that weekend and the car performed flawlessly.


My future plans for it include new tires, probably Hankook, new plugs, and new front brakes. Not really anything big aside from take care of it and do some lapping in the summer months at Pacific Raceways.


Porsche Show at XXX Root Beer 

The XXX Root Beer in Issaquah, WA is one of two remaining drive-ins in what was once a national chain. In my opinion, they make the best Root Beer around and offer food so good there is a warning on the door. Every weekend they host a car show with a different theme.


I was fortunate enough to participate in the Porsche show they held last Sunday. There were all kinds of Porsches there from all original Speedsters to the latest 911 GT3.



The show was supposed to start at 8 a.m. but the weather wasn’t ideal so the lot didn’t fill up until around 10:30. I got there just after eight and had ample time to chat with a couple other early arrivers and got pictures of almost all the cars. There’s also a video I shot while walking around the event.


There was a 928 club that brought about 15 cars, a great group of 914/6’s. There was even a 914/8 that had a Corvette LS1 motor stuffed into it. I think the rarest car I saw was a 911 RSR.


One of my favorite recurring moments is when folks leave and you hear them accelerating on the freeway onramp that is right behind XXX. "It’s beautiful music, as can only be performed by Porsches.”


That’s it for this week’s Heavy Metal Affliction. Do you have a sweet ride that you would like to share? Know of one? Post about it in the HMA thread