Car in the Spotlight – Porsche Carrera 3.0
Welcome to our regular ‘Car in the Spotlight’ feature, and a big thank you to Ian Lindsay-Watson, for providing us at ‘My Car Heaven’ such fascinating insight to buying and owning this exceptional car, his Porsche Carrera 3.0.
What do you love the most?
“The rarity, the colour and the body. One of under 100 right-hand-drive (RHD) coupes remaining, no rear spoiler (just as I like it) and sporting the ultra-rare original 16″ Fuchs wheel upgrade. I adore the body being in between narrow and wide, it’s a sort of ‘medium’ variant and the copper diamond metallic paint is so 70s. It’s a Marmite colour for sure, I’d guess with a ratio of 3:1 ‘for’ versus ‘against’ when I ask people their opinion. In 70s models, this specific paint can add thousands to the value and people actively seek it! The fact it’s the original colour of the car, not an afterthought, makes it all the more special. The single best thing about the car though is driving it. I’ve had over 30 cars in my lifetime, quite a few with over 700hp and still this delivers the most thrills per mile.”
When and where did you buy it?
“In early 2017, from a guy in Folkestone who also supplied my 912E. The car had just come into the UK after many years in Norway.”
Why did you buy, as opposed to another model or manufacturer?
“By accident, truly. I couldn’t help myself and I never intended to purchase this car. When I went to collect my 912E in December 2016, this copper brown beauty was parked right there next to her, glistening in the sunshine and I just knew I had to have her too! I returned a few weeks later in my 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports, with my 1969 Beetle on a trailer and gave the two of them plus £4,000 cash to secure ownership of the Carrera 3.0!”
Where did you buy it, and why this method?
“From an independent importer/trader in Folkestone, purely because he was the one who had this specific car and the 912E when I was looking for one of those too. I’m glad I bought it from a trader though as there were a few issues that I had to go back to him for, that would’ve been costly had I have had to cover them myself.”
What attracted you to this model and manufacturer?
“I had watched the Nordic series The Bridge and fell in love with the Porsche G series. I’d always loved the 930 Turbo, but it’s not a great vehicle to drive. The Carrera 3.0 is so much more of a driver’s car and also far rarer, and I knew from my 912E just how amazing older Porsches are to own and buzz about in. The fact the C3.0 is ultra-rare made a big difference too. It’s also worth noting that Ferdinand Porsche’s birthplace was Mattersdorf in the Bohemia region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That village is, on today’s map, called Vratislavice nad Nisou in the Liberec region of Czech Republic. Ferdinand was actually Austro-Hungarian/Czech from birth in 1875 until 1930, when he became a German citizen. I’m half-Czech, so I’m exceptionally proud that the Porsche brand actually stems from my motherland!”
What was the purchase price, and what is its current value?
“As aforementioned, a Bentley, a Beetle and a wad of cash! I estimate I parted with around £72k to buy her back then and I was offered €100,000 (£90,000) a month later for her! I declined and soon she was over the £100k mark, being mint and one of only 80-100 original, matching numbers right-hand-drive C3.0s left in the world. I’m not selling her anytime soon, but were I to be, I wouldn’t consider anything below six figures, as she’s on a mere 45,750 miles at 44-years-old and with all essential work completed to make her quite literally as good as new, if not better than…”
How much does it cost to service and tax?
“Servicing is straightforward and just a couple of hours plus some 10w60 Mobil 1 and the other service items. Tax is zero, as she’s a historic vehicle and actually, the only hefty costs have been the minor restoration pieces to keep her mint. When she was given new (original colour) paint before I bought her, they put the rear screen back in on the old rubber and didn’t connect the demister back up either. So a new rubber and a screen specialist (the screens are very hard to remove and refit without breaking) later, that’s sorted. They also didn’t do a very good respray in some vital areas, so I have had this all done by a top quality body shop. New sunroof runners, headlamps, fog light lenses, electric aerial, some interior refurb work, a new ignition coil, plugs, leads, overall tuning & tweaking and I have a rust-free 44 year old beauty that is just perfect in every way.”
How does it feel like to drive?
“Honestly, beyond belief, I couldn’t ask for more. Rapid, accurate, on-the-edge but controllable even when pushing it. You have to be a confident and competent driver, these machines can and will harm you if mistreated or pushed too far. That said, even in the rain, it’s such a great experience and a far cry from the unpredictable ‘widow-maker’ Turbo version. The naturally-aspirated Carrera is nearly as quick as the Turbo, especially lower down as there’s no lag, but it’s actually a real driver’s car and predictable in the way it responds to commands. 5.5 seconds to 60 every time is phenomenal for a car approaching five decades in age and even at well over 100MPH, there is no shake, shudder or feeling of insecurity. If you want a happy tail, you can make it happen with ease, but you can also avoid it just as easily. The only time I really am reminded of the car’s classic pedigree is when I have to stop quickly. The brakes are great, but they’re nothing compared to today’s cars or even those from the 90s, so you have to always be thinking way ahead.”
How often do you drive it?
“About two days a month on average; I tend to use my 912E more as I bought that one to use for big journeys and regularly throughout the summer, and on dry wintry days. I have five cars and whilst I do use the Carrera regularly, I have others to consider. It is absolutely a driver’s car though and I’m not precious about a bit of rain, I just try to avoid road salt.”
Has it been on any eventful journeys?
“She’s been to Bruges in Belgium and will soon go somewhere nice again. As far as historically, absolutely. She started life in Hong Kong as a UK-spec car when HK was still British, then moved back to England with her owner, who worked in financial services. For the last 13 years before I bought her, she lived in Norway and covered almost zero miles in that entire time, tucked up in a collection in a barn! The previous owner, based just south of Oslo, is a friend of mine now.”
How do you look after the car?
“She lives a life of pure luxury in a friend’s garage with ceramic floors and gets serviced and maintained by an amazing restoration company near to me. One of the guys who works on her is a revered Porsche restorer and treats the cars he works on like princesses. She is literally cared for by the best in the business and with no expense spared, and is washed only by hand (of course). On the road, however, she is driven as a Porsche should be. I don’t mean recklessly, but she is used. The 911 is a track-developed car adapted for the road.”
Is there another classic or supercar that you’d like to buy, and why?
“I think I’ve answered this before in the reviews of a couple of my other cars, but if I could have three, they would be a Koenigsegg CCXR (not the Agera, it’s too over-styled for me), a Lamborghini Murcielago (the only Lambo I like and in fact I love them) in green and a Volvo C202 or C303. Now, you’ll probably have to look those Volvos up! I toyed with the idea of a Volvo P1800S, but despite their undeniable beauty, I just wouldn’t use it to the extent I do my Porsches or even my 1969 Fiat 500.”
What advice do you have for anyone looking to buy this model of car?
“Do not buy an OEM Porsche/ Bosch ignition coil! I had three fail in a row, one on just 14 miles and had to have the car towed three times just because of shoddy parts that are now made in Brasil, instead of Germany. After we finally figured out that a batch of coils was faulty, rather than an electrical surge blowing them, I got an MSD race coil from Texas for 1/5th of the price of an OEM one and it’s done 5.5k miles without missing a beat! Most OEM Porsche parts are top quality, but not the classic coils. More generally, look for matching numbers with the chassis, gearbox and engine as it’s so important for value. Look for rust under the bonnet, in the wings, kidney bowls, on the floor pan and around the front & rear screens and really importantly, don’t be afraid of a little oil on the underside. Even fully rebuilt engines will likely drip some, as the precision in engineering terms 44 years ago wasn’t at today’s levels. Major oil leaks are a no-no, but a drip or two is the sign of an engine breathing and nothing to worry about. The absolutely biggest thing specifically around the Carrera 3.0 is making sure it’s genuine; many advertise 3-litre SCs as Carreras and they are far from it! Nearly 17 times as many 3.0 SC models were made compared to 3.0 Carreras, hence the Carrera is a far more revered vehicle. I’m not saying the SC isn’t great, but it’s just a lot more common. Look out for the five-blade engine cooling fan on the C3.0, as other models have 11 blades. Finally, even if you’re buying one as an investment, please do use it. It’s what Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche would’ve wanted and it’s what the car will want too! Things normally go wrong more when they are kept static for long periods.”
How does it compare to newer models?
“I find newer models absolutely lacklustre and soulless in comparison, you really could be in anything and I’ve never had a desire for one. The 991 Turbo S in the Crayon paint is something special, that I cannot deny, but the 992 to me is just horribly over-styled and a bit of a try hard, even if very capable. Water-cooled versions in general marked the end of the best era for Porsche and thus I stick to the air-cooled versions. Funnily enough, mine will see off a 996 or 997 Carrera and I’ve even given a 991.1 GTS a run for its money!”
How is the current market for this car, and how do you see this evolving?
“The market is pushing up again now and especially with the G series, yet the C3.0 is still something of a relative unknown. It’s the direct descendant of the fabled 1973 RS, with many shared engine and other components. It’s a 1975-77 only variant and whilst Porsche made over 58,000 SCs, they only made 3,500 Carrera 3.0 versions, with but a small run of 200 RHD coupes. There is only one direction that examples in the condition of mine can go in the market. I’m keeping her, though!”
So there you have an owners view on his car, ownership and more. A big thanks to Ian for telling us all about his Porsche Carrera 3.0.
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