I love the turbos from the 80s but I'm concerned they aren't reliable and expensive to fix. are they?
The 911SC (made until 1983) has three possible issues: The exploding airbox... while not common, it is possible for a backfire at startup to cause the CIS Airbox to blow up. It's about $10 to install a blow off valve on the airbox to prevent this. Many of the cars may have this, but not all. The cars originally came with a rubber centered clutch that could suddenly break apart. Unlikely that you'll find an example with an original clutch after all these years, but possible. And lastely, as mentioned, all 911s before 1984 had mechanical chain tensioners. All possibly problems from this could be fixed with some chain guards, or the preferred fix of updating the the hydraulic tensioners that were introduced in 1984.
The 3.2 Carrera was introduced in 1984 and was produced until 1989, with a few updates happening through it's life. The most common here is premature wear on the valve guides. This is more common on the later cars with the G50 transmission (1987-1989), though it is not exactly a common problem. There is also an issue with a helper spring on the clutch which can make for quite a bit of needed pressure to get the pedal down. Though overall, the G50 Carreras are considered the more desirable and tend to demand a slight pricing premium over the earlier 915 models.
Still, while the cars are very reliable as they tended to be over engineered and used very high quality parts, when those parts need to be replaced, the cost is what you would expect of an over-engineered quality component from a car that cost as much as it did new. And skilled labor for the cars can be a premium cost item as well.
The Turbo cars are a special case... also very reliable, but they will have more maintainance and repair due to the extra stresses and heat from the Turbo. If you are looking for a car you can drive often, the 911SC or 3.2L Carrera make a much better choice. Though the 930 is a fun and beastly brutal car at the same time - a nearly irresistable choice! But less practical.
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