83 targa: questions and price check

about 3 years ago
83 targa: questions and price check
Rick Brooklyn
Available on

I went to look at a 911SC Targa this morning and I would like to ask you guys a sanity check on the offer that I extended to the seller (which he rejected) and a few specific questions on some things on the car. Special thanks to forum member NYNick who came to look at the car and spent the better part of two hours with me and gave me great advice.
The good:
Private seller, not a flipper.
90k miles. Same owner since 1997. They say you have to buy the seller and he seems like a very nice guy who has respected the car since he owned it.
Clean carfax since he owned it.
Front chin spoiler and whale tail.
16 inch fuchs, which seemed in good condition to me.
No cracks on the dash. Ok seats, carpets and door pockets.
New Targa top (side gaskets looked very worn though).
Seals seemed ok.
No visible rust at the jack points or at the cowl.
Car didnt smoke as far as I could see. Now, this was the first 911 Ive ever driven so that doesnt mean much, but it felt tight and solid when I drove it. Transmission felt ok and what I expected a 915 to be like.
The not so good:
Im no expert but to me paint is a ten footer, and Id give it 7/10 at most. I didnt see any bubbles (maybe one on the fuel door) but there are plenty of chips and blemishes, some scratches. About one inch peeled from the rear bumper in a couple of spots. Targa bar is very chipped in the area where it connects with the top. Seller deems the car to be excellent by hagerty standards, again Im a noob but to me no way that paint is anywhere near excellent, more like between good and decent.
Body panel gaps: the gaps on both doors are consistent between driver and passenger, but theyre much wider than those on Nick's SC. At the widest point of the gap, I could almost fit my pinky finger. Driver door seem to sit slightly higher (a few mm) than the fender.
No carfax records prior to 1997.
No service records, and admittedly no significant maintenance done in many years other than annual oil change. Head studs believed not to have been done. Tensioners not done.
Was serviced at a top shop for a few years, but its been brought to a more random guy for oil changes for the past five years.
Car is rarely driven. In the winter the owner puts it in the garage and starts the engine for a short while every three weeks.
A little oil seeping from the oil return lines on the right hand side.
Different tire brands front and back.
Front hood struts are weak. Missing one headlight washer. Handbrake light always on. One ignition key only. No option sticker inside the front hood. Incorrect emblem on the decklid.
Floorpan on both driver and passenger side is bumped, suspected to be due to the car being jacked at the floorpans.
Questions for you guys:
1) Did the door panel gaps on these cars come in all shapes and sizes, meaning even if its very wide its not a big deal, or should that be cause for concern? I'm sure a PPI would say that but I'd rather know before I pay the $500.
2) The front hood hinges are not painted the color of the car. Does that suggest the hood has been replaced, or could it have come like that from the factory?
3) Im a newbie but Ive been obsessively following the market for SCs since the end of last year. To me, this seemed like a nice entry-level driver car, but nowhere near the top of the market.
Therefore I offered $26.5k, conditional on a squeaky clean PPI, with the cost of any required immediate maintenance coming off that level. Am I off the mark?