Derek Whitacre and I seem to have similar priorities. Not all fun performance cars need to be set up for the track. Give up a little bit of spring rate, retain a bit of carpet, and suddenly the usability factor goes way, way up. That’s not to say Mr. Whitacre’s 1982 911SC is a mild or modest machine. This Porsche was built to attack Mulholland Drive. With 420 horsepower on tap, and a whopping 460 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, it’s more than capable of powering itself into the hills at extraordinary speeds. To Marcus Vandenburg, host of Roads Untraveled, this car is a slightly unpredictable anachronism. It is the oldest 911 he’s ever driven, and one of the oldest cars of any type he’s driven in a while. To someone used to modern performance cars, this monster is sure to be something of a shock.
Some of you might remember this car from a Smoking Tire video where Matt Farah drove it in the rain (and found someone in a ditch due to the poor weather). Unlike Mr. Farah, Marcus was blessed with good weather. A good thing, because Derek’s 420 horsepower “82 ME109” is not a viceless, modern machine. Take a good look at that plate, too. It’s brown because the car shoots fire, and the plate has suffered.
A Messerschmitt was likeliest to kill a pilot on the ground due to its narrow, fragile undercarriage. This 911 is probably most dangerous while doing what it is meant to do- drive at speed. Like any classic 911 this is a Porsche that requires a deft hand, understanding of its weight distribution, and a hearty dose of respect to get the most out of it. Derek has run the car from California to Mexico, raced hillclimbs, and driven road rallies. To him, this Porsche is entirely about fun.
As Marcus says, there are a lot of nasty, negative things about Los Angeles. Derek Whitacre’s 1982 911SC, and Porsches like it, are not among them.