1978 Porsche 911
Owner: Mark Morrissey
Location: Bloomfield, New Jersey
Year, Make, and Model: 1978 Porsche 911
Growing up in classic sports cars like a Triumph Spitfire, an Austin-Healey 3000 and an Alfa Romeo GTV, Mark Morrissey always hoped to own a Porsche 911, ideally an early example. Eight years ago he turned that dream into reality with the purchase of a 1978 SC coupe. But wait, you say, that doesn’t look like a ’78.
Inspired by the 1967 911R, Porsche’s experiment in a lightweight production-based race car, Morrissey has abandoned the safety bumpers and short hood of the 1974-88 911 in favor of the more classic early “long hood” look. In keeping with the spirit of the R, he’s also removed as much unnecessary weight as possible.
The backdated styling harkens back to the 911’s early motorsport days, when one could just as easily be seen racing at Le Mans as rallying in the Alps. And while it certainly won its fair share of racing trophies, Porsche designed the 911 from the outset to be an everyday sports car. It was made to be driven, and that’s exactly what Morrissey does with his. The odometer bears this out, having recently rolled past 220,000 miles, with the last 29,000 or so under Morrissey’s foot since he acquired it in 2005.
All go and no show – Mark claims he’s never touched a Q-tip to its paint – this 911 spends its weekends stalking the backroads of the Northeast, from West Virginia to New Hampshire. The car and its driver have ventured together as far as California, but Morrissey claims his favorite place to drive it is the winding roads near West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain resort.
Morrissey isn’t bothered by the fact that his 911 isn’t purely authentic, and no one else seems to mind it either. The experience of being behind the wheel of a great driver’s car, however, is authentic, and in our book that’s good enough.
Photography by Mark Morrissey
Want to see your vintage car on Petrolicious? Click here for more information.