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Porsche 911. RECOVERY: 912

The Porsche 912 is a 911 minus two cylinders. That's blunt, because the block is identical to that of the 356's. The four-cylinder was intended as an entry-level model for Porsche drivers without money for the 911 six-cylinder.


But with the lighter, less powerful four-cylinder, the 912 is actually a better, cleaner sports car than the much-appreciated six-cylinder. Thanks to its lighter engine, the 180+ km / h fast 912 was significantly better than the first 911s. Just like the 912, the Porsche 911 requires an experienced driver, especially in the fast corners. Due to the rear-mounted engine, the car has a strongly oversteered character. In fact, letting go of the throttle in a quickly taken bend (especially on wet roads) makes the car break out very quickly at the rear. The fact that the 912's butt is lighter could be the difference between life and death there.

The Porsche 912 entered the European market in April 1965

The Porsche 912 arrived for the rest of the world later that year. The 912 was built by bodybuilder Karmann and by Porsche. This was two years after the production start of the 911.

Fairly priced

A 356C coupé with 1600 SC engine cost about 1965 German marks in 16.500, the 911 cost almost 23.000 marks. The first 912s cost 16.250 marks. To keep the price as human-friendly as possible, the Porsche 912 was more sober than the 911. The dashboard of the first XNUMX cars was painted in the body color. It later turned matte black with a strip of brushed aluminum.

Instead of using the suspension of the Porsche 356, it was decided to develop a fully improved version. The suspension of the Porsche 900 series was absolutely unique for its time; front longitudinal torsion bars supported by McPherson struts and stabilizer and rear semi-independent wheel suspension with side members and cross members according to Porsche patent with torsion bars. A stabilizer was available as an option. In 1966 Porsche made more than 9000 912s. About half of this was sold in the United States, a quarter in Germany and the remainder in other countries in Europe and worldwide. Including the Dutch police.

In 1967 the 4,5 ”Fuchs wheels were introduced for the 911S and they were available as an option for the 911 and the 912. It was an expensive option. And the Fuchs rim sets sold like hot cakes. In 1969, to improve handling, the wheelbase was extended from 2211 to 2268 mm.

So the Targa

Dr. Porsche wanted to keep building open cars. But creating an open 911/912 was not easy, as the 900 Series body derived much of its structural rigidity from the roof. This problem was solved by installing a wide roll bar.
Porsche called this solution Targa, after the successful Targa Florio races in Sicily for Porsche. The Targa was put into production in December 1966. The first roof designed for the Targa did not work in practice. It was not fast driving nor 'wapperproof'.

By the way, our photo model belongs to AMK reader André François, who used the 912 in excellent condition to drive card-reading rides. And to deter bargain hunters. Such a Porsche that was once intended to convince buyers has now been seriously recognized. The appraisal value for the insurance is therefore a healthy 50D euros


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6 Comments

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  1. Nice article! At a later stage, a number of 912s were built especially for the American market. Without chrome but with those ugly bumpers, some of them have of course also ended up in NL, but they are rare, so valuable!

  2. An American silver gray (originally apple green) 912 from 1968 was my first Porsche when I was 20 years old. Fortunately, I survived the many breaking out of the rear, especially the inside of the roundabout in wet weather was almost by definition a breakout. Rusting tailgate (bottom edge), rear wheel bearings, those were pretty much the 'points' of attention. At the time, 1999-2000, worth about 15.000 to 20.000 guilders (€ 8.000). I read a lot more now.

  3. Such a 912 is actually a very nice thing. Less expensive version and yet better than its much more expensive brother. Rare. Maligned. Wanted now.

    But it still remains strange that Porsches are so popular. Firstly, given the history of Ferdinandje (just do wikipedia and do not forget the German page), secondly because they were actually not good cars for a long time (only since about ten years have they been somewhat decent sports cars) and thirdly because they have always been / are too expensive.

    • The popularity is helped by the German oldtimer media (Bild Klassik, Auto Motor Sport Klassik, etc. If they don't praise Mercedes in their articles, they are talking about Porsche or Volkswagen. Other brands hardly get any attention.
      Unknown is unloved, but every hype also reaches its peak. Trees do not grow endlessly into the sky, unfortunately or fortunately.

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