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1969 Porsche 912 to 911 Conversion

1969 Porsche 912

We have seen a lot of engine swaps over the years and if done properly they are typically a worthwhile upgrade. There are however certain cars that are better left alone. Take upgrading a six cylinder Mustang to a V8, sure it can be done, but the cost of doing it right would exceed the cost of buying a car that originally came with a V8. So what about upgrading a Porsche 912 with a 911 six cylinder? Unlike a Mustang, a 912 doesn’t need the brakes and suspension upgraded to keep it safe after the swap. But just because it’s a relatively easy swap, does that make it a good choice? Well a previous owner of this 1969 Porsche 912 decided to find out and installed a 911 engine in it. It has been parked for a while, but the seller claims the motor was run about a year ago. Take a look at it here on eBay. Thanks to Jim S for this tip!

Porsche 912 engine swap

Usually the point of an engine swap is to drastically increase performance, but dropping a larger and heavier engine into a car doesn’t always make if faster. The 912 and the 911 it’s based on have their motors mounted aft the rear wheels, meaning every pound of weight added to the back is going to have a substantial impact on balance and handling. The 911 weighed on average 250 pounds more than the 912, with most of the added weight being in the back. If the six cylinder added considerably more power, it would easily offset the weight increase. We aren’t sure which model this engine was pulled from, but if it came out of a 911T it may actually hurt performance. The 912’s boxer four put out a little over 100 hp, whereas the 911T’s six put out just 108 hp. We don’t think a 6 or 7 horsepower increase is worth all that extra weight, so let’s just hope this motor is one of the much higher performance versions.

Porsche 912 Project

Looking at this Porsche, it’s easy to tell that the engine swap wasn’t the only work done to it. It is obviously wearing a relatively new paint job in Tangerine Orange. At first glance it looks great, but upon closer inspection we see lots of imperfections, overspray, and bubbles. We just hope the bubbles are a result of poor prep work and not from something more serious such as rust. Fixing these issues could be a massive job, but as long as there’s no rust and you’re alright with it not looking perfect, it could be enjoyed as is.

Porsche 912 with 911 motor

We have to admit that we are struggling with the current value of 911s and 912s. Sure we love the styling and the heritage, but for the kind of money a well sorted one is going for, we could have several 914s and have some left over for repairs and upgrades. If we were going to spend this kind of money, we would actually go for a 912 simply for the improved weight distribution and simplicity of the 4 cylinder. This car would have to go cheap to interest us, as it is going to need lots of work and it’s hard to say what issues it might have as a result of the work that’s already been done. We would rather get a slightly rougher untouched car and avoid the headache of fixing someone else’s mistakes. So would you rather have the 4 or 6 cylinder powered Porsche?


  1. Don Melcher

    Same car, around 500# and 2 cylinders less – which one do you think is faster.

    A T engine would hardly be a improvement and I wouldn’t want to go with a larger engine without improved brakes.

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  2. Don Melcher

    Well, one of these days I’ll figure out how to link directly to the image I want

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  3. Haig Haleblian

    No engine or trans serial number provided. Don’t know if this is a T motor. Has a green engine cover which if the cover hasn’t been swapped out, it is correct an E motor. T motors had black covers, S’s red. An E motor at 140hp, would be injected. No injection unit in sight of this one. The only way of knowing is to get the serial number which I asked for.

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  4. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Cobbled wiring, back yard paint job, possible rust in the floor pan, needs interior work. At least the seller is honest in saying that the car needs a full resto, because it surely does.

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  5. John

    Current eBay bid is at around 9K. I love a good older car, but must confess I like them completly stock from bumper to bumper. The engine swap apparently doesn’t matter to the Bidders on this car, it would to me.

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  6. damouse

    Put away wet. Very wet. Rust and deteriorated upholstery and trims. Careful on this one.

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  7. paul

    Pass, pass, pass, 9 g for a rusty bucket bubbling everywhere by the time your done making this right your well in to a very decent Boxster that won’t rust.

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  8. Jim-Bob

    If it were a little cheaper, I think it would be worth it just to have a drivable, beater early 911…err…912. If it were mine, I would mechanically sort it and use it as a car… a novel idea in this day and age when anything old with a Porsche badge is selling for stupid money. now as to whether I would prefer original or modified, that’s tough to say. I usually prefer cars that aren’t virgin originals since then I don’t have to deal with the guilt that comes from cutting one up. Plus, they are usually cheaper to buy if they have been altered a bit. I would probably want a 4 cylinder in one of these for the weight balance as I hear they can be a bit tail happy. However, I would likely add a turbo, intercooler and EFI system to it too so that it would have more power than a 911 of the era but also have better handling. I’d also put in improved brakes and suspension too, but leave it looking fairly stock otherwise. Well… except for the wheels. I never really cared for the Fuchs alloys.

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  9. Haig Haleblian

    Pulled off ebay. Must have sold outside the auction. Sellers response to my serial number query was so far off the mark he’s either hiding something or doesn’t understand Porsche. At $10k it’s an expensive parts car. Maybe I’m missing something here, but won’t lose any sleep over it.

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