32 Year Sleep: 1972 Porsche 911 T

This 1972 1973 Porsche 911 has been sitting in the original owner’s garage for 32 years. He purchased it new in 1972, drove it for eight years, and then supposedly parked it in 1980 even though it was still running. They have now enlisted a friend to sell the car for them on eBay. It is located in Roanoke, Virginia and bidding is currently at $6,500.

The T may have been the entry level 911, but it still had the 2.4 liter block and fuel injection from its bigger brothers. Power was down a little compared to them, but the looks and handling were the same. This one has been sitting for a long time so you will want to verify that it turns over before bidding. Then you are going to need to take some precautions before attempting to start it up so you don’t damage anything.

Unfortunately Porsche didn’t start galvanizing the entire body until a few years later so rust could be a big issue here. There is some corrosion below the headlights and we assume there is more of the nasty stuff hidden under the surface. The seller does mention that the undercarriage looks solid though. We would want to take a look ourselves before investing too much into this project.

The rear engine layout of the 911 can make them exciting to drive. Things can get a little hairy at the limit though because all that weight in the back can turn over-steer into a major problem. Porsche has continually made changes in an attempt to tame the beast, but we hope they never find a solution because mastering the 911’s driving deficiencies is part of the fun.


  1. Barn Finds

    We just noticed that this car is actually a ’73. The seller had it listed incorrectly. Bidding also just skyrocketed to over $10k.

  2. Ron Southan

    I thought the “T” was a Targa top.

    • W Robert

      No, the models for that year were the T,E,S

  3. Tricky Dickie Member

    No, The “T” is a model designation letter and does not mean a targa top

    • Steel

      A Targa would be actually listed as ‘Targa’ full written out. Tricky Dickie is right here

    • Horse Radish

      I have a 1972 911 ‘T’ Targa, if that makes any sense…..

  4. Ron Southan

    Thanks Tricky, I’ve been wrong for a long time! Still never voted for you though.

  5. Rancho Bella

    Love the looks………don’t care for the handling. T was the lower end of the 911 line. Also the T is the designation for the engine output, what ever that was then.
    A nice engine rebuild runs $12k, rust = the Queen of Englands bank roll.

  6. Dolphin Member

    Eight hours in and already 16 bids to $13,300. With the background of this car—1-owner, low miles, non-salted-road state, this could sell for $30K plus, which would have been a crazy price for an old unrestored 911 a couple of years ago, especially since this one is a bottom-of-the-line T coupe.

    If you are interested, better go and look carefully, since even tho it’s from a mid-Atlantic state these can still rust badly inside due to rain and humidity, and require lots of metal work to restore the structural strength lost to rust.

    The seller & his helper would have done better to get the car out of the garage into the light for decent photos instead of the bad cellphone shots they have up on the eBay listing. Why do people do this? Maybe they aren’t aware how many Porsche-crazed guys there are in California who might be tipped into car-trip mode if they thought the underside was good and it would be worth a flight East to have a look.

    Pay your local muffler shop for 15 minutes of time with the car up in the air, bring a decent digital camera, and be sure to get pictures of all the suspension mounting points, which are absolutely critical to having good 40-year-old 911. You could maybe generate another half-dozen bidders, two of whom might send the bidding sky-high and make your day when the auction ends.

    • paul

      Besides the bottom which is critical for sure, the cowl is also a problem & the cowl has a lot of hidden areas that rust that can’t be seen without removing the dash panel & floor carpet & even then you can’t see it all.

  7. paul

    well I guess, still a little high, but at least it’s not in stratosphere like the pagoda Merc that sat for 30 years & she wanted 30 k, so after you sunk 30 + another 30 into the mechanicals, then your up to 60 without touching the body or interior. But you still have a T not the S.

  8. Loits

    T, E, S they’re all slow by todays standards, but isn’t there something just so appealing about a low spec origional low milage 911. If it ends at around 15k it’s got to be a great thing to have

  9. Doug M Member

    Well, now it’s at $15k… with 9 days left… sure not going to end south of $20k in my opinion!! Had a 911 T once, and certainly was not impressed with the power… but I did have fun driving it anyway…

    • paul

      I am with you & when a car is sitting for 30 years, everything has to be gone thru.

  10. Al Neri

    Before attempting to start a car that’s been sitting for so long, what precautions do you take so you don’t damage anything? I understand the gas and fluids need changing but I am curious what else you need to do.

    • paul

      Ah ha good trick question, you want to start by freeing the piston rings from the cylinder walls, ( rust forms from sitting idle ) to do that you would pull the plugs & pour oil into the cylinders, I have also heard of using kerosene & you want this to sit for a few days to allow the oil to free up the rings, pistons & cylinder walls, then by hand with a socket you want to crank the motor over by hand. This process is good for a normal engine, this car has a Boxer style motor ( flat opposed ), so I am guessing here, that the motor should be removed end stood on it’s side, anyone want to add to this…. Once the engine has been freed you want to drain & refill with fresh oil & new filter, then you want to gumout the carburator, remove the fuel line & put fresh fuel in a can, put the fuel line in the can so that the engine has new fuel feeding into it, then change plugs, wires, cap , rotor, condensor& points if the car doesn’t have electronic ignition. Have another person try to start the car, let it run for a very short time, once it is running you then need to go thru the fuel system & flush all hard lines & replace all rubber lines. The same thing needs to be done to the brakes & every other system on the car.

      • Horse Radish

        I agree with what that boxer engine needs.
        When you pour oil in the cylinders it’ll most likely just sits around the ‘bottom’ of the rings….I would try to get a look inside the cylinders before I would remove the motor….(and that may not be easier….)

  11. Mark E

    The EXCITING part of driving one of these is if you are witless enough to put it into a corner at the limit and then suddenly get off the gas. Just one time will teach you to NEVER do it again!! (evil grin)

  12. Greg

    It’s been a long time since I played with an older Porsche, but wasn’t the T a carbureted model? I could be wrong, so I will leave it to someone more involved to comment.

  13. highmiles

    Due to emissions the US “T” version was fuel injected as well, mechanically. To date, I have resisted the tug of the 911, but having recently watched the Magnus Walker movie “Urban Outlaw”, I am hooked. He is trying to obtain every model year from 64-73, interestingly, he only lacks a 1973.
    This is not the one for me though, I am thinking that the mid to late 80’s models are probably a more practical choice.

  14. Dolphin Member

    “…we pulled it up a hill with another vehicle. then at the top of the hill rolled it down and placed the transmission in 5th gear, we still had to push it down the hill, the engine seemed to turn over easily. Again we had to push hard to get the car to roll.”
    Unfortunately, that’s the worst way to test anything on a car that has been sitting still for 32 years. If there was nothing wrong with the engine/transmission before, there’s a chance there’s something wrong now. It’s just too brutal a way of trying to turn the engine over. These are expensive engines to fix, and the slower you proceed and the more expert assessment you get, the lower the total bill might be.

    The best thing to do with this car after 32 years of immobility is to remove the engine and transmission and bring them (or the whole car) to a good independent Porsche shop that you trust, and pay them a couple of hours labour for their expert assessment of the engine/transmission.

    @Paul, if I were going to try rotating the engine, I would replace the fluids with high quality fluids of the right type. Check to see if the old fluids are flowing OK and whether they are jet black–a bad sign. Then I would put the transmission in neutral and put a short breaker bar and socket on the crankshaft. Then I would check my shop manual to be sure which direction to turn the crank—some engines can be damaged if turned the wrong way. I would not use all my strength when trying to turn the engine. It should turn easily and not need all of an adult person’s strength. If it turns easily and smoothly and doesn’t hang up you can gamble and try starting it with a cobbled up jug of gas and a temporary gas line, but with these older 911 engines you may be taking an chance with the cam chain tensioners, which may be seized and not working properly to tension the chains. If the chains jump a tooth or two, you could have valves hitting pistons, and that will drive the repair bill up real fast. That’s another reason why I would get the engine assessed by someone who knows these engines well.

    If the transmission was good when the car was parked, and if you replace the fluid with fresh fliud of the right kind, the transmission will probably be OK. There’s less that can go wrong with a transmission that’s been sitting than with a 911 engine that’s been sitting. For one thing, the tranny doesn’t have any valves that will be up on their cam lobe, letting humidity into their cylinder, as will be the case with the engine.

    • paul

      Very good point about the timing chain tensioner & that whole interferance engine configuration & yes I left out the importance of rotating the engine in it’s proper rotation. I have never owned a Porsche but have owned some Corvairs similar boxer style motor but without the dry sump . Oh & am with you on the importance of finding a good independant shop specializing in the particular car, any car.

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