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Black Plate Survivor: 1966 Porsche 912

Initially produced between 1965 and 1969, the 912 acted as Porsche’s entry-level offering, and also rated as a sales success. During its initial production run, 32,000 912s rolled off the line in just over 4-years. So successful was the 912 that Porsche saw fit to reintroduce the car for a single year in 1976 in the USA as the 912E. This 1966 model is in pretty impressive condition and represents an opportunity for someone to add an air-cooled Porsche to their garage. Located in Napa, California, it is listed for sale here on eBay for $99,999 OBO.

It’s pretty hard to fault the presentation of the Porsche. The owner does supply a number of photos of the underside of the car, and the floors and frame appear to be perfect. The owner says that the car is wearing its original paint, which looks quite amazing for a 53-year-old car. A careful inspection of the photos reveals a chip on the front fender on the passenger side and a smaller chip on the front bumper on the driver’s side. Apart from that, the Porsche looks to be clean and solid, with consistent panel gaps, and exterior trim and badges that are close to perfect. The car doesn’t currently wear its original wheels, but the original chrome items are included in the sale.

The interior of the Porsche is nice, but it has just enough wear showing to give the car some character. The upholstery on the driver’s seat is slightly stretched, and there is some wear visible on the rim of the factory optional wooden wheel. The rest of the tan leatherette upholstery has held up really well, while the carpet also appears to be in good condition. Given the fact that this is a California car, it is reassuring to see that the dash pad has not suffered the rigors of UV exposure. The grille section in the top of the pad is a known weak point, and this one looks perfect.

A quick check of the engine bay reveals that the original, numbers-matching, flat-four engine is still in place. This 1,582cc air-cooled engine produces 90hp and delivers it to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. The owner claims that the 912 has covered 93,000 genuine miles and that he holds full documentation dating back to the car’s original sale. As a driver’s car, the 912 received a high level of praise when compared to its sibling, the 911. With a smaller and lighter engine, the 912 was frequently described as feeling more agile and lively than the 911, and it really only suffered against the 911 in the horsepower stakes. The owner doesn’t mention how the car runs and drives, but if the presentation is any indication, then it should be quite good.

I had always struggled to explain how I felt about the Porsche brand, and I did this until Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear said that he has respect for them, but not passion. That’s probably about how I feel. Passion for cars is a purely subjective thing, as what appeals to one person may not appeal to another. I have complete respect for Porsche. Their history, their longevity, and their motor-sport successes demonstrate that they are a company that is peerless when it comes to research, development, and engineering. It is for these reasons that this 912 has survived so well, and why they make such a solid investment.


  1. Charles

    No impressed with them either. I always think of them as a reskinned Beetle. If you’re into that stuff, a Karmann Ghia has better styling and is a better buy.

    Like 10
    • Tirefriar

      View of styling is subjective. Rest of your comment has absolutely no merit. If you really want to learn about this legendary marquee get your hands on a copy of “Porsche: Excellence was expected” by Karl Ludvigsen. You will never look at a Porsche the same way again.

      Like 8
      • Steve

        Telling someone their comments have no merit heh heh you definitely are a Porsche owner.

        Like 5
    • Mountainwoodie

      Yeah, a 912 is basically a VW engine, but having owned a couple of 911’s, which is a different cat altogether power and driving characteristics wise, I can say that there is something sublimely enticing about the shape of the 911/912.

      But…….a 100 K 912? (Insert every comment made about the sale price of vintage tin)

      It would be interesting to know what it sells for ultimately.

      Like 6
  2. LT1 Mike

    I like it…alot. Timeless styling that I can spot from a mile away, and the handling characteristics are sure to put a smile on my face. I’ll always love my American muscle car, but if I ever had the opportunity to own one of these incredible cars I would do it in a heartbeat. Cool find and cool car…

    Like 4
  3. h5mind

    Ouch. Back when I owned my 911, I could pick up any 912 for a few grand- nobody wanted them. Funny how things change. I do believe it’s part of an overall trend toward simple, fun-to-drive cars one can actually afford to drive- see what Porsche 356 prices have done. Wait until we start seeing original Miatas selling for $50K. Which other future classic may in your garage right now?

    Like 3
  4. Tirefriar

    The price is out there, but look at what the 911 of similar vintage are doing and I could sorta understand the seller’s reasoning. As most everyone here I remember time not so long ago when a minty mint 912 could have been acquired for $5k Those times are gone but the time of $100k 912 has not yet arrived, at least not for a 912 in the condition advertised here

    Like 4
  5. Ken Kittleson

    As the owner of a ’68 912 and ’69 Karmann Ghia, there’s no comparison. The Ghia handles like a beetle unless you do a lot of upgrading to it, while the 912 is basically a go-kart for adults. Putting the old 356 four cylinder in the back resulted in 50/50 weight distribution for great handling without the dreaded oversteer aspects of the tail-heavy 911. My 912 is a rough-around-the-edges driver and I hope they get $100K for this jewel, though it sounds like a Barrett Jackson fantasy price to me. Good luck!

    Like 9
  6. E55

    Lovely little car, but their intrinsic “appeal” was not the true reason Porsche introduced the 912e in 1976. Rather, I believe, that with the imminent introduction of the 924 in 1977 (and the corresponding cessation of production of the 914 with their 4-cylinder “boxer” motors), the 912e was a simple and expedient way to use up excess 914 motors…

    Like 1
  7. Johnny Gibson

    I really like its exterior and find this quite appealing although the interior trim color leaves a bit to be desired. Of course, I am 99k short of the asking price due to extremities so the OBO would be insulting for the owner.

    Like 1
  8. Mike Siebel

    I had a 1967 912 back in the early 1970’s, loved it wish I had it back! But $100k, ouch! I suspect the owner is not a Porsche guy otherwise he’d never jack up the entire car by the engine. Porsche put jack points in front of each rear wheel for a purpose.

    Like 1
  9. mike thor Member

    I had a 1965 grey market 911 with those fine solex carbs, I think it put out around 130 hp. If you like the 911 look without the 911 engine expenses, the 912 is for you. The problem is that with having only 90 hp, the 912 is somewhat of a dog. You will refrain from any challenges in straight-line speed, however in the corners they do ok.

    The most fun cars I had was two 1970 Porsche (actually they are Volkswagens made by karmen-kia, which the dealers back then kinda did not mention). They were both 1.7 4 bangers and slow, but boy were they fun and were basically go-karts for adults. My proudest moment was when coming off the grapevine onto flat land, with that kind of help, after about 2 minutes the 914 hit 100 mph! I have also had 2 9128s, a lotus Europa S2and Elite (boy what a p.o.s. that Elite was), the ones that were a real kick to drive (in the mountains anyways, lots of corners) were the 914’s and the Europa.

    Dang, I just about gave that 65 911 away. Who would of thought they would be worth money some day? A lot of folks sold cars like that and late 60’s / early 70’s muscle cars for practically nothing. dang it! Now if you want one you have to pay about 10 times what you sold it for. Who knew?!

    Like 2
  10. Peter Werner

    The 912E used a VW transporter engine. The original 912 between 1964-1969 used a version of the Porsche 356SC engine. Thes story is that the factory was worried in 1965 as the sale of the new 911 was too slow. What to do? Put the old engine in the new chassis, make it a much cheaper buy than the new 911 and it saved the factory. And as a result a less end heavy car to use on the tracks. Not so surprising that today the 912 is regarded a very useful car both on street and on track.

    Like 0
  11. John

    $99K for a 912? Ha ha!

    Like 4
  12. Gordon

    I think he just put a high number out there to see what offers he would get.

    Like 1
  13. William Dillon

    He also has a 2 liter 1966 911 engine with Webers for $20k. His number is: 707-888-5996
    Call/ text

    Like 0

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