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Highly Original and Well Cared For: 1966 Porsche 912

One of the longer trends in the classic car market has been the amazing ascension of Porsche prices into the stratosphere.  With most makes, the most desirable variants hit six digits and become unobtainable to all but a few.  However, bargains can be had among lesser versions.  With Porsches, that doesn’t seem to be the case either.  Even the four-cylinder cars, front, mid, and rear engines, have gone up greatly in price.  Take for example this 1966 Porsche 912 for sale on eBay in Spokane, Washington.  With a Buy it Now price of $66,912 and a current bid of $32,700, this pristine survivor Porsche is pushing the limits for what a 912 can bring on the open market.  Is this original California car with 92,400 on the odometer and a respray worth that kind of money?  Is there an added boost in that we are looking at a car so well cared for that the asking price is justified?

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this write-up, the seller mentions something in the ad that paints an awesome picture.  When the original owner of this Porsche 912 ordered the car, they selected tourist delivery.  What is that?  This is a program that Porsche started in 1950 and continues to offer for new Porsche purchasers to this day.  You can pick up your car at the factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany.  Imagine for a moment how delightful it would be to have the means to order a new Porsche in 1966, pick it up at the factory, tour Germany, or more, and then have it shipped back after your vacation to enjoy once home.  That must have been an incredible experience.  Europe (especially Germany) was a radically different place than it is now.

In 1966, the Porsche 911 and 912 were in their second year of production and Germany was still divided by the Cold War.  After many years of producing the popular but unconventional 356, Porsche’s 911 was a step up in power and price.  Given that Porsche only had one body style to offer, it made sense to produce a version that was less expensive and more in line with what the 356 offered to enthusiasts.  The company’s 912 was powered by an updated version of the same flat-four-cylinder engine that propelled the 356.  They also removed a few features here and there to make the price more palatable to former Porsche customers who weren’t quite ready to step up to the 911.  Around 9,000 912s were sold in 1966 and this was a big deal to a company that was still very small at the time.

The story of this subtly beautiful 912 is quite interesting.  Not only was the car delivered to the US buyer in Germany, but it also had several options on its build sheet.  The exterior color was Sand Beige, and the interior was ordered in black leatherette.  It also came with five gauges in the dash, just as a 911 would have.  What makes that unusual is that nearly all 912s came with three gauges as a cost-saving measure.  It was also equipped with an outside temperature gauge.  The seller is a Porsche specialist who has spent a lot of time around these cars.  They claim that they have never seen another car with this gauge in 45 years of being involved with Porsches.  In addition, the car was outfitted with a radio, ashtray, and factory seat belts.  All gauges and lights are said to work.

During the stewardship of three separate owners, this car manages to look far younger than its 58 years would imply.  The seller tells us that it was a California car for most of its life.  It has been subject to a repaint which still presents well except for a scrape on the right rear quarter.  The most glaring wear is in the carpet on the driver’s side sill.  This is a common area where folks drag their feet getting into these low automobiles.  The driver’s seat also has some sagging in the left-hand bolster and the usual wear from use.  From there the rest of the problem areas are in great shape.  The dash lacks the usual cracks, the door and weather seals are in good shape, and the rest of the vinyl upholstery looks new.  What is also noticeable in its absence is rust.  These cars are rust magnets, but this one seems to have escaped the tinworm.

The seller tells us that this is one of the “most honest and unmolested examples I have seen in a very long time.”  It is a numbers-matching car according to its original Kardex and has been well maintained.  We are assured that it tracks straight, the engine does not smoke, it runs flawlessly, and the optional five-speed transmission shifts “butter smooth.”

With the rise of classic sports car events and tours, this car would be a great vehicle to enjoy on one of these outings.  While it is not as powerful as a 911, it doesn’t need to be.  A well-cared-for 912 is a nice vehicle to have in your garage and enjoy when called upon for such endeavors.  Hopefully, this wonderful car finds a deserving home at the end of this sale.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Beautiful car. We had the fortune to be stationed in Norway from ’74 through ’76. We took our ’64 356C coupe with us and while we were there Porsche put out a bulletin that they had one 912 engine for sale for a total of $1,800 installed. It took me 30 seconds to get on the phone and set up a trip to the factory. I didn’t need a new engine but the whole experience was just too good to pass up. While they were putting in the new engine we got a warehouse tour of the museum cars. We followed up that great event the next year by ordering a new 912E built to our requests. Picking it up got us a tour of the factory and enough goodies to keep us going to this day. Sold the 356C to an office mate, threw us, our dog and the 912E on the Queen Elizabeth 2 and came back to the states. Can’t imagine to this day how lucky we were to experience all that car fun.

    Like 38
  2. Jack Quantrill

    I took a hole saw to the dash and installed a matching VDO clock and outside temperature gauge in my ‘66 912. Back then, they were about $10 apiece.

    Like 7
  3. alphasud Member

    This car is local to me. I fact the owner is in our local Corvair chapter. Met him at the Christmas party and he mentioned listing this car to sell. I never drove a 356 engined 912 but from what I have heard from members like Bob Hess and others this was really the one to have. Not much f a HP penalty over the 2.0 six and much less weight behind the axle line made for a balanced car. My 2.7 911S without the tire stagger could get in you in trouble. I remember one time my friend and I drove to Summit Point raceway in my 911. I let my friend drive it for a stretch. We were doing spirited driving close to the track and he started to push wide and then did the thing you don’t do in a 911. He started to lift on the throttle while I was yelling at him to get back into it. He caught it before it became one of those stories you tell your friends one minute we were nearing the apex and the next thing I remembered is hitting that tree while going backwards!

    Like 10
  4. Dan

    The 911-style gauge cluster makes this one very interesting in that the original owner wanted the more complete instrumentation of the 911 but in the less-expensive 912; more instrumentation is always a welcome sight. As long as this continues to lead a sheltered, carefully maintained life this will only appreciate in value.

    Like 5
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      You could order the full instrumentation from the factory. Had Porsche friends with a ’66 coupe and ’69 Targa who did that. Also had a club member that autocrossed his ’67 and he didn’t lose the fastest time of the day award very often.

      Like 1
  5. Frank Barrett Member

    Wonderful car, and rare in such condition. Although the front pan looks immaculate from the top side, it would be good to have undercarriage photos, too. That hickey in the center of the engine lid could be an alarm switch. This car Is definitely worth the Buy-It-Now price.

    My ’65 912 was picked up at the factory, and I’ve enjoyed it for 54 years. It used to be fun surprising 911s at autocrosses and time trials, but today’s 911s obviously run away from it. Still, it has way more charm. People love the three dials and body-color painted dash. No power seats, windows, locks, steering, mirrors, etc. Not even a radio. Light!

    Like 1
  6. Trevor

    Come on that price is crazy for a 912, I had a 1970 911 that was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but no way would I pay this for a four-cylinder(Volkswagen bug with aerodynamics)! Not to mention that you will always be looked down upon and Porsche circles by anyone who owns a 911 it’s like owning a Porsche Boxster. You can buy a nice bug for 12,000 and put 1900 bucks into a supercharger complete kit, get 90 hp and smoke this thing.

    Like 2
    • Mountainwoodie

      To think in 2016 I sold my nearly original California ’70 911 ( admittedly a T) with dealer installed Coolaire,sunroof etc for under what they want for this 912.

      While it seemed a ridiculous price at the time, they have now doubled in price Crazy. If you’re a gambler or a dealer and think 912’s will rise even more.., well if you want it badly enough and you want a 912 with 911 gauges and an interesting color…….

      Like 1
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    sweet…….

    Like 3
  8. Paul Alexander

    I paid $1850 for my “67 912 in 1976. I had it for a few years before it was stolen. I was lucky that my insurance paid me almost as much as I had purchased it for, but I had done so many little things to improve/perfect it, that I’d rather have gotten the car back. To this day, I wish I still had it. One of the most solid and fun driving cars I’ve ever owned.

    Like 2
    • Jack Quantrill

      My ‘66 was nearly stolen. You could push the adjustable quarter windows toward the inside. It would flip over the rubber, and the thief could access the lock. I wrote the factory about this and the ‘68, and onward had rigid windwings. Don’t know if the letter helped.

      Like 0
  9. James

    Calm down, Trevor.

    Like 1

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