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Needs Saving: Painted Dash 1966 Porsche 912

Some vendors apparently believe pictures are worth thousands of words because this very corroded 1966 Porsche 912 for sale here on eBay in the Cleveland, Ohio rust belt is amply documented with photographs but scant actual information is provided. It’s a ’66 with a reported 61,947 miles, and it’s an unholy mess.

While the car is still in one piece, it needs saving right quick. The floors appear to have been cut out, and there’s hardly a straight or un-rusted panel. Also missing is the four-cylinder engine, though the manual transmission appears to be on board.

Early 911s and less-desirable 912s like this one went through a crazy bubble, with even barely recognizable junk heaps and accident victims snatched up for uneconomic restoration. Now prices have come down to earth. Here’s The Drive last year: “Do you hear it? Is it the sound of the air-cooled Porsche 911 bubble reaching maximum tensile resistance after nearly a decade of unstoppable price inflation? The bubble that’s pushed air-cooled Porsche 911 prices into the stratosphere finally appears to be ready to pop—or at least deflate. Based on recent auction results, air-cooleds could finally be coming back down to reality.”

So any potential purchaser should look at this car carefully, with the head and not the heart. Originally burgundy, the painted-dash 912 was driven hard and left outside for long periods. There are no rocker panels. It’s sitting on some ludicrous mag wheels. The gauges are still there, at least some glass, and possibly seats that could be reupholstered, but that’s about it for the interior. Big holes are visible in the undercarriage shots, but not in the sad-looking body itself, which appears to have had some preliminary work done.

And this isn’t a 911S or even a 911T. It’s a 912, using the VW-derived engine from the 356.

The budget model was the result of Porsche thinking—rightly—that the 911 would be too expensive for some buyers. There was talk of adding fuel injection and increasing displacement to 1.8 liters, but that didn’t happen. The motor was tried and true as it was. So we’re talking 95 horsepower, with Solex carbs. Not a rocket.

The model was introduced in 1965, so this example is from the second year. The body is virtually identical to the 911, so nothing is stopping a new owner from creating a 911 clone, but then the numbers wouldn’t match and it would be a bitsa.

I’m seeing restored 912s go for $40,000 or so now, so maybe there’s still money to be made or fun to be had with this one. What do you think?


  1. Avatar photo sisuman Member

    It’s a mess. But it looks like a rare, early painted dash car. The serial number indicates that it was built in ‘65 so it’s possible. If it’s a real painted dash car somebody will save it.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Nate

      Someone please humor me and tell me (beyond the obvious) what a painted dash car is and why it’s significant…

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo sisuman Member

        Only the earliest 912s and 912s had the dash painted body color like the earlier 356 model. They only did it on early production cars built in 1965. They are rare,

        Like 1
  2. Avatar photo sisuman Member

    Wait a minute. One of the pictures shows a 911 oil tank filler neck and oil filter on the right side of the engine bay???

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Stu Member

      Good catch on the oil tank. That means the motor mounts have been changed at some point, too.

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Steve Bush Member

    This thing is less than 15 miles from me. Even so, I think you’d have to be a expert Porsche craftsman and have a decent stash of parts handy along with a bunch of cash to take this on as a project and then only if you could get in at a decent price.

    Like 5
  4. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    Your ludicrous wheels are 944 factory 7 inch “cookie cutters”. If the numbers indicate a 912 then someone started a conversion to the 911 engine. It’s all bolt on as the transmission was used for the 4 and the 6. This is as rough as it gets but finding a ’65 at all might be worth the restoration money. Hope it doesn’t go stupid early on the price. Did a Speedster worse than this one and look what happened to their value.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Ike Onick

    Eine teure bierdose!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo aboyandhisdog

      My thoughts exactly!

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

      Gemaltes Gehirn dummkopfs!

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo flmikey

    When I saw the floors, or lack there of, I only had one thought….Yaba Daba Dooooooo!!! I think those marks on the body are from people touching it with 10 foot poles….hard pass….

    Like 5

    I see a possible (https://www.google.com/search?q=roadkill+rotsun&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS741US741&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi296DYpLXtAhUEo1kKHQLtB8AQ_AUoAXoECAQQAw&biw=1366&bih=657) ROADKILL ROTSUN clone here (I know roadkill has a datsun, but this would be a pretty cool LS swapped V8 rat rod beater) Anyone else think the same?

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo Chris


    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Maestro1

    Steve Bush has it right. The price has to be next to nothing, and you need someone who really knows these cars or Porsche Classiche in Stuttgart.
    It’s an early car and worth saving from that standpoint but the dollars invested would want you to keep the car for a long period of time. I would pass.

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo G Lo

    Read it; know it; live it: don’t buy a USA project car that has spent any time north of the 36th parallel and east of about 100 degrees W.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo moosie

    Whats surprising is that it is for sale in Ohio and not Queens N.Y.C. or Los Angeles Cal. But on another note as wupped as this Porsche is it might make a neat Pro-Mod car, big inch LS motor, 6 speed trans, 9″ Ford rear, Morrison Chassis, ETC. ETC. ETC.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Ike Onick

      Then again it might not Mr.Moose.

      Like 0

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