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Original Engine! 1969 Porsche 912 Targa Project

Introduced in 1965 as the entry-level model in Porsche’s lineup, the 912 combined the body and chassis of the newly introduced iconic 911 model with a detuned version of the powertrain of the outgoing 356. A smaller, less powerful engine lowered the entry price significantly, allowing more people the joys of Porsche ownership. This smaller engine also led to an increase in fuel efficiency compared to the contemporary 911, meaning it was more affordable to drive. This 912 Targa is available here on craigslist, complete with its original engine and transmission.

The seller is upfront about the fact that they never got around to restoring the car, and that’s commendable. Too many classic cars are sitting abandoned in people’s yards because “I’m going to restore it someday.” The seller tried to restore it, but as is the case with so many of us, life gets in the way sometimes and you have more important things to do. They do say that the flat-four was rebuilt…23 years ago. And the car itself has been sitting for 24 years. Obviously, it will need some TLC to get going again, but the beauty of classic Porsches, especially simpler ones like the 912, 914, 356, et cetera, is that there’s not much to them. When new, this air-cooled boxer four made 102 horsepower and drove the rear wheels through a five-speed manual.

Inside, there’s not much to go off of here. Take a look at the ad yourself, but this is arguably the best image the seller provides. It looks like maybe a cloth interior…? The plus side is that it looks like the bad bits are mostly just junk that can be removed. Hopefully the interior isn’t too bad, but for a soft top that’s been sitting for coming up on three decades, you need to take what you can get.

They provide no images of the undercarriage, but since it hasn’t moved in so long I’m willing to hazard a guess that it’s okay. Not great, but not terrible. You can’t get in many accidents if you don’t drive the car. It does come with the original and highly sought-after Fuchs wheels and a whale tail. I’m suspecting that that whale tail isn’t original to the car, but maybe some Porsche purists can put me in my place here. I’m a Porsche enthusiast, as are we all, but the Porsche purists are on a whole other plane of knowledgeable existence when it comes to the intricacies of Porsches. It will need a little love, but if you’re ready to give it the love it needs, few things can provide the experience of a vintage Targa-top Porsche.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    The 912 engine was not a detuned version of the 356 engine. With the large twin throat carbs and other tweeks it was the most powerful of the standard line of 356 designed engines.

    Like 4
  2. ttroke

    Given the crazy prices right now, if you’re looking for a project and willing to roll up your sleeves, this might be a great one.

    Like 3
  3. Alan Brase

    At least they didn’t waste much effort trying to make it more saleable. Apparently it has flares added. A 1969 912 would be a pretty nice ride in stock form.

    Like 3
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Not much to like here. Whale tail, ’74 and later rear bumper and flares are probably fiberglass and if that engine has been sitting like that for that long without sealing off the carbs you can bet the cylinders are rusted. The 14 inch wheels are off the 911 E and aren’t going to fit anywhere on that car without looking out of place. Interior shot looks like it’s under water. Might get a tub and parts out of this but not much else.

    Like 2
  5. Martin Horrocks

    This a restomod in waiting. depending on price……

    • Jwaltb


  6. Mike

    The blue tinged pic of the interior looks like it’s underwater. Pro tip – When selling, pull the #@%*& tarp off the &%$*# car! Nobody wants to go to a strip show where they just flash a little ankle.

    Like 2
  7. t-bone BOB

    Located in Stockton, CA

  8. Alan Brase

    I knew those wheels looked funny. Any clues to tell immediately they are 14″? I have some 15″ heart wheels, and also the set of 16’s on my 1979. further I recognize the 1967 wheels because the spokes’ position to the rim. Used to be 14’s were about $400 a set. Are they really that bad, can one not find good tires to fit?

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