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Rust-Free Driver: 1969 Porsche 912

The Porsche 912 was an innovative concept which succeeded in buffering the company against potential financial hardship. With the 911 due for release in 1963, and plans in place to end production of the venerable 356, Porsche perceived potential bleeding of their sales at the bottom end of the market. Thus, a plan was hatched to take the 911 bodyshell, and equip it with a 4-cylinder engine. This strategy proved to be a stroke of genius, as the 912 was a sales success, bolstering the company’s bottom line. This 912 is from the final year of initial 912 production, and presents quite nicely. The seller has only owned the vehicle for 2-years but is now in a position where he must part with the car. If a Porsche fits somewhere on your shopping list, then you will find the 912 located in Orlando, Florida, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has worked its way to $33,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

Buying a new 912 opened the buyer to the opportunity to have their pride and joy finished in some subtle hues, or they could choose a Special Order color such as Signal Yellow, which really made the car stand out. That is what you see here, although this particular 912 has received a repaint in its original color about 15-years-ago. It still presents well, with no signs of any significant dings or marks. The panels are straight, and as the owner rightly points out, the panel gaps are tight and consistent. Until the current owner purchased the car, it had spent the majority of its life in California. This has no doubt assisted it to remain completely rust-free. The trim and glass look great, but there are a few minor flaws that the next owner might want to address if they want to have the car presenting to a very high standard. What we’re talking about are little things like a cracked rear marker light. They don’t have a major negative impact upon the car’s presentation, but they might be enough to annoy some owners.

Now we reach the point of identifying just why the 912 was such a clever piece of marketing. Taking the 911 body and slotting in a 4-cylinder engine resulted in an affordable, entry-level model. It cost Porsche virtually nothing to develop and allowed the 912 to initially easily outsell the 911. What you find in our Porsche is the 1,582cc air-cooled, flat-four engine, producing 106hp. This power is sent to the road via, in this case, a 4-speed manual transaxle (a 5-speed was also available). While the 912 couldn’t live with the 911 in pure acceleration terms, the lighter engine weight meant that the 912 was a more nimble and sure-footed vehicle than its bigger brother, especially when the roads turned twisty. There is plenty of good news with our feature car. The first is that it is a numbers-matching vehicle. It also comes complete with a COA from Porsche which verifies its authenticity. The third, and no doubt the most important piece of news, is that the car is said to run and drive nicely. It would appear that this isn’t a car that will require big bucks to be spent before it hits the road. This is one that has apparently been properly maintained, and all that the new owner will need to do is slip behind the wheel and drive away.

When I first looked at this photo, I was wondering what on earth was going on with the dash! I’m sure that someone at some point thought that the decorative touch that has been applied was a good idea, but I personally can’t think of anything nice to say about it. Actually, yes, I can. It is only wallpaper that has been applied over the brushed trim on the dash, and it can easily be removed. The leather upholstery all looks quite good for a car of this age, although the driver’s seat is sagging, and it could use some new foam. The carpet is also a bit faded in a few minor spots, but if it won’t respond to dye, then it might need to be replaced at some point in the future. Having said that, it is free of any wear issues, so it has plenty of life left in it yet. The owner says that the dash has a couple of cracks, but these really don’t show up in the photos. For me, all that I would be inclined to do with the interior of the Porsche at this stage would be to treat the driver’s seat to some new foam and remove the aftermarket decorations from the dash. There is nothing else that it really needs at this point.

While the Porsche 912 was a sales success upon release, by the 1980s, it was a car that was largely unloved and forgotten. It was possible at that point to buy a driving and roadworthy example for well below $10,000 because nobody really wanted them. As so often happens in the classic car game, people then started to realize just what a good buy they represented at those sorts of prices, and just how nice a well-sorted example was to drive. This then pushed prices up, and they have continued to rise ever since. Our feature car is a clean and tidy driver that is in generally good condition. It has no rust issues, and even though the reserve hasn’t been met at this point, I suspect that there might be just a little way to go yet. Is this a German classic that you would consider bidding on?

Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Another old 4 cylinder Porsche, this one in School Bus yellow, pushing 50K… Ho Hum… *Yawn*….. Actually, I kind of like this car, but there is no way that these things are worth that kind of money. There were a lot of them made, they didn’t have much more power or handle much better than a Volkswagen, I just don’t get it. Unfortunately, after reading about the oval window beetle yesterday (the one that looked like it was yanked from a Pick-A-Part yard after 30 years with an ask of 10K), it looks like that is where air cooled VW’s are heading too. Sad….

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      $33,000 is hardly pushing $50,000.

      Last time I checked, asking price doesn’t necessarily reflect an actual sale price. Sellers throw out pie in the sky numbers all of the time, those numbers are meaningless unless someone actually shells out the money. Ebay has a way to easily search completed and sold items, that’s where savvy shoppers start their research.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  2. E55

    Looks like a very clean little car. One minor item is that the black trim (on the rear deck lid and the horn grills on the front) is incorrect for a 912 as black trim was introduced in 1972 – which is after first gen 912 production ceased.

  3. art

    This Porsche seems to be in very nice condition and was not abused, that alone can factor heavily into the cars’ price and value. Porsche never made cars for the “mass” market and still do not now, so rarity has a price.

    This car would need very little to look stunning, so take that into consideration vs buying a rusty, modified, basket case and trying to eventually get that junk car to look like this one.

    What seems high priced to one individual can seem reasonable to another…as is said, “You pays your money and takes your choice”.
    With this car, I think its’ value will remain or even appreciate, not a bad deal.

    Like 5
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Looks great but still needs good inspection. up to 36 large, it will bring stupid money, especially being BJ week. Good luck!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  5. David Prowse

    Owned a well maintained 912 in the late ’70s for about three weeks. What a dog. Couldn’t unload it fast enough.

    Like 3
  6. John Oliveri

    Nice looking car, become a classic Porsche owner for the price of a loaded Camry, wall paper on the dash has to go, under dash 8 track has to stay, makes the car, I can just see Natalie Wood and Robert Culp, running thru Beverly Hills in this during a movie shoot

    Like 2
  7. Ken Kittleson

    I believe that color is actually Bahama Yellow, which is the color my ’68 912 is supposed to be before it was painted Resale Red sometime in the ’80s, long before I bought it in ’06. Granted, they’re not fast but handle like a go-kart with a 50/50 weight distribution, and get 25 mpg to boot. As another owner once said, it makes all the right noises as you row through the gears and go around turns like you’re on rails, look down at the speedo when you pass a cop and you’re barely exceeding the speed limit. What’s not to like?

    Like 8
  8. Will Owen Member

    Any car this nimble, well-mannered and capable of maintaining a strong pace over just about any road, may I suppose be classified as a “dog”, but what breed? I’d pick whippet.

    I know there are plenty of folks who scorn any car that can’t shred concrete or get to 100+ in a second or two, but if I’m going somewhere, whether a road destination or a spell on a track, I want a good companion, not a vicious adversary. And of all the pre-’90s Porsches, this is the only one I’d care to have. And that’s just the second series with the longer wheelbase; the early ones can be tricky as a 356.

    Like 3
    • Vudutu

      Nailed that Will, very well mannered ride. The only other Porsche I put in this category is a 914 6.
      There were a lot of fun cars our generation 50s, 60s, 70s, was blessed with that were affordable, corner kick ass, decently powered, driving machines. Gas powered rockets, I want my 58 356 speedster, Mazda RX7, 61Triumph TR3, 2001 BMW 540 Msport back.
      We were blessed with, let’s see here, indoor plumbing, heat, air conditioning, the best music period.
      It was a great ride.

      Like 2
  9. dougie

    Broken record time. Back in the days, as Jay Leno states ad nauseam, you couldn’t give a 912 away. Even if you pay $33k, a dog by any name is still a dog.

  10. Francisco

    Beauty and class. What’s not to like?

    Like 1

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