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Shades of Green: 1969 Porsche 912

This 1969 Porsche 912 does have a fair amount of rust to contend with, but it looks relatively complete – aside from the missing engine and transmission. Then again, 912s haven’t climbed to the point of 911s where matching numbers can make or break a car, and it may even mean someone can snag this project-grade example for a fair price. It’s originally an Irish Green example, too, which will always be popular with P-Car enthusiasts. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $9K and no reserve.

The seller notes the 912 was part of a larger collection of vehicles, and based on the condition of the body, we have little doubt it resided in Florida for all of those years. The floors, doors, nose and sills are all rusty and given the top half of the car is in decent shape, it would seem the surface upon which the 912 was parked did it no favors. Of course, it could be a northern car that ended up Florida as well. Note the nice glass and desirable pop-out rear windows. Matching hubcaps, too.

The interior is a mess, if not downright frightening in places. There’s no backseat and it looks like mold has attached itself to multiple surfaces in the cabin. The dash is cracked but tolerable. Less easy to live with is the missing back seat and some sort of chemistry process unfolding on the bulkhead where the seat used to reside – take a look at the gallery photos on eBay and see if you can determine what’s happening there. Seating surfaces are just OK but at least not heavily torn.

The presence of rust in the lower sills and the floors does beg the question as to whether it’s easier to simply source a new pan. The other question is the drivetrain – how should this one be restored? Early long-hood cars like this 912 are fetching good money fairly consistently, so a period-correct 912 motor with some hop-up parts would be the direction I’d go. The paint remains original in the door jambs and under the hood and engine cover, so a fresh coat of Irish Green is definitely in order as well. What kind of bid would you push this rough 912 to?


  1. grant

    9k for a rusted out rolling shell without the things that make it a car. And it’s considered a good deal. Smh…

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Proof that PT Barnum was right, Grant…

      • grant


    • redwagon

      it’s a porsche thing. you wouldn’t understand.

      neither do i.

    • Mountainwoodie

      Yup. Nuts.

  2. Billy 007

    Oh boy, a rusty fancy VW, gee, can I have it, can I? When will the bubble burst? Can’t break soon enough as far as I am concerned. Who buys this stuff? I am afraid it is probably some one who thinks the minimum wage is set too high, but this is a great buy.

    • DonC

      Every single time there’s a Porsche listed you insist on calling it a fancy VW. It’s boring, singularly minded, and exposes your lack of knowledge about either brand. Might I respectfully suggest you step aside when these adds come up and of course feel free to comment on other cars? After all a Ferrari is just a souped up Fiat right?

      Like 1
      • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

        @DonC. The people that call a 4 cylinder Porsche or even a Boxter, a fancy VW, are people that cannot afford a Porsche of any kind, including those found out in the open field or scrapyards.

  3. Rue d'Anger

    Had a great looking 1966 912 in the 80’s. The thing was turning to iron oxide from the inside out. It was the worst car I have ever owned. They cost a fortune to keep running. All the parts are the same price as a 911 except for the engine, and even that is expensive. Never again.

  4. Maestro1

    Grant and beatnik are right but to dream for a minute one would send the car to Porsche Classiche in Germany for a professional restoration, end up with a new car, and drive it till they put you in the ground.

  5. Adam T45 Staff

    To buy this you would simply have to have a completely irrational desire to own a 912. Looking at the nice, clear pictures carefully, the only way to restore this would be a complete “nut and bolt” bare shell restoration. The cost would be enormous, so it would have to be a labour of love.

    A mate of mine (ah, the word “mate”. One of the most important words in this Australian’s vocabulary) owned a classic car restoration business. He bought and restored one of these for his wife. It was absolutely mint condition when he finished it. She drove it for a couple of months and then decided that she preferred the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 that he had restored for himself. I drove both and can fully understand her decision.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      I had a buddy in SoCal who wanted a 912 when we were both in high school; the car had just been launched. I could never understand why someone would prefer the four banger to the six?

      When the guy finally got one in the mid-1970s, the rough example he bought turned out to be a total disappointment. Last I spoke with hi, a few years ago, he was still regretting his purchase.

      Adam, having driven both 912s and 3.8 E-Types, I can understand why your mate’s wife would prefer the latter.

  6. Sanity Factor

    Seen more done w less…

  7. Peter

    “Over Bridges of Sighs
    To rest my eyes in shades of green

    Under Dreaming Spires
    To Itchycoo Park, that’s where I’ve been

    What did you do there? – I got high
    What did you feel there? – Well I cried
    But why the tears there? – I’ll tell you why – yyyyy
    It’s all too beautiful, It’s all too beautiful
    It’s all too beautiful, It’s all too beautiful”
    Small faces 1967
    These Porsches always get this rust below as if a hose has been turned on inside and the water left to start the rusting process.

    • On and On On and On Member

      Thanks for the lyrics Peter. Brought back memories of a good time.

  8. Canadian Mark S. Eh!

    A question to p car guys. Can a VW pan be used in place of the original. If that is the case than a good DYI guy could rebuild this on a budget. If I were doing it I would look at putting a six cylinder turbo charged Subaru engine and trans in it. I’ve seen an example of this on JL garage and it was a little rocket ship. Crazy fast and monuverable. But to just restore this you’d be wasting your time and money. JMO.

    • Brian Snyder

      No need for VW replacement pans in a Porsche, Canadian Mark. You can get all kinds of replacement panels right here in Canada from Restoration Design, in Guelph, Ontario. Even though I live in Southern Ontario, I only discovered them from their how-to videos. Fun videos to watch, at least for me, since I don’t have the money to buy a 912, or 914, or 911, much less then spend the money to restore it. I’m not complaining. I still have car fun with websites like this and watching other peoples’ restoration videos.

  9. Andy

    There’s a million places that would build you a hot 2 liter VW motor and 5 speed transaxle. If you could get the price down, rivet a couple of cookie sheets to the bottom, bondo the hell out of it, and put a dual carb 2.0 and 5 speed out back, and while you’re ordering from J.C. Whitney anyway, get some cheap seat covers and an 8 ball shift knob. Enjoy!

    Like 1
  10. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    Am I correct in saying that a Porsche 912 doesn’t have a seperate floor pan but that the body is welded to the pan?

  11. Madmatt

    Here we go again….another Rusted out Porsche.!,
    Goin for Crazy f*#^ING money..!Is there something Iam
    missing about these cars, that people would be willing to restore
    cars in this shape or worse?While I Like the designs of these,
    Iam convinced I could never afford the Rust proofing
    materials to restore one….LOL…!

    • Peter

      It is something to do with ‘design’ and a small percentile of persons.
      Haters seem to outnumber likers.

  12. farmer rob

    my 69 912 targa project has been stalled for various reasons,, but will get back on track spring 2018….. thanks to ron roland for fixing the bottom of my very rusty 912 a few yrs back………… it will join my 356 conv d.. in the barn

  13. Jack Quantrill

    ‘69, best of the 912 bunch. A few years ago in Sedona,AZ, a guy was selling one, complete, less motor for $2000. I said I’ll take it. He said, fine but the rusted front end is ready to fall off. You couldn’t tell from the outside, though. Scared me away!

  14. newfieldscarnut

    BARNACLES !!! Shiver me timbers …
    A true harbor find .

  15. Martin Horrocks

    It makes way more sense to do a radical rebuild to a 912 than to a VW van for me. Yet I sense that we wouldn´t be having that debate.

    The obvious way to go with this is the hot rod which Andy suggests. 200bhp/5 speed from a good VW builder, roll cage and stripped interior. Stay away from official parts (and J C Whitney, Andy?) & total originality and you would have a real sports car, the best handling early Porsche possible if built right. A hilarious longhood 9car which would live forever and outperform a 2.7RS for (much?) less than $50000.

  16. Paul Daly

    Makes me feel better about my 912 project, the gentleman who owned it took it apart ( completely apart down to pistons and syncros). My job to rebuild – moving slowly as I’m not confident about assembling engine and gearbox, got all the literature and utube – just never done it before !! I would never be able to tackle the rust on this vehicle.

    • Robert W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      A good friend of mine bought one of these in pretty good shape, just minor rust. Engine past it’s prime, but interior intact and chrome presentable.

      I sourced panels, my buddy dropped the engine off at the engine builder I had used previously for a modified VW engine that ended up in a 356.

      He ended up with a 2,180 cc, 190 HP turbo’d 912. He opted for a more docile version with his choice, I had 250 HP, more engine than was needed as it turned out.

      For this he was rewarded with a unbelievably inexpensive but fun and well handling car. He did have more into the interior,as he does upholstery, and used some nice hides.

      Last time I saw it, he had electric windows, a universal kit for hot rods.

      Paul, your car looks GORGEOUS!

      You’ll do fine with the engine and tranny. Persevere!

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