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Slant Nose Project: 1976 Porsche 912

When it comes to Porsches, it can seem like the market’s appetite is purely for the thoroughbreds, the near-perfect cars that cost well into the six-figured to own. Or, for the same price, you can get a custom-built 911 by the likes of Singer, which you’ll be equally scared to drive in public. Where are the ratty cars, the projects that never got finished? The 356s still turn up like that, but those are now $80,000 buy-ins for a beater. This 1976 Porsche 912 is exactly the kind of car I hope still exists, as it began life as one of the least desirable air-cooled models and now sports a 911 engine with a period-correct slant nose conversion. It’s rough, but it’s cheap for a vintage Porsche. Find it here on eBay with a suggested opening bid of $20,000.

Now, I get that the slant nose is likely a pretty low-quality conversion given anything not built by the factory was a pretty slippery slope back in the 80s. The side strakes that may or may not help cool the brakes are another vestige of the 80s, but it also makes me wonder if perhaps the kit was of decent quality, as most truly cheap builds stopped with the nose conversion and didn’t go any further than that. The details of the conversion can only be verified by in-person inspection or asking the seller to clarify, as an all-steel conversion is definitely preferred over fiberglass or some other low-cost material. The seller notes that this 912 is a rare “slicktop” meaning it didn’t come with a sunroof from the factory.

This, to me, is the best way to get into 911 ownership these days. It’s a rust-free car that isn’t original to the point that you need to worry about getting everything back to numbers-matching condition. You can live with the ratty interior for a while until the mechanicals are sorted. The dash doesn’t even appear to be cracked, which is unheard of in a car that lives where the sun is always shining.  The seller claims it was running well before being parked eight years ago, so perhaps there’s a chance it comes back to life without too much effort. And whether you love the slant nose conversion or hate it, there’s no denying this 912 will be a showstopper when it’s back to running / driving condition and is perhaps wearing a fresh paint job in a slightly louder color.

The seller has listed the 912 with a high opening bid but no reserve, which is where I’d likely end up with it if it were my listing. If you managed to get this 912 for $20K, you’re likely already coming out ahead if it’s as rust-free as the seller claims. Assuming the engine, which is from a 1971 911T, comes back to life without too much of a struggle and the 915 transmission still engages like it should, you’ve got a drivetrain that may need a reseal at some point but hopefully not a rebuild. If it were mine, I’d leave the bodykit in place and find some more period-correct wheels, along with refreshing the interior and hopefully tracking down a set of factory sport seats. How would you restore this “cheap” air-cooled Porsche?

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Would you go for 912E over just 912? With no more information I think the price is too high. Also, the ’71 911T engine doesn’t put out much more hp than the type 4 engine that came out of it. Could be a good project but you aren’t going to get rich reselling this one.

    Like 8
  2. alphasud Member

    I think the ship has sailed for any hope buying a 911 or 912 for reasonable money. Your best bet is to find a good sorted 911 or 912 with the understanding a minimum of 35K is needed and up depending on what year you are looking for. The expense of buying a project that needs any body and paint or engine work will exceed what you can buy a good running example. This car listed will put you upside down from the start and you will have more money in it than it’s worth when finished. These are the cars that change ownership without getting restored. Don’t be that person.

    Like 7
    • Kurt Member

      Wish I would have paid attention to this advice before my ACVW project.

      Like 1
  3. Jwaltb

    Lipstick? Pig? The coil mounted on the fan housing is a nice touch…

    Like 1
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Coil position is stock on the early engines. Note the distributor is just underneath it.

      Like 1
  4. JB Dugan

    Potential driver’s ed, time trial or track car.

    Like 0
  5. Jack Quantrill

    From Prince to Toad!

    Like 1

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