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1966 Porsche 912

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  • Presented in original shade of Polo Red
  • Supplied new to California; one owner until mid-1990s
  • Imported to the UK in 2018
  • Extensive recent work with renowned marque specialists
YEAR1966
MAKEPorsche
PRICE£55,000

VEHICLE DESCRIPTION

Built in May 1966, this is an early example of the original short-wheelbase Porsche 912 – a model that has been significantly growing in stature in recent years, and which has deservedly attracted a strong following. 

It was supplied new to California distributor Porsche Cars Pacific, which was based in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco. Its first owner was Maurice Grossman, MD – a psychiatrist who lived in nearby Palo Alto. He ended up keeping his cherished 912 for 30 years, until it was exported to a new owner in Norway in March 1996.

The Porsche was sold to a UK-based enthusiast in 2018, and since then it has been maintained and sympathetically upgraded by renowned marque specialist Tuthill Porsche, as well as the 912 experts at Revival Cars. 

In the past three years alone, it has benefitted from new Weber carburettors, driveshafts and clutch, electronic ignition, an electric fuel pump and an alternator upgrade. New European-spec headlights have been fitted, a suspension refresh and realignment has been carried out, and four new Pirelli tyres have been fitted, along with a new exhaust system. 

Inside, it has been treated to a new headlining and trim work by Porsche specialist Classic FX. A wealth of invoices and receipts within its history file are testament to the level of care that it’s received.

Now presented for sale in its original shade of Polo Red and riding on Fuchs alloys, this matching-numbers Porsche 912 retains all of the model’s charm and authenticity, but benefits from some subtle and well-chosen upgrades that make it even more drivable and reliable. Supplied with a Driver’s Manual and factory sales information, it’s an extremely stylish and beautifully engineered choice of 1960s sports car.

MODEL HISTORY  

When Porsche went to six-cylinder power for its new 911 in 1964, it quickly identified the possibility of introducing a more affordable variant that shared the looks of the 911 but which featured a four-cylinder powerplant.

The engine that the German marque came up with for its new model was a development of the air-cooled Type 616 unit that had been used in the 356 SC, and which produced 90bhp. The suspension, meanwhile, followed 911 practice with a combination of MacPherson struts at the front and semi-trailing arms at the rear, plus torsion bars all round. As for gearboxes, there was the choice of a four-speed unit or a five-speeder at no extra cost. 

Although it was a more basic offering in terms of interior trim and equipment, the 912 was not much less powerful than the entry-level 911 – and it was lighter, with better handling balance. After its introduction in 1965, it initially outsold its more illustrious sibling by a considerable amount, and a Targa variant was added to the range for 1967. In fact, the 100,000th Porsche to be built was a 912 Targa.  

For 1969, the wheelbase on 912 and 911 alike was extended in order to further improve the handling, but the following year, the 912 was replaced by the 914, which had been developed with Volkswagen. The model name was briefly revived during the mid-1970s on the short-lived 912E, before disappearing again.

When Autocar tested a 912 in autumn 1965, it recorded a top speed of 120mph and was impressed with both the amount of grip on offer and the comfortable ride. ‘There is something about a Porsche which gets you,’ it concluded. ‘It takes a day at the wheel for the bug to bite, but from then on the attraction blossoms to a heart-and-soul affair which can only end in complete captivation.’


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