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Porsche 912 History

912 History

The Porsche 912 was built from 1965 – 1969 and was seen by many as a transitional model from the 356 to 911. It had all the modern developments of the 911 and the tried and trusted powerplant of a 356. The 912, powered by a flat four 1582cc 90bhp engine, was some 250 pounds lighter than a 911 and its handling characteristics were consequently improved. The 912 was a best seller and even outsold the 911 in 1966. Available as a Coupé or a Targa, the 912 was especially popular in the USA where many of today’s Register Members cars originated. In fact, the 100,000 Porsche ever built was a 912 in the guise of a German Police car. A footnote to the 912 story is the 912E, which was an impact-bumper model manufactured in 1976. With it’s 2 litre engine, it was the last air-cooled 4-cylinder car built by Porsche.

Cost in 1967 £2,428 1s 10d

Original Specifications:
Cylinders: 4
Bore: 82.5mm
Stroke: 74mm
Displacement: 1582cc
Compression ratio: 9.3 : 1
Horsepower: 90 din HP @ 5800rpm
Max Torque: 12.4 mkp
Dimensions (swb)
Wheelbase: 2211mm
Overall length: 4163mm
Overall width: 1610mm
Height (unladen): 1320mm
Ground clearance: 150mm
Fuel: 62 litres
Oil sump: approx 5 litres
Trans/diff: 2.5 litres

Model variants
Soft Window Targa
Hard Window Targa
(Long wheel based car introduced in 1969)

Some of the various Options
Fuchs forged alloy wheels
Blaupunkt Radio
Various paint colour options
Leather upholstery
Hella fog/spot lamps
S pack

A modern perspective
The 912 has risen in regard in recent years, in the nineties it was a neglected model, and could be bought very cheaply. Once the classic car magazines noticed this (remember the www was in it’s infancy then) they proclaimed that a classic Porsche could be a daily driving option for £3000 or even less.

As the 912 was rare in the UK, due to it’s limited sales when new, the cars available were often from the USA. Lots of cars were imported and the Porsche fraternity started to notice what great car they were in their own right, they weren’t just ‘a poor man’s Porsche’.

With great handling and stunning looks they became the ‘sleeper’ that has now become a ‘cult classic’, with people up-rating their engines they are no slouch in the performance stakes now either, not that they ever really were.

With the formation of the 912 Registry in the USA and the continued success of this website, we have seen the stature of the 912 increase beyond what any Porsche fan would have thought possible twenty years ago. The 912 really has become the ‘Speedster’ of the 911 model range 😉 (well nearly).

912 Models

Classic early 912 Coupé, the definitive 901 shape. 1965-68

Early 912 Soft-window Targa with zip out rear window, introduced in 1967.

912 Hard-window Targa, introduced mid 1968 as a more robust version, soft window version was still available.

912 Long Wheelbase car, introduced in 1968/69, rear wheels moved back 57mm, other changes included flared wheel arches.

The 912E introduced in 1976 for one year only.

Photos courtesy Barwaut Verhoeven/Gavin Joule©2006