The 911 celebrates 50 years of continuous production this year, which is a feat that few vehicles can brag about in the history of the automobile. While the flat six engine lives on, the flat four variant, dubbed the 912, does not. Sold from 1965 through 1969, it gave buyers a less expensive alternative to the recently introduced 911. The 912 reappeared for one year only in 1976 as the 912E, basically a stopgap model introduced after the 914 left the lineup and before the 924 was introduce. These early 912s are still very collectable but offer Porsche enthusiasts a chance to get into a classic 911 for much less. This 912 for sale in Philadelphia looks stunning in gray over red.
Engine: 1.6 liter flat four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 74,566 mi
Price: $39,500 Buy It Now
1966 Porsche 912, Chassis Number: 455994
The introduction of the 911 for Porsche meant a new flagship, and for their buyers, a costly sum compared to the trusty Type 356. Much like Porsche in today’s world, they pursued a new model out of their accounting department. Seeing the need for an entry level model, the Type 912 was to offer the best of both worlds. Classic 356 performance by way of the type 616 flat four, coupled with the new age styling of the all new 901 (or 911 as we know it). Debuting side by side at auto shows around the world, the 911 & 912 made clear to Porsches customers that the 356 experience would live on and that they also had the option of “bigger and better” should they want to pay for it. The 912 enjoyed a good 5 year run of success before the 3-tier 911 variants took over market share and the 914 was introduced. Porsche left us with just over 32,000 examples produced in varying layouts. It is however the early variants that define Porsches intention in its purest form. These 3-gauge limited option cars shared much with the 356, and offer a thrilling experience that can nearly be compared to that of the 911.
The example on offer here, chassis # 455994, is perhaps the ideal 912 in every respect. It was produced exactly as it is viewed today, in the very rare combination of Slate Grey with Red Interior. Sporting the optional: chrome solid wheels, wooden steering wheel, and the 5-speed transmission from the 911, this example is well optioned. The first and foremost item to convey is that of the highly original interior. So often were these cars driven, used, and passed along form owner to owner. Ill-care and neglect often contributed to languishing examples that have been rebuilt or refurbished over time leaving them without their original interiors and various other components. Originality is paramount in feeling and understanding one of these cars and what they had to offer in their time. We are proud to confirm that the interior on this example is 100% pure original in every respect. Never having seen so much as the seat belts replaced or the shift knob exchanged. The 74,434 miles showing on the odometer have been concluded as the original distance the car has traveled.
Through inspection and some documentation we have come to understand this example as having 4 owners. Having sold new to a Mr. Duvall in 1966 out of Holberts Porsche in Warrington, PA, it was driven seldom and well cared for. In 1977 Mr. Duvall took the car to Keppouf Porsche in Allentown, PA due to an engine issue. It was determined that the engine had gone bad and replacement would be required. The dealer ordered a new engine from the factory at this time. Its original engine, # 746210 the original type 616 unit, was replaced by a later spec 1969 variant, engine # 4096829. The mileage at this time, 3/2/77, was 17,590. The original receipt and warranty card for this switch is still present with the car today. Mr.Duvall’s ownership lasted nearly 22 years before he passed the car onto a Mr.Getty of Telford, PA. From what documentation we have we can tell that Mr. Getty was also a representative of the Philadelphia Historic Grand Prix as well as an affiliate of Algar Enterprises (Philadelphia’s Ferrari Dealership). During his ownership the car was regularly serviced by Bob Fox German Car Service of Ambler, PA.
The reigns were then again passed on to a Mr. Hannan of Ambler, PA in July of 1996. Mr. Hannan most likely came by the car via the repair shop who regularly serviced the car. During Mr. Hannan’s ownership it remained with Bob Fox for service and was enjoyed sparingly. We believe the one and only re-spray of the original color was done during the period between 1988-1996 during either Mr. Getty’s ownership or Mr. Hannan’s. In either case it was a good job at the time of completion and was very light. The door jams, trunk, and hood jams all still retain original paint and the trained eye can depict where the new paint started and stopped. It is evident through inspection that this car was never taken apart, and was never rusty or languishing. As such the doors, panels, and gaps are all factory correct and shut without any issues, easily and firmly. In May of 2002, the car was then acquired by its most recent enthusiast custodian, a Mr. Brzoska of Skippack, PA. Upon his acquisition he took deep consideration into the fact that the car was unfortunately no longer matching numbers as of 1977. He decided the most sensible thing to do was locate an engine as close to the original as possible. He located a correct 356 type 912 engine (a 616/36 production type, produced 1965-1967.5), # 745186, which was produced in January of 1966, nearly 1,024 serial numbers away from the original, # 746210. Chassis # 455994 was produced in May of 1966 (approximated), as one of only 3,630 cars built for 1966. All things considered, and with the unfortunate reality that the engine was indeed replaced in a time where “matching numbers” wasn’t a factor as related to value, this is a very close compromise to put the car very much in order and staying close to its roots.
During Mr. Brzoska’s acquisition, the car showed 64,000 miles. It was decided that this newly acquired and much more correct type engine was to receive a thorough rebuild. It was built well with all of the best and most reliable parts possible to create an engine with nearly 110hp while still able to run on pump gas and also be very reliable. At this time the transmission was inspected, a new clutch installed, half shafts, and new brakes installed on all four corners. It was then finished off with a Pertronix ignition and some heat reflective padding in the engine bay. 10,000 miles later and the car is still fabulously reliable and sorted. A turn of the key starts it instantly. The car holds good temperature, does not smoke, and makes plentiful power throughout the rev range. The engines strong sound is by way of a custom made exhaust system that could be returned to stock in an instant. The perfect set of tasteful upgrades to warrant this example as a superb performer. The suspension and tires are also up to date. The car handles very well, shifts with no issues and stops on command; overall a very impressive car to drive and a nice place to be when in the driver’s seat. Today it shows well as a nice driver still retaining all of its original glass. Some of the rubber seals and components are original and showing some age but still very usable. Others are new. It is a very straight and good looking example and shows/acts the part of a very original 74K mile example with excellent patina.
Within the past few months Porsches have achieved record highs and have become widely regarded as a must have collector car for any collection or enthusiast. These early 912’s, especially such original examples as this, are already up and coming in both collectability and price. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a 3-gauge 912 with the most desirable options and colors possible. Included in the sale is the correct date coded spare (as are all of the wheels), original jack, tools, very rare air pressure gauge, available records, and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. This is an opportunity not to be missed and warrants much consideration.
Looking at the photos, I was intrigued to see this car was carrying a license plate frame from Holbert’s VW/Porsche/Audi in Warrington, Pennsylvania. This is a dealership I’m quite familiar with, as it is right around the corner from my parent’s home. For those not in the know, Al Holbert was a renowed race car driver who tragically passed away in a helicopter accident in 1988. His dealership was bought out a few years ago by a larger chain of dealerships that operate in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Almost $40,000 for a 912 is very strong money. Usually you can find a good one in the mid $20,000 to low $30,000 range. Originality plays a big part in the asking price of this car, as well as the desirable color combination. Granted, the car isn’t numbers matching, but those are the breaks sometimes. In light of that, I suspect this car might be worth $35,000 at the high end. It’s rather remarkable the 911 has had such staying power in the market, evolving to fit the times. Will it be around another 50 years? Time will tell…