The introduction of the Porsche 911 in 1964 represented a watershed in the company’s history as it had hitherto built its road car reputation on the flat-4 engined Type 356, which had ultimately been derived from the humble VW Beetle. The new 911 – with its relatively sophisticated flat-6 engine – was a departure into a different market and, whilst noticeably more powerful than its predecessor, it was also considerably more expensive.
Porsche executives were concerned that this would limit sales and restrict brand appeal, and so planned a “transition” car utilising the new 911 bodyshell, but with an engine based on the old 356SC. This would enable Porsche to control costs at the same time as offering superior weight distribution, handling and fuel efficiency than the 911. The idea appeared to have some merit, as the 912 initially actually outsold the 911.
Porsche produced around 32,500 912s between 1965 and 1969, although only an estimated 2,500 of these sported the same Targa body style as the example offered here. This particular car was exported to the New Jersey distributor on 4th December 1968, finished in light ivory with black vinyl interior. Today – almost 50 years later – the car is still finished in this colour scheme and, significantly, retains its original engine.
This particular car has been part of a significant European collection for the past 10 years and is accompanied by Dutch registration papers. It is indeed a fine example of this underrated classic, and is favourably priced against its early 911 siblings.