“911, 912, whatever it takes.”
I don’t think I’ll ever tire of paraphrasing the line from the 1983 movie “Mr. Mom” where the character Jack (played by Michael Keaton), who has been laid off, becomes a stay-at-home dad. In one scene, covering for his inadequacies, he attempts to prove his masculinity to his wife’s boss, Ron, by answering the door with a running chainsaw while wearing a full handyman outfit. When Ron asks him if he will be running 220 [electrical], Jack answers “220, 221, whatever it takes…”
So, the Porsche 912 apparently is “whatever it took” in 1965 when production began. The first time I heard of the 912, I thought smugly to myself, “well now, that’s one more than a 911, isn’t it?” But apparently German math and American math are not the same. One could argue that there isn’t any American math, as is evidenced by the imbalanced equations on practically every toilet tissue package (e.g. 16 = 28). So as it turns out the 912 is actually 1 less than the 911. Let me attempt to explain.
While the 911 had come out in 1963 with a 135 HP, 2.0 liter air-cooled flat-6 engine, famously mounted (improbably) over and behind the rear axle, there was a need for the manufacturer to come up with a less expensive variant so that they could, well, sell more cars. What manufacturer doesn’t want that?
So, instead of re-inventing the wheel, or anything else for that matter, Porsche AG basically swiped a 911 body and stuck a smaller, 102 HP, 1.6 liter, flat-4 engine (also swiped) from the outgoing 356 model. This made for a cheaper, lighter weight car with better fuel economy. It also was less back end heavy which helped handling. Naturally, it outsold the 911, at least in the beginning. So in a sense, it is one less, but in several respects it is also one more.
Later in 1970, the 912 was replaced by the 914. So you would think that thatmodel, based on my earlier Mr. Mom logic and toilet tissue math, was twomore than the 912, and threemore than the 911. But not so, as the 914 was given a 1.7 liter flat-4 Volkswagen engine. So the 914 became .1 more than the 912. Sorta.
To complicate the equation more, there was also a 6-cylinder variant of the 914 that was almost as expensive as the 911 but few were made when compared to the flat-4 model. So as it turns out the 914 with the flat-4 was a huge seller for the brand. Far outselling the 911 at the time. So like the 912, the 914 was less but also more. Toilet tissue math, strikes again.
All this math is probably making you sleepy. Fine, I get it. So we’ll talk about this particular 912 for a bit, so you can go about the rest of your day. I hate to tell you this, but there’s a little more numerology in the next paragraph.
This red over cream interior 1966 Porsche 912 is on it’s 3rdowner and is 99% original or OEM. It has 71,000 original miles and is mechanically rated by the seller as a 9/10. It sports a 4 speed manual transmission, and has had a frame off re-paint. It is said to be running “superbly” and has had regular service by a local mechanic in Phoenix. There are a few good independent Porsche mechanics here. It has a clear title, and is being offered at the firm price of $39,750.
Click HERE to take you to the listing on ebay for this well preserved analog classic.