Sub-$10K Steal: 1968 Porsche 912 coupe
A lot of folks tend to dismiss the Porsche 912 as nothing more than a VW Beetle with a Porsche body tacked onto it. To those who know better, the 912 more accurately represents the true spiritual descendant to the Porsche 356 series with its Porsche body and chassis mated with a mildly updated version of the 356’s flat four-cylinder motor. We stumbled across this beauty on the Pelican Parts classified forum and were immediately drawn to the period color scheme, apparently straight and solid body, and the recent work it’s had.
See it for sale here on Pelican Parts for $9,000 firm in Port Orange, Florida.
Best I can tell, the German military had about a billion gallons of surplus beige paint which was sold at a heavy loss to the German automobile manufacturing industry in about 1964. While many see it as dull and uninspiring, I like it for its simplicity and the way it works with the chrome trim and contrasting interior (which appears black from what little I can see..). I’m also a fan of the early 911/912s with the thin bumpers, small grilles by the turn signals, and no whale tail to be found. Anywhere.
Among the appeals of this clean and simple 912 are the optional 5-speed transmission along with recent engine work including rebuilt carbs and (at some point) a rebuilt motor and transmission. As 912 owners will tell you, despite their VW lineage these are anything but simple cars to rehab mechanically and engine rebuilds can top five figures, so assuming the work was fairly recent and well done that is huge. It would also appear that at some point there were some rust issues with the car as the seller notes replacement floors and POR-15 treatment. It should be checked thoroughly, but with comparable vintage 912s commanding upwards of $20,000 there is some room in this car’s price to address any details that need fettling.
On the road the 90hp 912 feels lighter and more nimble than the 911, and were initially better sellers than the substantially more expensive 911. It wasn’t until the 914 came along that the 912 was made redundant and was discontinued save for a brief second coming for the 1976 model year to occupy the space between the discontinuation of the 914 and introduction of the 924. A sorted 912 will mosey from 0-60mph in a reasonable (for the period) 11.5 seconds and continue to a top speed of about 120mph, making the car plenty of fun for the casual sports car driver. Lift-throttle oversteer is less of an issue with the 912s than the comparable 911s, but drivers should still keep their foot in it around corners just to be on the safe side. In sum, sub-$10,000 vintage Porsches are getting extremely hard to find, especially without huge needs and huge bills waiting in the wings. Don’t hesitate.