Porsche 912 -1965 to 1969
1965 - Porsche 912 (above photo)
Production years from 1965 to 1969 and 1975.
With the introduction of the new Porsche 911, the company had
shifted into a significantly higher price group, "it was
a very tense time" recalls the sales boss of the time Harald
Wagner. The 356, initially built in parallel, stopped production
in 1965. The 912 was created to satisfy customer demand for
a more economical Porsche.
In April 1965 the model was premiered. It had the bodywork of
the 911 but a four cylinder rear engine. At 1.6 litres the capacity
was the same as the 356 engine, but the drive gear was modified
and throttled to 90 HP. This gave more elasticity and durability,
i.e. speed retension.
The 912 was conceived as a European model and was initially
supplied only to the European sales organisations because there
were as yet no permits for the UK and overseas. After the relevant
legal hurdles had been overcome, the 912 soon became a market
leader, particularly in the USA.
The type 912 was described by many at the time as the common
sense solution, or Porsche's bread and butter car. It was the
answer to the desire of many Porsche customers for a more economical
model. Visually the 912 was very similar to the 911. However,
the instrument panel had no imitation teak, it had a plastic
rather than a wooden steering wheel and fewer display instruments.
The 90 HP four-cylinder Boxer engine provided adequate performance
which was not however designed to thrill. As the drive gear
was lighter than the six-cylinder engine in the 911 there was
better weight distribution, which benefited handling, for instance
directional stability. The 912 proved to be good-natured. It
was essentially an understeerer and the gentle power of the
engine enabled only slight oversteering. "The only possibility
of the rear end swinging out is if you suddenly brake in the
middle of a bend", wrote the trade journal Car & Driver
of the test drives.
The popularity of the 912 was demonstrated in the fact that
it sold significantly more in its first production year than