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Porsche 912
Porsche 912 (2016-07-02 Sp).JPG
Porsche 912 Coupé
1976 (912E)
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body styleCoupé
LayoutRR layout
RelatedPorsche 911 (classic)
  • 1.6 L Type 616/36 B4
  • 1.6 L Type 616/39 B4 (US)
  • 2.0 L Volkswagen Type 4 H4 (912E)
Wheelbase2,211 mm (87.0 in)[1]
Length4,135 mm (162.8 in)
Width1,600 mm (63 in)
Height1,320 mm (52 in)
Curb weight965 kg (2,127 lb)
PredecessorPorsche 356
SuccessorPorsche 914

The Porsche 912 is a sports car by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany produced for the 1965 through 1969 model years. The 912 is an entry-level variant of the 911. Like the 911, the 912 was offered in Coupe and Targa body styles. The 912 is a nimble-handling compact 2+2 fitted with a 1.6-liter air cooled 4-cylinder flat-4 from the last of the 356s though slightly detuned to 102 SAE horsepower at 5800 rpm.[2] The 912 is capable of up to 30 miles per US gallon (7.8 L/100 km; 36 mpg‑imp) fuel economy. This combination is possible because of the high-efficiency boxer engine, low drag, and low weight. Priced at $4,700, the 912 initially outsold the 911, boosting the manufacturer's total production until success of the 911 was assured. More than 32,000 912s were built from April 1965 to July 1969.

The 4-cylinder 914 superseded the 912 as Porsche's entry-level model for the 1970 through 1975 model years. In 1976, The 912 enjoyed a one-year revival with the U.S.-only 912E powered by the 914-derived 2.0-liter VW "Type 4" flat 4 with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection delivering 90 SAE horsepower at 4900 rpm. Just 2,092 912E coupes were built from May 1975 to July 1976.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Tesla-powered Porsche 912: vintage meets electric


Five, four, three, two, one. (car engine roaring) (upbeat music) This is a 1968 Porsche 912 powered by a Tesla drivetrain. It's not just fast; it's the culmination of a years-long boom in taking vintage cars and retrofitting them with EV technology. It's the brainchild of two guys: David Bernardo, the founder of Zelectric Motors, a shop that restores old cars with a modern twist, and Michael Bream, the founder of EV West, which specializes in high-performance modifications. (Michael Bream laughing) (lighthearted music) Zelectric started out as a personal project. I wanted to take a Volkswagen and make it electric. I would've liked to have done a bus, started with that, but they're crazy pricey. Back when we started, you can get a nice car for $7,000, $8,000, $9,000. So we got a nice ragtop and were determined to make that electric. We started in 2010, and there were probably three or four years that the phone just didn't ring. The email inbox was mostly empty. But it wasn't really until this last three years or so that the public's really turned onto this. During that time, Tesla went from a kooky startup on the fringes of Silicon Valley to the most serious player in electric cars. As soon as Tesla came out, my interest grew in taking a classic car and make it electric because their first electric car didn't look like an appliance. Michael and David have been working together for almost a decade now and have a growing list of happy customers and eager buyers, and that's let them take on more complicated and expensive builds like the Volkswagen Microbus. I mean, we get emails every single day from people all over the planet, and it's their favorite vehicle. They want that to be electric. And I disappoint a lot of people because our focus is just Volkswagens and Porsches from the '50s and '60s, and that's keeping us super busy. It's keeping us all very, very busy right now. Our waitlist to get in the shop now extends three to four years out, so we're booking appointments for 2023. Despite that increasing workload, Michael and David were eager to take on a bigger challenge. That's where the Tesla-powered Porsche 912 comes in. This customer brought it in, thought it was a fantastic project. A little bit of a challenge, engineering-wise, because the car is much smaller than the cars that we're pulling the components out of. A Tesla drive unit comes out of a 5,500-pound car, and we're trying to shoehorn it into about a 2,300-pound car. The result of that engineering is 550 horsepower and 4,500 pound-feet of torque. The donor car was a Tesla P85 from which they pulled out the motor, inverter, the rear differential, and even the throttle pedal. Zelectric doesn't use the Tesla battery because it weighs too much. Instead, they use a 32kWh LG Chem battery pack, split into two 16kWh portions to balance out the car. This 912 will also lay the groundwork for future builds. EV West plans to sell a 912 conversion kit for roughly $50,000. There's a surprisingly long history of people tinkering with electric cars. But lately, the cost of the technology that powers them has gone way down while the availability of the parts and the knowledge of how to put them together has gone way up. This has resulted in a boom of weird, cool, and increasingly fast custom EVs. I had very low expectations because the electrified VWs I'd seen online were just Frankenstein's monsters. They're filled with golf cart batteries in the back seat and strange motors. They really were bad. So I assumed it was going to be like that and that I'll do the test drive, it'd be interesting. But I wasn't going to buy one, and I was blown away. That's Paul Stone and his 1966 electric Beetle. He's one of Zelectric's first customers. The first time I drove it and got out onto the street and really stepped on the accelerator, it blew me away. In first gear, it'll throw you into the back seat. This isn't Paul's first time buying into electric drivetrains. He says he was one of the first Prius owners in California, and so the work that EV West and Zelectric are doing makes sense for him. But the idea of messing around with vintage cars, especially retrofitting them with EV tech, isn't for everyone. You get two reactions: either people think it is the greatest thing and great for repurposing an older vehicle or it is sacrilege, blasphemy. I think part of the experience of having a classic car is to have the driving experience of a classic car, and it depends on what your needs and your wants and your desires are. In some ways, retrofitting an electric motor to a car that didn't have one originally, it defeats the purpose a little bit of having a classic car or having a vintage car because most people who have those kinds of vehicles want the authentic motoring experience. And you can't get that with an electric motor in your Volkswagen Bug or your Porsche or any other car that you want to retrofit. If you've got a rare car, a really rare car like a Porsche 901, one of the pre-911 Porsches, and you want to convert it to an electric car, it's yours, you certainly can do that, but you're diminishing the hobby by taking something very rare, something very important and modifying it, likely to the state that it will be very difficult to return it to its original configuration. Michael and David say they try to construct their cars so they could be converted back, though they don't really expect that to happen. But Leslie Kendall's comments illustrate a larger point: of course some of the people who have spent decades, maybe even most of their lives, finding, restoring, collecting, tuning, and showing off vintage cars aren't going to like what shops like Zelectric and EV West are doing. It goes past vintage cars, too. Electric racing series like Formula E have needed to work extra hard to prove themselves alongside traditional racing series. And while EV sales are slowly ticking up around the world, consumers in the US are actually buying more gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks in the near-term. I think a lot of people think we take perfectly good running cars and convert them. And what we actually do is more along the lines of what happened with the 912, where you have a car, kind of incomplete, kind of rusty, and it's right on the edge of maybe just going to the junkyard and being done. And these cars are great because they typically don't have the engines in them. You can get a good deal, and that's what we have here with this. The public, in general, is not going to jump through hoops to move a new technology forward. But if you make it a little bit easy, if you make it convenient, then that's actually a very good reason for the public to participate in moving forward that technology. The electric car revolution is not a shift that will happen overnight, but shops like EV West and Zelectric and projects like the Tesla-powered Porsche are signs that car culture is starting to adapt to this new reality — and they have the order books to prove it. Hey, everybody. Thanks for watching. Make sure to like and subscribe if you like this video. And now I'm going to leave you with a bunch of Tesla-powered Porsche burnouts.



1966 Porsche 912 Coupe
1966 Porsche 912 Coupe

912 (1965–1969)

In the early 1960s, Porsche was planning to discontinue the Type 356, which would leave them with the newly-introduced Type 911 as their only product. Concerned that the considerable price increase of a 911 with flat opposed six-cylinder powerplant over the 356 would cost the company sales and narrow brand appeal, in 1963 Porsche executives decided to introduce a new four-cylinder entry-level model. Like the 911 (original internal factory designation "901"), the four-cylinder 912 was originally known at Zuffenhausen by a number with a zero in the middle, but the "902" designation was never used publicly.[3] ("912" as project number was used after 1968 to indicate the 12 cylinder flat opposed engine developed for Porsche 917 racing car)

In 1963, Porsche assigned Dan Schwartz, later Chief Departmental Manager for Development, Mechanics, a project to oversee design and construction of a new horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine for the 902, utilizing components from the new 901 six-cylinder engine, that would produce higher performance than their 356SC engine, and be less costly and complex than their Carrera 2 engine. Another option explored by Claus von Rücker was to increase displacement of the 356 Type 616 engine to 1.8-liters, add Kugelfischer fuel injection, and modify both valve and cooling systems. Considering performance, cost, and scheduling, Porsche discontinued both of these design projects, and instead developed a third option, to tailor the 1.6-liter Type 616 engine to the 902.[4][5]

Before 911 production commenced in 1964, the Porsche Vehicle Research Department had set aside chassis numbers 13328, 13329, 13330, 13352, and 13386 through 13397 for research testing of the 902; research vehicle Serial Number 13394 is the oldest 902 known to exist today. In production form, the Type 912 combined a 911 chassis / bodyshell with the 1.6L, four-cylinder, push-rod Type 616/36 engine, based upon the Type 616/16 engine used in the Type 356SC of 1964-1965. With a lower compression ratio and new Solex carburetors, the Type 616/36 engine produced five less horsepower than the 616/16, but delivered about the same maximum torque at 3,500 rpm versus 4,200 rpm for the 616/16. Compared to the 911, the resulting production Type 912 vehicle demonstrated superior weight distribution, handling, and range. To bring 912 pricing close to the 356, Porsche also deleted some features standard on the 911. As production of the 356 concluded in 1965, on April 5, 1965 Porsche officially began production of the 912 coupé.[6] Styling, performance, quality construction, reliability, and price made the 912 a very attractive buy to both new and old customers, and it substantially outsold the 911 during the first few years of production. Porsche produced nearly 30,000 912 coupé units and about 2500 912 Targa body style units (Porsche's patented variation of a cabriolet) during a five-year manufacturing run.

Porsche 912 Targa
Porsche 912 Targa
Porsche 912 Police Targa
Porsche 912 Police Targa

Production of the Targa, complete with removable roof and heavy transparent plastic rear windows openable with a zipper (later called 'Version I' by Porsche and the 'soft-window Targa' by enthusiasts), commenced in December 1966 as a 1967 model. In January 1968, Porsche also made available a Targa 'Version II' option ('hard window Targa') with fixed glass rear window, transforming the Targa into a coupé with removable roof.[7]

The 912 was also made in a special version for the German autobahn police (polizei); the 100,000th Porsche car was a 912 Targa for the police of Baden-Württemberg, the home state of Porsche.[8] In the April 1967 edition, the Porsche factory's Christophorus Magazine noted: "On 21 December 1966, Porsche celebrated a particularly proud anniversary. The 100,000th Porsche, a 912 Targa outfitted for the police, was delivered." Porsche executives decided that after the 1969 model year, continuation of 912 production would not be viable, due to both internal and external factors. First, production facilities used for the 912 were reallocated to a new 914-6, a six-cylinder high performance version of the Porsche 914, Porsche-Volkswagen joint effort vehicle. Second, the 911 platform had returned to Porsche's traditional three performance-level ladder, including a most powerful 911S, a fuel-injected 911E, and a base model 911T, with pricing largely in line with market expectations. Third, more stringent United States engine emission control regulations also had a bearing on the decision; Ferry Porsche stated "It would have taken some trouble to prepare the 912 for the new exhaust rules, and with the arrival of the 914 we would have had three different engines to keep current. That was too many." [3]

912E (1976)

1976 Porsche 912E Coupe
1976 Porsche 912E Coupe

After a six-year absence, the 912 was re-introduced to North America for the 1976 model year as the 912E (internal factory designation 923) to fill the entry-level position left vacant by the discontinuation of the 914, while the new 924 – another Porsche-Volkswagen joint effort vehicle and the 914's official replacement – was being finalized and put into production. During the production run of May 1975 to July 1976, Porsche manufactured 2,092 of the 912E (E=Einspritzung), targeted only to the US market. By comparison, 10,677 (4,784 US) 911's were built for the 1976 model year. At $10,845 MSRP, the 912E was $3,000 less than the 911S.

The VW "Type 4" engine was originally made for the VW 411/412 (1.7 liters). The 912E uses a Porsche-designed revision of the engine (2.0 liters) with a longer 71mm stroke crankshaft, new rod bearings and new pistons to increase the cylinder bore to 94mm. The 912E's Bosch L-Jetronic / Air Flow Controlled system was later adapted for the 911. The cost for a good rebuild of the 911 flat six is $10,000 while the cost of the 912E flat four rebuild is less than half that. The 912E is an excellent long distance touring car with its 20+ gallon fuel tank, 30 mpg and 600-mile range.

1976 Porsche 912E Coupe
1976 Porsche 912E Coupe

The 912E has the same chassis as the 911 and therefore handles much like the 911. But with less power and less weight behind the rear axle, the 912E seems more forgiving and less prone to sudden oversteer than the 911. The E was the only 912 offered with a corrosion-resistant galvanized chassis. and is the most comfortable version of the 912. The interior is the same as the 911, though some pieces were extra cost options including two of the five gauges. 14-inch Fuchs alloy wheels was a popular option; "Cookie-Cutter" alloy wheels were also available (it’s rare that you’ll see a 912E with the standard 15-inch steel wheels). Other options were electric sunroof, 923/02 anti-slip differential, electric antenna (located on the passenger side front fender), power door mirrors, power windows, headlight washers, H1 headlamps. Air conditioning was a popular dealer-installed option. As a stopgap, the 912E was the single instance of "planned obsolescence" in Porsche history. Only 2,092 were built, but this plus year-only status and the desirable qualities inherited from contemporary 911s have since made the 912E one of the more collectible four-cylinder Porsches.

Based on 912 Registry member Aric Gless's research, over half of the 2,092 cars are still in use.[9] The Prototyp Museum collection in Hamburg Germany includes a 912E pre-series vehicle constructed utilizing a 911 Chassis No. 911 520 1617 and four-cylinder VW-Porsche 90HP 2.0L Type 4 similar to the late-model 2.0L 914/4.[10]

Road & Track said, “The 912E will obviously find favor with those who prefer a slightly more practical and tractable Porsche. It’s a car with almost all the sporting virtues of the more expensive 911S, yet its simpler pushrod 4-cyl. engine should make for better fuel economy and less expensive maintenance than the 911’s six” "The fittings are simpler in this model although in terms of materials, trim and finishing the 912E is of high Porsche quality. "The 911E is comfortable where the Carrera is harsh, rational where the Carrera is excessive.” R&T’s 11.3-second 0-60 mph time and 115-mph top speed looked good against the observed 23.0-mpg economy."


Porsche 912 Coupé B
Porsche 912 Coupé B

Sold to the public for street use, the Porsche 912 has also proven successful as a race car, from production years to current vintage events. In 1967 the 912 contributed to Porsche factory rally history when independent Polish driver Sobiesław Zasada drove a factory-loaned 912, bearing Polish plate 6177 KR, to capture the European Rally Championship for Group 1 series touring cars.[11] In the 1967 Rally of Poland, the second oldest rally in the world and one of the oldest motorsport events in the world,[12] Zasada drove his 912 race No. 47 to finish first overall out of a starting field of 50 entries.[13]

As a vintage rally car, on January 29, 2012 Hayden Burvill, Alastair Caldwell, and their #35 1968 Porsche 912 finished first in class, and 7th overall in the 2012 London to Cape Town World Cup Rally; a 14 country, three continent, 14,000 kilometre, 26 driving-days event.[14]


  1. ^ Cardew, Basil (1966). Daily Express Review of the 1966 Motor Show. London: Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd.
  2. ^ "912  and 912E Original Specs Quick Info". Archived from the original on 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  3. ^ a b Ludvigsen, Karl (1977). Porsche - Excellence Was Expected, page 413. New Jersey, USA: Princeton Publishing Inc.
  4. ^ Klassieke Porsche 911 & 912 Club Nederland Magazine, June 2013 (Jaargang 21, Nr. 2, page 14). 2013.
  5. ^ Lewandowski, Jurgen (2010). Porsche 901: The Roots of a Legend. Germany: Delius Klasing Verlag GMbH.
  6. ^ Porsche Service Bulletin, Subject: Introduction of Vehicle Type 912. Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany: Porsche AG. April 27, 1965.
  7. ^ Ludvigsen, Karl (1977). Porsche - Excellence Was Expected, page 450. New Jersey, USA: Princeton Publishing Inc.
  8. ^ Porsche, Ferry; Gunther Molter (1990). Ferry Porsche: Cars Are My Life, page 210. United Kingdom: Motorbooks Intl.
  9. ^ 912 Registry
  10. ^ "912E Preseries:  Dr. Berndt Bergk's 923 Prototype". Archived from the original on 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  11. ^ Klein, Reinhard (2000). Rally Cars, pages 122-123. Germany: Konemann Inc.
  12. ^ "ERC - European Rally Championship". Retrieved 2013-06-12.
  13. ^ Meredith, Laurence (February 15, 2008). Porsche: The Rally Story, pages 125-126. England: Veloce Publishing.
  14. ^ "London to Cape Town World Cup Rally". Retrieved 2012-02-01.


  • The Complete Porsche 912 Guide, by Duane Spencer, Published by RPM Auto Books; 168p, published November 2002
  • Porsche 912 Road Test Limited Edition; edited by R. M. Clark, Publisher: Brooklands Books; Pub. Date: February 1998
  • The 911 and 912 Porsche : A Restorer's Guide to Authenticity (1964–1973) by Dr. Brett Johnson, Beeman Jorgensen, Inc. publishers, March 1991
  • The 1974-1989 911, 912E and 930 Porsche, by Mark S. Haab, designed by Dr. Brett Johnson, Beeman Jorgensen, Inc. publishers, January 1994
  • Porsche 911 1963-1971 by Brian Long, published by Veloce Books, England October 2003 (includes the 912 although not mentioned in title)
  • Rally Cars, Reinhard Klein Editor; published by Konemann Inc., Germany; published October 2000

External links

This page was last edited on 24 September 2019, at 16:15
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