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Lost Cause Weekend – So, you want to own the Porsche of your dreams…

Anyone familiar with Hooniverse should know that any mention of Porsche is greeted with an equal share of cheers and jeers. Some people think it is the ultimate in Precision German Engineering, while other call it a German Phallic Symbol. Either way, there is no ignoring the iconic nameplate. Well, the dealer I have been highlighting all weekend, Beverly Hills Car Club, has a few that are price rather reasonably. If you have been paying attention, that usually means they are either in ruins, or will need a great deal of work. There are others that will prove you wrong…

This is a 1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet, and I really don’t know why the dealer is even trying to sell it. To me, it’s too far gone to bring back to life unless I’m ignorant about the 356 line. According to the dealer:

1959 Porsche 356A Cabriolet, chassis # 150960, engine # 62826, that needs to be restored.

So, what’s wrong with this car? It had no interior, no floorboards, no straight body panels (except for the replacement deck lid), no instruments, and on and on and on… really, nothing at all of any value. But wait, this is where it gets interesting. The asking price for this Porsche as you see it is $32,500! WHAT? Are you kidding? Over 30 Grand for what is most likely the worlds rustiest Porsche… See the listing here, and tell me what you think.

Everyone is a big fan of the Porsche 911, with classic styling, ergonomic interior (well, close to ergonomic), beautiful build quality, and very expensive to maintain. Well, look at this car, and take in all the beauty that the 911 models all seem to have, and throw in a set of those beautiful Fuchs wheels. It is not a 911 though. It is a 1966 Porsche 912 and according to the dealer:

1966 Porsche 912 with chassis #451112 and engine #745427. This vehicle comes in white with black interior and boasts a sought after 3 gauge panel. It is an early SWB and an original solid black plate California car that is mechanically sound.

Yes there is work needed, from a respray, to some repair to the interior, but it is not a basket case by any stretch. Unlike an actual 911, the asking price for this car is a reasonable $9,750. See the listing here.

During the mid 70s, Porsche produced some of the best 911 models ever, including the 911 S, the 911 Carrera, and the awesome 930 Turbo. Posche managed to blend the classic 911 looks with the new federally mandated bumper and lighting standards that were in effect during this time period. Here is an example of that styling from this period, with a set of Fuchs, a whale tail emulating the 930 turbo, and the full width tail lamp in the rear. However, this isn’t a 930 (too narrow), nor is it a 911 Carrera. It’s not even a 911 at all. This is a one year only 1976 Porsche 912E. According to the dealer:

1976 Porsche 912E with chassis# 9126001466. This car comes in silver with black interior and is equipped with manual transmission. 912E’s were only produced for one year. This vehicle is an original California car and the motor turns freely by hand.

It really doesn’t look half bad, with an engine rebuild, new carpets, and some trim work, you could have a (fake) 911, for Hyundai money. Asking $8,950. See the listing here.

OK, so we’ve seen some 912s that look a lot like 911s, so what about an actual 911. Here is a 1969 Porsche 911E Targa finished is a shade of what I can only call 70s electric green. It is a great looking 911 Targa, that will only need a small bit of refreshing. There seems to be an aftermarket driving light that is damaged, and the interior seems to need just a bit of love, but that’s about it. According to the dealer:

1969 Porsche 911E Targa with matching numbers: chassis# 119210560 and engine# 6291490. This vehicle comes in green with black interior and is equipped with 5 speed manual transmission. It has just come from Arizona and is mechanically sound.

You will have that glorious air-cooled six behind you, but the price is a bit more that the 912s, at $32,500. See the listing here, and tell me what you think…

Which of these Porsche classics could be the Sports Car of your dreams?

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Currently there are "23 comments" on this Article:

  1. smalleyxb122 says:

    This dealer apparently never got the memo that 912s are commanding closer to 911 money these days. Somebody snatch those up before they check the 912 market.

    Rationally, the 912 should be worth less than a comparable 911, but the relative rarity has brought their values almost to parity.

    I would, personally, prefer a 911 equivalent, but as a child of the '80s, that '76 is just 2 cylinders (and maybe a turbo) shy of being my ideal Porsche.

  2. CptSevere says:

    Get a load of the price on what used to be a 356. Insane. The 356 replicas make a lot of sense compared to what a real one is worth these days. For the price of that pile of iron oxide, you can have a turnkey Beck Speedster, bran new. If I had a jones for a 356 and thirty two large burning a hole in my pocket, that's the way I'd go. <img src="http://www.beckspeedster.com/images/260__MG_6325.JPG"&gt;

  3. boostedlegowgn says:

    912 always make me think of Clancy Wiggum.

    "No, you got the wrong number. This is nine-one….two."

  4. Rust-MyEnemy says:

    In a crazy way, I'd rather have a 912 than a 911. I've always loved bare-bones, entry-level variants of cars; possibly because they seem to be a thing of the past. I can't see crank operated windows making a comeback, nor a little hole where the radio should be.

    912, ideally with plain steel disc wheels, for the win.

  5. dukeisduke says:

    Where's that 356 been? At the bottom of a lake? At any rate, it's only useful for a few parts. If there were three, or five, or ten left in the world, it might be worth restoring. But this one is not.

    • smalleyxb122 says:

      I don't think that it's even useful for parts. How many parts do you think are salvageable from this wreck? Certainly not enough to warrant that price. Where its value lies is in the title and VIN tag. This is only to build a brand new "original" 356, and since restored ones can top six figures, if all of the parts (NOS and reproduction) come in under $60k, it might be worth it to someone.

  6. dukeisduke says:

    And 1976 was a big year for Porsche, because of the birth of the 911 Turbo and the 924, plus the 912E.

  7. Rover1 says:

    Someone will probably want to stone me for this ,but here goes… 912 + injected SBC-How hard can it be?

    • lilpoindexter says:

      I remember seeing an article tittled PORSCHEV in hot rod sometime in the 80s, some sort of 911 with a SBC with funky hilborn injector stacks sticking through the whale tail

      • bv911 says:

        Holy cow, I remember that too!

        Only those stacks were sticking up through the rear window, if I recall, because instead of going the "traditional" route of bolting a small-block Chevy mill up to the Porsche transaxle, they swapped in a big-block (I think) hooked up to a Toronado transaxle! Crazy stuff…

        Probably still have that magazine in the basement. More impetus to get down there and go through all the junk down there…

  8. lilpoindexter says:

    I'll wait for a 78/79 911 SC Targa, or later 80s 911…with the Targa roof, of course.

  9. salguod says:

    Maybe the 356 listing has the decimal point in the wrong spot. I particularly like how the tops of the doors are 4" from the jamb because the chassis is so bent because, well, there isn't really any chassis.

  10. TheTurboFridge says:

    My father, who lived in Phoenix at the time, had lined up the purchase of a like new brown 356A cabriolet in 1978 for $2,000.

    He didn't pull the trigger on it because we were moving to Florida, and he wasn't sure how he was going to transport it.

    Hindsight is 20/20.

  11. mnm4ever says:

    As much as I love the 69 911, the price is just too far out there to be worth it. I will assume it is a reasonable price, old Porsches have tons of little details that mean the difference between a $15k car and a $40k car and I can't tell the difference usually.

    So my choice is the '76 912. Not because it is likely worth more money as someone else posted, because I do not think thats true. Asking price isnt the same as selling price, and for every 912 some dealer is asking $20k for you will find 5 that sold for $10k. But because the 912 is the better car from that generation. It isn't dramatically slower than a similar year base-ish 911, and doesnt have that notorious tail happiness of the higher powered 911s. Iit is extremely reliable, much easier to work on, leaks less, and you are much less likely to bring the wrath of Porschephiles if you modify it. A 912 (of any year, I happen to like the look of the newer '76) can be a cheap, fun retro classic daily driver that you can work on in your garage, modify to your hearts content, and not worry about upcoming $10k repair bills if something starts smoking.

    As for the V8 swaps, I looked into those, and while cool, they are more troublesome than you think. From what I hear, the cooling is impossible to keep under control, and the handling is scary too. And it's freakin expensive. My idea is a fully built 2054cc VW engine bolted up to a rebuilt/upgraded Porsche transaxle. I also think there is a swap for a Subaru STI engine for those who want real power, but you will have to work out the cooling still.

  12. RahRahRecords says:

    One of my neighbors is in the midst of restoring a 912 much like the white one above, so it gets my vote.

  13. mseoul says:

    Anyone acquainted with this place? He's been in business for some years. Cars look good. Some look like OK prices too.
    http://www.aicauto.com/content/inventory.asp

  14. Mike Y says:

    I like lost cause weekend, but this dealer HAS to be smoking crack 32,5 for a 69E? The E was the bottomw of the line model and he was good running T money for it! and 912's for almost 10k that aren't restored? Here buy a 76 912 (which used the type IW vw motor and is a real POS) for 5k less than you could buy a sorted one! and then spend 15k getting it sorted! The only car listed here that is of any interest to me is the SWB 912, kinda a rarer item, and being a 912 doesn't have quite the diabolical handling the SWB (short wheel base for those not in the know) but being a 3 gauge car, and unrestored maybe could get 6k, haha and just for good measure, here is a lot nicer 69 911E on the bird for 7k less hahahahaha these dealer is smoking crack! heres a 69 911E for less and better
    http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-cars-sale/

    and a 912 for the same money, but uh this one RUNS not just motor turns freely by hand!
    http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-cars-sale/

    stealership more like it!

    • bv911 says:

      Again, like the basket case 356 above, possibly the "numbers matching" element is at play here. That E looks like a nice driver, but there's no mention of whether or not the engine was replaced at some point, and with the market as crazy as it is, that may be what's making the difference.

      Or maybe they are indeed smoking crack…

      P.S. the E wasn't the lowest model, that was the T — usually with less options, and the engines were the lowest powered as well. E's were the "base" 911 — not a stripper, not a hottie. Okay, that last part may be a grapefruit to someone…

  15. bv911 says:

    Correct answer: none of the above! You really want my '68 SWB 911 "project car", complete with an almost-all-together RS-like 2.7 sitting behind it, "minimal" rust (for a non-galvanized model), and free from all the hassles that go with a numbers-matching, investment-grade cream puff.

    Oh, also featuring an exorbitant asking price. Hey, I gotta fund the purchase of an '87 Carrera (one of the last of the torsion bar cars), give a guy a break!

    (Crosses fingers that someone actually bites…)

  16. Van_Sarockin says:

    I wouldn't jump at any of these. But I'd rather spend my time with a basket case 356 than a 911.

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