Ads on Test: 1968 Porsche 912

Price £47,950

Classic Cars magazine

by Nathan Chadwick |

It may represent something of a leap into the unknown, but this Porsche gives a reassuring drive, says Nathan Chadwick

The lack of detailed history may be a disincentive, but this Porsche 912 appears to offer little of concern. The bodywork is in good condition, the mechanicals feel robust and given the plethora of road-rally event stickers in evidence, it’s clearly a candidate as a characterful car to campaign at historic events or a useable road car.

With a little encouragement from cold, it clatters into life with a familiar Porsche grumble that settles to a burble, with no rev searching. Throttle response is excellent – and at higher rpm rather encouraging. This is a former competition car and although the mechanical history isn’t known as yet, the ride isn’t horrifyingly hard. It feels a little firmer than normal 912s, but isn’t uncomfortable.

The steering is typically hyperactive and chatty, needing constant correction at straight-ahead, which is normal for Porsches of this era. Start to ask more probing questions of the steering and the wheel weights up beautifully, allowing you to place the car with precision. There’s a little bit of a dead zone around the straight-ahead, but well within what’s expected. The four-speed gearbox is generally slick once warmed, and moves positively across the gate, while the brakes don’t protest or misbehave under duress. The engine revs cleanly, with no flat spots.

The major scrapes or dents that you might expect from a rough road rally career are absent and we couldn’t find any rust on the body. Any blemishes are very minor – a few marks on the rubber bumpers and some ‘misting’ in the chrome. This 912 runs on 185/70 R15 Avon Radials, all with excellent tread and no gouges or lumps visible. The hubcaps themselves are also in excellent condition.

Classic Cars magazine
Interior has patina but isn’t battered ©Classic Cars magazine

There’s a lovely patina to the interior – the leather chairs have light creasing and marks from many years of happy seat time, with the steering wheel showing the nicks and marks you’d expect from energetic twirling. The metal dash element has a few marks and a little bit of grime, but it all adds to the charm. The glass is crack-free, with rubbers that look in good condition. There is evidence of former water ingress near the windscreen on the headlining, but there’s no resultant mustiness, and the rest of the headlining shows no drooping. There are no signs of damp or corrosion in the footwells, and all electrical items worked as they should, including the radio.

Efforts to discover the car’s servicing and ownership history are ongoing. However, the car performed perfectly during our visit, with no peculiar vibrations or noises from the suspension, and no vibration felt through the pedals. The engine bay – what we can see of it – looks to be in good (if not concours) condition. There were no leaks detected during our time with the car, and the temperatures recorded were all within acceptable limits. The oil was a good brown colour, and all of the other fluids were at their correct marks, with all the hoses and clips that we could see in excellent nick. The car is also registered in the UK.

Classic Cars magazine
Responsive engine lives in a tidy bay ©Classic Cars magazine

Engine 1582cc horizontally-opposed four-cylinder, ohv, two Solex PII-40 carburettors Power 90bhp @ 5800rpm Torque 98lb ft @ 3500rpm 0-60mph 13sec Top speed 114mph Fuel consumption 36mpg Length 4315mm Width 1600mm

This Porsche 912 is one of four cars for sale tested in the latest issue of Classic Cars, including this Ford Anglia and this Jaguar E-type.

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