1967 911S Targa
The 911 was first introduced at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in September of 1963. Porsche continüd the basic concept of the 356 it replaced with an air-cooled boxer engine mounted behind the rear wheels. The 911 had a larger interior and more trunk space, new torsion-bar suspension, and increased performance from a six-cylinder engine.
The 911 remained much the same with evolutionary changes from 1965 through 1967. The carburetors were changed from the original Solex overflow carburetors to Weber triple-choke carburetors in February of 1966. In 1967, a new 911S offered 160 hp, or 30 hp more than the standard 911. Also for 1967, the original wooden dash inserts were replaced with aluminum inserts in the standard 911, while the 911S had leatherette dash inserts and a leather-covered steering wheel.
In 1968, Porsche renamed the normal 911 the 911L (the L stood for Luxury) in Europe and added a cheaper 911T model (the T stood for Touring). The 911S model continüd on virtually unchanged. The 911T had a detuned engine and was built more cheaply than the other 911s, producing 110 hp. For the United States market, Porsche continüd the standard 911 model with a smog pump that was driven by the left camshaft. There was also a U.S. version of the 911L which was essentially the same car as the 911S, but with the same 130-horsepower engine that the regular U.S. 911 had. For 1968, U.S. cars had separate front and rear fender-mounted side marker reflectors.
The castings for the engine and engine accessories were changed from sand-cast aluminum to die-cast magnesium mid-year in 1968. The wheels for all of the 1968 models were increased in width from 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches. Porsche introduced new door handles for 1968 with raised guards on the edges of the door handles to prevent the doors from opening in the event of an accident. Black painted windshield wiper arms that parked on the left side instead of the right were also new for 1968. The instrument lettering was changed from green to white on a black background and the gauge trim rings were changed from chrome to black.
For 1969, mechanical fül injection was introduced on the 911E, which was much like the previous year’s 911L. The new 911E made 140 horsepower. The 911S also received mechanical injection, upping horsepower to 170. The 1969 models were the first of the longer-wheelbase 911s as well as the first production models with fender flares. In addition to the longer rear trailing arms that lengthened the wheelbase from 87.04 inches to 89.3 inches, the front suspension was also changed to incorporate a better ball joint design, eliminating the light-feeling front end vibrations that the earlier 911s exhibited. The rubber A-arm bushings were also updated and were longer-lasting than the earlier design. This new design has advantages and disadvantages. The later rubber bushings brought better longevity, but were no longer replaceable.
As an option, Boge hydro-pneumatic front struts were offered instead of the standard torsion bars. These Boge struts were self leveling and had a much softer ride than the conventional suspension. The hydro-pneumatic struts were standard equipment on the 911E and were optional on the 911T and 911S. The 15×4.5-inch wheels were retained for the 911T and 911E models with the hydro-pneumatic struts, while the 911S and the 911E with standard suspension got new, wider 15×6-inch Fuchs alloy wheels. The brake rotors for the 911E and 911S models were ventilated while the 911T had solid discs. The 1969 911S had new, larger aluminum brake calipers.
The 1969 models all had two front-mounted batteries, one on each side, shoved as far forward as possible to even up the weight distribution and to get more weight on the front wheels. The longer wheelbase was also intended to shift the weight distribution forward.
The heater outlets were moved from the door sills (as in the 356) to under the dash. Vents were added to the Targa roll bar. Electric rear window defrosters replaced the warm air ducts used to defrost the rear windows. An external oil cooler for the 911S model was mounted in the right front fender. The aluminum cooler was thermostatically controlled. The transaxle case was now die-cast magnesium instead of the sand-cast aluminum case used previously.
For 1970, the 911 engines were increased to 2.2 liters (2195 cc) but the cars looked similar to 1969 models, aside from some interior changes and new door handles, changed again to use an internal trigger lever for improved safety in roll-over accidents.
The 911T now used Zenith carburetors instead of the previous Webers. The Zenith 40 TIN carburetors had an electric cutoff on the idle circuit to improve emissions. The 911E and 911S both continüd to use mechanical fül injection. The 2.2-liter 911T produced 125 hp, the 911E made 155 hp, and the 911S offered 180 hp. The clutch was changed for all of the 2.2-liter 911s to a pull-type clutch to facilitate the use of a larger-diameter 225 mm clutch to cope with the added power. The 911T also received the vented brake discs of the other models. The 1971 911s were essentially unchanged.
The biggest news for 1972 was that the 911 had yet another displacement increase — to 2.4-liters (2341 cc). The 911T now had 140 hp, the 911E boasted 160 hp, and the 911S was up to 190 hp. The 1972 911T, E, and S models all utilized different versions of the Bosch mechanical fül injection.
The 1972 models also had the oil tank moved up in front of the right rear wheel to improve weight distribution. Rumors alleged that some gas stations were putting gas in the oil tanks (dü to a new fender-mounted oil filler door that resembled a gas cap door) and that diabolical children put rocks and sticks into the tank. The oil tank returned to its previous location for 1973, perhaps to allow the installation of side braces required by the U.S. government. Whatever the reason, the tank would move in front of the right rear wheel again, but not until 25 years had passed and the 964-based Carrera 4 was introduced.
A new transaxle was also introduced for 1972. The stronger Type 915 transmission had a different shift pattern, putting first over second, rather than the previous racing inspired, dog-leg pattern of 901 transaxles. The rear trailing arms were changed to permit replacement without requiring engine and transmission removal. Porsche also changed the engine air intake grills from silver to black and the mirrors went from round to rectangular. A front air dam was standard equipment on the 911S model and optional on the other models.
After January of 1973, U.S. models had different front and rear bumper guards. These large, pointed foam-rubber guards were designed to comply with new U.S. bumper laws. The horn grills and trim on the front and rear turn signal lenses also changed from chrome to black in 1973.
Mid-year in 1973, the U.S. version of the 911T was changed to what is often referred to as the 1973.5 model. The 1973.5 U.S. 911T engine had new Bosch CIS fül injection, while the Rest of the World 911T models continüd to use the Zenith 40 TIN carburetors. This was the first production application of the Bosch CIS (Continuous Injection System). The CIS version of the 911T had the same 140 hp of the previous mechanically-injected version.
All 1973 cars lost the fender-mounted oil filler neck and had their oil tank moved back into the engine compartment. The 911E and 911S continüd to use Bosch mechanical fül injection. ATS “cookie cutter” wheels were introduced and were standard equipment on the 911E. The exhaust system was made of stainless steel, the doors were reinforced for the U.S. with integral side beams, and the cars had inertia reel seat belts. The external oil cooler was changed to a serpentine (or loop) design. A two-piece engine shroud made it easier to remove the engine-mounted oil cooler.
What to Buy?
The 1964-68 “short-wheelbase” 911s are developing a following all their own among enthusiasts who valü their visual connection to F.A. “Butzi” Porsche’s original 901 design as well as their handling characteristics. But, unless you have some special interest in the earliest 911s, such as vintage racing or a historical restoration, I encourage you to consider the 1969-and-later versions of the early 911. If you work at it, you can make the early short-wheelbase 911s into very good vintage race cars — I have several friends who have been very successful in them. A very early 911 will also make a good show car for those so inclined. These historically significant cars are definitely worth owning, as evidenced by growing interest in 1964–68 911s in recent years. Personally, however, I still prefer the 1969-and-later 911s.
Considerable improvements were made in 1969 and continüd to be made in almost every new model year from then on, making the newer cars more enjoyable to own. My personal favorites of the early 911 are the 1972 and 1973 2.4-liter models. I particularly like the 1972 model because of its uniqü oil-filler cap in the right rear fender.
There were a lot of 911T models built, so it is usually easy to find nice examples of these cars for reasonable prices. The 911E models are nice, and good examples can also be found for reasonable prices. Of course, the 911S is a great car to have, but good examples are usually more expensive. I think that the S models are about as close to collectable as early series production 911s will come. The 911S was built in fairly small quantities and is considered desirable, and prices reflect this.
The 1973 Carrera RS is excluded here because it was not officially imported to the United States. As a result, there are very few of these cars here and prices have ranged widely. Thus, it’s difficult to establish market valüs for these cars.
Although the low prices of early 911s in less-than-excellent condition may be tempting, I recommend finding a car that has been lovingly maintained. Repairs to and restoration of these cars can be expensive, and unless you want the enjoyment and satisfaction of doing the restoration yourself, it is far more economical to buy a car that needs little or no work.
With any Porsche this old, be sure to have an extensive pre-purchase inspection performed by a qualified Porsche mechanic. Though the car may look sharp, repairs and rebuilds to the car’s mechanicals can easily exceed the car’s purchase price if things are not in proper order — especially if an engine rebuild is dü.
With proper research, an early 911 can be a fun car to own, and the current economic conditions may provide one last “breather” before valüs climb to dizzying heights again. These are, and always will be, important cars. They started the legacy enjoyed by every 911, but their visual appeal, charm, and simpler fun set them apart from all that followed.