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Porsche 911: Buying guide and review (1963-1973)

Porsche 911: Buying guide and review (1963-1973) Classic and Performance Car
They look fantastic, they’re great to drive, they’re competitive in historic motor sport, they’re tough and reliable and they have that indefinable ‘cool’ factor. Pre-impact bumper Porsche 911s are wonderful machines, but prices vary wildly according to the model and it’s easy to get into expensive trouble.  
Which one to buy?
The pre-1965 911 dominates historic rallying and the RS Carrera is prefect for top-end road events such as Tour Auto – but prices are sky-high. Next down is the 911S, in many ways more useable than the RS, but prices have risen sharply over the last few years. But the lower-powered models, like the 911T and 911E, still offer the 911 looks and driving experience, for much less money. They’re not nearly as quick but they’re a lot of fun.  
The other dividing factory between models is down to wheelbase: the tail-happy nature of the early cars is well known but when the rear trailing arms were extended to increase the wheelbase, handling was improved to the extent that few will be caught out. 
Have we missed anything? Yes; you’re thinking you want a coupé, right? But early soft-window Targas are super-rare, and later Targas offer open-top motoring without a typical convertible’s wind noise. Although prices have been rising just as quickly as the Coupes, they’re still relatively great value… 
If you want a hassle-free 911 then go for a mechanical fuel-injection car, because carburettors go out of balance. But carburettor cars are nippy through the gears and sound better.
Service history adds to value and so does interesting provenance. A lot of cars have been restored badly many years ago but every now and again virtually untouched 911s turn up. They’re the ones to go for.   
Looking for a different Porsche 911 variant?
Whether it’s simply down to budget constraints, a desire for more impressive handling capabilities or simply personal preference, there are plenty of options from the later 911 variants:
Performance and specs
1969 Porsche 911E
Engine 2195cc, 12 valve flat-six 
Power 153bhp @ 6200rpm 
Torque 141lb ft @ 4500rpm
Top speed 137mph 
0-62mph 8.0 seconds 
Fuel consumption 18mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2268mm
Length 4163mm
Width 1610mm
Height 1320mm
Kerb weight 1020kg
Common problems
• Even the earliest 911s are relatively reliable, or at least have the potential to be. But if a 911 has been neglected, sooner or later you’ll pay for that neglect. 

• Before anything else, look for extensive service records – oil changes every 3000 miles are crucial. 

• Watch the oil pressure closely. From cold it should be 40-60psi; once hot it will go up and down with the revs, and should be around 40psi at 4000rpm. 

• Fumes in the cabin may be due to oil on the heat exchangers, which may burn off, but make sure the heater works – replacement heat exchangers are expensive. 

• Try fast gearchanges, particularly from second to third – a crunch means worn synchro and an expensive rebuild. Vague gearshifting is usually easily fixed with replacement bushes.  

• Rust can be a big problem. Look for bubbles on the B-post, around the door latch, a sure sign of big problems below: the ‘kidney bowl’ panels, sills, jacking points and inner wing could be affected. 

• Feel around under all the arches, check the sunroof aperture, the underside of the parcel shelf (from inside the engine bay), the front edge of the boot under the spare wheel and all the usual extremities. Most but not all panels are available. 

• The Porsche factory supports early 911s really well, and its replacement body panels are high quality but expensive. Non-genuine panels may be half the price but can take three or four times longer to fit.

• Some pattern parts are worth having though, and a good specialist will advise you which are worth buying. Remember that you can end up paying hundreds for minor parts such as rear lights, bumper trims, seats and even door pockets – you have been warned! 
Model history
1963: 911 launched at Frankfurt. 
1964: First production 911 on sale, 130bhp, 2.0-litre. 
1966: Targa introduced, initially with fold-down soft rear window. 
1966: 911S, with 170bhp, Fuchs alloys, vented discs, anti-roll bars. 
1967: 110bhp 911T and 130bhp 911L replace original 911.   
1967: Sportmatic added to range. 
1968: Targa gets fixed rear window. 
1968: New ‘B-series’ version with longer wheelbase. 110bhp 911T on carbs, 140bhp 911E and 170bhp 911S, both with fuel injection. 
1969: Part-galvanised bodies, 2.2-litre engine, 125bhp 911T, 155bhp 911E, 180bhp 911S. 
1971: 2.4-litre 130bhp 911T, 165bhp 911E, 190bhp 911S, stronger Type 915 gearbox.  
1972: 911 Carrera RS introduced, with 2.7-litre 210bhp engine. 
1973: Impact-bumpers introduced.
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• www.porscheclubgb.com – UK-based Porsche owners club and forums
• www.porscheshop.co.uk – Porsche 911 parts for sale
Summary and prices
There’s still the chance to buy a pre-impact bumper 911 for ‘reasonable’ money. But if you want to be competitive in motor sport, you will need to spend a lot more – and you need to consult the experts to avoid being sold a fake. It’s much easier to buy the lower-powered models but the catch is that a 2.4T, for example, will cost the same to restore as an RS. 
The biggest danger lies in the middle ground, cars that are perhaps a little scruffy around the edges. You will usually be better off with the best, most original car you can find, maybe settling for a great T or E rather than an average S, for example. Or buy the worst car and budget for a high-quality restoration. Crucially, make sure the car you buy has all the right bits. 
But what should you expect to pay? The very earliest 2.0-litre short-wheelbase 911 is a desirable car, and can command anywhere between £30,000-£85,000 for a great example. The later L and T models range from £17,000-£55,000 with the slightly more special E models fetching around £5000 more. 
Further up the pecking order is the more tuned up 911S, with prices ranging from £75,000-£150,000 and early SWB cars commanding even more than the later versions. The ultimate is of course the 2.7-litre Carrera RS, which regularly sell for more than £500,000 today. The lightweight cars built for racing are even more valuable, so expect to pay more than £700,000 for one of these today. Prices for all 911s are continuing to rise however, and many dealers will be selling cars for significantly more than these figures. 
While we love the RS and the S, prices have gone mad, and there’s a lot to be said for instead spending your money on a super example of a lower-powered model. Any pre-impact bumper 911 can be used everyday, or for touring holidays – and it will always look great.  
Last updated: 15th Mar 2016
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Porsche 911
14995 154995 GBP

    £29,900 £29,900

    Type: Used Year: 2004 Make: PORSCHE Model: 911 Trim: 3.6 CARRERA 4 TIPTRONIC S 2d AUTO 316 BHP Body: Coupe Trans: Semi Automatic Mileage: 40000 Engine Size: 3600 Ext Color: BLUE

    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    • Engine size: 3600
    For sale
    £29,900 £29,900
    Rix Motor Company
    01925541374 View contact number
  • Porsche 911 TURBO

    £154,995 £154,995

    4x4 Jet Black Metallic / Black Leather Int. Porsche Entry & Drive, Light Design Package, Electric Slide and Tilt Sunroof, Power steering plus, Isofix Child seat Mounting, Burmester High End Surround sound system, LED Main Headlights in Black, Multifunction and Heated Front Seats, Privacy Glass, Lid of storage with Porsche Logo, Porsche Crest on Head Rests, Tinted Taillights, ONLY 2500 MILES!! In stock now!! Pictures to follow...

    • Mileage: 2500 mi
    • Engine size: 3800
    For sale
    £154,995 £154,995