In September of 1965, Porsche ceased production of the 356 , replacing it the 911. However the end of 356 production left a gap in Porsche's model lineup. The 6 cylinder 911 was pitched ta the higher end of the market, so a cheaper alternative was needed enter the four cylinder 912.

The first 912s arrived in Europe and the US in mid 1965 and to begin with was fitted with the 1600 SC engine from the last 356s, though slightly detuned to 102 bhp and 91 ft lbs torque. The 911 bodyshell added some 100 pounds to curb weight of a 356SC and on paper it should have been slower. But the five speed gearbox and aerodynamics were superior, so the 912 was actually faster all-out.

The 912 was much more economical than the 911, averaging 25 miles per gallon versus 16-20 mpg.

Reflecting its lower price, the 912 was more basic in trim than a 911: For example, the dash was trimmed with plastic instead of teak, a clock and oil-pressure lamp were lacking, and the optional gas heater was initially unavailable.

The 912 ceased production in 1969

But the 912 concept rose again in 1975 in the form of the 912E, E for economy during the world rise in oil prices. It was finally laid to rest in 1976.

Model 912

Year 1965

0-60 mph 11.5 seconds

0-1/4 mile 18 seconds

Top speed 119 mph / 191 km/h

Transmission Four Speed, All Synchromesh, Manual

Type Air Cooled Flat 4

Displacement 1600 cc / 98 cubic inches

Bore x Stroke 3.3 in x 2.9 in

Horsepower 90 hp @ 5800 rpm

Compression Ratio 9.3 : 1