One Year Only: 1976 Porsche 912E

This 912E is being offered by a seller who knows the car is rare: they immediately state it is #1,958 of only 2,092 produced during one year only, 1976.

The 912 "E" (for Einspritzung or fuel injection) was meant to fill in as the entry-level Porsche in between the exit of the mid-engine 914 and the delayed introduction of the front-engine 924. The 912E did NOT have a purely Porsche engine. Instead, it had a 2-litre 4-cylinder Type IV Volkswagen-Porsche engine that produced a mere 86 horsepower. You'd think that would be a massive turnoff to enthusiasts and a value-killer, but in typical bunk-the-trend Porsche fashion, it seems the 912E has gone on to admired cult status as another rare collector's item.

The seller doesn't say much, but they mention this example runs great and was driven frequently. It sure was, with the seller stating it has 171,000 miles on the clock, impressive for an old Porsche. Some buyers prefer higher-mileage Porsches because they are proof the cars were maintained and can be driven for many more miles. I agree. I like Porsches as driven hard and maintained religiously. Sure, it's expensive, but there's often a bigger price to pay after keeping it sitting too long.

Cost is key with the 912E as well, both now and then. They originally sold for just under $11,000, which was a lot of money in 1976, but still less than a 911. The 912E was considered to be successful in execution because it retained core Porsche elements of sport and superior handling balanced nicely with frugality and practicality. The 4-cylinder engine was said to be relatively simple and inexpensive to maintain, and also delivered good gas mileage. The excellent Porsche 912E Registry says they know of no inherent problems.

Given all that, the seller is asking $10,900, which seems reasonable. Porsche prices are all over the place. In general, almost every 911 variety older than '74 or so is increasing fast and furious. As you've seen this week, even values of the 914 can gravitate wildly, from $850 to over $12k. At $10,900, the seller is asking approximately what the car originally sold for. This is perfectly in step with the market. The car does not have a 6-cylidner, let alone a Porsche engine, but does retain the classic shape, interior and most parts. In addition, this example looks well-cared for and seems to be ready to hit the road again, in the best spirit of the car. On top of that, not many were produced. So it shouldn't loose value, but it isn't on fire either, and the seller seems to have arrived at that some conclusion as well.

I'd be surprised if this listing lasts another week.

Find it here on craigslist in Hebron, Connecticut.

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