1974 Porsche 911
Finally emerged from years of under-appreciation, the 2.7 liter “mid year” 911s are now being recognized for what they are: unadulterated 911s with fewer frills than the 80s cars that also provide the legendary air-cooled 911 experience which has been revered by driving enthusiasts for over fifty years. Compared to their predecessors, these cars have more displacement and the cleaner running and less fussy CIS fuel injection system, which together improve both tractability and liveability. Meanwhile, the 911 received its first major cosmetic revision with the neatly integrated accordion style bumpers, a clever response to the new American safety laws that saw less thoughtful manufacturers slapping chunks of unsightly rubber on otherwise unchanged models from the year before. This now iconic look would be retained, substantially unaltered, for 15 years.
This particular car is a two-owner lifelong California car, produced in June 1974 and sold new by Wester Porsche-Audi in Seaside, California on the 15th of October 1974 to Robert Jensen of Salinas, California. Jensen treasured the car and retained it for 30 years, selling it to its current owner in 2004, then a Masters student in Monterey. The car has covered approximately 28,000 miles since and remains a well-preserved unrestored car with excellent integrity. It is equipped with a wood-rimmed steering wheel, aftermarket shift knob, and more modern Blaupunkt radio, but is otherwise unmodified.
Cosmetically, the car is undisturbed with good paintwork displaying some chips and light scratches but charming nice driver presentation. The body is straight, the gaps and panel operation excellent, and the structural condition is generally exemplary, with the only corrosion of note existing in the trunk jamb between the front bumper and the latch panel. The floor pans, front suspension pan, exterior sheet metal, rear seat wells, and other common rust areas are original and in excellent shape. The brightwork is unrestored and in very good condition, as is the glass, although the front windscreen (bearing Sigla and West Germany etchings) has some fogging at the margins, as well as a crack and some chips. The Fuchs are unrestored and show some aging to the finish but are free of significant damage.
The interior is in excellent shape overall, with exceptionally good carpets, and nice leather upholstery with a few creases on the driver’s seat but no other wear or aging of note. The parcel shelf is similarly nice, while the original ivory colored perforated headliner is still in place showing only light aging. The original dashboard with separate speaker grille has a pair of cracks. The switches, instruments, and other controls are in very good original condition, although the right window crank is inoperable.
The engine compartment is unrestored and unmodified, reflecting the strong integrity of the car. The commonly crusty braided ignition wires are excellent, while the heat pad has been replaced and is in excellent shape. Oil-fed Carrera 3.2 chain tensioners have been retrofitted, a worthwhile upgrade that should be performed on any 2.0, 2.2, 2.4, 2.7, or 3.0 liter 911 engine. The trunk is in similar condition, with original perlon carpet in excellent shape, and superb structural components, together with factory April 1974 date-coded spare, jack, and tool roll with tools. Also with the car is the original books set, which includes the original stamped service pages showing early services at Wester Porsche-Audi.
The car runs and drives very well, with excellent throttle response and good power delivery throughout the rev range. Despite the 915 transmission having a reputation for being touchy, this one works consistently and slickly, with good synchromesh and precise (for a 915) gear selection thanks to a recently rebuilt shift coupler. The brakes feel as they should, with a slightly wooden pedal but direct correlation between retardation and pedal force, which makes the brakes easy to modulate. The chassis feels tight and solid, with the wonderfully inimitable talkative character to the steering and suspension that makes these cars such magnificent driver’s cars.
The car benefits from a recent (October 2021) service which included oil change, brake fluid flush, new engine mounts, new belts, new rear center reflector, and rebuilt shift coupler. Additional maintenance over the last 15 years has included routine fluid services, spark plugs, belts, brake hoses, new front Koni shocks, fuel hoses, new lower valve covers and gaskets and much other minor work. When in Monterey, the car was maintained by David Loop European, and then by Reitmer’s Werkstatt after the current owner moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.
This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a superbly-preserved lifelong California 1974 911. Finished in a wonderfully 1970s color combination, this Sepia brown 911 has been treasured its entire life, a feat for any mid-year 911. It has never fallen into disrepair or become rusty and is extremely complete and undisturbed, with a nice consistent patina that shows how well-loved the car has been its entire life.