Porsche In­dex: 911T

Porsche has re­vived its ‘T’ moniker for the cur­rent 991 gen­er­a­tion, but what of the orig­i­nal 911 Tour­ing?

Total 911 - - Contents - Writ­ten by Chris Ran­dall Pho­tog­ra­phy by Dan Pullen

Get your­self into a good ex­am­ple of the pre-im­pact bumper Tour­ing with our com­pre­hen­sive guide

his­tory and spec

The story of the Tour­ing goes all the way back to 1967 when Porsche ex­panded what had es­sen­tially been a sin­gle-model range. Re­tain­ing the 2.0-litre flat six, buy­ers want­ing the max­i­mum the 911 had to of­fer were di­rected to the 160hp S, while those on a more mod­est bud­get could be­gin their Ne­unelfer own­er­ship with the T. While it brimmed with char­ac­ter it was cer­tainly a less fo­cused of­fer­ing, one that boasted just 110hp and pro­vided an al­to­gether more re­laxed driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. For the 1970 model year all cars were equipped with a 2.2-litre en­gine and there was a mod­est in­crease in power to 125hp, although with both power and torque pro­duced lower down the rev range the en­try-level model was a less peaky per­former, and one that was less de­mand­ing when you weren’t in the mood.

Come 1972 and the E se­ries and you ar­rive at the car we con­cen­trate on here, the 2.4. Re­tain­ing the same valve sizes as the pre­vi­ous unit, a longer throw crank­shaft in­creased the stroke from 66mm to 70.4mm and, com­bined with the 84mm bore, it pro­vided the new model with 2,341cc and a power out­put of 130hp. Fur­ther changes in­cluded ad­di­tional oil cool­ing jets for the pis­tons, a coun­ter­weighted crank­shaft and re­vised cam pro­files, along with a com­pres­sion ra­tio low­ered from 8.6:1 to 7.5:1. Fu­elled by a pair of triple-choke Zenith 40TIN car­bu­ret­tors – the 2.4T was es­sen­tially the last of the carb-fed 911s, although Us-bound F-se­ries mod­els got Bosch in­jec­tion – it was a de­cently strong per­former, with the 0-62mph sprint reeled off in 7.6 sec­onds and a 128mph top speed. Still no­tably in­fe­rior to the ‘S’ it’s true, but em­i­nently re­spectable for 1972.

A four-speed 915 gear­box was stan­dard while vented disc brakes clamped by cast iron calipers en­sured it didn’t lack for stop­ping power. De­vel­op­ment slowed some­what for the 1973 F se­ries, the changes be­ing of the de­tailed va­ri­ety such as black horn grilles while the adop­tion of the front spoiler from the S was op­tional. In all, Porsche would make 16,933 2.4-litre T mod­els, which could cer­tainly be con­sid­ered re­spectable for a car that sat at the bot­tom of a very ca­pa­ble range.

What’s It like to drive?

Wring­ing ev­ery last ounce of per­for­mance out of an S is as en­ter­tain­ing as you’d ex­pect, but if you value how you ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion as much – or more so – as how fast, then the T could suit very nicely in­deed. Of course, you may still find the ul­ti­mate lack of pace dis­ap­point­ing, but the 2.4T has passed through

To­tal 911 hands of­ten enough to know its tal­ents go deeper than mere sta­tis­tics. Its drive is most re­ward­ing when keep­ing mo­men­tum, per­fect for the tour­ing el­e­ment for which this model was in­tended. And then there’s the de­li­ciously tac­tile feed­back from the steer­ing, mak­ing this a 911 that’s not to be taken by the scruff of the neck, but rather one you can guide with your fin­ger­tips. Many are mod­i­fied to un­lock more power than stock.

the val­ues story

It prob­a­bly won’t come as any sur­prise that the T has al­ways lived in the shadow of the more pow­er­ful and more de­sir­able S. That’s cer­tainly been true when it came to val­ues. Val­ues of many mod­els have set­tled now, and that down­ward re­align­ment has af­fected the car you see here as much as it has other 911s.

Ac­cord­ing to Paul Stephens of the epony­mous Es­sex-based spe­cial­ist, very good ex­am­ples that were fetch­ing in the re­gion of £100,000 four or so years ago are more likely to carry price stick­ers some £20,000 lower to­day. That said, he does point out that de­fin­i­tive val­u­a­tion in to­day’s mar­ket isn’t en­tirely straight­for­ward, but that orig­i­nal, un­mo­lested ex­am­ples will al­ways hold huge ap­peal. It’s also worth men­tion­ing that right-hand-drive cars com­mand a sig­nif­i­cant pre­mium. As to where val­ues go from here, it seems that more time is needed be­fore we know for sure.

Be­fore you Buy

Ne­unelfers of this vin­tage fall into three main cat­e­gories: highly orig­i­nal, un­touched ex­am­ples; those that have been re­stored, and those that will al­most cer­tainly be in need of some restora­tion. The for­mer will al­ways be the most sought af­ter and fetch the high­est prices, but while seem­ingly ideal on the sur­face there are traps await­ing the un­wary. Es­tab­lish­ing the prove­nance and au­then­tic­ity of cars in this cat­e­gory is cru­cial, so en­gage the ser­vices of a spe­cial­ist who can help de­ci­pher the pa­per­work and his­tory.

As both Paul Stephens and Aut­o­farm’s Mikey Wastie point out, it is of­ten prefer­able to be­gin with an un­re­stored ex­am­ple – at least then you can see ex­actly what you’re deal­ing with. That’s cer­tainly a risk when it comes to re­stored cars, with any car that’s had work a cou­ple of decades ago po­ten­tially be­ing in line for fur­ther at­ten­tion. The qual­ity of any pre­vi­ous work is of paramount im­por­tance, and the only way to en­sure cor­ners haven’t been cut is to make sure you’re look­ing at a doc­u­mented restora­tion car­ried out by a rep­utable spe­cial­ist.

This brings us to those cars in need of work, and it will come as no sur­prise that cor­ro­sion is the big­gest risk. 911s of this age con­tain all man­ner of rust traps, so ar­eas in­clud­ing the in­ner and outer wings, sills, screen sur­rounds, door pil­lars and the floors of the cabin and lug­gage area will need de­tailed scru­tiny. There’s also the risk of pre­vi­ous ac­ci­dent dam­age that might not have been re­paired to the stan­dard you’d ex­pect. Re­place­ment pan­els cer­tainly aren’t cheap – both a front wing and lug­gage com­part­ment lid are in ex­cess of a thou­sand pounds, and a front bumper costs nearer twice that – but those num­bers pale in in­signif­i­cance when you con­sider that a thor­ough restora­tion could swal­low £100,000.

As for the me­chan­i­cals, the flat six can suf­fer from a num­ber of costly is­sues in­clud­ing dis­tor­tion of the mag­ne­sium crank­case and the risk of bolt threads pulling out. It’s also un­likely to be en­tirely oil-tight, although leaks shouldn’t be ma­jor. Ev­i­dence of care­ful main­te­nance is the key to longevity. Should a com­pre­hen­sive re­build be needed, bud­get in the re­gion of £20,000 and en­sure that the work is done by some­one who knows these cars. The same ap­plies to the trans­mis­sion, which could be suf­fer­ing from an ob­struc­tive shift or crunch­ing syn­chro­mesh as age and mileage take their toll, and you’ll need to set aside around £5,000 to have it fully over­hauled by a spe­cial­ist such as Aut­o­farm.

Ar­eas such as brakes and sus­pen­sion don’t give any real trou­ble as long as nei­ther have been ne­glected – and as with all older 911s, the 2.4T ben­e­fits from reg­u­lar use – although the lat­ter can suc­cumb to ex­pen­sive cor­ro­sion around mount­ing points, and parts aren’t cheap; an orig­i­nal front damper is more than £700.

As­sum­ing the body­work is sound, a scruffy cabin shouldn’t be a deal breaker, although a cou­ple of thou­sand pounds can be spent re­fresh­ing it. Be wary, as a bas­ket case could cost five-times that.

In­vest­ment Po­ten­tial & own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence

Let’s start by tack­ling the sec­ond part of this sec­tion: the own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence, de­pend­ing very much on the sort of T you’ve bought in the first place. Given the cost of to­tal restora­tion, to say that cau­tion is needed would be some­thing of an un­der­state­ment, and as both of our spe­cial­ists make clear the need to get the buy­ing de­ci­sion right to be­gin with is of paramount im­por­tance. Get it wrong and a world of fi­nan­cial pain awaits, but as­sum­ing you’ve heeded that ad­vice then you can look for­ward to en­joy­ing a char­ac­ter­ful and re­ward­ing slice of 911 his­tory, one that’s far more ca­pa­ble than the bald fig­ures for power out­put and per­for­mance might sug­gest. As for in­vest­ment, well that’s a rather thornier is­sue to tackle with any de­gree of cer­tainty. It seems the mar­ket for these cars is still find­ing its feet, so we might have to wait a while longer to give a de­fin­i­tive ver­dict here but, ac­cord­ing to Paul Stephens, a re­turn to six-fig­ure val­ues looks un­likely for the mo­ment.

“A five-speed gear­box and Fuchs wheels are all nice to find to­day”

ABOVE Black horn grilles are de­sign mark of 1973 model year; T had lower red­line than top-spec 911S

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.