911 2.7 – 150 ch [1974]

1974 2.7 911: the new standard

The year 1974 represented great change for Porsche. After a decade of constant fettling of its 911, where it witnessed increases in wheelbase, model designations, engine capacity and specification options, Zuffenhausen decided to ring the changes in what was the first major refresh of the car’s now famous history.

Most notably from the outset, those slender lines associated with Butzi’s initial 911 design were altered by Tony Lapine and his team, the addition of impact bumpers at both the front and rear of the car a regulatory necessity rather than a creative endeavour. The 911 needed to adopt impact bumpers to satisfy US crash-safety regulations, and though their presence unquestionably disrupted the flow of the 911’s appearance, it truly was a case of adapt or die. The latter was out the question, as it had by now gained an envious reputation as a robust sports car capable of outgunning its bigger motorsporting rivals.

The engine too was updated, the entire line-up ditching the 2.4-litre engine capacity of the F-series cars in favour of the 2.7-litre capacity used by the 1973 Carrera RS. Black window trim was retained from that first 911 Rennsport for the top-spec cars, with door handles and mirrors also now finished in black instead of chrome. There were minor upgrades to the interior too, including the incorporation of headrests into a one-piece seat for the first time.

Aside from changing the body and engine, Porsche also took the opportunity to revamp its entire 911 model line-up. Three cars would remain – until, of course, the Turbo arrived a year later in 1975 – but the top-spec 911S of the F-series replaced the doomed 911E as the middle offering, while the 911 Carrera became the new jewel of Porsche’s showroom. At the other end the T was scrapped entirely, the entry-level car now simply referred to as the base 911 for this new chapter of Neunelfer.

However, while the pre-impact bumper 911T is a fairly sought-after classic today for the purity of its lines, its successor in the 2.7 911 isn’t generally looked at with a similar fondness. At face value this is understandable. The base 2.7 car may be more powerful than the 911T by 25bhp in US-spec, but it’s heavier by around 50kg too, largely cancelling out any straight-line performance advantage, and the G-series cars just don’t possess the purity in appearance of the early, pre-impact bumper models. However, there are fewer 2.7 911s on the planet than 911Ts, with a quoted 9,320 2.7s built in both Coupe and Targa body styles over the 1974 and 1975 model years, while the 911T was produced 16,933 times between 1972 and 1973.

Despite this, the base 2.7 has largely been forgotten in the classic marketplace, it considered less desirable than the T before it or indeed the cars succeeding it, such as the heavier SC or 3.2 Carrera. It’s not like 1974 is an unpopular year of production either: the top-of-the-range 2.7 Carrera is revered as a genuine collector’s car for its credentials as a ‘secret RS’, the 3.0-litre RSs of the same model year generally considered to be a superior car to the halo 2.7 RS. It’s fair to say though the mid-spec 911S has suffered a similar fate to the base 911 in being largely forgotten. Has an injustice been served?

 

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Porsche 911 2.7 ultimate buyer’s guide

This isn’t the first time a 2.7-litre 911 has appeared on the pages of Total911.com but it thoroughly deserves another airing in issue 140. Why? Because it marks a rather significant chapter in the development of the Neunelfer – the introduction of the G-Series models.

The preceding F-Series had been successful cars for Porsche, not only selling in useful numbers, but also being revered for their delicate styling and impressive performance.

It was time for a change though, and the most obvious of those – even to the casual observer – was the adoption of impact bumpers. A legislative requirement, they were well integrated into the 911 shape and defined the model right up to the launch of the 964 some 15 years later.

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Down to business then, and it’s worth acknowledging that a 911 that’s more than 40 years old is going to involve some corrosion. The metalwork was galvanised from 1976 using a hot-dip protection process, but the threat of rampant tin-worm is ever present, bringing with it the potential for terrifying restoration costs.

Filler-laden bodges are a risk, so scrutiny from a specialist is vital before parting with any money. But if you want to undertake a preliminary check there are numerous places where rust can lurk.

The front wings will rust around the wheel arches so have a good prod around the lip of the arch, and examine the headlamp bowls and around the fuel filler. It’s also worth checking the security of those impact bumpers as the mountings can succumb to rot.

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And, while on the subject, they are made of aluminium, which can become badly pitted – if they are rescuable, then costly stripping, media blasting, and repainting is the only answer. Replacing them is also not cheap as a new rear item is around £1,000 before fitting.

The front luggage compartment will also need careful scrutiny, focusing on the floor, inner wings, and panel seams, while the areas around the fuel tank and battery could also have been compromised with expensive consequences.

Indeed, it’s an area that marks some of the key changes for the 2.7, among them a change to a single battery rather than the previous twin items. There was also the addition of a deflated space-saver spare tyre with an electric pump should the worst happen, which in turn allowed the fitment of a larger fuel tank to take advantage of the car’s new-found efficiency.

To read our Porsche 911 2.7 ultimate guide in fill, pick up Total 911 issue 140 in store today. Alternatively, download it straight to your digital device now. 

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