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Classic icons: Porsche 911T v 911E v 911S

In issue 159 of Total 911 we compared the 991.2 Carrera, GTS and Turbo S, declaring them the “modern-day interpretations of the 911 T, E and S”. Now, we’re rewinding the clock 45 years to the classic originals. Meet the mainstream F-series range as it was in 1973, the final year of the ‘long bonnet’ before the impact-bumpered G-series arrived, a move which changed the 911’s look forever.

Why ‘mainstream’? Well, as Porsche enthusiasts, we all have ‘1973’ branded on our collective consciousness as the year of the first road-going Rennsport. The Carrera 2.7 RS is a fully paid-up icon and arguably the greatest 911 ever made, yet, then as now, it was exclusive and expensive. So, just as we excluded GT models from our 991.2 triple test, the RS fails to fit the brief here.

The three-tier 911 hierarchy was established in 1968, when the entry-level T (Touring) and mid-range L (Luxury) joined the flagship S (Super) – the latter introduced in 1967. At this stage, all had 2.0-litre engines and a 2,210mm wheelbase. The carburettor-fed L gave way to the fuel-injected E (Einspritzung) in 1969, when wheelbase was lengthened to 2,271mm. A year later, the flat six grew to 2.2-litres, then 2.4-litres in 1972. The 2.4 F-series models were thus in production for just two years, compared with 15 for the G-series.

The three cars gathered today – kindly sourced by Paul Stephens in Essex – all hail from 1973, and look near identical at first glance. Get closer, though, and it’s apparent there are detail differences, most obviously the colour of the engine shroud: black on the 130hp T, green on the 165hp E and red on the 190hp S. However, as those power outputs suggest, by far the biggest difference is felt on the road.

I start in the middle with the 911E: a model Paul describes as “undervalued”. This particular example is resplendent in Light ivory (colour code: 131) on polished 6×15-inch Fuchs. It’s the only UK car here, which explains the round door mirrors – both the T and S are US imports and sport rectangular mirrors – while the absence of optional bumper over-riders or chrome wheel arch trims results in a cleaner look.

The E being a right-hooker helps me acclimatise more quickly, yet there’s still much that feels alien about a 911 of this era. The hand throttle, a hinged choke lever nestled between the seats, is one notable quirk, as are floor-hinged pedals that force you to skew your legs towards the centre of the car. Unassisted steering and a five-speed 915 gearbox that’s obstructive when cold are further features that would confound drivers of modern machines – not least anyone accustomed to water-cooled 911s.

To read the full article on our Porsche 911T vs E vs S mega test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 161, in shops now and available to buy here or download.


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Total 911 issue 120 now on sale

Forget the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, the venerable 911S is the original Porsche 911 icon, combining a heady mix of speed and comfort. In pre-impact bumper guise it truly was worthy of its ‘Super’ tag.

In fact, between 1966 and 1972, it was the top of the esteemed Porsche 911 range, a place cemented by a 2.2-litre 911S’s starring role in the opening scene of ‘Le Mans’, Steve McQueen’s seminal racing movie.

On top of the 2.2-litre version, the Porsche 911S was also fitted with 2.0 and 2.4-litre powerplants during its tenure atop the Zuffenhausen tree, making for a tricky choice when faced with the proposition: ‘Which 911S is the purist’s choice?’

Porsche 911S road test

Inside Total 911 issue 120, Josh puts each generation of pre-impact bumper Porsche 911S through its paces, while charting the history of these ‘Super’ 911s, in an effort to decide which Porsche 911S rules the roost.

From the original 2.0-litre, 0-Series Porsche 911S through to a rare right-hand drive 2.4-litre 911S (complete with idiosyncratic external oil filler), get behind the wheel of this £500,000 collection for our ultimate classic Porsche group test.

To read our Porsche 911S celebration, as well as our first impressions of the new 991 GTS and a test drive of a Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 120 in store or online now. Alternatively, download it to your digital device and save up to 30 per cent.

Porsche 911S detail


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Porsche 911 2.4s duo set to star at Salon Privé sale

The prestigious Salon Privé show is quickly becoming London’s own mini version of the famous Monterey Classic Car week with exotic displays, Concours d’Elégance, and an auction full of high-end automobiles.

On the latter, the Silverstone Auctions-run sale (held on the middle day of the three-day event) is set to feature two exemplary examples of pre-impact bumper Porsche 911, both in 2.4-litre guise.

The 1973 Porsche 911S Targa, finished in black with black interior, is estimated to achieve between £115,000 and £135,000. Just 18 Porsche 911S Targas were imported into the UK during the Seventies by AFN and only nine now remain.

1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 Coupe

This makes it an exceedingly rare choice for any 911 connoisseur however, there is another 2.4-litre Porsche 911S up for auction on the same day that arguably steals the limelight thanks to its rarity and its backstory.

A Sepia Brown 911 may not appeal to all but this 1972 Porsche 911S is one of the rare E-Series cars that featured an external oil filler cap on the right rear wing. This feature was quickly removed for 1973 after a number of owners mistakenly filled up their oil systems with petrol!

The matching numbers car is believed to be one of just six Sepia Brown 911Ss configured with the Beige interior and while this is a right-hand drive example it was originally delivered to a German doctor in Hanover who specified it thus so that he wouldn’t have to step out into traffic at his usual parking space.

1972 Porsche 911 S 2

For once, the rest of the Salon Privé sale is noticeably bereft of Porsches, with only a pair of 356s adding to the Zuffenhausen lots on Thursday 4 September. More information on the two cars can be found on Silverstone Auctions’ website.

More photos of the stunning Porsche 911S duo are available below. Click on each image to enlarge and use your left/right keys to scroll between the images.

If you want to know more about recent Porsche 911 auction results, make sure you check out our roundup of all the bidding action from the recent Monterey Classic Car Week where we have final prices from RM, Gooding, and Bonhams.


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