When we think of special edition or limited-run models, iconic names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, or even Porsche’s own 911 might come to mind. However, among Porsche enthusiasts, there’s another model that often gets overlooked – the Porsche 912. While it may not have received as much attention as its esteemed siblings, the 912 did have its fair share of unique variants.
The Porsche 912 was introduced in 1965 as a more affordable alternative to the flagship 911. It shared many components with its older sibling, including the chassis, suspension, and braking systems. However, the 912 came equipped with a four-cylinder, air-cooled engine instead of the six-cylinder powerplant found in the 911. The goal was to offer the renowned Porsche driving experience at a lower price point, making it more accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts.
During its production run, which lasted until 1969, the Porsche 912 received a few special and limited-run editions. One such model was the 1967 Porsche 912 Targa. This open-top variant featured a removable roof panel and a wraparound rear window, offering a unique driving experience. The Targa became a popular choice for those who desired the wind-in-hair sensation synonymous with classic convertible motoring.
Another notable variant was the Porsche 912 “Soft-Window” Targa. Produced between 1967 and 1968, this model featured a flexible plastic rear window as opposed to the standard fixed glass window found on the Targa. While this change may seem minor, it gave the car a distinct appearance and further enhanced the open-air driving experience.
Perhaps the most sought-after limited-run model of the Porsche 912 was the 1967 Porsche 912 SWB (Short Wheel Base) model. Due to an error in production, a small number of 912s were built using leftover 911 chassis. These models received the shorter 911 wheelbase, resulting in improved handling and a more nimble driving experience. Today, these SWB models are extremely rare and highly collectible.
In addition to these limited-run models, the Porsche 912 also received various performance and appearance upgrades throughout its production. These upgrades included options like sport seats, alloy wheels, fog lights, and improved suspension systems, all aimed at enhancing the driving dynamics and aesthetic appeal.
Despite being overshadowed by the legendary 911, the Porsche 912 had its own share of special edition and limited-run models. These variants offered enthusiasts the opportunity to own a unique Porsche experience at a lower price point. Today, the 912 is gaining popularity as collectors and enthusiasts recognize its historical significance and understated charm. Whether it’s the Targa, Soft-Window Targa, or the ultra-rare SWB model, these special editions stand as testaments to the Porsche commitment to innovation and performance.