As Porsche geared up to discontinue the 356 (see our 1962 model), they feared that the increase in price with their new flagship car—the 911—would dissuade the median income buyer from investing in their product. Their solution? The Porsche 912 which, instead of the flat-six design of the 911, reverted to a more beginner-friendly 4-cylinder engine.
The original 912 had a short lifespan, living through its production from 1965-1969. It was discontinued due to manufacturers gearing up for the release of the 914 and switching most production over to the flat-six (this is due in part to the massive success of the 911, which Porsche did not anticipate). Initially, the 912 sold more units than the 911—over 30,000 during those five years—but eventually fell to the wayside as Porsche earned a reputation for their flat-six 911.
Later, in 1976, the 912 would be reintroduced to America as a 912E, which would have a lifespan of a single year. You could imagine then, that this beginner model is essentially the 356 2.0, and its small window of production makes it an even more attractive collector’s item.