It was evident to Porsche management in the late '50s that the 356 series was rapidly becoming dated and reaching the end of its development potential, so in 1959 Ferdinand Porsche began designing a new car. A number of criteria were laid down: the car would have no more than a 2,200-mm wheelbase and would carry two adults and two children.

The new model was introduced at the Frankfurt Show in September, 1963. It was a significant advance on the outgoing car, providing greater performance, space and refinement. The new engine, a 1991cc opposed 6-cylinder unit, was designed by Ferdinand Piech, Dr. Porsche's nephew. Situated in the rear to maximize space efficiency, it produced 130 bhp.

The 911 "S" was Porsche's top-of-the-range sporting model throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, a period when the purest and most desirable versions of the 911 were produced. The 911S boasted a higher fifth gear, anti-rollbars front and rear, Koni shock absorbers and ventilated disc brakes, later also receiving alloy front brake calipers. The engine was also improved with higher compression and improved breathing which produced 160 bhp. Only 4,689 of these high-specification short-wheelbase 911S's were produced in coupe form in 1967-68.

Another 1,160 of the less-desirable, from a performance standpoint, 911S Targas were built. Of the coupes, probably less than 100 were available in right-hand drive. (In 1969 the wheelbase of the 911 was lengthened, reducing its agility and starting the overall softening that was to dilute the sporting essence of Piech's original design.)

This 1967 model is especially desirable as its date of manufacture qualifies it for historic rallying, a practice at which the 911 excels with its power and agile handling. Described as in overall excellent condition, it has had only two owners from new, the second undertaking a sympathetic restoration.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 Porsche 911 S SWB 2.0L
Years Produced:1967-68
Number Produced:4,689
Original List Price:$7,074 (1967 base price US)
SCM Valuation:$12,500-$15,000
Tune Up Cost:$300
Distributor Caps:$13
Chassis Number Location:On horizontal bulkhead under front lid, just aft of gas tank
Engine Number Location:On vertical fan housing support passenger side of engine
Club Info:Porsche Club of America, P.O. Box 30100, Alexandria, VA 22310
Alternatives:BMW 2800 CS, Mercedes 280SL, Jaguar XKE, 2+2; 1967 Corvette coupe

This short-wheelbase 911S sold for $15,985 at the Coys of Kensington Chiswick House sale in London on May 15, 2000. Although offered as a 1967 car, the third digit of the serial number shows that Porsche considers it a 1968 model. However, since it was manufactured in late 1967, it will still qualify for events with a 1967 build-date cut-off. This is also a rare right-hand-drive car, which usually brings a premium in the UK.

The “early” 911 period is recognized by the original body style before the imposition of federally mandated collision bumpers in 1974. There are two series of 911S models in this period: the short-wheelbase, Weber-carbed, 160-hp models of 1967-1968, and the long-wheelbase, mechanically fuel-injected models of 1969-1973. The fuel-injected models had growing displacement and horsepower ratings of 2.0L/170 hp in 1969; 2.2L/180 hp (1970-1971); and 2.4L/190 hp (1972-1973). The longer wheelbase helped reduce the pitching at highway speeds and improve the balance of weight distribution. However, the short-wheelbase 911 has an elemental raw appeal and edgy feel to the handling that many prefer to the more refined, later cars.

The original non-S, 130-hp, 2.0-liter 911 engine has a sweet midrange powerband. The S version trades that midrange for greater top-end speed. As a result, an early S is not ideal for puttering around town and easily fouls plug; keeping a deep socket and a set of spare plugs in the boot is a good idea. But for high-speed applications, the upper rpm power is a delight as these engines willingly rev to redline and make every driver feel he is on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. For any historic event with a late ’60s cut-off date, a well-prepared 911 is sure to be competative, as few if any 2-liter cars from the period offered the performance and roadability of a 911S.

The price paid is a bargain if the mechanicals check out, the car has its correct, original engine (not mentioned in the catalog), and is in decent cosmetic condition as well. While it appears that the car is not up to the PCA concours standard set here in the United States, in some ways this makes it a more usable vehicle. Besides, you can leave your fancy trailer and feather duster at home and just drive the car to events.

In the 911 world, condition of the chassis and body are more important than the engine, as the engines are generally strong and the cost to rebuild one ($6,000 to $8,000) is far less than the expense of rust repairs and factory-quality refinishing. Early SWB 911S’s were rare to begin with, and most were run hard and put away wet. Of the non-race car Porsches, this is the segment of the market that is showing the most appreciation. Assuming this car ran out well, this was a good buy in a usable early S, and it should appreciate at the front of the 911 market.-Jim Schrager

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