|Vehicle:||1972 Porsche 911E coupe|
This 911 sold for $20,865 at the Coys of Kensington sale in London, November 1999. This result points out the disparity between the U.S. and European markets. For American purists, the substitution of the smaller engine, even done to “S” specs, would be a real price-killer. In Europe, where the 2.2L is regarded as having more “snap” than the 2.4L by many owners, the change didn’t affect the price at all.
The 1972 and 1973 2.4-liter cars are the final years of the small-bumper bodies. Aside from the Carrera RS, they have the largest displacement engines. 1972 is also the first year of the stronger 915 gearbox, which replaced the original 901 box that could no longer handle the torque of the bigger engines. To many early 911 enthusiasts, cars from these last two years are the ones to own.
This car has the 1970-71 2.2-liter S engine, which may seem like a letdown. However, the 2.2 and 2.4 engines are highly similar: both have mechanical fuel injection and identical cylinder diameters; the 2.4 achieves its extra displacement by being stroked for longer piston travel. Many tuners believe the “short-stroke” 2.2-liter cars are a bit sharper off the line than the 2.4 models. Of course, for sustained high-speed work, the extra displacement of the 2.4 comes in handy. But for sprints to the dry cleaners or through the local club’s autocross course, the punch of a crisp 2.2 can be quite satisfying.
The 911E model is a bit of a sleeper, as many do not realize that the E has the bigger brakes and appearance group of the S. So this E, with the S engine, has the full mechanical complement of an S.
However, this 911E has a number of non-original items in addition to its engine, such as the Carrera RS stripe on the engine cover, the 7″ Fuchs alloys, and perhaps the color. In the U.S., this car probably would not have made so much, despite its reputed excellent condition. But in the U.K., where good, rust-free cars are rare, decent 911s tend to bring more, sometimes substantially more than here in the Colonies.
Theses early 911 cars are slowly being rediscovered as the great all-around cars that they are. I expect prices will continue to rise. This one, bought at well below restoration cost, should provide many hours of driving pleasure, and might even be able to be sold for a profit within the next twenty-four months – but only in Europe. – Jim Schrager