Curbside Capsule: 1974 Porsche Neunelfer – The Vanilla Porsche, in Chocolate


Normally, I don’t give 911s or other post-356 Porsches a second glance, but the rich chocolate brown color of this 1974 911 Targa caught my eye and led me to do a little reading up on the successor to the Porsche 356, which itself initially utilized engine and suspension bits from the Volkswagen Type I “Beetle.”

I have to admit to being initially unable to peg the model year of this plain-jane 911 (not the S variant). The vanity plate wasn’t necessarily a good clue, as many folks in IL use their birth year on their plates in this manner. But after reading that the 1974-77 cars encompassed the G, H, I and J Series 911s, it all connected. These series were among the last of the narrow-body cars – later models would sport flared wheel arches or rear spoilers from mild “duck tails” to huge whale tails.

As an I Series, this car sports a 2.7l air-cooled flat six boxer engine that makes 150hp (unless it’s been upgraded with the more-reliable 3.0l). Three body options were offered this year, a coupe; a sunroof coupe, and the pictured Targa, which gives the best open-air motoring experience.

1974 was also the first year for 5mph energy-absorbing bumpers, which were very cleanly integrated into the styling of the car. This is exactly the kind of CC that appeals to me, and I think I could enjoy having one as a daily driver (although I’d probably gravitate more to the four-cylinder 912E offered only in 1976 just for the quirkiness factor).