Category Archives: Porsche

Porsche panoply

One more than 911 but two fewer than 6

One more than 911 but two fewer than 6

We’ve defined feral cars as those which are, plausibly, everyday drivers.  We don’t seek them out at car shows or dealerships, whatever one might see here is captured “in the wild,” so to speak. We’ve never done a Porsche post because, face it, most of the older ones are locked in garages, in exotic car dealerships and taken out for events.  We’ve been collecting Porsches in our image bank hoping we’d achieve critical mass and that day has come.

This post was prompted by the discovery of a really nice, original 912 (that’s not a typo, the body is very much like the 911 but there are two fewer cylinders in the motor) that was parked just down the street from us.  While we were photographing it the owner presented himself and confirmed that it is, in fact, an everyday driver that is used for the same errands for which you might employ your Corolla, Accord or Jetta to accomplish..  OK, maybe not for Dominoes deliveries

Off to Costco!

Off to Costco!

Except this is a for real 1969 Porsche 912, the last model year for the four cylinder air-cooled motor and it’s most impressive.  The owner reported the paint is not original but the car had been wearing it since he bought it several decades ago.  His 912 was actually hauled out of a barn where it had been resting at the time of its purchase necessitated by the fact that his Volvo P1800 had just been demolished in a confrontation with a truck.  Apart from its overall originality, we were impressed with the pop out rear windows and the toaster slot hand cranked sunroof, both items of which are very important details in the car which isn’t equipped with air conditioning, nor, for that matter much of anything that’s electronic.

Last of the breed

How blue can you get?

We reached back eight years earlier in Porsche history for this ’61 Super 90 that was captured in Salt Lake City by Feral Cars Field Scout Bennett C. Sandick.  The body colored bumpers won our heart as did the tiny two-tone taillights.

Brothers under the skin

Brothers under the skin

We found a ’65 Porsche C, one of the last of the historic 356 “bathtub” cars parked next to a late ’60s Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia.  Under their respective skins lurk many similarities, e.g. swing axles, air cooled rear engines, torsion bar suspension.  Could this rendezvous between not-so-distant cousins have been planed or was it serendipitous?

Old school

Back in black

The black paint job gives this 356C a formal look but we’re guessing it’s hot as the blazes inside.  Open the damn windows!

Roadside attraction

Roadside attraction

We are grateful to Sean Grimes for this very artful shot of his ’71 911.  It really does capture the car’s stunningly fluid simplicity.

Wheel deal

Rubber dubber

We found a ’78 911SC parked across the street.  These were built when black was the new chrome.  The subtle wheel flairs accommodate tires wider than the actual body and those rubber bumper attenuators and black rubber rear bumper bumpers are there to comply with new U.S. federal low speed crash standards.

Turbodelic

Bumpin’

Feral Cars Field Scout Tim Merlis found a 911 “Whale Tail” on the streets of Montreal. These Frankensteinish cars were the fastest Porsche cars of the era (’75 – ’89) and that huge rear appurtenance served several functions: it channeled more air into the turbo charged engine, it created down force to keep the car from lifting at high speeds and it told the world the driver was probably trying to compensate for something lacking in his (never a her) personality or anatomy.  From the look of that raw red rear bumper, it looks like this one is dealing with the automotive equivalent of a hemorrhoid onslaught. Ouch!

Moby dick?

Moby Dick joke goes here

Flair

Headlight washers, a handy feature, especially in Quebec

While we’re on the subject of workaday Porsches, let’s not forget the front engine water-cooled variety. Here’s an ’84 928.  It’s powered by a V8 and is fairly hefty (about 3400 pounds) and is, to our way of thinking the least “porschey” car ever build by Porsche.

You coulda had a V8

You coulda had a V8

Scraping by

Scraping by

We found this 1988 944 Turbo the other day and were impressed with its <ahem> “patina.”  These were powered by a four cylinder motor that was, essentially, half of the V8 used in the 928.  This same trick was used by International Harvester for its 4 cylinder Scout. that motor was sourced from the company’s V8 of exactly twice the cubic inch displacement.

924

944:  924 plus 20

Porsche invented and patented the term Targa ®.  It’s really a full width hatch top with a fixed rear window.  The idea is it’s the best of both worlds — convertible and coupe — and that brushed chrome Targa ® band is a nice touch.  This one is a 911SC that we believe is a ’77 based on the look of the bumpers but your guess is as good, if not better, than ours.

Butterscotch Targa

Butterscotch Targa ®

Feral Cars Field Scout Amy Treco risked life and limb to capture this ’68 911. That California black plate beginning with an “X” is the giveaway as to the model year as are the side markers on the front and rear fenders.  Great to see an original car like this in actual use.

Porsche

“X” marks the year

We like this Porsche propaganda film starring Dr. Ferry Porsche whose accent is straight out of Ludwig Von Drake.  We found a ’67 Porsche 912, not unlike our featured car, in nearby Beverly Hills, CA offered for $27,500.  Great for pizza delivery!

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.

Note: While we strive for factual accuracy in our posts, we readily acknowledge that we we sometimes make inadvertent mistakes.  If you happen to catch one please don’t sit there and fume; let us know where we went wrong and we’ll do our best to correct things.

 

Will of the Triumph

TRiffic!

TRiffic!

Americans post-war love affair with British sports cars opened the door to the idea of imported cars in general and nothing’s been the same since.  The very first name that springs to mind in this regard is MG but Triumph was also a very significant player in this small field.  Its TR3 was a direct competitor to the MG-A and the later TR4 was the firm’s answer to the MG-B.

We encountered a much later TR, this one a TR6, on the mean streets of Palo Alto, CA a few months ago.  Owner Mike Cobb revealed that the car was purchased new in 1974 and he’s been driving it ever since. He’s put 80,000 miles on its odometer that is nestled in a very traditional wood-clad dashboard.

Wood is good

Wood is good

Production of TR6s ceased just two years later as the British auto industry continued its downward spiral towards near-extinction.  As with predecessor TRs, the car’s primary export market was the US.  Did we say “primary export?” Make that just “primary.” Period. We were shocked to read that, of the total of almost 95,000 TR6s produced, more than 86,000 were exported, most to these shores. A paltry 8,400 were sold in the UK.

Union jacks comes standard

Union Jack: ON!

Style-wise, the TR6 was something of an update of the TR4 that had been designed by Giovanni Michelotti who had penned all manner cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia and — though the gang in Munich is loath to admit it — the iconic BMW 1600/2002.  The transformation to TR6  was undertaken by Karmann, as in Karmann-Ghia. That’s right, the look of an iconic British sports car that actually wears a Union Jack on its rear flanks is, in no small measure, the product of Italian and German minds.

"We shall fight them on the beaches.."

“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds.. and in the streets…”

Speaking of the Axis Powers, let’s not forget the Battle of Britain, won in the skies by the RAF’s heroic Spitfires in mortal combat with the Luftwaffe’s Messerchmitts.  That valiant fighter plane lent its name to Triumph’s smaller sport cars, a competitor to MG’s Midget and Austin-Healey’s Sprite. We encountered a ’65 Spitfire Mk 2 in our local supermarket parking lot the other evening and we were impressed by the car’s “as is” condition.  Clearly, this very original roadster has never been restored. In fact, that babied Palo Alto TR6’s little brother seems to have been trashed to some extent.

Bonnet popper

Bonnet popper

Our supermarket Spitfire was sporting a newish soft top, but the rest of the car seemed to not have been messed with all that much over the past 50 years and that’s really not a criticism.  We think it’s a vehicular manifestation of that stiff upper lip ethos which we most heartily applaud.

Black plate special

Black plate special

We dug deep into the massive Feral Cars image bank and found another TR6 which —  taking a wild guess here — seems to have been painted a non-factory stock color.

Purple passion

Purple passion

Lastly, we found this “missing link” between the TR4 and TR6, logically called TR5. It was captured in Philadelphia a while back and happened to be parked just outside a conclave of the Society of Automotive Historians, giving those scholars lots to consider and discuss.  These were sold in the US as TR250 but this example, despite the decorative UK number plate and badged TR5, seems to be a US market car (left hand drive, side markers in compliance with federal regulations) and is equipped with a “Surrey Top,” Triumph’s answer to Porche’s Targa.

Can you surrey?

Can you Surrey?

We found this very presentable and very, very red ’74 TR6 in nearby Beverly, MA for a mere $9300.  In terms of today’s rate of exchange that’s only £6070!  See those rubber bumper extensions on Mike Cobb’s lovely blue TR6 at the top of this post? They were Federally mandated from mid-’74 forward and this US-market TV commercial made tongue-in-cheek reference to them.

If you’ve stalked a feral car and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us:   info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.