The Ultimate 1970s Porsche 911 Breakdown – Driving at It’s Finest

Why do car collectors go crazy for 1970s Porsche 911s? Jerry Seinfeld simply says, “This little car is the essence of sports car perfection.” If you don’t trust the man who owns tens of millions of dollars worth of Porsche 911s, I’m not sure what to tell you.

So let’s talk about the 1970s Porsche 911 for a minute. Why? Because the 1970s Porsche 911 is a collector car that deserves much respect.

It’s the longest-running model from one of the most iconic sportscar producers in the world. And it’s one of the most recognizable vehicle designs in automotive history.

The evolution of the Porsche 911 began in the 60s but was perfected in the 70s. By the end of that decade, Porsche would iterate the 911 design dozens of times, making huge leaps in car engineering.

The dedication creating a great sports car with the 1970s Porsche 911 propelled it to become the best-selling luxury sports car of all time.

1970s Porsche 911 Models

The beginning of the classic Porsche 911 started before 1970. The now-famous and very distinct design of the Porsche 911 was introduced in 1963.

Since then, it has been continually developed through numerous versions and series. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the founder’s grandson, was heavily involved in the original design that led to the 911.

That original sleek, elegant, sporty, and stylish design has stuck with Porsche for decades. Ferdinand Porsche saw a desirable, attractive, and stunning car come together, and the company has been wise to pay respect to that original sophisticated look.

Porsche 911 vintage commercial from 1987 featuring a Carrera 3.2 Turbo.

1970 Porsche 911 T

In 1970, Porsche released the second generation 911 called the C Series.

While the body style didn’t change from the original 911, the 1970 C Series saw engine changes to a 2.2-liter flat-six engine. The wheelbase increased just a couple of inches, but the length remained the same as the original 1960s version.

Three different 1970 Porsche 911 models were produced, the 911T, 911S, and the 911E. The E and the S were fuel-injected, while the T was carbureted and had less horsepower than the E and S models.

Many Porsche purists prefer the “T” base model for its stripped-down features and minimalistic driving experience. For some Porsche drivers, luxurious interiors are just about the last thing on the list when it comes to the Porsche 911.

“What excites me about my car, is the feeling of having ultimate freedoms…” Bart Kuykens describes his 1970 Porsche 911 T.

1970 Porsche 911 T Values

The base model 1970 Porsche 911 T can sell for anywhere between $30,000 and $70,000, depending on the condition.

Of course, an original, well-preserved car will be valued significantly higher than a decent-looking rebuilt car.

When shopping for older 911s, engine condition should be one of your primary concerns. Numerous potential problems could lead you to poor performance or an entire engine re-build if not inspected properly.

One common problem found on the early Porsche 911s is rust on and rotted areas in concealed spaces that are not visible to a quick glance.

1970s Porsche 911 T Models for Sale

Above the rear tires on the inside of the lower body will be one of the first places rust will have begun to make its way through.

As for rot, there’s a common area below the rear window that tends to disintegrate first. Check these areas carefully for signs of trouble.

Most older 911s will have had some work done, but it’s crucial to inspect the quality to ensure it was done correctly.

Check the panel alignment for tight and uniform spacing. If you’re in the market for an early 1970s Porsche 911, take your time and ask many questions. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price when you’ve identified areas of concern on the car.

1970 Porsche 911 T for sale
Prices vary from the high $30,000 range to nearly well over $70,000 for a well-conditioned 1970 Porsche 911 T. The base model seems to be a favorite among Porsche enthusiasts for its minimalistic driving experience.

1971 and 1972 Porsche 911

The 1971 Porsche 911 models received a new and larger 2.4-liter engine from the 2.2 liter. Slightly higher horsepower also accompanied all models.

Porsche realized there were handling concerns, and in the 1972 Porsche 911, the first changes were made to address these issues.

The design team relocated the oil tank to the front of the rear wheels, which improved the weight distribution and handling.

Because of this change, a 1972 Porsche 911 will feature an oil filler door on the right rear quarter panel.

But after just one year, the oil filler door was moved back to its original location due to people confusing the oil door with the fuel filler door and accidentally adding gas to the oil tank.

1972 porsche 911 for sale
As you can see, prices for early 1970s Porsche 911 vary greatly depending on originality. A numbers-matching 911 can be valued at several hundred thousand dollars.

1973 and 1974 Porsche 911

The 1973 and 1974 Porsche 911s introduced the Carrera model with a fuel-injected engine and much more horsepower.

The mid-70s saw increased safety regulations, so Porsche found ways to integrate these features in the 911 design. A new raised bumper for crash test standards and a three-point safety belt were included.

Beginning the Fourth Generation Porsche 911

The 1974 Porsche 911 featured the original Turbo with a 260 horsepower engine and a 3-liter engine. The new engine was highly efficient and demonstrated that Porsche was serious about delivering performance to the 911.

It was also known as the beginning of the fourth generation Porsche 911.

Jay Leno hosts a YouTube series titled “Jay Leno’s Garage,” discussing his classic car collection and the 1974 Porsche 911 with Marlon Goldberg, owner of LA Workshop 5001.

Values for the 1974 Porsche have steadily risen over the last few years. Total production volume was just 4,014 cars in 1974.

Working Out the Engine Issues

Tightening emission standards caused issues with the engine design where some cars had chronic overheating problems. Engine problems and rust and rot issues made it challenging to keep mid-70s 911s on the road.

Modern-day mechanics are more than equipped to tackle the issues that plagued the 1974 Porsche 911 engine, but it will cost a pretty penny.

Values for a great running classic 911 reflect the expensive expertise required to restore and maintain these cars.

1975 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo

The 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo set the stage for extreme performance on the race track, but car enthusiasts also flocked to the newly amped-up version of the 911.

Values for a 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo can be as high as $200,000 to $300,000 for an original, numbers matching, fully restored model.

The Porsche 911 Whale Tail

The whale-tailed, flared-fender design of the 911 Turbo was an instant classic. In August 2019, a 1975 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera was sold at an RM Sotheby’s auction for $285,000.

It was just one of 274 first-year Carrera Turbo models and was completely restored.

1975 Porsche 911 “Carrera Turbo” by TLG – One Take

The original 911 Turbo models symbolize Porsche’s ingenuity and leadership in automobile design and engineering.

The mid-1970s laid the groundwork for the enormous demand Porsche would see for its 911 Turbos in the 1980s.

1976 – 1977 Porsche 911

Few changes occurred in the 1976 and 1977 Porsche 911 design. Engine performance specs remained the same, and body changes were slight.

One thing that would help preserve future 911s from corrosion was adding an entire body made from galvanized steel, which increased rust protection.

In 1977, all Porsche 911 engines complied with strict California emissions standards. Only 2,449 911 models were produced, and the Turbo Carrera models saw just 727 left-hand drive, North American cars sold.

1977 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera POV Drive & Review

1978 – 1979 Porsche 911

The trouble with the 2.7-liter engine in the 1975-1977 engines led Porsche to a new, much more durable, and powerful engine.

Changes arrived for the 1978 Porsche 911 Turbo with increased engine capacity from 3.0 liters to 3.3 liters and an intercooler to the engine, which produced 300 horsepower. The ‘whale tail’ spoiler at the rear was also raised slightly to make room for the engine upgrades.

Porsche Accelerating Into the 80s

Porsche produced 5,178 911 models in 1978. Prices for an excellent condition 1978 Porsche 911 Turbo can reach well over $100,000. With a base price of $37,000 in 1979, the 911 Turbo was quite expensive but delivered an incredible driving experience for car enthusiasts.

The 1980s saw ever-increasing Porsche 911 popularity with quicker acceleration, performance, and luxury features.

Slight design changes were made to accommodate engine upgrades, and overall engine reliability improved with new fuel and ignition components.

One Million Porsche 911s

The Porsche 911 has become one of the most successful luxury sports cars in history with its world-renowned design and durability.

Since the early 1960s, Porsche has sold over one million 911 models.

The development of the 911 Turbo in the mid-1970s set the stage for the 911 to become the best-selling luxury sports car in the world.

What Makes a 1970s Porsche Great?

You can research new cars all day long. The latest model year, fastest, most powerful, lightweight, futuristic-looking vehicles are rolling off the assembly line as we speak. But you’re here, reading about the 1970s Porsche.

What makes the 1970s classic Porsche great is not just the fact that they are beautiful cars with a manual transmission, flat-four engines or six-cylinder engine, and rear spoiler.

The classic Porsche is not about features; it’s about personality. Certain people love classic cars, and inside that group, there’s a dedicated Fanclub for the vintage 1970s Porsche.

Biggest 1970s Porsche Collections

When you hear the words “vintage Porsche collection,” nearly everyone thinks of one person immediately. Jerry Seinfeld.

His love of Porsche cars is well-known, as he owns one of the largest private Porsche collections of all time.

He was once quoted saying vintage Porsche’s were “the essence of sports-car perfection.” A comment that would make the designers at Porsche AG, and even Ferdinand Porsche himself proud.

The Ultimate Collector

But what’s the best Porsche in his collection? That’s a never-ending debate. But you must consider the classic 911s. His 1973 Porsche Carrera 911 RS is one of the most successful Carrera’s in racing. The car was offered in a Touring and Sport lightweight configuration.

With a price tag of over $1 million in recent auctions, the Carrera RS has appreciated nearly one hundred-fold from its original purchase price of $11,000 in 1973.

Jay Leno’s Garage Full of Porsches

We all know Jay Leno is a car guy. He’s always been careful not to reveal his favorite car from his collection. He doesn’t want to pick just one. But Jay leaves plenty of clues to his favorites during his Jay Leno’s Garage show.

He recently featured a 1971 Porsche 911 T, and his comments were noteworthy. The guest asked if he could purchase the car from Jay, to which Jay quickly responded, “keep dreaming.”

1971 porsche 911T
Check out this listing from Bring-A-Trailer, a 1971 Porsche 911T from a single owner over the last 35-years. Amazingly, the $40,911 reserve on this auction was not met. But the auction occurred in May of 2018. I’m sure the values have soared for this car since then.

Equipped with 2.5 litre engines producing 225 horsepower and a top speed of 127 miles per hour, they weren’t the fastest cars ever built, but they left an impression.

Some of the last air cooled Porsches were produced in the early 1990s, but in 1970, Porsche released the bigger capacity flat-six, air-cooled 911S Targa, and set the stage for an epic decade for the brand.

The Most Valuable Porsche of All Time

We can’t leave the 1970s Porsche discussion without mentioning the most valuable Porsche in the world. The 1970 Porsche 917K. Valued at over $14 million, the precious Porsche 917K set records both on the track and at the auction.

It dominated Le Mans with its 5.0 liter flat-twelve engine and blew away the automotive world with its amazing style. Over 630 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of twist. The 917K sported a 0-60 time of just 2.7 seconds.

The Porsche Short Tail

The “K” in the 917K name represented its Kurzheck, or “short tail.” At high speeds, the fantastic design of the 917K provided exceptional stability.

Only twelve models of its kind exist, making it the most expensive Porsche car and one of the rarest, most valuable cars in the world.

With a top speed of 200 mph, and acceleration that will pin your head to the seat, this is one unforgettable rig.

The Porsche 917K is rare, fast as hell, with a badass design, from an epic automaker. What more could you ask for?

The 1972 Porsche 910/10 Racing Spyder

We can’t forget the 1972 Porsche 910/10 Racing Spyder. In 2012, this special limited edition Porsche was sold at a Mecum auction for $5,500,000. Straight from the design of the 917 coupes, the 917 spyder was built for speed, and it accomplished its goal.

Light weight, cutting edge, with enough power to achieve a 0 – 200 mph time of 12 seconds flat.

An incredible feat. Built by Porsche for the Roger Penske, Mark Donohue racing team, Donohue was quoted as saying, “This is the only car I have ever driven that will spin the tires at 200 mph.”

You won’t believe your ears with this video of the 1970 Porsche 917K. What’s almost as good as the amazing design of the 1970s Porsche? The sound of a Porsche 917K on the racetrack. Enjoy!

1970s Porsche 911 Models

So here’s the entire lineup of 1970s Porsche 911s, year-by-year. It’s fun to see them all together so you can get a sense of the slight change in design features over the years.

To be honest, there’s not much design changes happening with the 911. Porsche has tried to keep its heritage with each passing year. And they’ve done a fine job, at that!

What’s your favorite 911 year? I would have to admit I’m partial to the 1978 Porsche vintage, but that’s just me.


1970 porsche 911
1970 Porsche 911S Coupe, sale price $181,000 in 2023.


porsche 1970
1971 Porsche 911T Coupe, sale price $81,500 in 2023.


70s porsche
1972 Porsche 911T Targa, sale price $84,000 in 2023.


best porsche 911 years
1973 Porsche 911E Coupe, sale price $128,000 in 2023.


1970 porsche 911 for sale
1974 Porsche 911 Coupe, sale price $90,000 in 2023.


porsche 911 best year
1975 Porsche 911S Targa, sale price $53,500 in 2023.


1970 porsche 911 turbo
1976 Porsche 911S Targa, sale price $45,000 in 2023.


how many porsche 911 were made
1977 Porsche 911S Coupe, Modified, sale price $129,000 in 2023.


most expensive porsche 911
1978 Porsche 911SC Coupe, sale price $56,000 in 2023.


best porsche 911 year
1979 Porsche 911SC, sale price $57,000 in 2022.

1970s porsche

Leave a Comment

Contact Us