Porsche 911 Pushing 50

By Jason H. Harper - 2013-04-11T11:09:31Z

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

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Tweaked Power

Fires is the operative word. As soon the 2.7-liter, air- cooled flat-six comes to life, my friend and I realize we’ll have to yell to be heard. The 1974 stock engine was reported to put out 150 horsepower, but this car’s powertrain have been tweaked for as much as 220 hp.

The five-speed manual stickshift requires finesse. Second gear asks for a gentle touch, and more than once I messily induce a horrible grinding nose. (Sorry, Mike.) Still, when I first pull out of the Classic Club’s Tribeca garage into heavy traffic, the car is easier to drive than expected.

Creature comforts are few. To save weight, it has no air conditioner, no radio and certainly nothing electronic. Yet the shape of the dashboard will be familiar to Porsche owners today, and the leather seats comfortable.

The upright seating position puts you very close to the windshield’s curved glass, and while the thin A-pillars wouldn’t pass modern safety regulations, the sightlines are exceptional. You can see through corners perfectly.

Left, the "Fuel Safe," gas tank in a 1974 Porche 911. The car also has racing shocks and mechanical fuel injection.