Porsche 911E 2.2
It may seem as if we give over a lot of editorial space to a certain rear-engined German sports car, but there is a reason: they’re very, very good. And they have been for more than half a century; 50 years of relentless improvement to one basic concept.
The less enchanted may see it as brilliantly overcoming a problem no one else has given themselves, but the fact remains it was overcome brilliantly. Today’s 911, as all models will always be called whatever Porsche labels them, is sensationally rapid yet won’t scare anyone if they back off mid-bend. Traditionalists, though, value that intense sensation, the raised heart rate that comes with treading the knife-edge of grip in earlier models, less powerful perhaps but also much lighter. It’s one reason why older models are overtaking faster versions in value – witness this 911E, the first of the flat-sixes to be equipped with Bosch fuel injection and the larger 2.2-litre engine. By now all models had gained an inch or two in wheelbase and chunkier tyres, giving them a tighter grip of the road, and the two faster versions lost some weight through an aluminium engine cover and bumpers. Though its 158bhp is short of the contemporary S engine, the E is said to be faster in the gears due to improved torque. “It’s not so much any leap in power,” says Jamie Tyler from Paragon Porsche, “but it revs so freely – and it sounds wonderful. I’ve driven this one several times and it drives beautifully.”
Originally delivered to the USA it’s had a comfortably rust-free youth, so when a Dutch specialist stripped it down for a full ‘rotisserie’ restoration six years ago – on a rotating stand for full access – very little needed replacing and only Porsche parts were used. More importantly for originality, interior elements such as the dash top were restored and not replaced. Modern repro items rarely look correct.
“It’s been beautifully restored and was in great shape when we bought it,” says Jamie. “We just tweaked a few things.” As Paragon has been specialising in these cars for 23 years it has an eye for details, such as the desirable five-spoke Fuchs wheels.
Not surprisingly, given its US home, this example is left-hand drive, but according to Jamie that is no handicap to desirability when dealing with collector cars, especially as thanks to on-line searches customers can come from all over the world. With modern 911s 10 a penny, this is one way to stand out.
Year – 1970
Engine – 2.2 litres, flat six, air-cooled, 158bhp
Transmission – Five-speed manual
Suspension – Front: twin trailing arms, torsion bars. Rear: swing axles, trailing arm
Top speed – 137mph
Price – £124,995