The 911 was the model that officially put the Porsche name in front of the world. Both on the street and on the track, it was and continues to be one of the most popular luxury sports cars on the market. The air-cooled 911, produced from 1964 to 1998, went through a number of engines and styles before a full redesign came with the 996 series.
The 1970 and 1971 Porsche 911s were fitted with a larger, 2.2 L engine rather than the previous generation’s 2.0 L engine that could be mated to either a four-speed 911/00 manual transmission or a five-speed 911/01 manual transmission. The displacement increase brought horsepower figures to 123 hp in the 911T, 153 hp in the 911E, and 180 hp in the top-of-the-line 911S. The T joined its brethren in receiving ventilated disc brakes, making all 911s so equipped. This generation of 911 saw safer external door handles, rubber-mounted dashboard gauges, a steering lock, as well as a US-only warning buzzer to let the driver know the keys were left in the ignition.
For the 1971 model year, only the 911E & S had fuel injection, while the entry-level 911T came standard with Zenith carburetors. This changed in 1972 when fuel injection became standard across all models due to US emissions regulations. All 1971 models did, however, come equipped with three-speed intermittent windshield wipers and crankcase oil squirters for improved piston cooling.
This generation continued offering the “Targa” version, which gave the car a “safer” open-air experience to appease the U.S. NHTSA regulations. Rather than a fully open-top convertible, the Targa was equipped with a stainless steel-clad roll bar, a removable roof panel, and a removable plastic rear window.
The collectability and value of Porsche 911s, in general, has been steadily increasing over the past decade or so. Even though the T was the starter 911 for this generation, the US-market cars can be more desirable than their international counterparts due to the slight increase in horsepower. The Targa versions are also the best of both worlds between a coupe and a convertible, offering both experiences without much compromise.
This particular example, Chassis # 9111110750, is a 1971 model fitted with the five-speed 911/01 manual transmission. According to the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, it was ordered with optional front and rear stabilizers, comfort equipment, tinted glass, Targa top, and light metal wheels. It was finished in a fairly unique warm shade of yellow that not many cars at the time wore called Gold Metallic. The interior was finished in contrasting Black Leatherette, a color scheme it wears to this day. Not much is known about this 911T’s history other than the fact that it is a numbers-matching example with a good, driver-quality restoration. The stock Zenith carburetors were also upgraded to Webers, giving the car an upgraded and more reliable driving experience.
When we received it on consignment in June of 2022, we had some servicing performed to get the car in proper running order. Autocar Bespoke, LLC in Philadelphia, PA, started things off with an exterior and brightwork detail before we entrusted Performance Automotive Inc. in Malvern, PA, in September of 2022 with a clutch service that included a clutch cable, clevis pin, and pivot pin. It returned to Performance Automotive Inc. in August of 2023 for a full transmission rebuild that included a clutch pedal shaft, synchro sleeve, synchro rings and teeth, gear teeth, differential bearings, and fresh fluids. They also addressed some fuel system issues that were rectified with a new fuel pressure regulator and a carburetor rebuild.
As it sits, this 1971 Porsche 911T is a numbers-matching, driver-level restored example that is ready for a new adventure. The optional Targa top makes this a perfect choice for any weather while adding a style choice that revolutionized the industry when it was released. Those looking for a classic, entry-level 911 to add to their collection or to kickstart their Porsche lineup would be pleased with what this one has to offer. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive the service records on file, the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, and the original spare wheel.
Body And Paint
This 911 T Targa is finished in an eye-catching Gold Metallic, the same color it left the factory with per the included COA. The paint throughout the car is smooth and consistent, with a nice shine and excellent color all around. There are minimal, if any, imperfections to be found, including on the hood and front bumper. The paint is truly fantastic throughout the car. The body is smooth and straight and presents no visible issues. Panel gaps and body fitment are good throughout the car, with tight and consistent lines. The hood could use a bit of adjustment, as the gap on the left side is a little out of line.
Glass And Trim
The glass throughout the car remains in fantastic condition. The side windows as well as the rear window, are all Sekurit branded pieces and the windshield is labeled Siegla. There is some very faint scratching on the tops of both the passenger and driver side windows that appears to be from normal use as the windows move up and down. The headlights are Bosch units with beautifully clear lenses and no pitting present. There is some very faint swirling on the chrome of the headlight buckets, but they present nicely with excellent shine. The fog lights are likewise crystal clear, with both having very nice chrome backing to them. The front turn signals and marker lights, as well as the rear turn signals, show no issues with the lenses and no cracking. There is some very light scuffing on the chrome of the bumper over-riders in the front of the car. Additionally, the chrome trim strips on the tops of the doors have some light scratches in them. The rest of the chrome and anodized trim throughout the car is in fantastic condition with some light scratching in high-use areas but overall it presents very nicely. The black rubber trim throughout the car shows good fitment and a supple nature. It does appear a bit dry in areas but a nice detailing could help this out. There is some slight scratches to the rubber sections of the bumper over-riders in the front of the car but nothing that takes away from the overall appearance of the car.
The wheels are all properly finished, five-spoke Fuch style wheels. The anodized faces are clean and tidy, and the painted backs are smooth and consistent with great color. All four wheels contain black painted lugs that show minimal marring.
Overall, the restoration of this 911 presents in very nice driver quality. There are a few small minor issues such as the fitment of the hood as well as some scratches in the rubber and the brightwork but otherwise, it presents very nicely.
Seats And Surfaces
Much like the exterior of the car, the interior is very nicely finished, and it was clear that great time and care were placed into the restoration. The black leatherette of the seats remains smooth and tight-fitting. The stuffing feels appropriate, and the basket weave inserts are in excellent condition. The driver-side bolster feels a little lumpy, but there is minimal to no wear on any of the seat surfaces. The door cards fit nicely and show no wear. The door pockets fit fairly well but could be a bit tighter. The dash top appears smooth and shows no fading or pulling. The gauges are all clean, clear, and easily legible. Some of the numbers show a slight bit of yellowing, but overall, they are in excellent shape. The steering wheel appears freshly wrapped and shows minimal wear. The underside of the Targa top remains tight and smooth, with just a tiny bit of bunching of the fabric at the edges. The rearview mirror shows a bit more wear than the rest of the interior, with some delamination around the edges. The backseats are relatively untouched and in like new condition. The carpets are all in excellent condition with great weave color and fitment.
Functionality And Accessories
Everything on the interior appears to function as it should. The doors open and close with their stereotypical Porsche ping. The windows roll up and down easily, and the wing windows open and close as they should. The horn, turn signals, and windshield wipers all function appropriately. The radio works as it should, although the volume knob is a little loose. The cigarette lighter even functions as it should. The gauges all appear to read their correct indications. The gear shifter moves easily through its range of motion, and the emergency brake holds the car firmly in place.
The engine bay appears highly correct and very clean, with a high level of attention to detail during the restoration process. Everything appears to have the correct plating and surface type. Correct clamps and bolts are all present, and the engine itself is in immaculate condition. The black plastic airbox on top of the engine appears in good order with nice fitment and solid plastic. The Weber carburetors show no signs of any issues and are clean and tidy. Correct stickers and stampings are present where they should be, and overall, the engine bay is in immaculate condition.
The front trunk is in similarly fantastic order. The three-piece carpets are the correct type, fit well, and snap into place as they should. The painted surfaces are smooth and tidy, and all the metal appears to be in fantastic order. There are no signs of any issues, past or present. The correct, beautifully finished spare is tucked in the clean and tidy wheel well, and the correct stampings are all in order. The heater box is clean and tidy and shows no signs of any issues. Most importantly, the hood struts hold the hood firmly in the air!
The underside of the car is also very nicely finished and shows factory-correct finishes throughout. Judging by the cleanliness, it appears that the car has seen minimal use since the restoration was completed, as there is minimal road dirt on the underside. Floors appear solid and show no signs of issues past or present.
During our brief testing, the engine appears to be a bit cold-blooded and takes a few extra rounds of cranking as well as some choke to get it to fire over. Once running, it settles into a smooth and melodic idle and sounds very healthy. Out on the road, it makes excellent and strong power. It pulls very nicely with no lag in power or flat spots.
The transmission and clutch systems were recently rebuilt and it appears that they still need a bit more drive time on them. There is some minor shutter at slow speeds but once moving the transmission shifts smoothly between gears with no issue and the clutch holds power as it should.
Brakes And Suspension
Both the brakes and the suspension show no issues. The brakes bring the car to a controlled stop with no pulling or noises to note. The suspension feels compliant and shows no odd road behavior or noises.
Vredestein Sprint Classic tires are fitted to all four corners, and all tires show nice supple sidewalls with plenty of tread life left in them.
Early air-cooled 911s have seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. There are few motoring experiences that compare to piloting an early 911 down a twisty backroad. Between the lightweight front end giving you a fantastic and light steering response to the raspy, wailing engine located behind you, it is truly one of the best visceral driving experiences one can have. The added value of being able to pop the targa top off and take in the sky above you makes this 1971 911T Targa all that more desirable. With its strong mechanicals and eye-catching colorway, this 911 will undoubtedly provide its next owner with unlimited enjoyment no matter where they go.
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