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Classic Velocity Blog

Rallying Type 902

Classic Velocity

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There is perhaps no more celebrated racing sports car than the Porsche 911. Books have been written on its success, and more will probably be written as it continues to win. However, the little brother of the 911, the 912 or Type 902, enjoyed its own success early on. The 912 was the true marriage of the 356 and the new chassis designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. It placed a 356 Super 90 flat four into the new body, and was even affectionately referred to as a 356D. The 912 was introduced in April of 1965, trailing the 911 which was introduced in 1964. Despite this, the more reasonably priced 912 outsold the 911 each year from 1965 to 1968.

The 912 was also true to its Porsche roots by immediately appearing in sports car racing and rallying. This happened entirely in the hands of privateers as the factory support understandably concentrated on the 911. There was a fair amount of campaigning in Sweden with the 912 competing in Group 1 (Touring Cars). The Group 1 specifications at the time were pretty close to stock. The most notable success though came at the hands of Sobieslaw Zasada. He was Polish rally champion, and went on to campaign the 912 in the European championship in 1967. In that series he emerged as champion in the Group 1 class, gaining more points along the way than the more famous Group 3 winner Vic Elford in his 911. He also finished 2nd overall in the Czech Rally, and won the Polish Rally outright. 

It was said that the lower weight and altered front/rear balance of the 912 made it a preferable tool to the 911 in certain circumstances. The 912 was discontinued in 1969 in favor of the 914, but made a comeback in 1976 as the 912E.

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