1966 Porsche 911: Timeless teardrop

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porsche 911 klockau
Thomas Klockau

The last few of my write-ups (or is it all of them?) have been various and sundry full-size domestic land yachts, especially heavy on Cadillacs. Well, what can I say? I love those cars. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like other stuff. It doesn’t necessarily have to have opera lamps and a Cayman-grain padded vinyl landau roof to catch my attention. Although my favorite Porsche of all is the 356, the early 911 is a close second.

Thomas Klockau

What can one say about the Porsche 911 that hasn’t been said already? For many, it’s been “the” Porsche. Though I enjoy these cars, thanks to my dad and his multiple 356s over the years, sometimes I get a little tired of the pervasiveness of 911s in Porsche books and literature.

Thomas Klockau

How so? Well, let me give you an example. I love car books. Especially coffee-table-style ones with lots of great big color pictures of showroom-condition cars to gawk at. When it comes to Porsche books, there tends to be bias toward the 911. Go to any book store if your town or city still has one. Pick a Porsche book out at random (if there is more than one). The first ten pages will be the introduction and the 356. Then approximately 92 percent of the book will be 911s. Perhaps eight pages on the 924/944/968/928. Maybe two on the Boxster. The end. Okay, I am exaggerating, but not by a whole lot.

John Klockau's 1960 Porsche 356B Roadster 1
My father’s 1960 356B Roadster. Thomas Klockau

I have always found this annoying. My favorite Porsche of all is the original one, the 356, especially the 356B and 356C models. My dad has owned a ’60 Roadster for 32 years. Back in the ’70s, he had a white ’65 356C coupe. I’ll stop in the local Books A Million and see a new Porsche book and get all excited, only to find 5 pages of the 105-page book are on the 356. Curses. But I digress, and I do sincerely appreciate the early 911s.

John Klockau's 1960 Porsche 356B Roadster 2
It was restored in its original color, Aetna Blue. Thomas Klockau
John Klockau's 1960 Porsche 356B Roadster 3
Thomas Klockau

Let’s face it. By 1965, the 356, although still attractive and fun to drive, was getting pretty long in the tooth. Produced from 1948 to 1965, approximately 76,000 coupes, cabriolets, Convertible Ds, Roadsters, and Speedsters were built. It was time for something fresh.

Thomas Klockau

New body, new engine. Two more cylinders than the 356! As with the Porsches of the past they would be fun. The owner of this slate blue example that I saw at a cruise night clearly is aware of that fact.

1966 Porsche 911 coupe 6
Thomas Klockau

I had previously seen this very car at an earlier show, back when it was held in Iowa City at the mall. It was, however, an overcast day and the photos weren’t quite photogenic enough for your author’s standards. He can be persnickety at times.

1966 Porsche 911 coupe 7
Thomas Klockau

But lo and behold, in July 2013, on the last Friday of the month, I drove westward from the Quad Cities to Coralville to attend the monthly cruise night, and there it was, looking especially fetching in a nonmetallic slate blue over black leather seats, with factory fog lamps. Zounds! Now that’s a Porsche!

1966 Porsche 911 coupe 8
Thomas Klockau

I was sure it was pre-1968, as it had that most excellent genuine wood trim on the instrument panel, and the 356-style gauges with the green numerals. At the time, I guessed it was a ’67.

1966 Porsche 911 coupe 9
Thomas Klockau

While researching the car long after these photos were taken, I noticed in the 1966 and 1967 Porsche brochures that the more free-flowing 911 logo as seen here last appeared in 1966.

1967 Porsche 911 brochure picture
Porsche

Starting in 1967, the emblem moved to immediately below the engine lid grille, in a more squared-off font, as seen here. So, ’66 it apparently is. That was still pretty early in the 911’s life, as it had been introduced in 1963 as a 1964 model. As most of you will know, it was initially called the 901, but Peugeot considered the 0 in any three-digit model number their trademark, so 901 was soon switched to 911.

1966 Porsche 911 coupe 10
Thomas Klockau

A 1966 Porsche 911 had a top speed of 131 mph. The flat-six air-cooled mill had 130 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. Were they fun to drive? Oh yes. As long as you didn’t inadvertently induce throttle-brake oversteer, which was a common behavior of the early 911s, though perhaps not so apparent as in the fire-breathing 1975 Turbo Carrera. That’s a story for another time, though.

1966 Porsche 911 coupe 11
Thomas Klockau

As mentioned, I was happy to see this car once again, on the edge of the car show and sitting all by its lonesome in July of 2013, which facilitated much better photography than the first time around the year prior. I haven’t seen it since. It appeared to be well-loved and regularly driven. And that’s what it’s all about.

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