“Judging by the car you have just chosen, you are a motorist of a special caste . . . ”
Thus, reads the closing page of the owner’s manuals accompanying the earliest Porsche 911s. The new six-cylinder coupe was something of a hard sell when it reached American shores in 1965 due to its retail price, so Porsche resorted to a bit of ego-stroking to close the deal. Eventually the Porsche community warmed to this very impressive piece of German engineering, borne out by the fact that the 911 in its various forms has been with us for well over half a century . . . and is immediately recognizable by anyone with the barest knowledge of fine sports cars.
Porsche produced a mere 1,709 short-wheelbase 911 coupes for the 1966 model year; this example is among the first 100 in that group, known as the “O” series. It rolled off the assembly line 14 January 1966, painted Polo Red (6602) trimmed in Black leatherette, a popular combination in that era, and still today. A tinted windshield and rear glass were the only options requested by its first owner, a resident of Dothan, Alabama.
When the car was three years old, it was sold to an Eastern Airlines pilot from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and in 1980 it passed into the hands of Leonard Cummings of Marion, North Carolina. Eventually Mr. Cummings relocated to suburban Charlotte and around 1990, the car, still in very original condition and bearing a 1989 registration, was parked in a shed near Gastonia. The Porsche was acquired by the current owners three years ago, after nearly three decades of storage. The car was then taken back to their shop where, with fresh gas and an oil change, the 911 fired right up.
The new owners then decided to give this ’65 Porsche a full, bare-metal lacquer repaint after dealing with some surface concerns, though no evidence of prior body damage or repair was found. The car was completely disassembled and then thoroughly rebuilt using all its own original parts, aside from new seals around the windshield and rear glass. The interior was found to be in near-perfect original condition and was left as-is. It is not believed that the engine has ever been apart, and the consignor notes that it is otherwise dry, tight, and runs extremely well. Even the paint on the air cleaner can is nearly perfect. The original transmission received some new synchronizers.
After restoration, the car was presented at the Atlanta Concours in October 2017, where it won its class. The plan was to trailer the Porsche back to North Carolina with several other cars that were being shown, but when a customer’s 550 Spyder developed mechanical issues on the road, the 911 was offloaded to make room for the Spyder. Without skipping a beat, red coupe enjoyed a fast and trouble-free drive all the way back to the Carolinas.
With its fresh repaint and all-original interior, this outstanding, numbers-matching two-liter 911 presents beautifully throughout. It is supplied with a correct spare, jack, and tool roll, along with invoices relating to its recent paint and mechanical work. It is ready to provide its next fortunate owner many more hours of driving enjoyment.