Car of the Week: This 1965 Porsche 911 Underwent an Epic Two-Year Restoration. Now It Could Be Yours.

The evergreen Porsche 911—first on sale in the fall of 1964 and which turns 60 years old this year—is more popular today than ever before. Ample examples of every 911 generation, along with other Porsche road and race models, will be offered at Broad Arrow Auctions’ all-Porsche sale in partnership with Air|Water and Luftgekühlt at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Calif., on April 27.

One standout among the 50 Porsches and more than 40 pieces of automobilia is an early 911 that merits close attention. Yet it’s not a click-bait 918 Spyder or limited-production 911 GT, rather, its the patriarch of the model line. In fact, if it weren’t for examples like this 1965 Porsche 911, none of us would be driving his or her GT3, or whatever flavor of unobtanium 911 is being sold for over MSRP at opportunistic Porsche Centers (Porsche-speak for dealers) today.

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A 1965 Porsche 911 in Bali Blue.
The 1965 Porsche 911, presented in Bali Blue, being offered through Broad Arrow Auctions.

As for backstory, the Porsche 901 was developed as a successor to the lovable 356, which ended its run in 1965. Unveiled at the Frankfurt International Motor Show on September 12, 1963, the six-cylinder upstart came to market a year later. Peugeot (who?) argued that the zero in the model name infringed on the French carmaker’s copyright, and Porsche simply changed the numeral 0 to a 1. A star was born.

This specific 911 on offer was delivered new through Parisian Porsche dealer Sonauto to U.S. Army Col. John Price, based in Orléans, France. It was built to U.S. specification, allowing its new owner to bring it stateside. Early 911s—cars produced during 1964 and 1965—are rare, as few intact examples have survived.

The original interior of a 1965 Porsche 911.
The interior of chassis No. 301450 exudes an irreplaceable patina, enhanced by the original (and untouched) wood-paneled dashboard and wood-rimmed steering wheel.

When Porsche was just starting out, color was not the Paint-to-Sample festival it is today. This car, chassis No. 301450, was delivered not in ho-hum white, but in striking Bali Blue with a black leather interior. Notable is that the vehicle retains its matching engine, No. 901615, and was optioned with a gas Webasto heater, a loudspeaker, and an antenna. Evidently, Col. Price was a big spender and a careful custodian. Bringing his 911 to the U.S. in December of 1965, first to Kansas and later to Colorado, he kept his car until 2012, when it was acquired by the consignor, a Southern California–based Porsche collector.

The original (though rebuilt) flat-six engine inside a 1965 Porsche 911.
The car retains the 2.0-liter flat-six engine it was given at the factory, though the mill has been rebuilt.

It then received a no-expense-spared restoration by noted restorer and Porsche Cars of America (PCA) judge Tom Drummond. The two-year job included bodywork and a bare-metal respray in the original color, while the matching-numbers 2.0-liter engine and five-speed transmission were rebuilt by Precision Motion of Colton, Calif. The term “sympathetic restoration” is often used, but in the case of this important Porsche, the philosophy was thoughtfully embraced. The original interior has been kept, baggy seats and all. It exudes an irreplaceable patina, enhanced by the original (and untouched) wood-paneled dashboard and wood-rimmed steering wheel, along with the classic Blaupunkt radio in the dash.

A 1965 Porsche 911 in Bali Blue.
This early Porsche 911 has a provenance that includes only two owners since new.

Original badges have also been preserved, and even small elements such as the red washers on the vent-window hinges remain. Also included are the original owner’s manual, service book, dealer directory, and a copy of the car’s factory Kardex warranty card. Such attention to detail and diligent stewardship contribute to the vehicle’s high-end estimate of $260,000.

Click here for more photos of this 1965 Porsche 911 in Bali Blue.

A 1965 Porsche 911 in Bali Blue.
A 1965 Porsche 911 in Bali Blue.

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