Interesting less-than-glowing review of a passel of ’74 911s

To be fair, the review is by a professional stock car driver (Bobby Allison) — but it is nevertheless revelatory reading these less-than-glowing remarks about any 911 when, in this day and age, reviewers up and down the automotive food chain almost uniformly sound like they’re beholden to Porsche.

Some choice bits:

…At low speeds, city traffic and brisk marches through winding lanes, a 911 is supremely agile. The steering is quick and the car instantly changes direction with only the lightest touch. It feels for all the world like a civilized formula racer and gives great plea­sure. But the Porsche’s personality changes drastically as you approach its limit. Then the tail swings heavily, and the car responds to an unpracticed and unsubtle touch with a vengeance. Moderate street drivers never learn of this; the venturesome ultimately will find out…

…we found no cir­cumstance in which any of the 911s fit our, or Allison’s, definition of neutral. In skid-pad testing, they all understeered heavily when under power. And if we lift­ed abruptly without correcting the steer­ing, they all spun in little more than the length of the car. It was like having a choice of power-on understeer, lift-throt­tle oversteer and nothing in between…

…When you get used to a Porsche, you can make it do some pretty amazing things. But the idea of evading emergency situations by ap­plying power is so unnatural for most drivers that it is unreasonable in a car intended for street use…

Some photos:

And here’s the period review (conducted at Pocono Raceway) from 1974:

1974 Porsche 911 vs. 911S Targa, 911S Carrera

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~ by motoringconbrio on December 10, 2013.

5 Responses to “Interesting less-than-glowing review of a passel of ’74 911s”

  1. Doesn’t it just make you want one even more?
    “When you get used to a Porsche, you can make it do some pretty amazing things”

  2. Or as they say in the internet these days, “Challenge accepted”?

  3. Bobby Allison is the guy whose 1987 crash is credited with bringing restrictor plates to Talladega and Daytona. Carl Edwards had a similar, yet less severe, “airborne into the fence” accident in 2009, and Allison called him a pussy for it. To be fair, Carl Edwards is kind of a pussy.

    I have mixed feeling about the way a 911 handles. I should get behind the wheel of more of them so I can form a more complete opinion. Anybody want to volunteer their car?

  4. Nothing in the sentences deviates from what anyone else has said about a 911 since it’s inception. Even ‘lowly’ 4 cylinder 912s did it. These are not fast cars (pre 964)….and all these things are part of their charm. It’s a timeless design, and an enthusiastic car to drive and the fact that it has never deviated from that design element is why it’s so often praised and why values on older models have gone through the roof in recent years.

  5. Thankyou.

    Reading a lot of the reviews and features about them today you’d be forgiven if you believed they were the only sports car of note from the late 60s/early 70s through to the tail end of the 80s.

    I love a good 911. The noise they make is utterly unique, they’re a truly timeless design and they have some serious motorsport mettle.

    However, there are many cars from the era that can also lay claim to the same feats. There are even more if you forgo one or two of those traits, but replace them with ones the 911 lacks.

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