Notices
911 Forum
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by: Intercity Lines, LLC

The case for the early Middies-'74 & '75's

 
Old 12-02-2017, 03:22 PM
  #1  
Kurzheck
User
Thread Starter
 
Kurzheck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: San Marcos, CA
Posts: 138
Default The case for the early Middies-'74 & '75's

I'd like to point out some observations as a early '74 911 Coupe owner that I find curious and points to the unusual "contradictions" in air cooled 911 perceptions.


For a very long time, the "middies" were a much maligned model in the 911 timeline. While some of the observations are indeed justified, there are some things I find very odd when people discuss it's weak points, weak points that are shared in other more lauded variations of the air cooled 911's.


Typically the first weak point mentioned are the head studs. And while it is true that the middies suffered from this, it seems in my research that it seemed to happen more to the '76-'77's due to the excessive heat from the smog solutions that Porsche implemented. There are of course '74 and '75's that have had broken/pulled studs, but just about all middie's have had their head studs addressed at this stage today. SC's have had their share of stud issues as well, but they seemed to have gotten more of a pass on this malady then the middies, albeit the examples of this happening on SC's seem to be on smaller scale. I have spoken to some reputable Porsche specialists that have seen head stud failure, albeit very few, on 3.2's. So it isn't like the stud issue was confined to the just the middie's.

One of the contributing factors to the middie stud issues was the fact that they had magnesium cases. While my car had a complete top to bottom rebuild done by Dave at TRE just a few years ago, I still get leaks. Dave has written an article on his website about how it is not uncommon for freshly rebuilt mag motors to still end up having leaks soon after. This has been a malady pointed out by some who condemn the middie's compared to others, but the '69-'73 long hoods also had mag cases and had their share of leaks. I read Magnus Walker's biography that he wrote earlier this year and he talked about how his long hoods, especially 277, leaked like sieves. But the long hoods don't suffer in reputation largely due to their values now and they don't get driven as much anymore by their owners because of said increased values. Same case material as the middie's, but the perception is not the same. Just one of those things until one day, should the middie's rise in price dramatically one day, the middie perception will change and it will be considered a "quirk".

Chain tensioners are another issue, but of course SC's have had the same malady. No biggie, swap them out for the Carrera's and good to go.

Pre-galvenized bodies are only an issue in inclimate weather conditions. Again, this has never stopped someone from buying pre-middie's.

CIS system. Again, the SC's had them. As long as your tech that you use understands the system, they are actually quite solid.


As a early '74 owner, I will be the first to admit that this thread is biased and self serving, but I have tried to remain as objective as possible. The '74 and '75's are the most desirable of the middie's since smogging is not an issue, and as a result these have been used as hot rods. This has greatly contributed to the lack of original, good condition examples from those years. The middie's had the shortest productions runs among the air cooled 911's along with the SWB's and had similar production run numbers per annum as any long hood (I think). I have no empirical evidence of this, but I suspect that there far fewer original, numbers matching, solid examples of '74's and '75's out there than even long hoods. Certainly less than SC's and Carrera's, as they were produced in far greater numbers and are easier to find.


I have driven my share of long hoods, and the '74's in particular retain that light nimble feel that the long hoods posses, only with more power. They feel lighter than the SC's, as they don't have the smog equipment and added weight. Aesthetically, the '74's have the smaller bumperette's and look closer to what came before it than what came after. My car is actually a ROW car in that it does not have the impact struts in the bumpers, so there is a weight savings in addition to mine having no AC, no sunroof and no stereo.


Will the pre smog middie's rise to the heights of the long hoods and SWB's in the minds of Porsche-philes? Some will say that's doubtful, and who knows. They certainly aren't the ones mentioned by some who are asked "which one to buy" at this moment, as the SC's and Carrera's are usually talked about as the "next mover". But if you consider the points I have mentioned, a case can be made that the early middie's are worth considering, especially the '74's as they are unique in relation to their brethren.


Just my less than 2 cents and I'm sure I will have my comments have holes shot through them by others, so have at it.
Kurzheck is offline  
Old 12-02-2017, 04:14 PM
  #2  
Jonathon Rolstin
User
 
Jonathon Rolstin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,170
Default

Hey nice write up! As a new member of the middie family I 2nd everything you just said. Looking forward to enjoying mine this summer!!!

Jonathon Rolstin is offline  
Old 12-02-2017, 10:10 PM
  #3  
r911
CIS Hater
 
r911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,125
Default

thermal reactors are the big problem as the giant, heavy, fugly bumpers can be dealt with

my (former) '75 never had thermal reactors, but IIRC, some '75s did

AFAIK, all the '74s are safe
r911 is offline  
Old 12-03-2017, 10:19 AM
  #4  
theiceman
Super User
 
theiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cambridge Ontario Canada
Posts: 22,735
Default

Sounds like a bit of a defensive rant actually. Not sure why you came in here in such a defensive position but I will comment on a few of the things you have said
The reason the middie gets a bad rap is because it tends to have all the collective failures of the other cars
Studs AND leaking AND corrosion AND mag case
But enough of that as I don’t want to start a war, we are brothers in arms but just wanted to say you cherry picked your arguments.
The biggest detractor to the middie is the studs/ case issue . Not all stud issues are created equal sc / Carrera studs are a simple breakage problem, a decent home mechanic can replace them easily with the right knowledge
Middie studs “pull” which is an altogether different issue which means case repair and possibly even line boring. This can be an an expensive proposition which until the recent climb in prices of the cars made it untenable for most.
I would buy a middie. But I would make sure there was documentation of case repair, and my ppi would include taking it To have the body thoroughly checked for rust. The rest I wouldn’t sweat.

Last edited by theiceman; 12-03-2017 at 12:36 PM.
theiceman is offline  
Old 12-03-2017, 01:20 PM
  #5  
74 911s
User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 32
Default

Seeing a lot of middie love lately, and I'm OK with that. In the words of Kate Moss "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" Check out this one.


74 911s is offline  
Old 12-03-2017, 01:20 PM
  #6  
rick brooklyn
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,330
Default

Originally Posted by Kurzheck View Post
But if you consider the points I have mentioned, a case can be made that the early middie's are worth considering, especially the '74's as they are unique in relation to their brethren.
Plurals are never written with an apostrophe, other than that you're 100% correct.

Middies have already come a long way though, most people have realized what a lovely little engine the 2.7 is and how classy and understated the narrow body is and how beautiful the chrome trim. You hear fewer and fewer people crapping on them, and when you do it's usually the same people who crap on the 996 headlights and who say turbo engines are rubbish.
rick brooklyn is offline  
Old 12-03-2017, 02:09 PM
  #7  
Amber Gramps
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
Amber Gramps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Alta Loma Alone
Posts: 37,777
Default


Imagine owning a near RSR spec cabriolet. I get zh!t all the time on here. Even my local friends gave me a hard time until I took them for a drive.....then it's OMFG!!!!!!!

IF I had it to do over I'd put my 3,2L and every other go-fast bolt on in my car into a '74 and die a happy man.
Amber Gramps is offline  
Old 12-04-2017, 09:40 AM
  #8  
theiceman
Super User
 
theiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cambridge Ontario Canada
Posts: 22,735
Default

Originally Posted by rick brooklyn
Plurals are never written with an apostrophe, other than that you're 100% correct.

Middies have already come a long way though, most people have realized what a lovely little engine the 2.7 is and how classy and understated the narrow body is and how beautiful the chrome trim. You hear fewer and fewer people crapping on them, and when you do it's usually the same people who crap on the 996 headlights and who say turbo engines are rubbish.
Well you have to admit .,, those 996 headlights are kinda crappy 😉
theiceman is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 07:25 AM
  #9  
rick brooklyn
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,330
Default

Originally Posted by theiceman View Post
Well you have to admit .,, those 996 headlights are kinda crappy 😉
I don't think they are... Different, yes, and a break with tradition, but in my view they have aged incredibly well, like the rest of the car. I think the 996 design was so controversial because it was 15 years ahead of its time.
rick brooklyn is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 09:03 AM
  #10  
theiceman
Super User
 
theiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cambridge Ontario Canada
Posts: 22,735
Default

Maybe it’s just Canadian ones that look crappy then. Due to our DRL law. They are all burned out, yellow and melted.
theiceman is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 03:47 PM
  #11  
r911
CIS Hater
 
r911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,125
Default

the 996 headlight design was so controversial because it was intro'd on the Boxster ahead of the 996 - it won design awards if that is any consolation
r911 is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:58 PM
  #12  
GTgears
Super User
 
GTgears's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 5,059
Default

Originally Posted by r911 View Post
the 996 headlight design was so controversial because it was intro'd on the Boxster ahead of the 996 - it won design awards if that is any consolation
this. And it was water cooled which made purists look for anything they could attack.
GTgears is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:59 PM
  #13  
GTgears
Super User
 
GTgears's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 5,059
Default

Originally Posted by Jonathon Rolstin View Post
Hey nice write up! As a new member of the middie family I 2nd everything you just said. Looking forward to enjoying mine this summer!!!

I just bought a 75 targa I’m going to paint that green and park next to my gulf blue 74 coupe.
GTgears is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 05:22 PM
  #14  
theiceman
Super User
 
theiceman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cambridge Ontario Canada
Posts: 22,735
Default

Originally Posted by r911 View Post
the 996 headlight design was so controversial because it was intro'd on the Boxster ahead of the 996 - it won design awards if that is any consolation
yeah sometimes you gotta wonder who is handing out these awards .... form over function I would say

theiceman is offline  
Old 12-05-2017, 05:58 PM
  #15  
TexasPorschelover
Addict
Rennlist Member
 
TexasPorschelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 821
Default

I'm enjoying my "middie" 1976 with an 82 SC 3.0!

TexasPorschelover is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: The case for the early Middies-'74 & '75's


Contact Us - About Us - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: