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I’ve long said that an air cooled 911 is
- a car designed in the 60s
- built using 50s techniques
- sold in the 80s

Compared to an in-line 4, a 911 engine requires a massive amount of machining and assembly

Later in the 80s one of the main efforts of their work with the Toyota guru was to find ways to reduce the number of components in any assembly, including mirrors, and then extending their reach into recaro to help that company do the same with seats

I’ll bet that while work flows were one area, materials were another

A 73 T had steel cylinders while the more expensive S got aluminium cylinders
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Last edited by wayner; 03-20-2019 at 06:34 AM..
Old 03-20-2019, 06:30 AM
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[QUOTE=wayner;10397681]I’ve long said that an air cooled 911 is
- a car designed in the 60s
- built using 50s techniques
- sold in the 80s

kinda like the pelican forum software.... so it all works lol
Old 03-20-2019, 07:05 AM
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Just look at how many aircool Porsche still exist. Look at the condition of many of the parts on the car. The leather, carpets and components have stood the test of time. Many parts were over engineered. Being that most were built by hand didn’t help cost either. Today’s cars would be lucky to look good after 30-40 years of usage. Plastic headlights look like shyte after only a few years on many cars. Interior pieces lose their paint, leather thins and fades and components prematurely wear out. Motors seem to last longer, no thanks to all the computer hardware and sensors that are used but once destroyed most are not rebuildable....just throwaways. In most modern cars, what looks like glass is plastic, what looks like metal is plastic and what looks like leather is vinyl. Example: Old school Porsche’s had gauges with actual glass and metal around it. Take a gauge apart, you will realize why they were expensive.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertmark View Post
Simple answer, Porsches are not something for everyone, they're everything for someone!
Great quote Robert!
Old 03-20-2019, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by speednme1 View Post
Just look at how many aircool Porsche still exist. Look at the condition of many of the parts on the car. The leather, carpets and components have stood the test of time. Many parts were over engineered. Being that most were built by hand didn’t help cost either. Today’s cars would be lucky to look good after 30-40 years of usage. Plastic headlights look like shyte after only a few years on many cars. Interior pieces lose their paint, leather thins and fades and components prematurely wear out. Motors seem to last longer, no thanks to all the computer hardware and sensors that are used but once destroyed most are not rebuildable....just throwaways. In most modern cars, what looks like glass is plastic, what looks like metal is plastic and what looks like leather is vinyl. Example: Old school Porsche’s had gauges with actual glass and metal around it. Take a gauge apart, you will realize why they were expensive.

other than the gauges ).....what part of the car was "over engineered" ?
Old 03-20-2019, 07:32 AM
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The entire engine

Witch is why the 996 got a new cheaper design while the race cars and GT2s still got the old metzger design

Btw essentially the early 911 s was a hopped up T

When they came out with that T designation it’s was a cheapened standard model and the standard model was named the S

The Ts less efficient steel cylinder cooling fins versus the S aluminum ones are a good example
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JMS935 View Post
Great quote Robert!
I know. I wish I thought of it, but it was in a Porsche ad I read a long time ago.
Old 03-20-2019, 08:48 AM
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ok yes aspects of the gt2 could be said were over engineered

of course my mind is open but the conventional 911 of the era were not over-engineered or at least i dont see how they were....

not the seats not the headliner not the gearbox not the engine not the brakes ect

as was established above, the initial cost of the vehicle was not based on the materials utilized

wanna see why an 80s benz cost so much brand new in 1985 ?
cut a front seat open - you will see reinforced steel that will hold up in event of a rear end collision
THAT my friend is over engineering

granted Porsche had a different design criteria but over-engineered i dont see it

dont get me wrong love the 911, great car, but this aint no 80s benz we are talking about
Old 03-20-2019, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdp View Post
inefficiencies combined with economy of scale etc
safe to say the initial cost of the vehicles back in the day was based more on multiple economic factors rather then intrinsic
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Originally Posted by wayner View Post
I’ve long said that an air cooled 911 is
- a car designed in the 60s
- built using 50s techniques
- sold in the 80s
Interesting discussion and Wayner..... clever.

Efficiency is an offset of cost. It might be inefficient from the perspective of labor utilization but still provides the best overall manufacturing cost. This is a simple sentence with a lot of implications as it does not include measurements of time-frame, quality and risk of return.

It is funny, there are those that think hand-made equals better quality or more expensive. In certain situations it does not. The Capex of a modern manufacturing platform can be staggering with the required unit through put much higher than a low volume seller such as a 911 can support. As far as quality, modern robotic equipment's workmanship is very precise with a remarkable consistency.

It is unfortunate when to reduce cost many times it comes at the cost of materials (steel vs aluminum) which ultimately undermines capability.

Mercedes as fxdp stated radically changed build quality for lower cost, higher profitability, and greater market share. They wanted to maximize brand leverage.
Old 03-20-2019, 11:29 AM
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ok yes aspects of the gt2 could be said were over engineered

of course my mind is open but the conventional 911 of the era were not over-engineered or at least i dont see how they were....

not the seats not the headliner not the gearbox not the engine not the brakes ect

as was established above, the initial cost of the vehicle was not based on the materials utilized

wanna see why an 80s benz cost so much brand new in 1985 ?
cut a front seat open - you will see reinforced steel that will hold up in event of a rear end collision
THAT my friend is over engineering

granted Porsche had a different design criteria but over-engineered i dont see it

dont get me wrong love the 911, great car, but this aint no 80s benz we are talking about
The gearboxes rule of thumb in the early cars was that they could handle double the hp


And Porsche was an engineering company at heart, not an interior company
You won’t find their strengths there
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:13 PM
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[QUOTE=wayner;10398201]The gearboxes rule of thumb in the early cars was that they could handle double the hp

relating to the 901 gearcase some knowledgeable people may disagree with that rule of thumb...moving on

question - why did 911s cost so much brand new ?

its been asserted by seemingly knowledgeable people on this thread that the initial cost of the vehicles were related more to various economic factors.

now maybe you disagree with that assertion and believe that back in the day they were expensive because they were "over-engineered"

simply put, i don't believe the answer is, because they were over-engineered
Old 03-20-2019, 01:02 PM
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[QUOTE=fxdp;10397741]other than the gauges ).....what part of the car was "over engineered" ?[/QUOTE

Headlights, switches, 78+ 930 brakes, automatic heating systems etc..etc.. sounds like you have never taken one apart.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:40 PM
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well engineered vs durability..... Ferrari's were well engineered w/ dreadful durability.

Porsche's were both well engineered and had excellent durability...... there was a famous quote about this and racing.... I will find it.

Last edited by Macroni; 03-20-2019 at 01:49 PM..
Old 03-20-2019, 01:46 PM
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Compare VW and 944 parts, some of which are otherwise interchangeable but with different part numbers ( reflecting a different stronger part)
When I went to replace 944 CV joints a long time ago, noticed that PET listed 3 different part #'s for the bolts. Recognizable with a little research as VW, Audi and Porsche part #'s.

They weren't different bolts; just 3 different prices for the same item, based on which part # you asked for/dealer you went to; dollar & change, 2 dollars and change or 3 dollars and change. Each.

That adds up pretty quick. Guys at the VW dealer seemed quite taken with the 944 too...
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdp View Post
relating to the 901 gearcase some knowledgeable people may disagree with that rule of thumb...moving on

question - why did 911s cost so much brand new ?

its been asserted by seemingly knowledgeable people on this thread that the initial cost of the vehicles were related more to various economic factors.

now maybe you disagree with that assertion and believe that back in the day they were expensive because they were "over-engineered"

simply put, i don't believe the answer is, because they were over-engineered
901's can handle the horsepower of the day. hell, i run close to 300 HP thru the type 911 in my 914, and it does fine as long as i mind 1st gear.

have you ever pulled one of these cars apart? any experience working on them?

they were expensive. and they were over engineered in many respects (certainly not the electrical).

curious as to your angle here...
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:35 PM
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with respect to the 930s as i have eluded to, yes aspects of the 930 turbo could be said were over-engineered along with some aspects of the gt2 no question

but headlight switches ?
THATS what your going with ? lol
ok lets start a list of all the over engineered parts that made a conventional 911 so expensive

ok so far we have gauges (they really are awesome)
headlight switches
the "legendary" 901 gearbox
heating system << thats a funny one
Old 03-20-2019, 04:39 PM
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dude. do have any experience with the 911? is your intent just to come on here and shlt all over it without any practical knowledge?

i don't get it.

if you don't see the value, don't buy one. pretty simple.

plenty of folks here do, and there is a reason for that...
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:03 PM
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Some excellent, valid points made in this thread about build and materials quality, assembly process, etc., but I still think that Porsche has always charged inflated prices for their machines and parts simply because they can.

Take current parts pricing for example; ancient technology, breaker point relays that are Porsche branded are now made in some shiit shop in China - well documented, horrible build quality with high failure rates, probably costs Porsche next to nothing to have them made where and how they do, and yet they charge about $50.00 for them (the round, red version used for many purposes on the entire aircooled run of cars). In contrast, Panisonic makes an equivalent, modern, solid state, high quality relay, and as Spuggy found, they can be purchased for about $5.00 each online.

That is known as charging a ridiculous price, because they can, even when the quality of the item is garbage.

PS - the headlight switches are an example of engineered stupidity - pass the entire amperage drawn by the headlights through one wimpy switch, really?!?!
Old 03-20-2019, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
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i could understand the resistance to assembly line manufacturing based on the simplicity of the 911 - i cant think of an easier car to put together
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other than the gauges ).....what part of the car was "over engineered" ?
Just because something is easy to understand, doesn’t at all mean it is easy to put together on an assembly line.

“Over-engineered” is a meaningless term. You are using it as if the goal of engineering is to make something complicated. Actually a well engineered design should include the ease of reliable and efficient assembly. Lots of parts on these cars are designed to function well but building them on an assembly line must have been an absolute pain in the a$$. In this respect, they are certainly not “over-engineered”, but not engineered well at all!!

I bet I could assemble a dozen small block chevys in the time it takes to build a 911 engine. I recently rebuilt a 964 hvac system, it is a monstrosity. Easily a hundred parts in it. The electric seat motors and switches are “simple”, but there sure are a lot of parts in there. The fuse panel on a 964 is another “simple” part that has about 200 parts in it. It goes on and on.

The labor on these cars must have been astronomical.
Old 03-20-2019, 05:43 PM
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no angle, just a legit question -
and in return ive gotten some very insightful interesting replies for which im grateful
i think its an interesting topic

if you think the car was over engineered and thats why it was so expensive back in the day then so be it im not here to convince you otherwise but at the same token if that's how you feel im not obligated to agree....

quite on the contrary, i can point out cars that i have experience with that were in fact over engineered
Old 03-20-2019, 05:50 PM
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