The first of countless upgrades to Porsche's long-running and much loved 911 sports car came in 1966, two years after production had commenced, with the introduction of the 911S. Easily distinguishable by its stylish Fuchs five-spoked alloy wheels, the 'S' featured a heavily revised engine producing 160bhp. Improved handling courtesy of a lengthened wheelbase arrived in 1969. By this time the models on offer had stabilised at three: the 911T, 911E, and 911S, all of which were available as either a closed coupé or Targa convertible. First seen in 2.0-litre guise in 1969, the 911E was positioned between the entry level 'T' and top-of-the-range 'S' models.
Back in 1968, Porsche had introduced what it termed an 'automatic' transmission - the Sportomatic - though it had no fully automatic setting. Sportomatic employed a conventional torque converter coupled to a vacuum-operated single-disc dry clutch ahead of the modified 911 four-speed gearbox. When the gear lever was moved, the clutch would disengage, re-engaging as soon as the driver's hand was removed. As larger, more flexible engines were introduced, the Sportomatic became a three-speeder and in this form lasted through 1980. The concept of an 'automatic' 911 then lay dormant for some ten years before Tiptronic arrived in 1990.
One of only 52 of its type sold new in the UK, this right-hand drive Porsche 911E has the optional Sportomatic transmission. The car is finished in its original combination of maroon paintwork with beige leatherette interior, while other noteworthy features of this example include a factory electric sunroof and electric windows. It benefits from £90,000 spent on restoration works in 2013, which included rebuilds of the engine and gearbox. Related invoices and photographs are on file and the car also comes with four files of history, a dating certificate, a V5C registration document, and the fully stamped service booklet.