Magenta Carrera

This G-Series 911 is one of the most significant cars to be produced in 1974.

Photo: Magenta Carrera 1
March 7, 2024

Bring up all-time-great 911s in a conversation with enthusiasts, and the 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS will inevitably be mentioned. Such discussions typically note that the 2.7 RS began the 911 RS lineage. That lineage has culminated in what some consider the zenith of the 911’s storied 60-year history. However, amidst this enthusiasm, another vintage Carrera model deserving of admiration exists, one that possesses comparable driving exhilaration yet trades hands for a fraction of the ’73 RS’s considerable value. I’m talking about the 1974 911 Carrera 2.7.

Several months before my encounter with the ’74 Carrera you see here, I had not even known it existed, as there are not many of them in my native South Africa. My interest was piqued during a rendezvous with a collector who showed me snapshots of this machine captured while they met with friends in Johannesburg.

Initially, my reaction teetered toward disdain—how could someone possibly spray their 911 in such a conspicuous pink hue?! Yet, some research revealed that this vibrant shade was indeed the car’s factory original color. A series of phone calls ensued, culminating in a scheduled encounter with the custodian of this gem. It turned out to be one of the most interesting 911 stories I have encountered in several years.

Photo: Magenta Carrera 2


“I was always a Ferrari fanatic,” explains Eddie Assad, this Carrera’s owner. “I really, really wanted a 246 Dino GTS.” After he graduated from University in South Africa, he and a friend sailed to London in 1974. Shortly after arriving in England, they visited the Ferrari importer, but there was no Dino in sight. Later, he asked the importer to try to source a second-hand example, but there was still no success. However, Ferrari called him and invited him to drive the then-new 308.

“I didn’t like it,” was the verdict. Subsequently, he drove all the other mid-engined Italian supercars available then: the Lamborghini Urraco, Maserati Merak, and DeTomaso Pantera. “I didn’t like any of them, and then a friend said I should try a Porsche,” continues Assad. “I told him that I was not really a Porsche fan. Eventually, my friend convinced me to test-drive one. It was a bright green Carrera 2.7 that had been featured in several publications at the time—and we could not believe a car could go like that!”

He couldn’t quite afford it, but Porsche eventually returned to Assad, saying they had found a car for him, and it cost only slightly more than he was prepared to pay. He was glad he had found a ’74 Carrera 2.7 within financial reach and assumed the color would be white.

Photo: Magenta Carrera 3

“I was told that the car is on its way and that it is actually a ‘special color’ called Magenta,” recalls Assad. As a youngster, I didn’t know what color Magenta was, so I asked the salesman. There was silence on the other side of the line, and then he said, ‘It is a sort of pink.’”

Not convinced about the color, Porsche eventually made a deal with him that when he left the UK, he could drive the car to Germany, where they would strip and respray it in his chosen color at a reasonable price. He bought the car. He was also informed that the Porsche was used for the 1974 Earl’s Court Motor Show and another event in Manchester shortly before he took delivery of the car.

“I eventually grew to like the Carrera, and it became an entertaining car to drive,” he says of the unique paint today. As market prices of these early cars have proved, quirky elements often add to the value of classic cars today. Even so, in 2024, 1974-1975 911 Carreras sell for $35,000-$85,000. A Euro-spec MFI version sells for even more. While these cars aren’t cheap, they are much more affordable than the six or seven figures a 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 costs.

Photo: Magenta Carrera 4

Of the current 62,000 miles on our feature car’s odometer, just over 22,000 miles were done during the time Assad owned the car in the United Kingdom.

“We would drive to tracks such as Snetterton, Silverstone, and Brands Hatch to watch racing,” he says. “The car also took us down to Le Mans, and then, we actually ended up on the track, as the officials hadn’t closed it off yet! The number of street racers this car lured was truly amazing in the UK and also when I returned to South Africa. At every traffic light, the guys wanted to have a go.”

When Assad returned to South Africa, it was his and his wife’s only car. This meant that when a new double-bed mattress needed to be bought, this Carrera was the car of choice, and the mattress was put on the roof and taken home! Shortly after that, he was offered nearly double what he had paid for the car after he had shipped it to Johannesburg. As he had just finished his studies, he considered taking up the offer, as he actually didn’t have money for tires at that time, and the cords were starting to show. He decided against a possible sale, only to be given an even better offer a year later by a different buyer—again, he refused.

Photo: Magenta Carrera 5

Around 30 years ago, the car was resprayed, and fortunately, its owner decided to keep it its original color. The poster for the 1974 Earl’s Court Motor Show illustrates that the main theme color was none other than the Magenta hue seen on this car. After all these years, you have to applaud the owner for keeping the car in its original state and color. Although today it is almost a non-negotiable to keep a car in its original color, several years ago, it would have been totally acceptable to change it.

The Drive

The mundane colors of the rural landscape surrounding Johannesburg make the vibrant Carrera stand out even more. Still, as the traffic clears, my attention is taken away from the car’s color and turns to the driving experience.

Even from below 4,000 rpm, there is a lightness to the way the engine picks up speed, but it is the last 3,000 rpm where you want to keep the rev needle. Pass 4,000 rpm, and there is no hesitation to rev even quicker. As the needle passes 5,000 rpm, it swings faster past 6,000 rpm to just over 7,000 rpm. I shift to third gear, and although you have to take your time with the five-speed Type 915 gearbox, it focuses your mind on how free-revving the engine is as the revs drop off.

Photo: Magenta Carrera 6

Although much has been written about the inaccurate shift qualities of the Type 915 gearbox, this one is one of the better ones I’ve experienced. Sometimes, you still have to shift into second gear and up into first gear for a smoother first gear engagement from a standstill, but despite this, compared to other 915s, this one felt relatively tight and precise.

As a few corners beckon through the mostly flat West Rand of Johannesburg, the lightness of the car, in conjunction with the relatively firm suspension, pays dividends. Although I didn’t get close to the limits of the car’s cornering capabilities, it changed direction eagerly through the three-spoke steering wheel—the latter brimming with feedback. As it behooves a proper sports car, the suspension minimizes body roll and makes no excuses for the stable setup. And it shouldn’t—after all, in the rear is that exceptional engine.

Owing to the color of the car, you are even more aware of the compact size and extremities of the front end. Your view is filled by the road, but first, the pink fenders indicate your placement between the road lines. Every time I drive these early air-cooled 911s, it is a stark reminder of their performance. Fortunately, these experiences are backed up by the facts.

After a while behind the wheel, another element of the car surfaces. Sixty-two thousand miles is low for a car of this vintage. But this is still a 50-year-old car. Even so, there is a lack of rattles or creaks. Only when you hit a major road irregularity does one find an unpleasant sound or two that filters through to the cabin. Other than that, there is a solid feel throughout the chassis and cabin. The dashboard is immaculate, with no hint of its age. Even the light-brown vinyl seats don’t show any sign of their years.

The only non-standard items on the car are the wheels, although that is difficult to tell. Originally, the car came with 15 × 6-inch Fuchs wheels in front and 15 × 7-inch rollers in the back. Assad bought two 15 × 8-inch wheels from a race car in the UK for the back and moved the 15 × 7s to the front. Instead of keeping the wheel centers painted their stock black hue, Assad decided to have them refurbished in gold. Today, you will be forgiven for thinking that is how they emerged from the factory, as it perfectly blends with the gold “Carrera” script, both along the side and below the ducktail.

The Verdict

Following the unprecedented rise in the value of the 2.7 Carrera RS, it is almost understandable why the value and interest of these “lesser”—if you can call them that—Carrera 2.7s have also climbed. I believe this particular car is one of the finest examples of this model out there.

Also from Issue 308

  • 992 C4S Altitude Record Car
  • TechArt 992 GTstreet R Flyweight
  • 356A Speedster Racer
  • Market Update: 1965-1973 911
  • Porsche Builds a Case for Plug-Ins
  • Porsche PHEV/EV Charging
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