By on October 13, 2011

This graphic appears on fuel pumps around the country, right after between two and five annoying questions (ENTER YOUR ZIP CODE! DO YOU WANT A CAR WASH TODAY? DO YOU WANT A RECEIPT TODAY? DO YOU WANT PINK FLOYD TO RELEASE THE “DARK SIDE OF THE MOON” STUDIO TAPES? WHAT’S UP WITH THAT BANK OF AMERICA FEE THING?) but before the non-heartfelt roboticized expression of gratitude for purchase (THANK YOU) vaguely familiar to anyone who’s ever watched Shockwave’s Burden.

Clearly, the car being filled up is a Porsche 911. The “911”, for those of you who are young enough to listen to Nicki Minaj, was a sporting vehicle made many years ago by noted SUV and luxury-sedan manufacturer “Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH”. To celebrate this once-great manufacturer, I will mail a copy of occasional TTAC contributor Stephan Wilkinson’s book, “The Gold-Plated Porsche: How I Sank a Small Fortune into a Used Car, and Other Misadventures”, to the first person who can answer a couple questions about the above photo to my satisfaction. If more than fifty commenters respond, I will mail a second copy to a randomly chosen commenter. Ready? Set?

Question #1: Although the graphic isn’t quite perfect, I can state with reasonable certainty that the model for the graphic was a 1972 Porsche 911 with a non-standard aerodynamic kit installed after purchase. How do I know this?

Question #2: If a blind man sat in a Porsche 911 that he knew to be either a 1971 or 1972 model, how could he know for sure, just by using his right hand?

Alright, Porschephiles, go to it. Winners who already own a copy of the book may accept, instead, a random auto-show brochure of my choice.

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27 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: I Wouldn’t Do That If I Were You Edition...”


  • avatar
    Marko

    I haven’t figured out #1 yet, but I do know that Porsche changed the gearbox for 1972 (question #2).

  • avatar
    NTI 987

    Well, that picture is so blurry I can’t really tell anything specific to any model year. It’s also of the left side, so that precludes the oil door as a possible giveaway. The ’72 was the only year that had an oil door on the right rear fender, so that would give it away no matter what the body kit looked like.

    As far as the interior, shift the transmission. If there is lots of resistance when shifting to the upper left position, you’re in a ’71 with the dogleg 901 transmission, which has reverse in that location. If there is equal resistance for upper left and lower left, but more effort to the lower right than the others, you’re in a ’72 with the standard layout 915 transmission (1 – 3 – 5 on top, 2 – 4 – R on bottom).

    [edit] No matter what the year, there shouldn’t be an opening where that fuel nozzle is inserted, as you’re pretty much pouring gasoline into the fan blades at that angle.

    The 1973 model no longer had an external oil filler door, because people kept filling the tank with gasoline, because they’re stupid.

    (I have a ’73 E)

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      You’re the winner. Yes, the oil door is on the left side, but there’s nothing in the graphic to indicate that it isn’t mirrored.

      Send your address to Ed.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      The 1973 model no longer had an external oil filler door, because people kept filling the tank with gasoline, because they’re stupid.

      Or they live in New Jersey or Oregon, where they cannot pump their own gas, by law.

      All it takes is forgetting, just once, to warn the high school kid manning the pump that “that’s not the gas tank”, and you’re screwed.

      (God help you if you’re mad enough to let anyone borrow the car, either…)

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    1. Cause you’re a stickler when it comes to Porsches, just like I’d expect Sajeev to be able to tell me the differences between various years of Panther.

    2. By the noises the coked up hooker makes when he starts feeling around for the gear shift and misses.

  • avatar
    the duke

    Answering the second is easy, 1972 911s had an external filler door behind the passenger door for an external oil tank. This only lasted for the 1972 model year and then Porsche realized this was a horrible idea, I can only imagine how many were filled with gas. A blind man just need grope the side and feel for the filler door.

    As to how you know its a 1972, got me.

    • 0 avatar
      Unlimited Headroom

      I do know of the ‘kruise kontrol’ lock lever to hold the throttle cable was on the right side of the drivers’ seat on a ’72 but do not know of others. Oh, and a cosy back seat, too.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Question #1: Although the graphic isn’t quite perfect, I can state with reasonable certainty that the model for the graphic was a 1972 Porsche 911 with a non-standard aerodynamic kit installed after purchase. How do I know this?

    Because the pump handle at the angle shown would only be good for washing the bumpers*.

    Question #2: If a blind man sat in a Porsche 911 that he knew to be either a 1971 or 1972 model, how could he know for sure, just by using his right hand?

    Well, NTI 987 beat me to it … so my unique answer will, hope to gain points due to a gratuitous-sex angle, and just say that, the question as posed had something to do with a feeling of satisfaction that could only be achieved in those particular model-years…

    * and the car appears to have 1973-compliant bumpers which IIRC the early 911’s lacked.

    • 0 avatar
      NTI 987

      The ’73 has the same bumpers as the ’72, but does have all-rubber bumperettes rather than rubber/chrome. It was the ’74 that got the new, ugly, safety-bumpers.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    I haven’t the foggiest notion of the answers to either question, but the sheer genious of the quiz simply amazes me. That is why I click on TTAC multiple times daily.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Question #3:

    Why do these lousy gas stations think I need to hear their lousy music blaring through their even lousier speakers while I spend my money filling my car after all the lousy gas stations in the country raise the price per gallon 25¢ while I’m at work?

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      The speakers aren’t there to play music.

      The speakers are there to play ads.

      • 0 avatar
        steeringwithmyknees

        right … at many Shell stations around here, there is some stupid TV-like screen above saying something I’m not listening to .. but then, it always catches my attention when it says something about the TV or the ads or whatever being “brought to you by Outkast” This has happened at least a hundred times, yet, each time, it takes me a minute to realize it’s not THAT Outkast…

        pointless story, but i’m almost always up for entering into a free drawing with minimal effort.

  • avatar
    mattfarah

    Jack, this is crazy. Last night I stopped at a 76 station to fill up my truck, and saw this very same image, and thought to myself “If Jack saw this, he’d write a post about how Porsche will probably sue 76” or something like that. Not even 12 hours later, I come to TTAC for my daily dose of car geek heroin and BOOM, the very same picture, with your name on it. Different topic, but damn, that blew my mind.

  • avatar
    findude

    I’m pretty sure the gas nozzle should be inserted into the fuel filler tube located in the front inside the luggage compartment. You know, up by the brake booster…..

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    How many people had to drive off with the filler nozzle still attached to warrant that warning on the screen?

  • avatar
    jaje

    Why am I always late to read these. Darn job gets in the way of my Interweb surfing.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The bumpers actually indicate that this can only be a 1974 or later 911, so the initial assumptions are wrong.

  • avatar
    timmruss

    Jack I think you dropped the ball in this one, the side graphics in front of the back wheel arch belings to a turbo, it also has thicker “federal bumpers” that has been used by 1974
    A blind man can recognize Porsche by the ignition key is on the left on Porsches

  • avatar
    calhounje

    The bumpers give away the year and the spoiler is from an 911 SC which was not made until the 80’s. The 70’s had “duck tails”.

    In 71’s and 72’s reverse was up to the left. 1st gear was (is there) for all other years.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Based on the big tires and rear-end I always just assumed it was a stylized 959 rally car. They pop up in weird places, like the walls of the ER at the local hospital. Right next to a dinosaur, for some reason. Maybe they thought that a gray-market supercar from the 80’s and an extinct monster would calm nervous children.

  • avatar
    Spencer Williams

    Am I the only one who can stay on topic here?

    Shockwave was really a frustrating transformer. When you had him in gun form, admit it, it looked pretty gnarly. As gnarly as a purple laser gun can look. But it commits a few cardinal sins that put it on the level of Go-bots to me.

    1. Transform! For Shockwave, that pretty much means, put your legs together, put your arms together over your head, and squat like you’re about to dive. That’s it. Oh and his head hides. WEAK.

    2. In order for Shockwave to actually look like a DEADLY LASER rather than a purple robot preparing to dive, a separate grey barrel cover thing goes over his arms, so he looks like a gun. Extraneous parts? That’s a Transformer Sin.

    3. Batteries. Shockwave takes batteries. Which could be cool, but his laser sounds are pretty much a Viper car alarm. I was of an age where I loved annoying sounds, and even I couldn’t stand Shockwave’s laser pew-pews.

    Redemption point: Shockwave was heavy. Die cast metal. Like Megatron, and the original Voltron cats. You could pistolwhip someone with Shockwave and they would go down.

    Send me the book, I won!

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