The original Porsche 911 (pronounced as nine eleven), was a sports car made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany.
The new car made its debut in 1964 at the Frankfort Motor Show. It was originally code named the “Porsche 901”; however, Peugeot protested on the grounds that in France it had exclusive rights to car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle. So, instead of selling the new model with another name in France, Porsche changed the name to 911. It went on sale in 1964.
Some enthusiasts suggest Porsche’s introduction of the 911 in the U.S. in 1965 was a watershed. After years steadily improving the 356 the 911 was a dramatic departure and a leap of faith both for Porsche and for its loyal owners. The 911 still looked like a Porsche, and the engine remained behind the rear axle but removed were Dr. Porsche’s proven torsion bar/trailing arm front suspension in favor of lower A-arms and McPherson struts. Gone, too was the swing arm rear suspension, replaced by semi-trailing arms.
However radical the body design and suspension changes may have seemed, even more dramatically different was the engine. The highly developed flat four that traced its ancestry back to the pre-World War I Volkswagen was replaced by a flat six. It was still air cooled, to be sure, but smoother and more powerful. It also revved much higher as Porsche thoughtfully provided a 5-speed transaxle to get the most from the 911’s increased rpm. Starting life as an ambitious two-liter displacing 1,991 cc, the new Porsche 911 had overhead camshaft valve actuation, something only the most high strung racing Porsches had offered before, and delivered 148 horsepower at 6,100 rpm measured with US SAE standards (more than the 356’s expensive and finicky Carrera engine.)
The increased power and aerodynamic body design gave the 911 a top speed of 130 mph. Equally-balanced weight distribution, the new suspension, 112mm longer wheelbase, and stiffer full unit-body construction, vastly improved the car’s handling. In 1984 the 911 celebrated its 20th birthday. The SC 3.0 was replaced by the new Carrera with a 3.2 engine. Although the bodywork, suspension, and most of the interior were taken from the SC the Carrera was in most aspects better than its predecessor. It had more power, better brakes and was more luxurious.
After twenty years of producing the 911 it was expected that Porsche would come up with a new model to replace the 911. The new Carrera however proved the contrary, the 911 was just starting to mature. The model line-up was now really complete, with six styles to choose from. The new Carrera and Turbo could both be ordered as cabriolet, Targa or Coupé, and in the next years even more models would become available. One of the novelties of 1984 was that the Carrera was now available with the wide body and spoilers of the Turbo. This “Turbo-Look” was a real hit. The “Turbo-Look” was considerably less costly than the actual Turbo but had the same great looks as its much more expensive “Counterpart.” The “Turbo-Look” was fitted with the same chassis, brakes and mechanical components. In 1986 the turbo-look also became available for the Targa and cabriolet.
The Porsche 911 is available in coupe, cabriolet, and targa body styles all with varying trims. The following video provides a visual and oratorical overview of this iconic automobile.