How The Porsche 911 Became An Instant Classic
It's an automotive icon, and one of the most instantly recognizable shapes in the car world, but how much do you really know about the Porsche 911? For starters, it made its debut in the fall of 1963, but its roots date back several years earlier to sketches by Ferdinand "Butzi" Porsche in 1959. The 911 was intended as a replacement for the company's first car, the Porsche 356 and has become a truly beloved sports car. It was ranked fifth in a 1999 poll for "Car of the Century" and is one of the oldest sports coupe nameplates still in production. RELATED: See Photos of the 1963 Porsche 911
The 911 was designed to be larger, more comfortable, and more powerful than the 356. It was originally called the 901 and 82 were built with that name. Peugeot, however, had a problem with the name. They claimed they had the rights to cars with three digit names with a zero in the middle. The problem was fixed by changing the zero to a one and the 911 was born.
The early 911 featured a 128-horsepower flat-6 engine, which was rear-mounted and air-cooled in a boxer configuration. Its displacement was 1991 cc, compared to the 1600 cc of the 356's four-cylinder. It had either a four-speed or five-speed manual transmission. The engine was often modified for racing and rallying and has become one of the most successful competition cars ever, especially considering its many variants.
RELATED: See Photos of the 1967 Porsche 911
Technically, the 911 was a four-seater, although the two back seats were extremely small. This led to its designation as a 2+2 rather than a four-seater. Although the original 911 ceased production in 1989, newer 911 variants are still available today. It's been over 50 years since that first Porsche 911 made its debut and the car has garnered awards an accolades from both professional drivers and enthusiasts alike. Other Porsche models have come and gone, but the 911 continues to hold a place near and dear to the hears of drivers across the globe.
RELATED: See Photos of the 1965 Porsche 911