The victorious history of the Porsche 911 began in 1963 when the car was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This rear-wheel drive sports car was a revelation, however, none dared to think it would become an icon, lasting for more than a half-decade.
A front-engine or mid-engine layout is a standard in most sports cars. This is dictated by considerations of mass distribution along the axles, which affects handling. However, there are exceptions, and perhaps the most remarkable of them is the famous Porsche 911. This rear-engined model crashed all stereotypes: despite all the ill-wishers, it proved its viability and became one of the best representatives of the class. The victorious procession of the model has been going on for more than half a century with no slowing down!
The development of the model began in the late 50s, when the head of the company, Ferdinand Porsche, realized that the popular 356 model was outdated. The 356 used the platform of the budget Volkswagen Beetle and the resource for its modernization was already exhausted. Porsche appointed his son Ferdinand-Alexander in charge of the development who in turn decided not to abandon the rear-engine layout characteristic of the Beetle, yet to develop a completely new platform. A different McPherson-type front suspension and a six-cylinder air-cooled boxer engine were designed specifically for the future model. From 1959 to 1961, several prototypes were produced, the most successful of which was the Type 754 T-7. It became the main production model called the 901 and was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. The new car impressed the public. At just 4.1 meters long, the elegant coupe had unique design details such as huge round headlights, a panoramic windshield, and a wide-angle C-pillar. The “Six” with a volume of 2.0 liters developed 130 hp and was paired with a new 5-speed manual gearbox. 1080 kg vehicle accelerated to 100 km/h in 8.7 s and was able to develop up to 210 km/h. All-wheel disc brakes were responsible for slowing down. However, almost immediately after the presentation, Porsche got a problem: the French Peugeot threatened to sue as all indexes of three digits with a zero in the middle were patented by it. So the 901 was renamed 911. On the other hand, the car’s price ($6,500, which was cheaper than the exclusive Ferrari and Maserati, but significantly more expensive than its predecessor 356, and even Jaguar E-Type) scared the potential buyers. Thus, in 1965 the company began to produce a more affordable version with a 1.6-liter 90-horsepower “four”.
In the next 4 years, new engines of the same volume were added, developing from 110 to 160 “horses”, a simpler four-speed “mechanics”, a Sportomatic semi-automatic box, and the brakes and independent torsion bar suspension of all wheels were also slightly upgraded. In addition, the fuel injection system was optimized, which increased the power of all “engines” by several percent. In 1970, the power became even slightly higher due to the addition of 200 cc to all engines (and two years later, the same 200 “cubes” were added again). The crown jewel of this generation was the Carrera RS, with a 2.7-liter engine producing 210 hp and new aerodynamic elements. After extending the wheelbase by 2.4 inches in 1969, Porsche introduced the 915 transmissions. The company also worked on ventilation and heating. The 1970 lineup saw the introduction of the T, E, and S in coupe, sunroof, and Targa configurations. Many Porsche models built in the early 1970s retained features from the 1969 model. The 1970 911T was sold as a coupe or Targa for just over $6,400. The vehicle was equipped with a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 134 cubic inches and 142 (SAE) hp. The car was all-wheel drive with disc brakes on all four corners. The 911T was a carbureted version, while other 911 models were fitted with Bosch mechanical fuel injection.
For some sports auto enthusiasts, handling the model was a real issue. The car showed pronounced oversteer, and with a sharp release of gas in a turn, the heavy rear part instantly broke into a skid. For inexperienced drivers, the vehicle was dangerous. But the pros quickly figured out the secret of the Porsche and used a controlled skid to get through the corners quickly. In the right hands, the 911 turned into a powerful weapon on twisty roads. In particular, from 1968-1970, the automobile won the Monte Carlo Rally three times.
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