Become an armchair expert on: The Porsche 911
It’s been around (almost) longer than any other sports car, enrapturing fans all over the world. Here’s all you need to know about… the Porsche 911
Think you know everything about the Porsche 911? You might be right. You might, however, have a glaring hole in your knowledge, and there's only one way to find out. By reading on.
It wasn’t supposed to be called 911
There’s always a snag, isn’t there? Something that comes along and takes a badly timed dump on your otherwise stellar planning. In this case it was the name for Porsche’s shiny new sports car. Porsche wanted to call it the 901, but the folk over the border at Peugeot weren’t so keen as it owned the ‘number-zero-number’ naming convention and didn’t want Porsche to muscle in. Rather than put up too much of a fuss, Porsche dropped the ‘0’ and threw in a ‘1’. Problem solved, and icon born.
The Targa exists because of America
Way back when, the US was even more cautious when it came to automotive safety than anyone else out there. So much so, that there were fears that convertible would be impossible to sell. Porsche’s solution wasn’t to ditch open top driving entirely, but to change the way it was done with the Targa – a removable hard top. It wasn’t the first manufacturer to try it, but it was the first to popularise it.
There was a less powerful version
In the early 60’s, deciding to discontinue the 356 sports car that kicked Porsche off would have left it without an entry-level model. Porsche’s solution? The 912, a lower powered, lower cost take on the 911. It only lasted a few years in Europe, from 1965-1969 (though the US got something of a reprieve in 1976), and remains highly collectable today.
It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche’s Grandson
The 911’s iconic shape was scribbled by Ferdinand Porsche, the son of Ferdinand Porsche, whose father was company founder Ferdinand Porsche. To stop the whole family looking up when Mrs Porsche shouted for Ferdinand, the OG Ferdinand was… Ferdinand, while his son Ferdinand went by ‘Ferry,’ and his son Ferdinand was referred to as ‘Butzi.’ Butzi is the chap behind the 911 AND the 904. Butzi thought the 356’s successor could do with a bit more space, and a smidge more comfort, so designed it that way.
Over a million have rolled off the line
Since the car’s debut in 1964 over one million 911s have been produced. The millionth car is a 991.2 generation car finished in a Irish Green (like the first one) with gold detailing at the rear, and a six-speed manual sending 414 horses to the rear wheels, kicking it from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. Porsche reckons over 70% of that million still run as well, which is pretty damn impressive.
The 911 has won more than 30,000 races
Not a typo, chums, the good ‘ol neunelfer has taken the top step more than 30,000 times. When you consider how long the 911’s been around (nearly 60 years), how many versions there have been (lots and lots even BEFORE you look at specially built race cars), and how many events there are out there (again… lots and lots), it’s no huge surprise.