The History of the 911
After four years of projects and prototypes, Porsche presented the successor model to the 356 to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1963. It was the 901, but it changed its name the following year due to a dispute with Peugeot, but that’s another story… One year later, that is, from the 1965 model year, series production of the renamed 911 began.
The 911, initially produced only as a coupe, had a self-supporting body and was powered by a new 2.0-liter flat-six engine with 130 hp.
This first generation already had all the aesthetic codes that still exist today: round headlights, plunging roof, wide rear fenders and teardrop-shaped windows. The first editions of the 911 were equipped with a 2.0-liter (1,991 cc), rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-six engine with 130 hp, similar to the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the 356, and mated to a five-speed “Type 901” manual transmission.
The styling is largely due to Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche, son of Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche. Erwin Komenda, the head of Porsche’s bodybuilding department, also participated in the design. In 1967, Porsche introduced the more powerful 911S with a 160 hp engine. For the first time, Fuchs alloy wheels with a distinctive 5-leaf design were offered.
The Targa version, with a stainless steel-clad roll bar, appeared the same year. Porsche was concerned that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would ban fully open convertibles, an important market for the 356. It was equipped with a removable roof panel and a removable plastic rear window (although a fixed glass version was offered in parallel from 1968).
In 1969, the slightly lengthened B-series was introduced. It moved the rear wheels of all 911 and 912 models 57 mm to the rear, increasing the wheelbase from 2,211 to 2,268 mm to address the car’s responsive handling. Fuel injection makes an appearance on both the 911S and a new mid-size model, the 911E. The power of the 2.0 S increases to 170hp. In 1970, the 2.0 leaves its place to the 2.2. The E and F series take over, it is the end of the reign of the “2.0 liters”.