Honouring the 1963 Porsche 911

1963 Porsche 911

The Porsche Museum is surely on the top of any car enthusiast’s ‘must visit’ list. One of the cars on display is an original 1963 911. It’s where the legend began. And in the modern era of blindingly fast 911s there’s something uniquely charming and pure about the classic models.

It’s a well known tale that the 911 was supposed to be called the 901, but Porsche were forced into a name change on account of Peugeot trademarking all three digit codes with a zero in the middle. Hence, the 911 was born.

After the break there’s a short video paying homage to one of the motoring world’s truly great icons.

As a sidenote we’ve got a more personal account of the Porsche Museum in the works thanks to one of our long-time readers.

1963 Porsche 911

The 911 was premiered at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1963 as the Porsche 901. But a French car company claimed copyright over the use of all model numbers with zero in the middle. Porsche therefore renamed the 901 the 911 – that three figure number which still raises the heartbeat of every sports car fan.

Porsche had been working on the shape of the bodywork for the 911 as early as the fifties, in the days when the 356 was still the marque’s crowd puller. The prototype mutated over time to a four-seater but was not approved by Ferry Porsche. The final shape was the work of Porsche’s son Ferdinand Alexander.

It was decided from the start that the successor to the 356 should also have a rear engine. The choice fell to the six-cylinder Boxer engine with axial fan and – due to the greater speed reserves – an upper camshaft on each side. The camshaft was driven via chains after vertical shafts and toothed belts were disregarded. The 356 frame and chassis were replaced by new designs. The result was a car about which Ferry Porsche later said: ”The 911 stamped the unmistakable character of the Porsche sports car”.

Technical Specifications

  • Engine: six-cylinder Boxer, air-cooled, one upper camshaft each side
  • Power: 130 HP (96 kW) at 6,100/min
  • Displacement: 1991 ccm
  • Fuel system: two Solex downdraft carburettors, tank capacity 62 litres
  • Transmission: five speed gearbox
  • Chassis: self-supporting bodywork with front independent suspension on transverse links and damper struts, longitudinal torsion bars, rear independent suspension on lateral links and transverse torsion bars
  • Dimensions and weight: wheel base: 2,211 mm
    length: 4,163 mm
    width: 1,610 mm
    height: 1,320 mm
    weight: 1,080 kg
  • Performance: 210 km/h

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