1 Oct 1963
PORSCHE’S iconic 911 was presented at the 1963 Frankfurt motor show as the ‘901’ – until Peugeot complained that the Stuttgart-based firm was infringing its model copyright.
So the car that was supposed to supplant and not replace the 356 series replacement became the 911, sold here as a 97kW 1991cc ‘flat’ six-cylinder two-door coupe.
And like its predecessor, the 911 favoured the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout that was the lynchpin of the original Volkswagen Beetle. Its creator Dr Ferry Porsche envisaged the 911 as a roomier, more comfortable alternative to the 356.
From October ’65 to ’69 a 67kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder model was also available, and known as the 912. This was the true replacement for the 356.
The first 911 Targa was unveiled in 1965, making a feature of its protective roll bar, as Porsche didn’t foresee big sales so never bothered to re-engineer the two-door coupe body to be a proper convertible.
Meanwhile the 1968 911S featured significantly more performance from its 120kW 2.0-litre engine, There was also the 82kW 911T with a twin-carburettor 2.0, 104kW 911E with fuel-injection, and a more powerfully fuel-injected 911S from 1969 offering 127kW.
At around the same time the 911 B-series attempted to address some of the earlier models’ cornering and high-speed instability by having the wheelbase stretched 57mm to lessen the 41.4:58.5 front-rear weight distribution in-balance.
In 1970 a five-speed manual or semi-automatic clutchless manual gearbox was offered in the new 93kW/176Nm 911T 2.2, 116kW/190Nm 911E 2.2, and 134kW/198Nm 2.2 911S 2165cc flat six-cylinder C-Series 911 range.
There were also front suspension and interior changes, among other revisions.
In ’72 the E-Series 911 arrived, using a new 2341cc ‘2.4’ flat six. The 911T developed 97kW/224Nm, the 911E 123kW/235Nm and the 911S 142kW/244Nm.
For the ’73 model year in Australia they were known as the F-Series 911. One big difference was the removal of an oil-tank flap since many owners and/or service station attendants confused it for a fuel tank. A small chin spoiler was another.
In November 1973 the big bumper look (conforming to US 8km/h front impact laws) arrived, along with a galvanised body, large rear spoilers, new seats and the 2687cc 2.7 flat sixes.
The G-Series range read: 911 2.7 Coupe and Targa: 112kW/236Nm 129kW/235Nm, in three-speed semi-auto or four-speed manual 911S 2.7 Coupe and Targa: 129kW/235Nm, with the semi-auto or five-speed manual gearbox and 911 Carrera 2.7 Coupe and Targa: 156kW/254Nm with a five-speed manual gearbox.
A deeper front spoiler denotes the 1975 H-Series 911 range, along with a 147kW/255Nm 2993cc flat six Carrera 3.0 Coupe and Targa models, while minor trim and specification adjustments make up the ’76 I-Series.
In November ’75 the revered 930 Turbo was released, using a turbo-charged 3.0-litare OHC flat six to produce 194kW of power and 344Nm of torque, and driving the rear wheels via a special four-speed manual gearbox.
The whole 911 range from 1978-1983 went 3.0-litres and five-speed manual, with the base SC Coupe and Targa showing 133kW and 265Nm. The latter was also available with a new four-speed automatic.
The 911 Turbo four-speed manual now pumped out 221kW/430Nm.
A full convertible 911 SC Cabriolet, with the 133kW/265Nm 3.0-litre engine and five-speed manual, debuted in November ’82.
For the final phase of this series 911 from November ’84 to November ’89 the 3.0 grew to a 152kW/262Nm 3164cc 3.2-litre flax six-cylinder engine, for the revised Coupe, Targa and Convertible.
A Carrera Sport version was also released alongside these in November ’87, with 160kW and 265Nm, while a special small-windscreen 911 Speedster was brought in from June to November ’89.