It is hard not to think of the Porsche 911 Carrera when considering the greatest sports cars of all time. For nearly 50 years the body style and fundamentals of the car have remained relatively unchanged. The Porsche 911 Carrera of today may be light years ahead of where it was in the beginning as far as technology and performance, but the shape, engine placement and handling characteristics are still the same. So here we will look at where it all began.
The first prototype of the Porsche 911 Carrera surfaced in 1963 and production officially did not begin until 1964. Porsche created the 911 to replace the 356. In the 1960’s the Porsche brand was not as popular or well known as it is today, largely due to the success for the 911. The styling of the new design was somewhat similar to the 356, but it was a more mature and appealing and what launched the Porsche brand name into the masses.
The first Porsche 911 Carrera had a 1991 cc flat (horizontally opposed) 6-cylinder engine that produced 130hp at impressive 6100rpm. Although these horsepower numbers may seem tame by today’s standard, this was a fast and powerful car of the time.
The handling characteristic of the first Porsche 911 Carrera and for many of the future ones required precise input from the driver. With the engine, for the most part, behind the rear wheels the car has a tendency to be tail happy. What makes this car so special is when you get the handling down; no other automobile gives you such a gratifying driving experience.
Porsche 911 Carrera Specifications:
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Horsepower: 130bhp @ 6100 rpm
Torque: 173 lbs @ 4200 rpm
Brakes: Front: 282mm discs; rear: 290mm discs
Suspension: MacPherson struts with telescopic dampers and 19mm torsion bar springs; trailing wishbones with telescopic dampers and transverse 23mm torsion bar
Wheels & Tires: Front: 15×4.5J with 165HR tires. Rear: 15×4.5J with 165HR tires
Weight: about 2400 lbs
The first Porsche 911 Carrera did for cars what the Beatles did for music, set a standard for others to follow.