A modern classic if ever there was one, the long-running 911 arrived in 1964 as a replacement to the 356. An ideal sports car, from the beginning it was easy to drive, reasonably comfortable, and not terribly complicated. It was a work of art, styling evidently being more important to customers at first, sales of the four-cylinder 912 totalling 9,000 to the 911 six-cylinder's total sales of 4,000 in 1966. In standard form the front suspension was independent with struts and lateral arms, and independent on trailing arms to the rear, front springing by separate longitudinal torsion bars for each wheel, with one transverse round torsion bar per wheel at the rear. The 911 was outstanding in both racing and rallying - winning both the Targa Florio and the Monte Carlo Rally, and were famous for being equally at home on tarmac, ice or gravel. The racing success of the famously rear-engined Porsche 911 has led to Porsche bulding various, powerful race inspired variants of the car; including the Porsche 935. A direct descendant f the Volkswagen Beetle, the Porsche AG 911 was unveilded at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, where it received great press reviews for its styling alone. The fable famously goes that it was to be known as the Porsche 901, however Peugeot owned copyright on car names of 3 numbers with an 0 in the middle, and so at the last minute the name was changed and the Porsche 911 wen t on sale in 1964.
When released the 2+2 car was offered with a 'boxer' configured 1991cc six-cylinder air cooled engine, and shared its bodywork with the lesser Porsche 912. Going through variants O, A and B-series, a number of new models were added to the popular 911 line-up, notabley the introduction of the Porsche 911 'Targa' top, the powerful Porsche 911S, the 912 replacing Porsche 911T, the entry level 911L, the verylimited Porsche 911R and the automatic Porsche 911E.
1970 saw Porsche introduce the C and D series models and increase egine capacity across the Porsche 911 range to 2.2L.
Engine capacity increased again in '72 as Porsche introduced the E and F series with a 2.4L engine. The models offered by Porsche dealers were not altered as they were selling well, the only changes made to the cars other than the power increase was a new, stronger transmission set-up. Shortly after these changes were made the Porsche 911 Carrera RS arrived in dealerships. Highly sought after and argued to be the greatest ever classic 911, the Carrera used a 2.8L engine and received immense praise from both press reveiwers and the motorsport industry. Porsche though still felt the need for more power still and so released the Carrera RSR turbo based Porsche Carrea RS 3.0L. The Carrera also earned fame for finishing 2nd in the '74 Le Mans. in '74 Porsche followed these with the G, H, I and J series, again engine capacity was increased with the minmum engine for a 911 being 2.7L.
Porsche released the first general production turbo model in '74 with the launch of the Porsche 911 Turbo (sold in some countries as the Porsche 930). Dealers reported particular sales success with this model and it helped revive sales of the 911, which had previously started to slide a little. Engine capacity was again increased, to 3.0L and later to 3.3L, the car also came with a large rear 'whale-tail' or 'tea-tray' style spoiler and an aggressive flared-arch body kit. Also in the mid-seventies Porsche released another new model, the entry level 911SC, essentially a detuned Porsche 911 Carrera 3.
Porsche unveiled the first ever 911 cabriolet in '82, which the press hailed as much more attractive than the Targa top 911. Also at this point Porsche considered replacing the Porsche 911 with the Porsche 928, howvr sales of the 911 were on the up and the plan was scrapped. Also in the early '80's Porsche released the 911 Carrera (also known as the 3.2 Carrera), the Carrera Super Sport or 911 SS, the Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport and the extremely rare Porsche 911 Speedster (much reminiscent of the earlier Porsche 356 Speedster).
The intoduction of the 1989 Porsche 964 type 911 saw Porsche make some large advances. Power steering and ABS were standard, the car had a rear spoiler that only eployed at high speeds so as to not spoil the lines at resting (a feature which has survived to present day 911's), the introduction of a tiptronic transmission and 4wheel drive on the entry level Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (with the 2-wheel drive Porsche 911 Carrera 2 being released at a later date). In '89 Porsche released the new 911 Turbo, using a 3.6L engine. The 911RS models also made a comeback, with these now commanding a higher price than the Carrera 2.
Porsche released the type 993 in 1993, although no real changes were made; the styling was altered somewhat, the 911 Turbo was now 4WD and equipped with twin-turbo chargers (infact the only 2 wheel drive model was the Porsche 911 GT2). It was the 1998 released 996 type 911 that saw the large changes. The car received great criticism from Porsche enthusiasts and older owners. The car was no-longer air cooled and the front end was revised enormously, removing the famous bug-eye headlamps and styling the car much like the lesser Porsche Boxster. Despite the car remaining mechanically almost identical to it's predecessor, pundits gave the new 911 some awful reveiws, forcing Porsche to release many powerful variants to try and win-over the press, including; the Porsche 911 Carrera 4, Carrera 4S, Porsche 996 Turbo, the 911 Turbo S and the race-inspired Porsche 911 GT2 and GT3 models. due to the criticism laid at Porsche over the 996 type, the proceeding 997 type 911 was revised greatly, with the interior, exterior and general feel of the car being much more in the vein of the original 911 albeit with a modern twist, with he famous bug-eye headlamps making a comeback. This reversion back to the 911's origins has helped the car continue to be a great sales success, ensuring the 911 still takes pride of place in a Porsche dealer's showroom.
Older 991's are now considered highly collectable and can sell at alarming large prices. However this simply refelcts the great esteem with which enthusiasts hold the Prsche 911's heritage. Parts and accessories are still readily availible for older 911's thanks in-part to the large number of active owners clubs and enthusiasts groups and in-part to the large number of Porsche specialist mechanics and dealers there are to be found.