Porsche 911 1963-1977
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Launched in 1963 as a replacement for the 356, the 911 is probably the most successful sports car of all time. Despite continuous development, which has enhanced its refinement and performance, the 911 has managed to retain its distinctive character and become both an icon of style and automotive engineering. This series guide covers classic 911 models produced between 1963 and 1977.
Introduced as a replacement for the 356 in 1963, the 911 followed a broadly similar layout to its predecessor, with the gearbox ahead of the rear wheels, the engine behind them, and springing by torsion bars. MacPherson struts were fitted to the front and the old swing axle rear suspension was replaced by a trailing arm system. Construction however was now fully integral. The new 130bhp 1,991cc flat-six engine was air-cooled, and drove through a five-speed transmission. Despite the fact it had only single overhead camshafts, the 911 was as quick as the quad-cam Carrera 2. Weber carburettors replaced Solexes in 1966, a Targa-top model came in 1967, and Sportomatic transmission in 1968. 911L (emission control) models were produced in 1967/8 for the US market.
912 Targa (1965-1969)
Basically a 911 fitted with the old VW-derived 90bhp 1,582cc flat-four, which drove through the old-four-speed gearbox, although the new five-speed transmission was an option. Levels of interior trim were lower than on the now-luxurious 911, and were more in line with the 356C. Less powerful than the 911, the 912's lighter engine made for better weight distribution, the model's top speed of 119mph/191kmh, and 0-60mph in 11.3 seconds, was very respectable for 2 litres in 1965. Over the years, the 912 received most of the up-dates of the 911, but not Sportomatic transmission. The model was dropped in 1969 but it was revived in 1976 for America as the fuel-injected, but slightly slower, 912E.
By 1967 Porsche offered three versions of the road-going 911, and badged them as the 911T, 911L and 911S. Outwardly the cars were the same, but the 2-litre engine common to each model was available in different stages of tune, the S version being equivalent of the hot Carrera models of the 356 era. The 911S featured larger diameter valves, a compression ratio of 9:8:1 and developed a healthy 160bhp @ 6,600rpm. Top speed was close to 140mph (225kmh). Anti roll bars and Koni shock absorbers were fitted as standard to the S and these made a significant difference to the handling. A 2.2-litre version of the engine arrived for the S model in 1969, increasing again in 1971 to 2.4-litres.
911 Carrera RS (1972-1973)
Considered by many to be the definitive 911, production of the Carrera RS 2.7 began in October 1972. With lighter body panels and stripped out interior trim, the Sport or lightweight 911 RS (code M471) used the classic flat-six engine, now bored out to 2.7 litres and boasted uprated fuel injection and forged flat top pistons - modifications that helped push out a sparkling 210bhp. A Touring version of the Carrera RS 2.7 was also available (M472), which was essentially a 911S interior with the 2.7-litre engine, suspension and body.
911 Carrera 3.0 (1975-1977)
Under Porsche's policy of constant development and revision, August 1973 saw the 911 (150bhp), 911S (175bhp) and 911 Carrera (210bhp) replace previous T, E, S and RS models. There were ever wider wheels, and wheel arches, more controllable handling and new bumpers (from late 1973), which met US impact laws. A revival of the famous Carrera name the model used an aerofoil on the engine lid, which had been developed for the 911 Turbo, which was now in preparation. Three-litre engines began to be introduced in 1975, with the Carrera 3.0 and were standard in 1977. The American market received strangulated emission-controlled models.
911 Turbo (1975-1977)
When Porsche introduced the now legendary 911 in 1963, it was capable of a respectable 130mph/209kmh top speed. This figure improved steadily over the years, but performance increased to new levels with the arrival of the 260bhp 911 Turbo in 1974 - now 153mph/246kmh and 0-60/0-96kmh in 6.1 sec was possible. Developed under the 930 destination, the Turbo was instantly recognisable by its wider wheels and accompanying flared arches, while there was a large tea-tray spoiler at the rear, which helped keep the wheels firmly on the road. For 1978 engine capacity rose to 3.3-litres, with revised Carrera 2 Turbo models arriving in 1990.