Get-Ad Free Access: Join Today!

The Original Porsche 911 - The Story

The Porsche 911 was developed as a much more powerful, larger, more comfortable replacement for the Porsche 356. The new car made its public debut at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was initially designated as the "Porsche 901", after its internal project number. However, Peugeot protested on the grounds that in France it had exclusive rights to car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle. So, instead of selling the new model with another name in France, Porsche changed the name to 911. It went on sale in 1964. The rest, as they say... is history.

Porsche 911 F-Body Model Timeline

1st Gen Porsche 911 Model Guides (1964 - 1973)

Below, we take you through in-depth guides for each and every Porsche 911 model between 1964 and 1973. We have summarized the core variants above, so just dive in to get under the hood now.

In 1963 Porsche introduced their seminal 901 at the 911 at the Frankfurt Motor Show which would be renamed 911 for the 1964 model year. The new car was sold alongside the 356C as an alternative with more power and room for a rear seat. At the 1963 Frankfurt show the public saw Porsches new direction. Compared to the 356 it had a longer wheelbase, a more compact suspension setup and much more power from the flat-6 engine.
Put most simply, a 912 is essentially a 911-style body mated with a 356-derived 4-cylinder engine. The 356 was Porsche’s first mass-marketed sports car. The Porsche 911 is the most successful sports car of all time. the new 912 came equipped with 90HP motor was a slightly detuned version of the 95HP motor that had powered its predecessor, the 356SC. However, despite this reduction of power, and despite the 912 being a heavier car, it was actually faster than the 356SC thanks to more streamlined aerodynamics and a more advanced suspension system.
The first generation of the Porsche 911 begins in late 1964 and goes through 1968. The "base" model was an instant hit. During this period, Porsche would make continuous improvements and tweaks to the body, to its short wheelbase (SWB) chassis, and to its 2.0 liter flat six engine. Model year 1968 would be the last for the early 911, a transition that would begin with the introduction of the higher output 911S in 1967, followed by the 911L and a new entry level 911T in 1968, and finally, the 911E in 1969. The base 911 was available as both a Coupe and Targa (starting in '67).
In 1966 the beefier 160hp 911S was introduced as the first variation of the 911. The "S" which stood for "Super" boasted performance upgrades and modifications that included larger valves, a higher compression ratio, better porting and larger carburetor jets. Along with the mechanical tweaks, the 911S also received chassis upgrades in the form of a rear anti-roll bar, Koni shocks, distinctive 5-spoke Fuchs alloy wheels and ventilated disc brakes on all four corners to replace the solid discs.
In 1967 the A-Series Porsche production line was divided into the entry-level 911T, the standard 911 L for Lux and the sporting 911S. The 911L was effectively the 911 2.0 from previous years with only very minor updates such as new door handles, a brushed aluminum dashboard, a black steering wheel and other very minor details. In Europe, where it was considered the midrange model it featured engine Type 901/06 (Type 901/07 with Sportomatic) rated at 130 hp. In North America, the 911L was the highest level offering.
The Porsche 911L (Lux) was introduced in model year 1968 in both Europe and the United States in coupe and targa variants. Approximately 1,610 samples were produced in total, of which 1,169 were coupes, and 575 were Targas. For the 1969 model year, the 911L would cease to exist, paving the way for a new mid-tier offering in Europe and the US, the 1969 911E, and for the higher-end 1969 911S in North America.
The Porsche 911 E was designed to fall nicely between the 911 T touring model and the top of range high-performance 911S. The Porsche 911 T would continue for its second year in Europe, and newly introduced into the United States market, as the entry level offering for the 911, sitting below the 1969 911E and the 1969 911S. The 1969 911E was powered by engine Type 901/09 (Type 901/11 with Sportomatic) featuring mechanical fuel injection (MFI). The 2.0 L Aircooled Flat 6 was good for 140 bhp at 6500 rpm.
The Porsche 911T continued as the entry level 911 for the 1970 and 1971 model years, sitting below the 2.2L 911 E and the 2.2 L 911 S. The 911 T featured all the upgrades that came with C-Series production updates including longer wheelbase and Fuchs alloy wheels. During its production years it was available as both a Coupe or Targa bodystyle. As with the E and S variants, Porsche would upgrade the 911T to a larger 2.2 liter engine.
The Porsche 911E continued as the midrange 911 for the 1970 and 1971 model years, fitting between the contemporaneous 2.2L 911T and the 2.2L 911S. It produced 155 bhp and featured all the upgrades that came with C-Series production including longer wheelbase, Fuchs alloy wheels. Both the E and S model 911 had an aluminium engine-lid and aluminium bumpers. The 911 E 2.2 was once again available as either a Coupe or Targa body. For model year 1972, the 2.2L 911E was replaced by the 2.4L 911E.
Along with all the C-series improvements to the 911 line, the 1970 Porsche 911 S was upgraded to include a 180 bhp version flat-6. This further improved the performance credentials of the model which already had Fuchs light alloy wheels and bigger brakes. Specific to the S model's engine was a re-profiled camshaft, larger valves, better porting, higher compression and larger jets for the Weber carburetors. This resulted in 30 more horsepower for a total 180 horsepower.
The 911T Coupe and Targa continued as the entry level 911 for 1972 and 1973. As with the higher-end E and S variants, Porsche upgraded the 911T to a new, larger 2.3 L engine, commonly known as the "2.4 L" engine. With the power and torque increase, the 2.4-liter cars also got the newer and stronger transmission. Non-US versions (ROW), were carbureted and featured the Type 911/57 engine, rated at 130 hp. US-spec 911T's had engine Type 911/51 and were rated at 140 hp.
The Porsche 911E continued as the midrange 911 model for 1972 and 1973, fitting between the contemporaneous 2.4L 911T and the 2.4L 911S. As with the T and S variants, Porsche would upgrade the 911E to a new, larger 2,341 cc (2.3 L) engine, commonly known as the "2.4 L" engines. The 911E version, designated 911/52 was rated at 165 hp (it was designated 911/62 with Sportomatic). With the power and torque increase, the 2.4-liter cars also got the newer and stronger transmission.
The final early 911S befitted from Porsche's 2.4-liter engine the the long-wheel-base body. As such it is one of the final classic 911s before the 2.7 came out in 1973. Visually, the 2.4 range received a new chin on the front valence that was standard on the 911S and optional for the rest of the range. The S model had slight larger 6Jx15 Fuchs alloy wheels over the other models. The final early 911S benefitted from Porsche's 2.4-liter engine the the long-wheel-base body

1st Gen Porsche 911 Special & Motorsport Models

There were several motorsport and special edition 911s in the first generation. The 911R was a very limited production racing version of the 911 whose concept would ultimately set the standard for GT racing domination for the next 40 years. The first 4 prototypes surfaced in the spring of 1967. Most famously, the Carrera RS debuted in October 1972 at the Paris Motor Show, and was the top first generation 911 and one of the best road cars of all time. It was the fastest production 911 and a solid race winner. Some feel it is still the best 911 ever built. But it wasn't the only special first generation 911, so make sure to check them all out.

Southern California Porsche dealer Johnny von Neumann knew what his customers wanted, and a Targa top Targa 911 wasn’t it. With Porsche’s approval, he hired designer Nuccio Bertone to create a one-off 1966 Porsche 911 Spyder, in hopes of launching low-volume production. Just one example was constructed.  The engine incorporated a vertically-mounted cooling fan, a 9.1:1 compression ratio and two triple-choke 40PI Solex carburettors. Peak output was 130bhp at 6100rpm and 174lb-ft at 4200rpm. Transmission was via a Type 901 five-speed gearbox and single-plate clutch.
Based on the 911S, the 911 R was produced by Porsche to compete in the FIA’s GT 2.0 category. To make it competitive, the 911R was powered by a flat-six engine, Type 901/22 from the Porsche 906, capable of 210 hp. It went on a diet too, with weight savings coming from everywhere, getting the 911 R down to just 1,800 pounds dry. Four prototypes were constructed after which Porsche had coachbuilder Karl Baur build another 20 customer cars. In the end, because of the modifications to the 911R, the FIA refused to homologate the car.
Image credit: Tim Scott / Fluid Images
To homologate the 1968 911 for competition purposes, Porsche began with the Spartan 911 T which were a full 54 kg (118 pounds) lighter than their 'S' siblings. Porsche offered clients the opportunity to buy a 911 T outfitted with competition equipment directly from the factory, and the resulting cars have become known as the 911 T/R. They were built in low quantities to a range of specifications depending on their intended competition purposes.
Porsche developed the S/T, of which 33 were built in 1970 and 1971, taking full advantage of new FIA rules allowing a two-inch wider track. Accordingly, wheel arches were widened to accommodate seven-inch front and nine-inch rear wheels. Weight reduction was even more radical, including thinner-gauge steel for the roof and floorpans. Heating ducts, seat slide supports, the glove-box lid, ashtray, sun visors and rear torsion-bar covers were deleted.
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8
Introduced in 1973, the RSR was a factory-built racing car based on the 911 chassis. The Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 was the first 911 to ever wear the RSR badge. Homologated for racing by the iconic 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, the RSR’s racing career got off to the perfect start thanks to Brumos Racing’s overall triumph in the 1973 24 Hours of Daytona, while a factory car won the latest ever Targa Florio road race. For the privateer in the mid-1970s who wanted to go sports car racing this was the chosen weapon.
Revealed at the 1972 Paris Auto Show, the Carrera 2.7 RS was a special model used to homologate the 911 in Group 4 racing. Developed from the 911S, the 2.7 was more potent in almost every area. Compared to the standard Carrera, the 2.7 RS featured a larger engine, wider flares to accommodate the Fuchs alloy wheels, stiffened suspension, larger brakes and a ducktail rear spoiler. The Touring outsold the Lightweight, with a total of 1380 units built (the Lightweight had only 200 units).
Of all the 1580 Carrera RS 2.7s, only 200 were made were ordered with this lightweight ‘Sports’ trim which made the car more responsive and purposeful. In many ways these few cars were the ultimate road-going Porsche of the 1970s. Known as the Sports, Lightweight or even the M471 option code, these cars had improved the power-to-weight ratio. Reports of 75kg were stripped from the standard model by fitting lightweight body panels and lightweight glass.

Porsche 911 (1964-1974) Technical Specs

Forget the summary, here is every first generation Porsche 911 broken out by model year and variant and the technical specifications for each one. Car data nerds, let us unite.

Porsche 911 (1st Generation) Pictures & Videos

The original 911 is still the best. Below, we take you through our picture galleries and some great videos we curated from across the internet that celebrate the original icon.

Porsche 911 (1st Generation) News & Updates

Recent auctions, awesome review videos and all the latest news and posts regarding anything to do with the first generation, F-bodied Porsche 911.

The 15th Targa California rally recently concluded with most drivers logging 1,000+ miles over the roads “less traveled” of California’s...
Background In the Porsche world, “Luftgekühlt” represents all the air-cooled cars in the manufacturer’s history, from the Pre-A 356 through...

Join Our Porsche Community

Sign up for our weekly Porsche newsletter. The latest Porsche news, rumors, reviews and more delivered to your inbox. Cool Porsche stuff perfect for the flat-six obsessed.

More Porsche Research

There is a lot more Porsche data, details and obsession to explore.