Porsche 901, 911/912 1.generation (1963-1973)

Date and place of world premiere: September 12, 1963 IAA Frankfurt

Short-wheelbase model (up to MY1968) © Porsche
MY1964 MY1965 MY1966 MY1967 MY1968 MY1969 MY1970 MY1971 MY1972 MY1973
Entry-level model 912 1.6
66 kW
911 T 2.0
81 kW
911 T 2.2
92 kW
911 T/V 2.4 (Europe)
96 kW
911 T/E 2.4 (USA)
103 kW
911 T/K 2.4 (USA)
103 kW
Standard model 901 2.0
96 kW
911 2.0
96 kW
911 L 2.0
96 kW
911 E 2.0
103 kW
911 E 2.2
114 kW
911 E 2.4
121 kW
Sports model 911 S 2.0
118 kW
911 S 2.0
125 kW
911 S 2.2
132 kW
911 S 2.4
140 kW
911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring
154 kW
Street-legal competition model 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight
154 kW
Competition model 911 R 2.0
154 kW
911 S/T 2.3
169-176 kW
911 S/T 2.5
199 kW
911 Carrera RSR 2.8
221 kW
911 T/R 2.0
118-154 kW
911 Carrera RSR 3.0
243 kW
MY1964 MY1965 MY1966 MY1967 MY1968 MY1969 MY1970 MY1971 MY1972 MY1973
Coupé
Targa
Sportomatic
Longer wheelbase
MY1964 MY1965 MY1966 MY1967 MY1968 MY1969 MY1970 MY1971 MY1972 MY1973
Identification chassis # 6-digit
(5 for prototypes)
6-digit 6-digit 6-digit 6 and 8-digit 9-digit 10-digit 10-digit 10-digit 10-digit
Carburettor
Kugelfischer fuel injection
K-Jetronic fuel injection

As the Porsche 356 had been for sale for a very long time, it needed a replacement. A decision was taken to develop a completely new sports car. As the last 356 body was called T6, the new prototype was called T7. Ferry Porsche had given the team a clear brief: “The same dimensions as the 356 plus at least 20 cm longer wheelbase for more legroom, and a long, flowing rear end". Many designs were considered for T7 type 695 and a full size clay model was made in December 1959.

In addition to in-house, designs were also ordered from different international studios. On the upper model Erwin Komenda's design language can be seen. He, as the designer of 356, wanted the 356 successor to look more like 356, but F.A.Porsche had other plans and as a son of Ferry Porsche, his voice was stronger. © Porsche
Designer F.A Porsche with his father Ferry Porsche. The 356 model on the desk is not important. The full size model on the left is the quad-headlamp version of the 695. © Porsche
2.0-litre prototype engine (type 745)

While the 695 was a model and not a real car, in 1960 the successor, the T7 type 754 running prototype was created.

F.A. Porsche ca 1960 © Porsche
754. Fortunately Ferry didn't like the full 4 seater design and it was converted to 2+2, giving it the shape that would become a huge success. © Porsche

In December 1961 Ferdinand Alexander Porsche proposed the final design for the new car, internally called T8. The type number assigned for the future production car was 901.

Model of a T8 variant © Porsche

Although the 5-digit chassis numbers were discontinued for 356 after model year 1958 and 6-digit numbers were used since model year 1959, the early 901 prototypes used 5-digit chassis numbers. The first 901 prototype beared chassis number 13321. The later prototypes used the 6-digit chassis numbers of the production cars, starting with 300001. The 13321 body was built in September 1962.

901 model, probably April 1962 © Porsche
Car pictured here is the first prototype, chassis 13321. It doesn't have the rear windows installed yet. Photo shows the 901 development team incl. Karl Ruoff, Richard Hetmann, Leopold Jäntschke, Erich Stotz, Robert Binder, Rudolf Hofmann, Hans Herzog, Hans Hönick, Xaver Reimspieß, Alfred Kühn, Theo Bauer, Heinrich Klie, Edgar Tengler, Walter Payerbach, Erwin Komenda, Wilhelm Albrecht, Gottlob Sturm, Gerhard Schröder, Karl Mozelt, Hans Mezger, Ernst Weyersberg, Kurt Knörzer, Karl Metzger, Hans Martens, Helmuth Bott, Adolf Schneider, Herbert Linge, Schilling, Eberhard Stortz, Helmut Rombold, Hans Tomala, Ferdinand Piëch, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and Ferry Porsche. © Porsche
First 901/902 prototype, chassis 13321. License plates used on this car were S-PS430, S-CU902, TYP902. Photo made in 1963 shows designer F.A. Porsche. © Porsche
Ferry and his son Ferdinand Alexander with the second 901 prototype (chassis 13322, license plate S-04324). Note the twin exhaust pipes. © Porsche
Wind tunnel test of the chassis 13322 prototype (note the rear lid grille design that didn't go into production)© Porsche
Second 901 prototype (chassis 13322, license plate S-04324) here seen on July 1963 after being covered with camouflage and painted military green instead of original white. © Porsche
Fourth 901 prototype (chassis 13324, license plate S-04326) here being tested in late 1963. © Porsche
901 prototype interior © Porsche
Prototype interior © Porsche
Prototype interior © Porsche
1963 Porsche design studio. Heinrich Klie, Hans Ploch, Hans Springmann, Ernst Bolt and F.A. Porsche. © Porsche
901 see-through (9/1963) © Porsche

At last, but at the same time maybe too early, the Porsche 901 was introduced at the IAA Frankfurt on September 12, 1963. The 901 was 120 mm / 4.7" longer, but 70 mm / 2.8" narrower than the 356C. As the new car was more sophisticated, the weight went up around 100 kg / 220 lb. The official 901 specs in September 1963 were as follows: 2-litre flat 6, 5-speed gearbox, length 4135 mm / 162.8", width 1600 mm / 63.0", height 1273 mm / 50.1", wheelbase 2204 mm / 86.8", brakes 227 mm front, 243 mm rear, wheels 4.5x15, tyres 165R15, fuel tank 68 L / 18 US gal / 15 Imp gal., fuel consumption 11-14 L/100 km / 17-21 miles/US gal. / 20-26 miles/Imp gal., top speed 210 km/h / 130 mph, acceleration 0-100 km/h 9.1 sec., 0-160 km/h 21.9 sec., 1 km from standing start 29.9 sec., 1/4-mile 16.4 sec.

1963 September 12, 901 world premiere at IAA Frankfurt motor show. On the photo F.A.Porsche is standing on the right. The show car was yellow, it was the fifth prototype, chassis 13325, license plate S-TC1. © Porsche
1963 (S-SR201) © Porsche
1963. The 901 (S-CU902) with 356s in the background. 356s were produced until 1965. Note the rounded fuel flap which was made elliptical for production cars. Also note the rear side windows which are not openable on this car. They had the ventilation function on all production cars from 1964 until 1973 including the Carrera RS and were discontinued only when the new 1974 G-model was introduced. © Porsche

Sportscar prices 1963 October 1 (ADAC Motorwelt magazine)

  Engine Power kW Top speed mph kmh Weight kg lb Price DM
MG B 1.8 I4 70 118 190 11400
Glas 1300 GT 1.3 I4 55 106 170 11.600
Triumph TR4 2.1 I4 74 109 175 11.990
Porsche 356 C 1.6 B4 55 109 175 14.950
Porsche 356 SC 1.6 B4 70 115 185 16.450
Facel Vega III Cabriolet 1.8 I4 79 112 180 16.500
Austin-Healey 3000 2.9 I6 97 115 185 16.780
Volvo P1800 S 1.8 I4 79 106 171 18.300
Lotus Elan 1600 * 1.6 I4 81 115 185 585 1290 19.500
Mercedes-Benz 230 SL 2.3 I6 110 124 200 20.600
Porsche 356 Carrera 2 * 2.0 B4 96 131 210 1010 2227 23.700
Porsche 901 * 2.0 B6 96 131 210 998 2200 23.900
Lancia Flaminia Sport 2.8 V6 103 124 200 26.850
Jaguar E-type 3.8 I6 195 155 250 27.000
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speziale 1.6 I4 85 124 200 30.000
Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Zagato * 1.6 I4 99 152 245 610 1345 33.000
Maserati 3500 GT 3.5 I6 173 146 235 39.900
Jaguar E-type Competition * 3.9 I6 221 174 280 980 2161 48.000
Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta 3.0 V12 184 149 240 49.800
Aston Martin DB5 * 4.0 I6 207 149 240 1100 2425 56.000
Ferrari 400 Superamerica 4.0 V12 250 178 287 78.000
Ferrari 250 GTO * 3.0 V12 222 174 280 960 2116 80.000
* noted as GT cars with racing suitability

On November 2, 1964, the 901 was renamed to 911 due to Peugeot's claim that in France they own copyright already for decades for trademark with 3 digits and zero in the middle. Peugeot had the rights for this reservation in France only, but Porsche decided to change the number to be able to sell the car in all markets with the same abbreviation.

The chassis numbers up to 300048 were used on 901's and numbers starting with 300049 were used both on 901 and 911. There is a known 901 with 300080. The designation change happened overnight. The reason some 911s have chassis number smaller than some 901s, is that the chassis number was stamped on body when it was made, but the designation was given when the particluar car with its ordered equipment was finished. Some bodies stayed longer in the factory than the others and that's the reason for this "mess" with the 901/911 chassis number sequence.

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Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


Sales catalogues

PDF 1963/09 901 (13 MB)
“...the new transmission has five forward speeds...”
"The inside space has been enlarged while keeping the outside dimensions down - here exceeding the overall length of the Type 356 only 120 mm, yet reducing the overall width by 70 mm."
"...front fenders have been made detachable to simplify repairs."
"Acceleration 0-100 kmh (0-62.1 mph) 9.1 sec."

PDF 1973 911 2.4 USA: T, E, S (25 MB)
“...protected from overrevving by an ignition RPM governor”
“With all the Porsche racing victories it is easy to forget that the vast majority of Porsches are driven in normal, everyday traffic”
“...front luggage compartment - which because of the space saving front axle design offers 200 litres (7.1 cubic feet) of storage”
“Owning a Porsche 911 is more than a matter of money. It’s a matter of style. Porsche owners tend to be people who take pride in the things they own. People, above all, who look beyond the obvious”
“911S: stabilizers, velour carpeting, oil pressure and oil reservoir gauges”
“911E/911S: front apron function as a spoiler”

PDF 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (21 MB)
“Monday to the office. Tuesday to Geneva. Back in the evening. Wednesday shopping. City. Traffic-jam. Crawling traffic, but no spark plug soot. Thursday high-road, Motorway, bends, field-paths, building plots. Friday only short distances and cold starts again. Saturday to Finland with the holiday luggage."
“A car for the race track - a car for the road: The CARRERA RS."

This catalogue is issued in 1972 and shows the prototype and not the production car. Information about the 165 mm tyres is wrong, even the less powerful variants had already 185 tyres.

PDF 2011/09 Porsche Classic: 356, 911, 914, 924, 928, 944, 968, 959, in German (7 MB)


Search for a 911 1. gen or a 912 1. gen

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Anniversaries
Jan, 30 – 66th death anniversary of Ferdinand Porsche (1951)
Feb, 03 – 33rd birthday of the 962 (1984)
Mar, 05 – 14th birthday of the Carrera GT (2003)
Mar, 06 – 5th birthday of the Boxster 981 (2012)
Mar, 12 – 48th birthday of the 917 (1969)