If you’ve ever visited the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for a CASC event, you may have noticed that most of cars zipping around the track are the Porsche 911. From its well-balanced suspension to its lightweight frame, there are lots of reasons why this is one of the most popular classic cars. But where did it all begin?
A Porsche Born Out of the VW Beetle?
Yes. While the Volkswagen Beetle began its storied career as a car built for the average consumer in the 1930s, it was also surprisingly fun to drive. In 1948, Porsche took the basic underpinnings of the bug, tweaked the sheet metal, and added a few more horsepower to create the Porsche 356. The result was overwhelmingly positive. By the 60s, Porsche needed to take the athletic two-seater to the next level.
A Compact Design with a Sporting Spirit
With a body length of 4.13 metres and a width of 1.6 metres, the 1963 Porsche 911 would easily fit into any parking space. The rear-mounted flat-six 2.0L engine meant that the hood could be lowered for improved visibility. Luggage or golf clubs fit in the front trunk.
Pumping out 130 horsepower and matched to a four-speed manual transmission, the little sports machine could attain speeds of 130 mph. But its rack and pinion steering and wishbone suspension turned the re-imagined Beetle into something worthy of a road course.
It could run 0 to 60 mph in just 8.3 seconds when properly tuned.
The brakes were a curious mix of drum and disc brake designs, which lowered weight while improving stopping power.
An Interior Crafted for the Serious Driver
If you were buying a Porsche back in 1963, it wasn’t because you were searching for a luxury cruiser. The original Porsche 911 delivered front bench seats, no radio, and a spartan interior design.
The instrument cluster provided clean information without a lot of fuss. You had nothing to distract from the business at hand.
At the same time, this was not a cheap interior. Woven upholstery, leather trim, a wood dash, and carpeting looked after customers that were shelling out the equivalent of $50,000 today.
Searching for the Elusive 1963 Porsche 901
Since the 911 has been in production since it debuted in 1964, it isn’t hard to find one of these collector cars up on the auction block. But the very first year of the concept has a different story.
When Porsche arrived at the Frankfurt IAA Motor Show in 1963, they brought their new 901 model. Only 82 prototypes were built, and none were sold to the public. But before the 901 could hit the showroom floor, Peugeot brought a lawsuit against the name. The French manufacturer said that a three-digit vehicle designation with a 0 in the middle was a proprietary naming convention that belonged to them.
Porsche bowed out and changed the 901 to the 911.
Very few of the original Porsche 901 have been found in private collections. If one comes to the auction block, expect prices to shoot over the $1 million mark.
Protect Your Own Porsche 911 Investment
No matter if you have a 1970s Porsche or one built in 1995, your 911 is still considered a collector car. Make sure that it is fully protected against accidents, theft, and vandalism with a collector car insurance policy from Wayfarer Insurance Group.