It may not be the most expensive car on the market or the most exclusive. It can’t claim the most powerful engine or the fastest speed; but when we talk about the Porsche 911 that is not important.
by Nathaniel Stillman
The Porsche 911 is one of the most special and charismatic models in automotive history, the sports car par excellence. Always considered a benchmark, those who have had the opportunity to drive it would bet again and again on this German classic. That is why Porsche has organized a series of world events to celebrate the anniversary of this legendary automobile, which in spite of being 50 years old has not lost any of its relevance.
Since the first 911 was introduced as a prototype at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in 1963, more than 820,000 units have been manufactured, making it the most commercially successful sports car in the world. The engineers at Zuffenhausen and Weissach have reinvented it for each of its seven generations, while maintaining the essence of its unmistakable interior and exterior design, adding only the necessary touches to accommodate new technologies and satisfy their consumer’s demands. This particular model manages to reconcile contradictory features such as sportsmanship and practical daily use, tradition and innovation, exclusivity and appeal, design and functionality.
Ferry Porsche, son of Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the Stuttgart Company, thus defines it: "The 911 is the only car that you can drive on a safari in Africa or at Le Mans, and is versatile enough to drive to the theater in New York City traffic".
Much of the legend of this sports car has been forged in racing circuits around the world. Two-thirds of the 30,000 victories of team Porsche in sports competitions are due to the 911. These races have been the test lab for the German manufacturer. The company has always tried to be a benchmark in technology, and the competitions have been the ideal venue for experimentation. Many of the innovations that have been applied to the 911 were conceived on the racetrack. To date, the 911 is the center and source of inspiration for all the range of Porsche models. From the Cayenne to the Panamera, all of them carry in their DNA parts of the style and character of this sports car.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its icon, Porsche has prepared a yearlong calendar of activities. The most international will have as protagonist a 911 from 1967. This unique car will travel throughout the year to the five continents and will be on display in places like Pebble Beach (Calif.), Shanghai (China), Goodwood (United Kingdom), Paris (France) and Australia. The eponymous model will also make appearances at numerous international fairs, rallies and related events.
The Porsche Museum will host the exhibition 50 Years of the Porsche 911 from June 4 to September 29 of 2013. The special display recreates the history and development of the 'nine eleven'. In addition, the museum will publish a limited edition book titled "911 x 911".
The anniversary of this legendary model will also be felt, in a very special way, in the 2013 editions of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and at the 24 hours of Le Mans. Porsche has developed a new GT competition car: the new 911 RSR. It will fight for the victory in these races, showing prominently the numbers 50 and 911, which represent the 50 years of the Porsche 911. ■
Porsche 911 (1963-1973)
Porsche 911 (2011)
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