By the late 1950s, it was painfully obvious to Porsche that it’s workhorse 356 sports car (released in 1948) was getting it’s doors blown off by the competition in terms of performance and price. An innovative and inspired redesign was badly needed, and in Fall of 1963 after years of development and refining, the 911 was launched. For brand purists, it remains the only true Porsche– the only model that truly harkens back to the heritage of the original 356. And what a heritage it is. The birth of the 911 was largely a family affair– a daring initiative mostly instigated by Ferry Porsche, son of founder Ferdinand, with his own son Butzi Porsche alongside as the body stylist. Porsche could hope, but surely never could have known with certainty that the new 911 would carry the Porsche torch well into the future, and ultimately become a design and engineering legend.
The longevity of Porsche’s 911 is no accident. Porsche-style has labored very thoughtfully over the years to constantly freshen and innovate the 911. They’ve done an incredible job keeping it up to date, all the while staying true to the design and spirit of the original 911– not an easy feat anyway you slice it, and a very commendable one at that. Those of us in the design industry can certainly acknowledge the mastery involved in keeping a classic icon relevant while remaining faithful to it’s essence. The art of timelessness evolving with the times.