Iconic Auto Design | The Porsche 911

 

The Porsche 911 (Targa shown here) is one of the most iconic and recognizable sports car designs for pure form and function-- hands down.  Though the world has in large part past it by in terms of innovation, it is and will always be a classic.

The Porsche 911 (Targa shown here) is one of the most iconic and recognizable sports car designs for pure form and function-- hands down. Though the world has in large part past it by in terms of innovation, it is and will always be a classic. The term "Targa" came from the Targa Florio road race in Sicily, where Porsche scored many victories in the 1950s and 1960s. Basically a convertible with a stainless steel-clad roll bar and removable roof panel, the Targa was definitely an automotive icon of the time. --Image by © Car Culture/Corbis

 

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.

 

The 911 was Porsche's design successor to their 356-- a classic beauty in it's own right.

The 911 was Porsche's design successor to their 356-- a classic beauty in it's own right.

 

 

One of the most influential cars of the twentieth century - the rear engined Porsche 911 began production in 1964. The wood and leather trimmed interior of the first 911 model is perfectly appointed.

One of the most influential cars of the twentieth century - the rear engined Porsche 911 began production in 1964. The wood and leather trimmed interior of the first 911 model is perfectly appointed.

 

 

The iconic Porsche 911

The iconic Porsche 911

 

 

One of the most influential cars of the twentieth century - the rear engined Porsche 911 began production in 1964. --- Image by © Car Culture/Corbis

One of the most influential cars of the twentieth century - the rear engined Porsche 911 began production in 1964. --- Images by © Car Culture/Corbis

 

More from Edmunds–

Porsche 911 history

8 thoughts on “Iconic Auto Design | The Porsche 911

  1. that car is absolutely gorgeous. i grew up in a quiet suburban neighborhood right outside of DC. my dad made sure all 4 of his boys had to take on the paper route. one of my favorite memories during that period is that in the summer evenings, when i’d go to collect the month’s billing for the Washington Post, i’d get to see the garages of my neighbors opened up revealing some of the gems they had hidden there. highlights included a 67 xke and a 68 barracuda but the one that always stuck in my head was a mid-60′s 911 in perfect condition. a couple weekends a summer he would go for a drive. i’d know because you’d hear that distinctive 6 cylinder revving to get up our steep incline. one of those rare moments when all senses are concurrently stimulated…

  2. few things:

    1. Dad tells me word on the collector’s scene is that be it a coupe or a cab, the 356 is going for about 100k easy. That price tag has jumped by leaps and bounds since I was a starry eyed teenager imagining my arsenal of dream cars. You think so?

    2. I was in Portsmouth, NH on a glorious day a few weekends ago when a 912 whizzed by me. Absolutely took my breath away, in deep forest green with rich brown interior. This might be the car for me. Not necessarily in the Brit colors, but for everything else it was perfect.

    3. At heart I guess I’m a 911 soul, it’s all I know. I’m learning stick this summer so I can drive Dad’s convertible! Then on to the Turbo… Against all odds, I’m turning 25 this month and NEVER learned!

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  4. One of my all time favorites, the only thing is where i’m from in Atlanta, only older business men or retired guys can buy and afford the 911. My goal is to have one before I turn 55, first I’ll go after the M3.

    • just chanced by this website. got to say i’m so happy i just bought myself a 1967 912. i think i’ll love it more than my m3

  5. Have loved the 911 since day dreaming about it as a bored high school student in 1965; I would have settled for a 912 actually, it was the design I wanted, moveable sculpture, rather than the speed necessarily. So, my first was an Austin Healy “bug eye” Sprite; I’ve had a MG-B, a Saab, several Mercedes (my favorite a ’68 300SEL); just recently bought a TT and really love it…retro styling, but this time with the power (225hp/quattro)!

    Would still love a Porsche, but am blissfully happy with what I got…

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