The long lived success of the classic Porsche 911 is down to constant evolution. Just two years after it was introduced to the public it had already started to improve, with the Porsche 911S model becoming the flagship car constantly upping the ante.
Starting with a 2.0 flat six producing 160bhp, a full 30bhp more than its short wheel based brother, it soon gathered momentum. It then increased to 170 bhp adding fuel injection and the next year saw a 2.2 litre engine, finally ending with a 2.4 at 190bhp.
Constant evolution didn’t just stop at the rear air cooled engine, the Porsche 911S had a longer wheelbase, wider wheels, low profile tyres with stronger suspension and brakes.
The Porsche 911S was a rare sight on British roads in the early seventies, with only 44 examples sold in the UK in 1971, but the more they were seen driving on British roads the more people wanted them.
Today the 911S is a German icon in England, being the 911 of the sixties.
Early Porsche 911s can be relatively reliable classics, providing it hasn’t been neglected.
It should be pretty reliable, just make sure that the car has extensive history. This will enable you to make sure it’s been looked after properly, preferably with oil changes every 3,000 miles.
Corrosion, of course, can be a big problem. Be sure to investigate properly; feel around the arches and the underside of the parcel shelf from inside the engine bay, as well as all panels including inner wings and jacking points to make sure rust isn’t lurking.
From 1969 bodies were part galvanised, although any accident repair can render this useless.
When test driving the Porsche 911, watch the oil pressure closely. From cold it should be between 40 – 60 psi and once it gets hot it may move up and down with the revs, but should settle at around 40 psi at 4000 rpm.
Check gears for worn synchro, especially between 2nd and 3rd it could mean an expensive rebuild. Early 911s tend to suffer with cabin fumes, this is usually due to oil on the heat exchangers and may burn off, just make sure that the heater works properly.
Fuchs wheels come as standard on the 911S so make sure they are originals and check the condition, as well as checking the tyres for uneven wear.
Inside the cabin, make sure the seats are good as they are expensive to replace, as are door pockets.
The car was originally named Porsche 901, and 82 cars were built as 901s. However, Peugeot protested on the grounds that in France it had exclusive rights to car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle. So, instead of selling the new model with another name in France, Porsche changed the name to 911.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“If there was one car that could represent Porsche through the decades, it would of course be the 911 with excellent performance and that original style instantly recognisable the Porsche 911 is the companies true ambassador and long may it reign.”