Although the first prototype was revealed at the 1963 Frankfurt Show, it would be more than a year before the iconic 901 – later to be named the 911 – would go into full manufacture as a replacement for Porsche’s first production model, the 356.
This rare and highly original, 1966 matching-numbers 911 from the USA was recently recommissioned after 46 years in continuous ownership, offering a wonderfully patinated example from the earliest years of development of this famous sports car.
Chassis number: 304530
Engine: 2.0-litre flat 6-cylinder
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
Styling of the 911 was of course done in-house, led by ‘Butzi’ Porsche. The car had an all-new Type 901 flat six-cylinder 2.0-litre engine with chain-driven single overhead camshaft and dry sump lubrication, producing 130hp at 6,200rpm, a newly-designed five-speed gearbox and all-round Porsche/ATE disc brakes as fitted to the later 356C models.
Full production of the 911 began in Autumn 1964. At DM 21,900, it was not cheap, with high development costs and estimated low volume. Changes from the prototype included a single, nearside exhaust, additional fog-lights, new hubcaps and a new gold ‘911’ badge added. The engine was equipped with a new carburettor setup, whilst the interior saw the addition of a five-dial gauge dashboard layout.
By February 1965, the first 911s were arriving in the USA and the first RHD car was delivered to the UK in May. The same year saw the first early revisions made, including lower internal gear ratios, a more ‘expensive-looking’ aluminium surround added to the wood veneer dashboard and additional ‘911’ badge on the glovebox.
Chassis 304530 is an original LHD car delivered new to Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Florida on 12 May 1966, one of only 1,709 911s produced that year, finished in Silver with black leatherette interior.
With the highly-regarded Brumos dealership continuing to oversee the car’s maintenance, it was registered to third owner Gustave Anderson Jr of Savannah, Georgia on 29 March 1972, with a recorded mileage of 51,918 that year, and remained with Mr Anderson for the next 46 years. Thought to have been put into storage in 1990 and remaining untouched, the car was purchased and recommissioned by early 911 specialist Don Ahearn and imported to the UK in July 2018.
Believed never to have been apart, and displaying the wonderful patina of its faded paintwork, the car still retains its original mechanical components and boasts a number of highly-prized early 911 features, as well as a rare set of genuine American Racing magnesium wheels, its ‘Brumos’ number plate frame and Sports Car Club of America badge.
The Porsche 911 has defined the sports car landscape for over 50 years. Not simply a replacement for the outgoing 356, the original 911 was an all-new, GT-focused, performance machine – bigger, faster and more refined than ever before.
These early cars, with their elegance, simplicity and purity of design have not yet been recognised as the most collectable of the 911 production family; but they soon could be. They are hard to find in unmolested condition and we expect values to continue to rise.
The real strength of this car lies in its honesty and unrepeatable originality, retaining many of its early 911 features. Externally, the car tells an incredible story, from the patina of the original Silver paintwork to the incredible clean lines of the panels and tight door shut. Add to this the cultural references of its history with the celebrated Brumos Porsche dealership and Sports Car Club of America, this car is nothing else if not Americana ‘cool’. Driving well following recommission after almost half a century with its last owner, this 911 is ready and waiting for the next chapter.