The original 911 was unveiled in 1963 as the 901, soon relabeled the 911 for launch later the following year after a well-documented naming disagreement with Peugeot, who laid claim to the middle ‘zero’ in model numbers, and as the successor to Porsche’s first production car the 356.
Styled by F.A. ‘Butzi’ Porsche, and with its 2.0-litre engine and all-around independent suspension, the bigger, more powerful and more refined 911 was designed at Porsche AG in Stuttgart with Grand Touring in mind and would become one of the most successful sportscars ever built, with continuous development to this day, although the original concept very much maintained, and enjoying success both on the road and on track.
No sooner had the 911 launched than it was being modified for racing, rallying and other competitive forms of motorsport. Our early 1965 example embodies that same pioneering spirit and arrives ready to take on the challenges of the ever-popular Historic racing scene.
Chassis number: 301836
Engine: 2.0-litre flat 6-cylinder
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
Using the same rear-mounted, air-cooled ‘boxer’ configuration as the 356 before, the new Type 901/01 flat 6-cylinder 1,991cc engine of the 911 had an output of 130bhp at 6200rpm, with both four and five speed manual Type 901 transmission offered, all-around disc brakes and 2+2 seat layout, the latter a contentious issue for longtime lead Porsche designer, Erwin Komenda before he was persuaded otherwise.
Whilst production of the 356 ended in 1965, there still seemed to be a call for the 4-cylinder unit, particularly in the USA and so Porsche introduced the 912 in 1966, combining the styling of the new 911 and its Type 901 transmission with a de-tuned revision of the 1.6 litre engine from the 356 SC.
Development of the early 911 roadcar continued apace, including production of the high-performance S version in 1966, the ‘Targa’ part-convertible variant in 1968 – named in honour of the famous Targa Florio road races in Sicily where Porsche enjoyed much success – and the 911 L with increased power of the revised 901/06 engine and ventilated front disc brakes. At the same time, a limited run of just 20 lightweight racing cars was produced, named the 911 R, with its 901/22 engine produced some 210hp.
The B series arrived in 1969, increasing wheelbase lengths on all existing models, whilst the 911 S and new middle model 911 E received fuel injection, and a new, innovative semi-automatic Sportomatic model was introduced, boasting torque converter, automatic clutch and four-speed transmission. The year also marked the end of the 2.0 litre 911 with the arrival of a revised 2.2-litre power unit for the 911, taking the iconic car into a new era.
Chassis 301836 was built by experienced Porsche specialist Steve Monk in the late 2000s from a high-quality donor car sourced from the US. With matching numbers for both engine and gearbox, it also has the requisite stampings on the shell, knee roll bar and inside the doors.
One of the foremost Porsche vehicle identity advisers has examined the shell and declared it to be correct.
The car has recently benefited from substantial expenditure for conversion to racing specification at leading preparer, Tuthill Porsche, and is on the button and ready to compete.
The Pre-1966 Porsche 911 racing car has always been a desirable device and demand is increasing with the launch of the new 2-Litre Cup, a one-make racing series initiated by Sports Purpose, in conjunction with Peter Auto.
1966 is the obvious cut-off point for FIA Historic racing cars and also sits well with the end of the Pre-911 S era of early, short wheelbase Porsche 911 development.
This car is a great basis for anyone looking to start racing or to enter the newly announced 2-Litre Cup. It has been prepared by Sports Purpose so that it can be raced as is without any need for further development. A veteran of the 2015 John Aldington Trophy race for 2-litre 911s at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, we cannot wait to see it once again campaigned in anger later this year.