Considered one of the most recognizable sports cars in the history of the automobile, the Porsche 911 debuted in September 1963 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. A radical departure in form from the four-cylinder Porsche 356, the 901 represented the most advanced thinking of Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche – a rear-mounted, flat six, giving the car both power and traction.
First called the 901, the new model was renamed the 911 when Peugeot claimed the worldwide trademark rights to all three-digit car model designations with a “0” as the middle number. This car is one of about 40 cars built in mid-1964 before official production of the 911 started – that’s why it’s designated a 901 and not a 911. Advanced in comparison to the Volkswagen-derived Porsche 356 engine, the newly designed Porsche 901/911 power unit was a two-liter, air-cooled flat six that produced 130 horsepower. Acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour was a brisk 8.3 seconds.