Why the Porsche 911 remains an icon
We found this Porsche in Waikiki and made us think what a great vehicle it is.
The Porsche 911 remains an icon to this day.
The shape is recognizable since it’s introduction to the world at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. This sports coupe can trace its origins back to the classic Volkswagen Beetle because Ferdinand Porsche, Sr and Ferry Porsche helped create it.
The layout is similar with an air cool engine in the ear and a 2+2 seater layout with a trunk in front. What changes with the Porsche 911 is that a bigger Flat 6 engine has been fitting in the rear.
The engine produced 130 horsepower, but with a car weight around 2,200lbs, it was quick, but the handling characteristics are very unique.
With the engine at the rear, it was great at accelerating because the majority of the car’s weight was being shifted towards the rear driven wheels. The result led to great launches off the corners and stop lights.
Going into corners was a different story. With the majority of the weight on the rear wheels, the front wheels were very light. A lot of drivers would crash or flip the 911 because they were used to driving traditional front engine, rear wheel drive vehicles.
To properly drive a 911 through a corner, brake only in a straight line. This shifts the weight forward once at a proper speed, slowly apply throttle and braking simultaneously. If you were to let go of the braking and apply the throttle right after, the weight transfer will be drastic enough to upset the car and spin the rear of the car. Slowly carry the vehicle through the corner with light throttle use and once you feel you can exit the corner, use that rear weight advantage to plow right through it.
You didn't need power steering as well which is why the steering feel on these older 911s were so great. However, the steering may become too light as you burn fuel because the fuel tank was located in the front of the driver. It made fueling the car look cool as the gas tank cover was in front, but did not feel that great if you were trying to drive on a light tank.
Despite these oddball driving dynamics, Porsche has accumulated numerous race wins and championships throughout the decades. Few have yet to match the numbers that Porsche has accomplished with a production vehicle and race car.
It’s great to see a great car on a the road and shows proof that it is still worthy of being on the road today.