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The Porsche 911: 50 Years of Design Excellence

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Since its introduction in 1963, the Porsche 911 has become an icon and permanent fixture in the makeup of the Stuttgart brand.

Founded in Austria in 1931 by a father and son team, Dr. Ing. H. c. F. Porsche GmbH was, initially, an automotive consulting company. For seven years, Ferdinand Porsche and his son, also named Ferdinand but nicknamed “Ferry,” assisted with the development of some of history’s most successful vehicles, including the Beetle. They were commissioned by the German government to build a car for the people, or a “Volkswagen.”

The Porsche 356 SL Coupe
The Porsche 356 SL Coupe (Courtesy of Porsche)

World War Two changed the direction of development from road cars to military vehicles, until the end of the war in 1945, at which point Ferdinand was removed from his position at the manufacturer. He was arrested for war crimes and imprisoned for 20 months, though never charged. Ferry was able to shepherd the company through his father’s absence while designing his own car. At the time, there weren’t any that he wanted to buy, so he created the 356.

The first Porsche for sale to the public, the 356 helped launch Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH as a company in 1948. The first Porsche assembly plant was built in 1952, across the street from the company that built the steel body of the 356. The marque enjoyed a rise in notoriety and popularity, and began crafting its legacy.

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, design-father of Porsche 911, Porsche AG (Courtesy of Porsche)
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, design-father of Porsche 911, Porsche AG (Courtesy of Porsche)

In 1964, the 356 was in desperate need of a redesign, and its successor launched one of the most successful model lines in history. Built as a larger, more comfortable and powerful successor, the 911 originally sported a flat, four-cylinder, boxer-style, air-cooled engine. In the 1984 911 3.2 Carrera, the engine was switched out for a Porsche air-cooled flat-six, which remained a fixture until 1998.

While many versions of the 911 have emerged over the years, they have all been based on a few basic platforms. In 1999, Porsche continued building its cars with the flat-six engine, but introduced a liquid-cooled system. Before the introduction of the liquid engine cooling system, Porsche turbocharged and modified their engines in the 911 turbo and leaner, race-only versions like the RSR.

Today, more than 50 years after its introduction, the 911 remains Porsche’s best selling model. With that much time spent creating a car, there are certainly quite a few examples available for purchase at any time, but each model year holds more than just a powerful engine and a luxurious interior. The history of the company can be charted through developments in the 911, technologies prowess can be seen in the introduction of each new engine component.

Really, buying a 911 is more than just buying a car. It’s buying a piece of one of the world’s most influential automakers, and a piece of automotive history. Browse the listings below, and find a 911 for your collection.

1965 Porsche 911



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1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2



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1976 Porsche 911 Targa



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1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo



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1993 Porsche 911 RS America



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1994 Porsche 911 Speedster



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2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0



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2014 Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition



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2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS



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2016 Porsche 911 Black Edition



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