Porsche 911 2.0-litre: ultimate guide
As the Porsche 911 gets bigger, faster and evermore luxurious, it’s easy to forget that there was once a much simpler way. Nothing epitomises that more than the car featured here.
A 911 shorn of the electronic driver aids and the clever aerodynamic enhancements we’ve become used to seeing with every new generation, scrolling back half a century brings us to this, the short wheelbase (SWB) 911.
Back in 1964, when the 911 was finally launched to an expectant public, this was a sports car that looked impossibly pretty. Delicate and with a purity of line that, some argue, has been lost in the race for ballistic performance and the ability to brag about lap times, the simplicity of Porsche’s approach was more than a little breathtaking.
And that simplicity extended to a two-door coupe body shell that was constructed – beautifully, it should be said, and with traditional attention to detail – as a straightforward steel monocoque.
Little was needed by way of embellishment, certainly no ungainly spoilers or other aerodynamic protuberances, just the slimmest of bumpers and with chrome surrounds for the windows and delicate grilles adjacent to the sidelight/indicator units.
Chrome was also used for the small door mirror and handles, and the whole effect was one of neatness and understatement. This was truly a case of function over form, and the earliest 911 was all the better for it.
A Targa model would appear in 1967 with its now-iconic steel roll hoop and a zip-out plastic rear window, although this latter feature proved fiddly and 1968 saw a fixed-glass item offered as an option.
But whatever the body style, the dimensions too were somewhat less than we’re used to today, a SWB car measuring around 30 centimetres shorter overall and 20 centimetres narrower than a current 991 Carrera.
To read our full Porsche 911 2.0-litre ultimate guide, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 123 in store now. Alternatively, order it online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device.