A ‘modern classic’ if ever there was one, Porsche’s long-running 911 arrived in 1964, replacing the 356 that had secured the fledgling company’s reputation as producer of some the world’s finest sporting cars. The iconic 911 would take this reputation to an even more exulted level on both the road and racetrack.
The 356’s rear-engined layout was retained but the 911 switched to unitary construction for the bodyshell and dropped the 356’s VW-based suspension in favour of a more modern McPherson strut and trailing arm arrangement. In its first incarnation, Porsche’s single-overhead-camshaft, air-cooled flat six displaced 1,991cc and produced 130bhp; progressively enlarged and developed, it would eventually grow to more than 3.0 litres and, in turbo-charged form, put out well over 300 horsepower. The first of countless upgrades came in 1966 with the introduction of the 911S. Easily distinguishable by its stylish Fuchs five-spoked alloy wheels, the ‘S’ featured a heavily revised engine producing 160bhp, the increased urge raising top speed by 10mph to 135mph. A lengthened wheelbase introduced in 1969 improved the 911’s sometimes wayward handling, and then in 1970 the engine underwent the first of many enlargements, to 2.2 litres, in which form it produced 180bhp on Bosch mechanical fuel injection when installed in the top-of-the-range ‘S’ model.
Two years after the original coupé’s introduction, a convertible 911 – the ‘Targa’, named in honour of Porsche’s numerous victories in the Sicilian classic – arrived in 1966. Expected US safety legislation had prompted an ingenious approach to the soft-top 911, the Targa sporting a hefty roll-over bar to protect the occupants in the event of an inversion, together with removable roof and rear hood sections, which were stowed in the boot. For 1969 a quieter and less leak-prone fixed rear window replaced the less than perfect rear hood, and the ever-popular Targa would continue in this form well into the 1990s, sharing countless mechanical and styling developments with its closed cousin along the way. The much loved and instantly recognisable original Targa finally bowed out at the end of the 1990s when the Cabriolet became the sole open-topped 911 with the introduction of the Type 996 range for 1999.
The motor car on offer today forms part of an active and significant international collection, used regularly this lovely example benefits from the full-time attention of the collection specialists and really wants for very little if anything at all. Equipped with a five-speed gearbox this lovely albert blue on black example is supplied with numerous bills and invoices along with other documentation. Throughout its constant and full-time maintenance programme it is likely to be one of the healthiest examples of its type.