Porsche’s long-running and much loved 911 sports car first appeared at the 1963 Frankfurt Show as the ‘901’, but shortly after production proper commenced in 1964 had become the ‘911’ following Peugeot’s complaints about the use of ‘0’ model numbers. The preceding Type 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 engine 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 to the perennial 911 came in 1966, two years after production had commenced, with the introduction of the 911S, which featured stylish Fuchs five-spoked alloy wheels and a heavily revised and more powerful engine. Improved handling courtesy of a lengthened wheelbase arrived in 1969 and then in 1970 the 911’s air-cooled, flat six engine underwent the first of many enlargements – to 2.2 litres. By this time the models on offer had stabilised at three: the entry-level 911T, middle-ranking 911E and top-of-the-range 911S, all of which were available as either a closed coupé or Targa convertible. With the 2.2-litre engine’s arrival, a common type of cylinder head was adopted, the differing power outputs being determined principally by valve timing rather than valve sizes as had been the case hitherto. In 1972 all 911 variants received the 2,341cc (nominally 2.4-litre) unit, which in ‘E’ specification produced a maximum of 165bhp.
This 911E on offer today is in good condition throughout. Matching numbers and finished in azure blue, this desirable 72’ example comes from a private Belgian collection and would welcome closer inspection.