The fourth dimension of our world seemed forgotten the 911. What made it so timeless ?
To novice drivers, handling the 911 was always a headache. You know its power slide enabled you to corner in the style of Stirling Moss, but that was neither easily accessible nor fool-proof. You must practice a lot to know how to live on the knife edge. However, to keen drivers, it was more like a demonstration of their superior driving skill, hence delivering driving pleasure and satisfaction unfound in other cars.
with characterful handling alone, the early 911 would not have been commercially
successful. From the beginning, it was known as a practical sports car,
somewhat balancing the early handling flaws. Unlike contemporary Ferraris,
it had a big front luggage compartment, a superb driving position, generous
headroom and remarkable visibility.
The 911 had all the good ingredients of German cars, such as superior build quality, equipment and most important, reliability. It was probably the first sports cars to introduce galvanisation to inside and outside of bodyshell, and the first to offer 10-year warranty of rust-proofing. Fit and finish was better competition. The flat-six engines and running gears were all highly reliable and durable. Accompany with superb aftersale services, the 911 was one of the rare exciting sports cars that was really suitable daily use. The same couldn’t be said for Ferrari and Lotus.
What made the 911 so outstanding in real world was the experience gained from motor racing. As we have learned earlier, from the very beginning Ferry Porsche decided the car must be suitable for racing, therefore adopted dry-sump lubrication and rear-engined instead of front-engined (although mid-engined was ruled out in favour of practicality). In the following years, the 911 adopted many technologies learned from and thoroughly tested in motor racing. For example, the Nikasil cylinder was transferred from the 917 endurance racer, so was the entire brakes for the first Turbo 3.3. Likewise, the turbocharging was first explored in the 917, but Porsche further tested it in the 911 Carrera RSR turbo before applying to the road-going Turbo. Without a racing program building around the 911, "racing improves the breed" could hardly be realised.
The value of racing program was that it provided an opportunity for proving new technology meeting the requirements for reliability and durability even under the highest stress. Therefore you can hardly hear a 911 engine (including Turbo) overheat. The same couldn’t be said for Ferrari and Lamborghini. Racing experience also concentrated engineer’s vision to reduce lap time rather than playing with horsepower game. As a result, the 911 always got powerful brakes that helped out-braking others into corners. In contrast, the Italian and British didn’t paid much attention to braking until recently.
Lastly, if not benefited from racing experience, the 911 wouldn’t have lasted so long. The continuous enlargement of the flat-six engine would not have been possible without thoroughly tested in racing models. To withstand the stress under racing, they learned what should be strengthened and what could be lightened, eventually enable the bore to be stretched to 102 mm without deteriorating reliability.
Major updates like the 964 and 993 injected new lease of life for the last 10 years, including new engine, suspensions and transmission. Eventually, the 911 shared virtually nothing with its origin, except the basic layout and philosophy defined by Ferry Porsche. No other cars ever changed so much.
Just another derivatives? this is a 911 used by Dutch police
this the "911 fever", because it is simply unexplainable by objective reasons.
Especially in the last 2 years, sales reached well over 10,000 units annually,
thus enabled a happy ending.