A review of The Porsche Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of each model in the range, from the 356 to the 993 Turbo S.
In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Porsche Sports Car, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1948 to 1995.
Ferdinand Porsche would have to wait until after WW2 to fulfil his dream of creating a sports car from the Volkswagen Beetle.
In 1949, the 356 was the first Porsche sports car, and was debuted at the Geneva Motor Show where it created immediate interest.
Owners of the 356 were keen to race the car as well as drive it on the streets. As a result, orders reached some 10,000 units by 1964. When production of the Porsche 356 ended in 1965, 76,313 cars had been built.
In 1964, the 911 Porsche sports car made it debut. It was a 2+2, with an air cooled, rear mounted, 2 litre, 6-cylinder, 130 bhp engine.
In 1966, the more powerful Porsche 911S was launched with a 160 bhp engine.
In 1969, fuel injection was added to the 911S, and the 911E became the new middle of the range model.
In 1970, the engine capacity of all 911’s was increased to 2195 cc.
In 1972, all models received a larger 2341 cc engine. This was known as the “2.4L” engine. The 911S was the top of the range.
In 1973, the next car to be introduced was the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS. It had stiffened suspension and a distinctive rear spoiler.
Carrera was Spanish for “race”, and the RS meant “racing sports”.
In 1974, the 911 Carrera 3.0 RS appeared, with Bosch fuel injection and a 230 bhp engine.
It was designed with racing in mind, and had a number of successes.
In 1974, the 911 Turbo was introduced. The engine was a turbocharged 3 litre, 260 bhp unit.
Known as the Type 930, it had distinctive wide wheel arches and a large rear spoiler.
In 1976, the Carrera 3.0 was introduced. It used the 930, 3 litre, Turbo engine with Bosch fuel injection, but without the turbocharger.
By 1978, the engine of the 930 Turbo had increased to 3.3 litres.
In that year, the latest Porsche sports car to be introduced was the 3 litre, 911SC. In essence, this was a Carrera 3.0 with a detuned engine.
In 1980, the power of the 911SC was increased to 188 bhp which, by 1983, was further increased to 204 bhp in non US models.
In 1982, Porsche introduced the first 911 Cabriolet, the last such model being seen on the 356 in the 60’s.
Its success meant that a Cabriolet would be offered in the future.
In 1984, the 911SC was replaced by the 911 3.2 Carrera Porsche sports car. The higher compression engine developed 231 bhp in non US markets.
All Carrera models were offered as a fixed head coupe, cabriolet and targa (with removable hard top) versions.
This was, in effect, the last version of the original 911 series.
Also, that year, Porsche introduced the Supersport, which had a striking resemblance to the 930 Turbo, with wide wheel arches and the distinctive rear spoiler.
In 1989, the 911 Speedster was launched, which was a low roof version of the Cabriolet. It was available as a narrow bodied version, or in the style of the Supersport.
Also that year, the 911 Type 964 series made it debut.
It was introduced as the 911 Carrera, 4 Porsche sports car, with a 3.6 litre engine. A rear spoiler was activated at high speed. The “4” signified four wheel drive.
In 1990, the Carrera 2 was launched, with drive on the rear wheels only.
The 930 Turbo experienced unprecedented demand in the late 1980’s.
In 1990, the Type 930 was replaced by the Type 964 Turbo, Porsche sports car, with a 3.3 litre, turbocharged engine.
In 1992, the 3.3 litre 964 Turbo S was launched, with lowered suspension, and designed for performance.
In 1992, the 964 3.8 Carrera RS, Porsche sports car, was launched.
It had the Turbo Style body, similar to the Supersport, a 3.8 litre engine, and a large fixed rear spoiler in place of the moveable one from the Carrera 2 and 4.
In 1993, the 3.6 litre 964 Turbo, Porsche sports car, producing 360 bhp, was introduced to complement other 964 models.
A year later, a limited edition 964 3.6 Turbo S appeared, available with the classic Porsche body style, or with the exclusive Slant nose option.
In 1994, the Type 993 was introduced, and represented the final series of air cooled 911’s, originally appearing in 1964.
The revised body styling was smoother, with a more aerodynamic front end, and a new rear.
The engine remained at 3.6 litres, but power increaseed to 272 bhp. In 1996, it was further increased to 286 bhp.
The Carrera 4 and 2 versions were available, the latter being simply called Carrera.
A rear wheel drive 993 3.8 RS, Porsche sports car, was introduced, with a 3.8 litre engine, developing 300 bhp.
In 1995, the 993 3.6 Turbo, Porsche sports car, was launched.
It was the first of the Porsche cars to be fitted with twin turbochargers, which produced 408 bhp from the 3.6 litre engine.
In 1997, the 993 3.6 Turbo S was launched, developing 424 bhp.
This represented the last air cooled 911 Turbo.
In 1998, the Type 996 was introduced, in which the air cooled 911 was replaced with a water cooled version.
The body styling of all previous 911’s was based on the original 1963 version. However, the 996 incorporated a redesigned body shell.
The 996 911 formed the basis of a whole series of variants, such as the Carrera 4 and “Turbo Look” Carrera 4S, the racing orientated GT3, and the 996 Turbo.
This marked the end of the classic Porsche sports car.
Beyond 2000, Porsche produced a number of exciting sports cars which, sadly, falls beyond the time frame of this review.
Perhaps this stroll down memory lane might have answered, or at least shed light on, a possible question:
“Which Porsche Sports Car Is Your Favourite?”
However, should this question still remain unanswered, I will be reviewing, in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of Porsche sports cars which were featured in the memorable era spanning 1948 to 1995.
I hope you join me in my nostalgic travels “down sports car memory lane”.