By   January 22, 2014

Porsche 911 Targa

Porsche 911 Targa

It is hard to image Porsche not having the 911 in the lineup. After all the car has been with us for over 50 years now. However, in the late ’70s replacing the rear-engined sports car was the plan for the German performance car maker.

At the time the thought was that the new front-engined V8 powered 928 would take over as the brand’s flagship vehicle, with a less expensive front engined sports car also for sale.

Below are the top 5 reasons why we still have the 911, but others have come and gone.

  1. Porsche Family – A large reason why the 911 survived is that the Porsche family wanted it to remain in production. While they no longer controlled the company, they still had a big say in what happened and they couldn’t imaging the company without the flat-six powered car.
  2. Classic Styling – While I like the styling of the front-engined Porsche (928, 924, 944 and 968), one can only call the lines of the 911 timeless. They look as good now as they did when the car first appeared. While the front engine sports cars had great styling that helped define the style of their day, the 911 always looks good, no matter the era.
  3. Rear-Engine Design – Most 356s had a rear engine design (with the exception of the first 356 which was mid-engined) and the 911 continued this tradition with its rear engine design. Until the front engined sports cars made their debut in the companies lineup, all Porsches were either rear-engined or mid-engined. Needless to say many thought that to have a Porsche with the engine in front of the driver was a sin.
  4. Purist Perception – For many purists when the front engined sports cars made their appearance the company only made one sports car, the 911. Much of this had to do with the tradition of the company and that the 928 was introduced above the 911.
  5. Sports Car Versus GT – The front engine cars were more GT cars (well the 924, 944 and 968 had element of both), but the 911 was a pure sports car. While over time the 911 has become more of a GT car, when the front engined sports cars started to appear it was still a pure sports car.
  • Jim Doerr

    This is a puff piece. What, did your boss tell you he needed 250 words by Wednesday? Or did he say, “here’s a picture of the new Targa, now go write some shite to put with it”.

    • David Hurth

      Jim, thanks very much for your comments. Sorry you didn’t enjoy the article, but I did notice that some of the text wasn’t showing do to an HTML formatting error. Not sure if that would change your opinion or not, but we will try harder in the future to make sure that things are a bit more hard hitting, so keep reading.

      • Jim Doerr

        See, you did hit hard… but ya missed. Your fist flew past who you were trying for and nailed the little baby instead. Nobody likes to see a baby get punched!
        This story has been told over and over… and it just plain old.
        But the worst part is you missed..
        Next time when you have more time or words, dig a little deeper. There’s a better story to be told here.

        • David Hurth

          Thanks perhaps I’ll revisit the subject In a longer post. BTW, you don’t by any chance drive a front-engines Porsche? I’ve had two and they were great cars (other than the 924 being very slow). Also, I think that the universe is trying to tell me something as I was driving behind a 928 just a bit ago.

          • Jim Doerr

            David, I just think it would be more interesting to see where these two literally polar opposites came together to party.
            It’s not like they ran two completely separate development paths. Heck, the 911 and 928 were built side-by-side on the line.
            Yes, owner of many 928s, and Porsche enthusiast all together.

          • David Hurth

            Thanks for the story idea. Keep an eye out for a story like that in the near future.

            Also, enjoy those 928s they are probably the best GT car ever made.

  • ideola

    Uh. Let me get this straight. So what your saying is, there were no front engined cars until there were front engined cars. Have I got that right?

    • David Hurth

      Perhaps it wasn’t fully clear, but in the late ’70s Porsche first introduced their front engine cars. Of course other auto makers had been putting the engines in the front for a long time. Hope that clears up any confusion.