How the Porsche 911 got its name
The Porsche 911 is an icon, a staple of the automotive landscape. But imagine if it wasn't called a 911... In 1964 Porsche revealed its new sports car as the 901.
Today it is hard to imagine the Porsche 911 being called anything other than a 911, but 911 was the second name the iconic sports car was given. You have Peugeot to thank for one of the world’s most recognisable cars being assigned its famed three digits.
- Could the Singer DLS be the greatest Porsche 911 ever made?
- Luftgekühlt, the coolest-ever Porsche event, comes to UK
- View Porsche 911s for sale on AutoClassics
The new Porsche 901 was presented at the Paris Auto Salon in 1964 as a replacement for the much loved 356. Its teardrop shape housed a 128bhp flat-six boxer engine at the rear and this was to become the blueprint for future Porsche models. Porsche’s sports car used to be named after their internal project numbers – that was until Peugeot took issue with the German brand’s latest creation.
Crowds flocked around the 901 and international media cooed over its futuristic design, but behind the scenes heated debates began. Peugeot laid claim to the naming convention of road cars with three numbers containing a zero in the middle. The argument was that the French company already sold numerous cars in multiple markets using this numerical pattern and the Porsche 901 would complicate matters. An interesting claim considering that neither company produced products that remotely competed.
Ultimately Porsche agreed to change the name, replacing the zero in the middle with a one — hence 911. However, 82 cars dubbed 901 were produced in late 1964 while the matter was still being settled. These cars were kept by Porsche and used for testing and exhibitions, but a few have made it into collectors' hands over the years.
Porsche also had to change the names of the 904 and the 906 road cars, but could retain the zeros in motorsport. Internally the now 911 was often still referred to as the 901 with many of the car’s 11 digit part numbers beginning with 901.
Today it is unthinkable that the Porsche 911 would have been called anything else, but had Peugeot not kicked up a fuss we’d be celebrating the illustrious history of the Porsche 901.
Classic Cars for Sale
We are very pleased to present this wonderfully rare concourse condition Porsche 911 "MY 1965" from the 301 underbody series. MY 1965 denotes the car was built between January and July 1965. Of the 3319 cars produced in 1965, 1700 were MY 1965 of which only a few hundred still exist. On the 31st May 1965, the Porsche Centre Pacific, Burlingame, California, supplied this car to Mr Walter Matson of
VERY nice, Original 1969 Porsche 911T. Perfectly running/driving. On the Original matching #engine. Good solid and Original floors. A beautiful early F model Porsche. Biggest choice in REAL Classic Cars in "the Stolze Collection" , with more than 450 in stock.! from a project to perfect .!
SUPER NICE and very good running ''68 Porsche 912 Targa. PERFECT body/floors. PERFECT paint, a beauty.Engine is from a 912 coupe from 1968.Has original seats in it now. Biggest choice in REAL Classic Cars in "the Stolze Collection" , more than 450 in stock.! from a project to perfect .!
Royal Blue 1961 Porsche 356B Super Cabriolet Factory Hardtop Black Plate California CarThis 1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Super Cabriolet with factory hardtop is an extremely original black plate California car born in an highly desirable and rare color Royal Blue with black interior. A very honest un-restored example that has a 1959 Super 1600 engine installed. A solid California car just out