Oi Polloi

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and the 911

Published: Tue Apr 10 2012

Due to the death of designer Ferdinand Alexander Porsche at the age of 76 last week, we thought it would only be right to take a look at one of his most famous designs, the Porsche 911.

As any eight year old boy will tell you, sports cars are pretty cool. Sure, they’re pretty rubbish for the big-shop but when the wind’s in your hair as you’re zipping round scenic cliff-edge roads, that doesn’t really matter too much anyway. Since it first hit das autobahn in 1963, the Porsche 911 has been one of best looking, and most easily identifiable sports cars around.

Designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (grandson of Porsche founder, Dr Ferdinand Porsche), the 911 was originally named the 901, but thanks to the sneaky lads at Peugeot who had registered all three digit numbers with a ‘0’ in the middle, it had to be changed. Design-wise it was pretty much a sportier version of the rear-engine Porsche 356, (which in turn was pretty-much a sportier version of the VW Beetle, which was, as it happens, designed by ol’ Grandpa Porsche).

Even though they are notoriously hard to drive (not that I’d know, the last car I drove was a 20 year old Mondeo estate) thanks to its distinct euro-looks, it became an instant hit and quickly gained ‘classic’ status, thanks, no doubt to countless film appearances and famous owners, including none other than great escapist Steve McQueen, who’s 1970 Porsche 911S recently sold for $1,375,000. But we’re not Top Gear so let’s cut the tech spec and get down to some action featuring none other than a pre-tiger-blood Charlie Sheen.