Porsche 911 Pushing 50

By Jason H. Harper - 2013-04-11T11:09:31Z

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

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Instantly Identifiable

Speed isn’t the point. I’ve tested all of the Porsches released in the last dozen years -- all plenty fast -- but never one manufactured when I was still in diapers.

This year is the 911’s 50th anniversary and it’s high time I discovered for myself what all the original fuss was about.

With a rear-mounted engine, sloped roof and tall side fenders, a 911 is instantly identifiable. Few cars are as coveted. There are entire websites devoted to finding and buying an older 911. I too have the yen and I’ll soon see if this drive throws gas on the fire.

Left, the "2.7" tag on a 1974 Porsche AG 911 Carrera, for its 2.7-liter, air-cooled flat-six engine mounted in the rear of the car. Originally it put out 150 horsepower, but modifications have brought it up to more than 200 hp.