History of the 1964 - 1969 Porsche 911
The Porsche 901 project began in 1959, aimed at producing a faster, more agile and larger 356. The four-cylinder pushrod engine couldn’t generate enough power, though, and Klaus von Rucker’s pushrod six-cylinder engine only produced 130 bhp. Ferry Porsche decided to abandon the 2+2 configuration and set the new 901's wheelbase at 87.1 inches, Butzi Porsche slimmed the roof and side windows and steepened the windshield.
Then in 1963, designer Hans Metzger and engineer Ferdinand Piech added single-overhead camshafts and developed 148 bhp from a rear-mounted, air-cooled flat six, with dry sump and dual Solex carburettors. The 901 featured ZF rack-and-pinion steering with a centrally mounted box for both right-hand and left-hand drive builds, Dunlop 4-wheel disc brakes, and a 5-speed transaxle with "dog-leg" first gear. Front suspension was McPherson strut with longitudinal torsion bars, the rear was by trailing link with transverse torsion bars. Performance satisfied the factory, with 0-60 mph in 8 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Thus one of the world's longest running and most respected sports cars was born.
Peugeot complained that they had trademarked "0"numbers, so the 901 became the 911 when it went into full production in 1965. Before that, there were 13 prototypes, starting in 1963, and 235 cars built in 1964, which command an intense premium by collectors. An estimated 35,633 "A-Series" 911s were built between 1964-1968, and the most desirable is the 160 bhp 1967 911S, which was also outfitted with a wood and leather interior. A convertible Targa was introduced for 1966, with a "soft" back window and removable roof panel.
Early cars had problems. Timing chain tensioners were fragile, finicky Nadella half-shafts with exposed U-joints were up-graded to Lo-Bro units, and disc brakes suffered sticking pistons. The original 22NF narrow battery became unavailable. Most of these issues will certainly have been addressed by now and you may see these parts only on barn finds.
Rust was also a problem. Flexible rust-proofing trapped moisture against the frame, especially around torsion bar mounts and below the battery box. Solex carburettors were made of soft aluminium and wore, so they have probably been replaced with Webers. Fuel injection was added to the 911S in 1969, and the longer 89.3-inch wheelbase "B-series" 911 was launched.