The new 911 (the 991 model) is a masterpiece of modern engineering, continuing the contemporary 911’s reputation as a useable everyday supercar.
But just like highly successful bands like U2, it’s interesting to look back and see just how much has changed and what has remained the same.
Let’s take a look at these two 911s coming up for sale in the auctions in Japan on June 14th. They represent two extremes of 911 development over the last 40 years.
On the one hand, you have this 1971 model (first registered in Japan in January 1972) 911E. A rapid set of wheels in its time, although its 7.6 second 0 – 62 mph time and 137 mph top speed are junior hot hatch territory now. On the other hand, all this performance was from an air cooled 2.2 liter engine — a quite impressive feat with the technology of the time.
Now we warp 40 years forward to the latest 991 incarnation of this motoring icon.
The engine in this Carrera S model is now up to 3.8 liters and pushes out 400PS. It can now hit 60 in just 4.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 180 mph.
And this is a high-tech wonder. In this cabriolet model, for example, the roof may look like a traditional soft top, but super-light cast magnesium panels combined with aluminum and magnesium hinge mechanisms hidden under the fabric conspire to make it as secure and quiet as the coupe when the top is up.
So two opposite ends of 911 development. And two very different ends of the buying spectrum, too: The new 991 has only 40KM on the clock and bidding starts at 12.5 million Yen. The 1972 model? Well the 5-digit odometer means its true mileage cannot be verified, and the starting price of zero means the only way is up.
But rather than get bogged down in questions of money and value, let’s take another look at these two great cars. This time let’s remember how much they have in common: Specifically, the rear-engine layout, and that evergreen classic 911 silhouette.
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