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Porsche 911
  1974 to 1983 Porsche 911 models
911 1974 to 1983

Porsche 911 1973

"This car has now been around for 25 years and it is interesting to see how it has changed to meet the demands of the market" said the Spokesperson of the Board of Management Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann on the occasion of the "25 years of Porsche Cars" jubilee in May 1974. At this time safety, comfort and environmental sustainability had moved increasingly to the fore and in 1973 the 911 presented at the IAA in Frankfurt met just those demands.


The bodywork of the re-aligned range with the 911, 911 S and Carrera types were distinguishable by stronger bumpers which could withstand impacts at up to 8 km/h without permanent deformation. Further safety features of the new models included, for instance, headrests and retractable safety belts.

There was also a plethora of improvements such as easier-to-operate clutch or front spoiler for all models. All versions now had an 80-litre fuel tank.

The new 2.7 litre bored engines were developed with one eye on lower fuel emissions and lower fuel consumption and the other on retaining performance. In the 911 and the 911 S a K-Jetronic took care of the fuel induction while the Carrera retained the mechanical multi-point injection.

1975 Porsche 911 S Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1975 Porsche 911 S Coupe, Targa and Carrera

"There are few cars which are better value for money, more reliable, better-designed, better handling, more attractive or safer than a Porsche 911." With these words a brochure advertised the 911 of 1975 which differed from the 1974 model in just a few details.

Heating system modifications and an additional fan for the 911 and the 911 S improved the heater performance at lower speeds and improved soundproofing ensured more comfort. Distinguishing visual features of the Carrera, which was now also available with electric windows, included headlight rings and external mirrors painted in the colour of the car. For the first time the Carrera also incorporated an electronic speedometer which reached an impressive 300 km/h.

And the fact that pure common sense also played a part in the purchase of a Porsche was confirmed by magazine auto motor und sport which subjected a Porsche 911 to an endurance test over 60,000 kilometres. "It is now possible to confirm that the 911 is not only the best all-round sports car in the world, it also offers outstanding value in its class" was the judgement.

1976 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1976 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

At first glance the 1976 models were hard to distinguish from their predecessors which provoked the then head of sales Lars Roger Schmidt to ask on the occasion of its presentation: "You may well be asking – what is Porsche thinking of, inviting 100 journalists from near and far to come and see such trivial details?"

Of course, they did have a convincing reason; Porsche had a minor sensation up its sleeve. "One year's guarantee with no mileage limit for all Porsche vehicles and an additional six year guarantee for all bodywork and floor parts including supporting elements. The latter had been made possible because Porsche had acted as forerunner for the entire car industry in introducing hot-galvanised steel plate for bodywork production. In the meantime non-rusting aluminium was employed for bumpers, wheels, rear axle suspension links, front axle cross members, engine housing, cylinders and pistons and gearbox and steering housings.

Thus the 911 and the Carrera – the 911 S was no longer available – became genuine long-term deals. The Carrera was now fitted with a 200 HP three-litre engine which could be optionally combined with the three speed Sportomatic or a four or five-speed gearbox. New standard fittings in the 911 included a tinted heated rear window and in the Carrera an illuminated door/ignition key while both versions were fitted with internally electrically adjustable and heated external mirrors.

1977 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1977 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

"When a car has been built for 10 years and has lost no appeal during this period, but has in fact become more desirable, we should congratulate its creators", wrote auto motor und sport of the 911 of 1977. On 3rd June of that year, furthermore, the 250,000th Porsche sports car rolled off the production line, a 911, 2.7 litre Coupé, which was the occasion for a small party at the factory.

One of the most important innovations of the 1977 911 series was a power brake unit for the Carrera and the 911 with Sportomatic. This, by the way, had dropped from four gears to three over the past year. The Carrera now also had servo support for the clutch as standard which significantly relieved drivers' leg muscles. There were also modifications to the fittings and to the heater and ventilation controls. The term sporty had become associated by everyone with the attributes of comfort, longevity and economy.

1978 Porsche Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1978 Porsche Coupe, Targa and Carrera

In the model year of 1978 the Carrera was dropped from the programme, the new model SC, apart from the turbo, was now the only car to fly the 911 flag. The letters SC stood for Super Carrera but also recalled the type 356 which had the same suffix. The bodywork with its wide rear wings also corresponded to the former Carrera format. The bonnet hid a three-litre engine which, at 180 HP, was 20 HP less than the Carrera, but mainly due to detoxification measures in the form of secondary air injection, which was also augmented for US market exemplars with a catalytic converter.
An automatic heat regulator was now fitted as standard. The rear side windows were no longer hinged.

1979 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

"The Porsche 911 SC enters its 15th model year practically unchanged", announced the press release of the time. The fact that modifications were limited to a fixed calliper disc brake system, an automatic heating regulator and a new colour range, did no harm to the popularity of this classic amongst the world's successful sports cars. Ultimately, said Prof. Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann, the Chair of the Board of Management: "The 911 drivers are the cast iron Porsche drivers."
One film producer even used the great demand for the Zuffenhausen product to his own ends and in 1979 staged the theft of 33 Porsches in Paris for the film Car-Napping. Firstly, however, they had to find the right extras and in the actual shooting, 33 men actually stole their own cars. The crowning moment was the impressive convoy shot circling the Arc de Triomphe – a highlight of the film for Porsche fans everywhere.

The Porsche was also highly valued in Sweden, which was the first major buyer of Porsche sports cars in 1949. In recent times the value of the German mark had led to a drop in sales figures, but in 1979 they were to rise again. King Carl-Gustaf of Sweden, who had enrolled that year for a factory tour, was also a delighted 911 owner.

1980 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1980 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

In 1980 the Porsche 911 SC was patronised by prominent figures such as alpinist Reinhold Messner or skiing aces Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther. The engine performance was increased by 8HP to 188 HP in the new models and a new oil cooler on the front end kept the oil temperature within limits during hot car chases. "The quiet running is thanks to the six-cylinder Boxer engine, situated at the rear according to Porsche tradition and which is still one of the best money can buy", wrote auto motor und sport in a test of the 911 Targa, "which is chosen by 40 percent of all customers", according to the then press correspondent Walter Hönscheidt.

The changes to the interior included a three-spoke, 38 centimetre diameter steering wheel, electric windows and a central cassette player console. The speedometer with 20 km/h divisions had been introduced in May 1979.

The chassis was unchanged. "We are of the opinion that the 911 is a particularly well-positioned car" the then chassis development boss Wolfhelm Gorissen insisted to the press.
Besides, vehicles for the USA and Japan were fitted with catalytic converters for the first time.

1981 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

The fans of the 911 all had reason to rejoice over numerous new features. "We have focused on improving the efficiency of the six-cylinder model to make it even more economical than it has been" said the Engine Pre-development Manager Hans Mezger. The new engine actually did use less petrol, even if it was super petrol. At the same time, however, 16 more horsepower made the SC almost as temperamental as the Carrera of five years earlier.

Another sweetener was Porsche's seven-year guarantee against rust penetration of the hot-galvanised bodywork, which was externally unaltered. The only difference that year was the introduction of side indicators fitted as standard to the front wings. Optional extras included sport seats, all-fabric covered seats and custom leather upholstery in different colours. One Targa, for instance, was fitted with seats, dashboard and steering wheel in the same brown leather as the clothing of its owner.

1982 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1982 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

On 4th September 1981 the 200,000th Porsche 911 was delivered. The 1982 models are outwardly distinguishable by the bright-finished external rim flange, technical modifications were limited to a stronger dynamo and a more robust differential. In order to emphasise the family appeal of the 911, special child seats were offered for the back.

In 1981 Porsche also celebrated its "50 years of Porsche" jubilee by building 200 custom 911 SC models. The cars were finished in meteor metallic lacquer and had luxurious interior fittings in wine red leather and fabric. The seat backs in this version bore the "F.Porsche" logo.

A 911 SC was also individually fitted out for the German world-class tennis player Silvia Hanika in white leather and a white gear stick knob with the gold initials "S.H.". Even musicians enjoyed the sound of the six-cylinder Boxer engine and the British pop star Cliff Richard was one of those who bought the 911 in 1982.

1983 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

1983 Porsche 911 Coupe, Targa and Carrera

After 17 years there was finally a new Porsche Cabrio. A prototype, nevertheless with turbo engine and all wheel drive, had been shown in 1981 at the IAA in Frankfurt. The response from the public had been overwhelmingly positive. The series production of the Cabrio with 911 SC engineering was therefore commenced with enthusiasm, although customers sometimes had to count on hefty waiting lists. The first Cabrio drivers included tennis player Martina Navratilova who won the car at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Tournament in 1982 and Max Emanuel, Prince of Thurn and Taxis.
The introduction of the new model was also celebrated by the German Porsche dealers with a Cabrio festival and plenty of Caribbean flair. The choice of the Cabrio as the "Playboy Car of the Year 1982" staged by the Playboy men's magazine received a lot of publicity.

The modifications for the 1983 models were kept to a minimum – apart from measures to comply with exhaust and noise safety laws in certain countries such as Switzerland. The heaters in the Coupé and Targa were fitted with an automatic hot air regulator and the Cabrio had electrically adjustable heated external mirrors (driver's side only in the case of the Coupé). Safety belts were now fitted in the back.

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