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  • Writer's pictureMatteo Licata

The Last Classic 911

Porsche has been selling rear-engined cars called 911 for almost six decades now. Still, it's fair to say that the current 911 is related to the original from 1963 in name only. Progress is no bad thing, but then which is the last true classic 911?

1980 is a pivotal year in Porsche's history, as Ernst Fuhrmann stepped down as CEO, replaced by Peter Schutz.

Fuhrmann spearheaded the development of the front-engined 924, 944 and 928 (which is my favorite Porsche, by the way!). Believing the 911 had no future, Fuhrmann was unwilling to invest in its development.

His position wasn't shared by the buying public, which kept buying the 911 in steady numbers despite its undoubtedly old design.

That's why, upon taking the helm of Porsche, Peter Schutz not only saved the 911 but committed a considerable portion of the company R&D budget to it.

While the ultimate result of this effort would be the 1989 Carrera 4, the 911 SC Cabriolet presentation in 1983 was the first sign of the company's renewed commitment to its rear-engined air-cooled model.

The Carrera 3.2 ended production in 1989, and it truly was the end of an era.

The Carrera 3,2 liters was introduced in 1984 as a replacement for the SC model. Still, you could be forgiven for not noticing, as Porsche wisely didn't mess with the 911's timeless appearance and concentrated its efforts into the engine compartment instead. The larger displacement was obtained by mating the SC's three-liter bores with the 3.3 liters Turbo engine crankshaft's longer stroke.

Taller forged pistons were used to increase the compression ratio, as the risk of knocking was eliminated by the more modern Bosch Motronic engine management system.

In fact, the performance of the 3.2 Carrera engine could have been even better if it hadn't been for the old "915" gearbox, which couldn't take any more torque.

The old "915" 'box was replaced in 1987 by the new "G50", and enthusiasts now are often willing to pay a premium for these later examples.

The Carrera 3.2 ended production in 1989, and it truly was the end of an era.

The new 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 2 retained the appearance of the previous models but were brand-new cars underneath, overcoming once and for all the limitations of the original 911 design and laying the foundation for the nameplate's future success.



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