Corvette & Porsche 911
60 years/50 Years

1953 Corvette Prototype - & - 1964 Porsche 911

Corvette Prototype 1953 911 1964

Corvette & Porsche 911

By Geoff Wheatley

Vintage celebrations seems to be in Vogue these days, last year we celebrated fifty years of the MGB, this year, 2013, we have fifty years of the Porsche 911 and you can also add Sixty years of the Corvette. Not many cars survive that time span and still come out as being both desirable and classic. In the case of the Corvette it was not generally accepted as a real sports car until the first V 8 Engine was installed in 1955...Fuel injection in 1957 in company with a four speed box. (Strange that any company promoting a sports car should have stayed with three gears for so long!)

1958 Corvette on the race track

1958 Corvette on the race track

1958 saw dramatic changes Four Headlights, Washboard Hood, chrome on the trunk and a passenger grab bar an ever popular item for any sports vehicle that wanted to impress the speed buyer. By 1960 the sales for the year hit 10,000 not bad for a car that the critics had said was a plastic toy.

1962, the 327 debuts and is well received by both the public and the motor media. The following year a new body style was offered with louvers in the hood, split window on the coup, (the first time a coupe was offered) in company with Air Conditioning. The introduction of a European feature was the Hideaway Headlights, while the introduction of a non-European feature was Power Steering! 1966 Big Block and Disc Breaks and the following year the 427 certainly a car to be remembered. The ever popular Stingray saw the light of day in 1968 and just to finish the picture the new Corvette that is, or soon will be, in the dealer's show rooms, is also called the Stingray. Sixty glorious years for a truly American sports vehicle.

1959 Corvette Stingray Racer Special - - 2014 Corvette Stingray; Image Credit: Chevrolet 2013

Corvette Stingray Racer Special 1959 1958 Corvette on the race track

The Porsche 911 has by any standards been the center of the Porsche family, a statement indorsed by the fact that no less than 820,000, 911's have been built and sold all over the world. Ferry Porsche once said that the 911 was the only car you could drive on an African safari or at LeMans then go to the theatre or through a New York rush hour. (Make that New York's rush hours!)

1978 Porsche 911 SC Safari

Porsche 911 SC Safari 1978

The style of the 911 is not Italian or truly classic but it seems to say if you want performance this is your car, and of course that is true, as anyone who has owned or even driven a 911 will confirm. To celebrate the half century of production the company is sending an authentic 1967 911 on a world tour that will include Pebble Beach USA, Goodwood UK, Shanghai, and a few other international throughout the world. Porsche people will know that the 911 replaced the 356 and was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. Its air cooled six cylinder 130 hp gave a very impressive top speed both on and off the track.

1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1

Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 1974
Ten years later the G. Series was offered which was also fitted with such things as safety belts as standard equipment certainly needed when the following year saw the introduction of the Turbo version.

By 1988 there was a general feeling that the 911 had run its course until the 911 Carrera 4 hit ..(And that's the right word!) The market. If you were serious about driving in the snow in some competitive event there was now an all wheel version available, the Carrera 4 model. The 993 (1993 to 1998), was the last of the air cooled models but even today the real dedicated Porsche owner will tell you that "They don't make them like that anymore".

2013 Porsche 911/991 Image Credit: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG 2013

Porsche 911-991 2013

On to 2004 when the 997, a new generation of the 911 was presented. The 997 was more than a restyled 911 it was a high performance vehicle with a 3.6 Liter engine that could produce over 300 HP. An update in 2008 with direct fuel injection improved an already powerful vehicle.

The latest version of this unique car features yet another first. A seven speed manual transmission. I personally find the five gear shift on my Boxster more than enough to show a clean pair of tail lights to almost any other car, but with seven.. WOW!

© 2013 Geoff Wheatley Contributing Reporter/Writer

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