1967 Porsche 911S Targa and 1968 Porsche 911 R

Porsche 901 at Paris Auto Show
Porsche 901 at Paris Auto Show

Porsche 911 R and Porsche 911 S Targa

Within a few weeks of the Paris Motor Show, Peugeot, an established French car manufacturer contacted Porsche regarding its legal rights in France to designate its models using a three-digit number with a zero in the middle.

The French Government’s attitude regarding Porsche Automobile wasn’t that good due to Ferdinand Porsche’s close ties to Adolf Hitler and his higher-ups. Despite this France has proven to be a good marketplace for Porsche with several hundred of its cars sold to the French in recent years.

Ferry Porsche decided that naming the car indifferently for the French market is not a good idea, because that will result in confusion among the customers. Therefore, he decided to re-designate the Porsche 901 and Porsche 902.

1964 Porsche 901
1964 Porsche 901
1964 Porsche 901 front
1964 Porsche 901 front
1964 Porsche 901 rear
1964 Porsche 901 rear

The six-cylinder car was now called the Porsche 911 and the four-cylinder car was now known as the Porsche 912.

Engine problems and suspension-related issues started to appear, as the Porsche 911 neared production. It was crystal clear that the engines had to go through an internal redesign. Ferry Porsche’s nephew, Ferdinand Piech joined the Porsche after graduating from the Swiss Technical Institute in Zurich.

By 1963, he was a full-time Porsche engineer and quickly earned a reputation as a workaholic and a loyalist. He was more German than most of the Germans were, meaning that it was impossible for him to make an imperfect product. His observations and meddling with the engines resulted in a revised Porsche Type 901 engine with dry-sump lubrication. The Engine crankshaft now featured eight main bearings and many other improvements. It produced 130 new horsepower or 148hp according to SAE standards.

Porsche 911 S

Porsche 911 Type 901 engine internal
Porsche 911 Type 901 engine internal
Porsche 911 Type 901 engine
Porsche 911 Type 901 engine

Ferdinand Piech, Hanz Mezger, and their colleagues then moved on to develop a new Super version of the Type 901 engine. This engine was supposed to power the proposed top-of-the-line Porsche 911S variants.

This engine received aluminum coating surrounding the cast iron cylinder liners to improve the cooling of the engine. This engine was called the Super engine or Type 901/2. The maximum horsepower was now rated at 160hp at 7200rpm.

1968 Porsche 911 S coupe
1968 Porsche 911 S coupe
1967 Porsche 911 engine
1967 Porsche 911 engine

Porsche unveiled the Type 901/2 engine equipped Porsche 911S variant for the 1967 model year.

The cabriolet variant of the Porsche 911 featured a removable clothing top with a plastic window. This was due to a technical limitation. The Type 901 and Type 901/2 engines used a vertically mounted engine fan for cooling the power-plant. This configuration resulted in not enough space behind the 2+2 cabin to stow a collapsible roof. This also meant that it was impossible to make a true convertible Porsche 911.

Porsche 911 S Targa

1972 Porsche 911 T Targa
1972 Porsche 911 T Targa

The new cloth top and roof bow configuration were more viable as they could be removed and stored behind the rear seats very easily. The rigid non-removable roll-over bar enhanced the body roll and stiffness of the chassis. This roll-over bar was then given attachment points for a collapsible middle top and for a zippered in the back window. This was also introduced for the 1967 model year and was designated as the Porsche 911 S Targa. Targa was a reference to the success Porsche had in the Italian Targa Florio events.

Butzi Porsche being the heir apparent of his father’s business, had influence and control over the top engineers and designers of the Porsche. This is why he was appointed as the chief of designing and managed to promote Heinrich Klies’s concept over the concepts drawn by more experienced Erwin Komenda, the man who designed the Porsche 356, Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, and even the Volkswagen Beetle.

Erwin Komenda Porsche 901 prototypes
Erwin Komenda Porsche 901 prototypes

Ferdinand Piech, Louise Piech’s son, and Ferry Porsche’s nephew were the head of the research and development department. He was a genius and had a big influence on his coworkers due to his perfectionist attitude and out-of-the-box thinking experimentation that resulted in better engine performance as well as improved reliability.

Porsche 911 R

Ferdinand Piech came up with a plan for a production Porsche 911 based factory-built race car. The idea occurred to him because his department was always on the work to create lighter and faster prototypes for the FIA racing events.

1967 Porsche 911R
1967 Porsche 911 R
1967 Porsche 911R rear
1967 Porsche 911 R rear

Piech’s new project was called the Porsche 911 R. R stands for racing. This new car existed to test its limits. He wanted to experiment on how light he could make a Porsche 911 without sacrificing its durability, stiffness, and performance. He managed to create a lighter body shell. Now he needed an engine, and he wasn’t pleased with any of the available engines or their performance. He wanted something more powerful and rev-happy.

Piech and his team then began to work on a new engine, and eventually developed the Porsche Type 910/22 flat-six engine developing 210hp. The engine featured aluminum alloy crankcases and cylinder heads, ultra-light titanium connecting rods, and a twin spark plug ignition system.

The FIA governing body had declarations pointing out that the competing cars had to reach 1991cc maximum engine displacement to compete in under 2.0-liter FIA class events. Hans Mezger created an engine with an 80mmx60mm bore and stroke. The powerplant was then fed with massive Weber 46 IDA 3C carburetors using a linkage shortened to reach full-throttle more quickly.

Ferdinand Piech’s team eventually developed four prototypes, and eventually, he got the recipe he wanted. He then enlisted Karosseriefirma Baur, a Stuttgart-based coachbuilder with a reputation for perfect quality and precision to develop twenty highly modified car bodyshells.

Karosseriefirma Baur did not alter the Porsche 911 steel bodies, because doing so may result in compromised structural rigidity and handling due to body roll. Baur decided to not use undercoating. The steel front side fenders, front hood lid, engine deck lid, front and rear bumpers, and even the door panels with thinner fiberglass panels.

1967 Porsche 911R
1967 Porsche 911 R

The standard steel door handles and door hinges were then replaced with aluminum hinges and plastic door handles.

The side glasses and rear windows were replaced with thin Plexiglass panels.

Windshields were replaced with a custom-made one with 2/3 the thickness of the production model.

Baur and Porsche workshop at Weissach were cooperating with each other on the assembly and finishing of the Porsche 911 R models in the later part of 1967. These cars were introduced as 1968 model year units.

Only 20 Porsche 911 R cars were made, and the FIA considered it as a prototype due to this. Despite not being mass-produced to be considered as a production car, all Piech wanted was the FIA approval.

Ferdinand Piech used the Porsche 911 R to compete in Rally stages, hill climb events, and endurance racing.

Three cars were used to compete in the 84-hour Marathon de la Route around the Nürburgring and ended up winning the 1st overall place.

Four Swiss racers then used Porsche 911 R cars to accomplish a new World record run of 20,000 km around the Monza banked track in over 96 hours.

Paul Hensier the chief engine technician and competition director Peter Falk drove from Weissach to Monza track, traveling over 1000 km on the route.

After arriving at Monza, Paul Hensier and his technicians decided to reassemble the engine of the car that they were supposed to run after learning that it had just completed a 100-hour bench test. Though they resembled it after inspection to see the status of the engine, they never replaced a single part, because the engine was in tip-top shape.

Porsche 911 R was then chosen to compete in 24 Hours of Le Mans and many national rally stages. It also won the Tour de France and Tour de Corse events in 1969. Porsche 911 R and its performance in the rally stages soon made it one of the most successful rally cars of its time.

Porsche 911 R with R standing for racing, a new tradition was born to name their cars using the first letter to be more specific about the cars as well as their purpose.

Porsche 911 T was for touring. It was basically an even lighter car with the powertrain of the Porsche 911 R.

Jean Claude Killy behind the wheels of a Porsche 911 S at 1967 Targa Florio
Jean Claude Killy behind the wheels of a Porsche 911 S at 1967 Targa Florio

Porsche 911 ST had the powertrain of Porsche 911 S and Porsche 911 T bodyshell and chassis.

Porsche 911 GTS was based on the Porsche 911 E platform. It was further subjected to extreme weight-saving techniques such as aluminum headlight brackets instead of steel brackets etc.

Porsche had Porsche 911S, Porsche 911 Targa, and Porsche 911 R as new additions for its 1968 model year

Evolution of Porsche 911: Part One

 
 

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