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Historical prediction from 1977: "No future for the Porsche 911"

ER Classics Desktop 2022

We write 1977. Porsche has undergone a change of course in the past few years. The Porsche 1976 is available from 924. It is the first car from Zuffenhausen with a water-cooled engine. The trans axle construction is also new for the German sports car manufacturer. On the other side of the spectrum, the 928 has made its appearance as the intended successor to the "Elfer". Together with the 924, he embodies the future of Porsche, which is outlined in smooth body lines, as it is anticipated in the 1970s.

The air-cooled Boxer engine remained in the stern of the Porsche 1998 until 911. Image: Porsche
The air-cooled Boxer engine remained in the stern of the Porsche 1998 until 911. Image: Porsche

The editors and compilers of the Autotest 1978 yearbook give their vision of the future of the prestigious brand. They speak out clearly about the perspective of the 911, which is only "SC" in the books at the time. The Turbo, based on the 911, is considered a separate model.

The “SC” version is an important reason for the Autotest editors to predict the end of the 911. They say at the end of 1977: “The 356 was also only available as an SC version in its last year. It is also to be expected that 1978 will be the last year of the 911 ”. It is a bold prediction, because the Porsche management only wants to stop production of the 1981 in the course of 911.

"Air-cooled boxer does not reach the eighties"

The editors read from the presence of the 924 and the 1977 launched in March 928 that Porsche has taken the right new course. "The air-cooled boxer engine is therefore in its final stage." It is true: the arrival of the 924 in 1976 led to strong production growth at Porsche. In the same year, the number of 911s produced increased from 6.000 (1975) to 9.000 (1976).

Strong chest

The 911 appears to have a strong disposition. The 924 and 928 inadvertently turn out to be a flywheel for the authenticity and recognisability of the 911, which strongly represents Porsche's brand values ​​and history. In 1980, Porsche is the new chairman of the board Peter W. Schutz. He recognizes the importance of the 911 and sees plenty of opportunities for innovation.

The 911-993 was the last Porsche with an air-cooled boxer engine. Image: Porsche
The 911-993 was the last Porsche with an air-cooled boxer engine. Image: Porsche

Technical and cosmetic innovations extend the lifespan

The result is that the air-cooled 911 will be built on for a long time and is regularly upgraded. Refinement and growth take place not only in the motor sense. The 911 is also kept up to date in the cosmetic field and innovations in relation to safety and drive options.

In 1983 the lost Carrera returns. In 1989 follows a renewed 964, which replaces the long-produced “G-Modell”. In 1993 the beautiful 993 saw the light of day. They are still very similar in appearance to the 911 of 1963, although they have been subtly adapted to the requirements of the time. The 993 will remain in production through 1998. Only then does the very last “classic 911” - which survives both the 924 and 928 - blow out the candle for the air-cooled boxer technology. To then continue its impressive career as a water-cooled 911 to this day.

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